A few weeks ago I wrote a post about the recent amendment to the Consumer Rights Bill and how it was defeated in the House of Commons.
Since then a lot of people shared that piece, spoke to me about it in real life, or got in touch via social media.
You can read it here, or to give you the highlights, we’re talking about an amendment to the law that will force secondary ticketing sites like Viagogo and StubHub to be more transparent in an effort to try and curb ticket abuse.
All the amendment asks is that the seller must provide simple details about the ticket that’s being sold. Things like the face value, the original T&Cs of sale, and the seller’s details, an important one for anybody who’s seen their friend left gutted after splashing hundreds on a festival ticket that turned out to be a fake.
However, the amendment was defeated by Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs on the grounds that these amendments go against the principles of a free market; a system where supply and demand prices are set freely between the consumer and seller.
Kind of like an ill-advised Frank Underwood from House of Cards, the guy whipping these MPs into saying no to this amendment is Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Sajid Javid. He’s the guy who recently described Ticket Touts as ‘classic entrepreneurs’.
The problem is, times change. And technological advancements mean we must adapt. That’s what we’re doing here at DICE, but we’re more of the Peter Parker school of thought. With great power, comes great responsibility, and unfortunately when you have bots scraping sites for hoards of tickets within the first seconds that they go on sale, the rules of a free market can no longer apply.
If you’re sick of seeing your friends penalised for their passion to see a favourite artist live, then now is the time to act. And let’s also remember that none of this money is going back to those bands putting in the real work.
The amendment will be debated in the House of Commons this Tuesday February 24th and there is one huge thing you can do to help.
Using the template below, or your own words, we would encourage you to email your MP asking them to support this amendment when it comes back to the House of Commons.
If you’re not sure who your MP is or how to contact them, you can find out by entering your postcode at https://www.writetothem.com/.
More information can be found on the APPG Ticket Abuse website: www.putfansfirst.co.uk.
And you can support them on social media with a follow and like…
This won’t take you more than five minutes and will make a difference. Please share with your friends too.
Let’s Put Fans First.
[Your name and full address]
Dear [name of MP]
PLEASE PUT FANS FIRST.
As your constituent, I write to ask for you to support the proposals of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Ticket Abuse, co-chaired by Mike Weatherly MP (Conservative) and Sharon Hodgson MP (Labour), and the Lords amendments, to inject necessary transparency to the secondary ticketing market.
As a fan of live events I am regularly frustrated to see tickets for events I want to go to apparently sold out within minutes of going on sale, only for thousands of them to instantly appear on secondary sites – such as Viagogo, Seatwave, GetMeIn! and Stubhub – often at significant mark-ups.
These sites are supposed to be about fans selling tickets they can no longer use to other fans, and if that’s all it was there wouldn’t be a problem – but what sport or music fan buys dozens of tickets for a gig only to decide within a few minutes that they can’t go?
The Government’s aim should be to increase transparency in the secondary market. It would mean that touts selling their tickets through major internet platforms will have to prominently disclose key facts to consumers, assisting the fans, the event providers and the police to ensure a fair ticketing process.
If the secondary ticketing platforms have nothing to fear from transparency, they should have nothing to fear from this legislation. I would therefore be grateful if you would confirm your commitment to see fans protected when it comes back to the House of Commons.