Touts, the Waterson report, and what you need to know.

Yesterday, Professor Michael Waterson’s long awaited Government led review into the secondary ticketing market was published. At two hundred and twenty-seven pages it doesn’t make for a light bedtime read. But there are some points that affect you as a music fan, and we think you should know them...

If you’ve been with us and following this for a while then you’ll know DICE is very much against the institutionalised secondary market and touts. We first wrote about this well over a year ago here.

And more recently here.

Thank you to everyone who took part in the Independent Review and submitted evidence.

To get you up to date - we campaigned for amendments to the Consumer Rights Act. Some were accepted, some not, and the Government agreed to an independent review into the secondary market. That review was published yesterday.

The amendments to the Consumer Rights Act stated that when reselling a ticket, secondary sites must publish the block, row and seat number, the face value, and any restrictions attached to said ticket. A report from Which? just three days ago found that many of these requirements weren’t being met.

Professor Waterson recommended eight main points in his report:

  • An independent body such as Trading Standards or the Police carry out a potentially funded investigation into compliance of the Consumer Rights Act.

  • That enforcement action be taken over breachings of the Act with fines of around £5,000 per ticket.

  • If within reasonable time no progress has made, the Government consider action such as making all traders (touts) gain a mandatory resale license. This already happens in other countries.

  • That the primary ticketing industry forms a project group to ensure more transparency for consumers.

  • That if the industry fails to do so, the Government should step in to create a ‘roundtable’ of primary ticketing representatives.

  • That the live events/ticketing industry be represented by the Cyber-security Information Sharing Partnership (CISP) to help share information on cyber abuse.

  • That primary ticket vendors protect against the serious possibility of mass purchase.

  • That the industry should look to use common standards and terms to ease customer confusion.

We welcome Professor Waterson’s recommendations and stand strongly alongside the work being carried out by Sharon Hodgson and the APPG on Ticket Abuse.

Speaking yesterday on BBC Radio 4’s You & Yours programme about what primary ticket sellers can do to stop touts, Professor Waterson said; “I think primary sites often don’t treat very seriously the possibility of mass purchase by people who have no interest in attending. So the various mechanisms that they use, for example saying ‘a maximum of 4 tickets,’ but then you can buy 4 a few seconds later, or from a different site, or using technology where you have to click something that says, ‘I’m not a robot’.

“Those sorts of technologies are not really any use and I think they need to treat much more seriously the role of people who are buying up for professional purposes.”

At DICE we are fully devoted to creating a fair and transparent experience for music fans. By being completely mobile we are immune to the software bots that scour ticketing sites, hoovering up tickets in the hundreds.

Our Waiting List offers fans a way to return tickets to sold out shows, knowing they’ll go straight to another fan at face value.

And our state of the art technology locks tickets to the devices they were purchased on, making tickets on DICE virtually tout-proof.

Help us to keep putting Fans First and sign this petition to encourage Parliament to follow Professor Waterson’s recommendations and truly enforce the amendments made to the Consumer Rights Act.