Consumer advocacy groups launch campaign for ‘Ticket Buyer Bill of Rights’
It’s hard to forget this bad blood between Taylor Swift fans and Ticketmaster after an online meltdown left millions unable to buy tickets for her upcoming tour.
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“What Ticketmaster is doing should not have been allowed in the first place,” said Penny Harrison, a Taylor Swift fan. “There needs to be a change. Ticketmaster is the only ticket site in town for firsthand tickets.”
Now several national consumer advocacy groups are pushing for a “Ticket Buyer Bill of Rights.” They want state and federal lawmakers to use this as a guide for new legislation.
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“Take the needs and the interest of fans and make those their first priority when it comes to fixing this marketplace,” said John Breyault, vice president of public policy, telecommunications, and fraud at the National Consumers League.
The National Consumers League is one of those organizations advocating for changes.
The proposal focuses on these aspects:
The Right to Transferability
The Right to Transparency
The Right to Set the Price
The Right to a Fair Marketplace
“All-in pricing brings transparency to the process. It says very clearly that the price you see advertised to you is the price you’re going to pay,” said Breyault.
This comes after lawmakers from both parties grilled Live Nation’s top executive about how the company processed tickets for Taylor Swift’s tour.
During that same hearing, the company’s President Joe Berchtold said they support more transparency.
Read: Musical monopoly: why Taylor Swift fans are calling for the breakup of Ticketmaster
He also wants Congress to pass stricter legislation against bots. That’s when someone uses automated software to buy tickets in bulk to re-sell them later.
“If we get the laws that are going to be enforced and support and have real teeth and penalties against people we will do our part,” said Joe Berchtold, President & CFO at Live Nation Entertainment. “We have a limited level of power on something that hasn’t been consistency enforced.”
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The Washington News Bureau reached out to Ticketmaster and Live Nation for a statement on the “Ticket Buyer Bill of Rights,” but at this time, we haven’t heard back.
Recently Ticketmaster released the following statement about ticket reforms:
“Ticketmaster strongly supports ticketing reforms that will benefit artists and fans, prevent fraud, and clean up fraudulent practices in resale markets. These basic steps should be the things everyone agrees on, including mandating all-in pricing and outlawing speculative ticketing. We stand ready to work with the President and Congress on many common sense ticketing reforms, while also speaking out against proposed legislation that would benefit scalpers over artists and fans.”
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