LIVE-EVENT TICKET LEGISLATION NEEDED
Protect consumers purchasing live-event Tickets
Michigan Citizen Action, the state’s leading consumer advocacy organization, applauded a two-bill package introduced recently in the state House of Representatives to protect consumers from deceptive and unfair practices in live-event ticket market.
House Bills sponsored by Rep. Kevin Cotter, R-Mt. Pleasant, would implement several key measures to protect consumers from dishonest ticket scalpers, preserve open and fair access to tickets, and stop the practices of large ticket companies that take away consumers’ property rights over the tickets they buy.
“Michigan has seen an increasing number of harmful practices used by dishonest ticket scalpers and big companies like Ticketmaster that violate or completely take away consumer rights” said Linda Teeter, executive director of Michigan Citizen Action. “This legislation ensures consumers have access to affordable tickets in an open, fair ticket market while protecting them against unnecessary restrictions.”
The two House Bills would take several steps to protect consumer rights, including:
Matching legislation to the House bills was introduced in the Michigan Senate earlier this summer by state Sen. Joe Hune, R-Hamburg Township. Senate Bills 1186 and 1187 were referred to the Senate Regulatory Reform Committee. The Michigan House and Senate are expected to take up this legislation in their respective committees early this fall.
Michigan has seen a dramatic increase in the number of events using restrictive ticketing, including concerts featuring Jason Mraz, Eric Church and Rascal Flatts. These tickets are tied to the purchaser’s credit card and, unlike electronic tickets or traditional paper tickets, are often nontransferable and nonrefundable. To get into an event, the original purchaser must present their credit card and state identification. If consumers wish to give away, donate or resell a restricted ticket, they have to transfer the ticket through the primary ticket seller and pay an extra fee – if such a transfer is permitted at all.
“Large ticket companies claim that restrictive ticketing protects consumers from deceitful scalpers, but in reality it’s a way for them to tighten control over the ticket market and strip fans’ ownership rights,” added Teeter. “These House Bills offer a more fan-friendly, market-friendly way to protect consumers and preserve their right to do what they want with the tickets they buy.”
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