Barry Soper: Don't expect fast resolution on ticket scalping

Author
Barry Soper,
Section
Opinion,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 5 March 2019, 6:51AM
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi. Photo / NZME
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi. Photo / NZME

COMMENT:

Let the buyer beware. Well with this well-being Government it seems to be, let the buyer live without fear, they should be mollycoddled. If they go online to buy a ticket to a concert, and these days you virtually have to take out a second mortgage to get one, then they should be protected from the scalpers and the scammers.

The scammers are the people who offer fake or forged tickets online which are worthless when the hapless concert goer turns up at the gate and is turned away. That's a matter for the police, the law is pretty straightforward - providing they can track the scammers down on the cyber highway and can catch them that is.

It's a different story when it comes to scalping though, which is a legitimate activity, where someone buys a bunch of tickets, sticks them on an auction site once a concert's been sold out, and reaps the rewards. Or in the old days they'd stand outside the venue selling to the highest bidder. It's an activity that's been going on since the first rock concert, the Moondog Coronation Ball, was held in Cleveland, Ohio, almost 70 years ago.

So the Government told us there was going to be an announcement about putting a stop to tickets being sold at an exorbitant rate to the desperate concert goers. Like so many Government announcements this was simply setting in place a consultation period, in this case of just over a month, to get feedback on how the issue can be resolved.

Don't expect any resolution this side of the election though, if ever.

The kindly Consumer Affairs Minister, Kris Faafoi, standing alongside his seriously nodding boss Jacinda Ardern, said it's just not fair. The people who're winning out of this are the people who're on-selling to those who were unfortunate enough to miss out on them, he told us as if we didn't already know.

So what can be done? Faafoi cited information disclosure, where the seller would have to say what the tickets cost, so you know what the markup is. He's even talked about a price cap where the ticket can't be sold for anything more than 10 per cent of its face value.

Yeah, well that's likely to lead to the scammers doing a roaring trade in fake tickets that cost them nothing in the first place.

It's a pity Trevor Mallard is Parliament's Speaker now, otherwise he could have had an input into the Cabinet room discussion and put them right. Seven years ago he hit the headlines, selling four Homegrown concert tickets at a profit not much shy of three hundred bucks. He'd on-sold tickets to the same concert twice in the past and had even traded in a couple of Wellington Sevens' tickets.

How was he to control the prices paid when he listed them on Trade Me and they went to the highest bidders? In fairness Mallard said at the time he sold the tickets because something else came up and he couldn't use them.

Well at least it's got the capital gains tax off the post-Cabinet press conference agenda.

Marcus Lush Nights

Marcus Lush Nights

8PM - Midnight