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Letter to Live Nation about ticket scalping – PINK shows

STSA wrote and sent the following email to Live Nation, the promoters of the PINK shows.  Their response will be added here, for information.

27 October 2012

Dear Live Nation

We are distressed to see that Tickets to live shows continue to be “scalped”, i.e. sold at prices above their original selling prices by un-authorised ticket vendors.  We also recognise that ticket scalping causes problems for you and for the ticket vendors, for example, if eBay sellers do not identify the ticket numbers (or exact seats) then the tickets that are being offered at Buy It Now prices above the genuine purchasing price, cannot be cancelled.

If eBay remove or cancel the listings (see below) for tickets to shows, such as “Pink”, then there is a chance that the tickets will be scalped person to person or by other means, or at the venues when the Shows are about to start.  Alternatively, some Tickets may not even be used, if the “scalper” cannot sell the ticket(s) at the price s/he wants, plus s/he doesn’t go to the Show her/himself (or give the tickets to someone who wants them).

http://www.ebay.com.au/sch/i.html?_trksid=p3692.m570.l1311&_nkw=pink+tickets&_sacat=0&_from=R40

Economists claim that the initial ticket prices are not high enough for the demand, postulating that Promoters should sell tickets at exorbitant prices, thus mechanically making “supply meet demand”, in other words, the demand being from those rich enough to pay enormous amounts for all ticket classes, equalling the amount of seats (for the amount of shows) available.

It is a sad day to see so many completed auctions for Pink tickets on eBay at up to 120 percent of the original ticket prices, and to know that many people, from politicians to promoters and artists themselves, are asking for a re-structure to the way in which tickets are sold, and for endeavours to curtail (or reduce) ticket scalping; BUT their requests have largely not been actioned yet.  The ticket sellers, such as Ticketek and Ticket Master, can be asked by the Promotors to take the following action, to reduce ticket scalping.

Using electronic ticketing and identifying the ticket holder at the door ( with provision for the e-tickets to be transferred legally at purchase price, in the case of genuinely not being able to attend )
Staggering the release of tickets to encourage people to wait and buy from authorised sellers, AND to give people who want to attend the Shows chances to try to buy tickets

In the mean-time, please could you ask eBay Australia to remove the listings which advertise the Pink tickets at above their purchase prices using Buy-it Now.

Alternatively, please ask eBay to contact the sellers of Pink tickets (as in the link above) and tell them to change their listings from Buy It Now ONLY, to Buy It Now and Make Offer, which means those whom can’t afford the tickets at the inflated Buy-it Now prices, can at least try to make an offer at the prices they can afford.  This may not stop the tickets being on-sold at profits of course, especially given that the Shows are not taking place for a while yet and that research has shown that 71 tickets for shows in Adelaide were sold on eBay recently for up to 120 percent of the original ticket prices.

The point is not that there are people desperate and rich enough to go to the Shows whom buy the scalped tickets, and that the “scalpers” are providing a service, as such (in providing tickets), BUT the point is a moral and ethical one – that some of those whom would love to go to the Shows and can do so at the original ticket prices – are denied a chance at doing so, because of greedy people whom snap up tickets purely to try to sell them at a profit.

It is sad to see and know about such ticket scalpers and supporters of ticket scalping (or those who “sit on the fence”) whom claim that people have the right in a “free market economy” to buy and own “goods” or services, and once the goods are their “property”, they are free to do what they like with it, including selling tickets at profits.

Even TicketMaster has declared that once tickets that are not tickets to “declared events” are bought, they become the buyers’ property and the buyer can do what they like with the tickets.  This is actually at odds with TicketMaster’s own terms & conditions that tickets cannot be on-sold for profits, and goes to show that if there WAS nation-wide legislation to stop ticket scalping, that TicketMaster would then try to enforce its own such Terms & Conditions nation wide.

However, it is apparent from TicketMaster’s response to those asking them to take steps to stop the “scalping” that they don’t care about tickets that are NOT to “declared events” according to Queensland legislation.

In fact, Deborah Healy, from the Commonwealth Consumer Affairs Advisory Council, states that:

”A ticket is a right to enter.  It’s not a good. The seller can put whatever conditions they want on it, as long as that condition is legal.” Importantly, a ticket is a contract between the consumer and the seller of the ticket, and any breach of that contract – such as breaking a condition that forbids on-selling – can lead to the cancellation of the ticket (if the condition has been incorporated effectively into the contract at law).”

Any sensible person can see that a Ticket is different to other tangible physical objects.  It is more a service than a good, but in reality it is neither a good or a service, but a contract or an agreement.  So, if the tickets’ condition that it not be on-sold at a profit by an un-authorised seller IS incorporated into the contract at law, then you and the Ticket Vendors should really be taking huge efforts into reducing/stopping ticket scalping, to avoid litigation measures.  That is, the tickets should never be listed on eBay and other online means, in the first place, as action CAN be taken to make sure that the tickets are used by those whom buy them and genuinely want them.

Please can you respond to this letter, to let us know what action you have taken against the eBay listings for all tickets to Pink’s performances Australia wide?

As eBay Australia has stated that it will actually remove the Pink ticket listings if you ask them to do so, but eBay has clearly stated that it has not yet received a formal request from you to do so, please can you follow up?

We can find out for you, if you like, what constitutes a “formal request”.  Perhaps eBay is waiting for a letter on Letter-head to be posted to them from you, explicitly asking that the Listings be removed.  If you have made a formal request and eBay has acknowledged such, please let us know, to help restore faith in the ticketing process.   Your strong support of this matter can help break the disillusionment that many people feel – i.e. people are under the “illusion” that they can “be in the running” (have the chance) of buying tickets to shows at their original selling prices.  The opportunity to buy tickets at their original selling prices should not be an illusion, but be a fact.

Thanks very much for your time reading this, and best wishes.

Yours sincerely

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11 comments on “Letter to Live Nation about ticket scalping – PINK shows

  1. Michelle D
    28/10/2012

    That is an AWESOME letter, worded very well 🙂

  2. Michelle D
    28/10/2012

    —–Original Message—–
    From: customerhelp_au@ebay.com
    Sent: Sunday, 28 October 2012 5:34 PM
    Subject: RE: To: EBAY RE: Event Ticket Scalping SR# 1-5032197359

    eBay sent this message to — (—).
    Your registered name is included to show this message came from eBay. Learn more about how to tell if an email is really from eBay.
    RE: To: EBAY RE: Event Ticket Scalping SR# 1-5032197359

    Hi —,
    Thanks for contacting eBay about scalping tickets.
    Michelle, we are doing our best to make eBay a safe and secure marketplace. However, for scalping tickets, we need to have a legal request from the promoters should be sent to us so we can do the investigation further.
    Occasionally, you might find an item that isn’t allowed on the site. To help us track these items, please report them using the ‘Report item’ link, we’ll be happy to investigate.
    We appreciate your understanding on this matter. Have a great day ahead!
    Regards,

    eBay Customer Support Team

    —–Original Message—–
    Sent: 10/26/2012 10:12:28 AM
    To: customerhelp_au@ebay.com; eBay Australia Customer Support (aurswebhelp@ebay.com)
    Subject: To: EBAY RE: Event Ticket Scalping SR# 1-5032197359

    To EBAY

    Please see this petition which requests EBAY to make changes to help stop/prevent ticket scalping:
    http://www.communityrun.org/petitions/help-stop-ticket-scalping-in-australia.
    Can you please advise if and when you are going to make changes and if so, what changes exactly.

    —–Original Message—–
    Sent: Friday, 26 October 2012 9:12 PM
    To: customerhelp_au@ebay.com; eBay Australia Customer Support (aurswebhelp@ebay.com)
    Subject: To: EBAY RE: Event Ticket Scalping SR# 1-5032197359
    Importance: High

    To EBAY

    Please see this petition which requests EBAY to make changes to help stop/prevent ticket scalping:
    http://www.communityrun.org/petitions/help-stop-ticket-scalping-in-australia.
    Can you please advise if and when you are going to make changes and if so, what changes exactly.

    See spreadsheets for number of P!nk tickets being scalped http://www.dropbox.com/sh/bwfhpymq2vn5vp3/IkyKvXsx4q :
    * Adelaide: 350
    * Brisbane: 525
    * Melbourne: – STILL TO DO
    * Perth: 536
    * Sydney: 747
    * Gumtree: 72
    TOTAL: 2230

    When are you going to remove them please?

    P.S. The spreadsheets are continually being updated.

    Regards

  3. stopticketscalping
    30/10/2012

    From: Live Nation Australia – Info
    To:
    Sent: Monday, 29 October 2012 3:07 PM
    Subject: Re: Ticket sales

    Hi

    Thanks for your email.

    I have contacted eBay and submitted a request/complaint.

    Kind Regards,

  4. stopticketscalping
    30/10/2012

    From STSA

    *****************************
    Date: Monday, 29 October 2012 10:38 PM
    To: Live Nation Australia – Info
    Subject: Re: Ticket sales

    Hi

    As stated in my original email, eBay needs a formal request in order to remove listings which they can see from Live Nation’s request that advertise the tickets above the face values of the ticket classes.

    It has come to our attention that Live Nation has stated in writing (by email) that Live Nation made a formal request to eBay on 18 October 2012 to remove the listings which breach the terms and conditions of holding the tickets. However, it must have not been a formal request because when one of our campaigners to help stop ticket scalping contacted eBay about such, eBay replied by email to say that they have never received a formal request from Live Nation.

    You can’t just email Ebay but have to send a formal request. We are all getting fed up with the stalling of TicketMaster and other parites in managing this matter, and will continue to pursue the matter by the various means that it takes, e.g. by using the media or popular personalities, petitions, rallies, advertisements, formal letters, lawyers, etc.

    If Live Nation is not genuinely interested in helping to stop ticket scalping, please do not give out mis-leading information, such as you have contacted eBay, unless you mean that a formal request to remove all current and future eBay listings which are in contravention of the contract law (regarding the agreement to purchase a right of entry to a show, in the form of the ticket) has been made.

    You do not say what you have requested from eBay. We will be monitoring eBay to see if they remove current listings which are trying to sell Pink tickets above their original sale prices or if the listings are changed to incorporate Make Offer or are changed so that the Buy It Now prices are at the tickets original purchase prices; and if future listings reflect such.

    Regards,

  5. stopticketscalping
    30/10/2012

    RESPONSE
    ************************

    Hi

    I personally sent the request to eBay and we are NOT being mis-leading.

    I have asked them to remove all these listings, and any others for Live Nation events.

    I cannot control what they are saying to you.

    Kind Regards,

    *******************************************************************************
    ACTIONS

    Monitor eBay and if no change to listings all of us should contact eBay and ask them why they haven’t done so, as Live Nation have said they sent a “request” on Monday 29th October (and on 18th October, for that matter). LN still hasn’t said if the request it sent was formal or not. If necessary, we can ask eBay what constitutes a “formal request”.

    Thank you to Michelle for the information in the Drop Box, to help with this correspondence with Live Nation. Keep up the good work Michelle !

  6. Michelle D
    30/10/2012

    Thanks you too 🙂
    Added more eBay to/from emails to
    http://www.dropbox.com/sh/bwfhpymq2vn5vp3/IkyKvXsx4q

  7. stopticketscalping
    02/11/2012

    Date: Friday, 2 November 2012 10:09 AM
    To: Live Nation Australia – Info
    Subject: Re: Ticket sales

    Hi

    I was wondering if eBay have got back to you yet with their response, as the PINK tickets at exorbitant price are still on eBay?

    If eBay has said they will remove the listings, we will contact them to ask them when they will be doing so.

    Many thanks,

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Hi
    No, we haven’t heard back from eBay.

    Regards,

    ******************************************************************************

    ACTION TO BE TAKEN

    We suggest that people concerned about this contact eBay Australia this weekend and say something like “It has come to our attention that Live Nation emailed you on Monday 29th October 2012 asking that the listings of PINK tickets above the purchase prices, be removed. If you have not yet received a formal communication from Live Nation, can you reply to the email from Live Nation and tell the sender that you need a formal request, and what you mean by a formal request?”

    Thank you for helping the cause. 🙂

    You can either write your own email / letter to eBay and / or sign the following petition.
    http://www.communityrun.org/petitions/stop-ticket-scalping-off-pink-tickets-on-ebay

  8. stopticketscalping
    02/11/2012

    Thank you to Michelle for updated emails, see below, which show Live Nation not sufficiently answering the questions, and saying they can’t cancel tickets of which they don’t know the seat numbers. Download “Emails_TicketScalping_2012_4455PinkTicketsReported” and see Live Nation’s response dated 2 November 2012. https://www.dropbox.com/sh/bwfhpymq2vn5vp3/IkyKvXsx4q

  9. Jackie
    05/11/2012

    Well said & good on you for taking this on. The whole scalping thing & apparent lack of action by the ticketing agencies has angered & upset so many.

  10. stopticketscalping
    06/11/2012

    Thank you Jackie, and welcome to the blog. 🙂 Yes, the ticket vendors can take measures to reduce ticket scalping (for example, see what Moshtix is doing) but seems they won’t do that, neither will they enforce their own terms & conditions, because of the administrative cost.

    Even LPA (Live Performance Australia) say the administrative cost will be too much a burden if there is legislation in every state, similiar to Queensland’s, and that education is key – telling people not to buy scalped tickets.

    We have only ever seen one series or lot of adverts on television by LPA advising consumers not to buy tickets sold by un-authorised sellers/vendors. We ask, where is the education of consumers by LPA & the ticket vendors, if education is the answer to reducing ticket scalping??

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