There are still ticketing culprits out there, says Lancashire entrepreneur

Luke Massie, Vibe Tickets
Luke Massie, Vibe Tickets

A Lancashire entrepreneur has welcomed a crackdown on a number of secondary ticketing sites.

But Luke Massie said there were still many culprits operating – and called for further action.

The Competition and Markets Authority has taken action against viagogo, StubHub and Ticketmaster ordering them to be more transparent about hidden costs and so on.

Luke Massie is CEO and founder of Lancaster-based Vibe Tickets, a fan to fan marketplace app that allows music lovers to sell unwanted concert tickets.

The Competition and Markets Authority has ordered ​V​iagogo, StubHub and Ticketmaster to put new procedures into place, including telling customers:

*whether there is a risk that the ticket buyer will be turned away at the door

*which seat in the venue they will get

*the identity of the seller if it is a business – so that people can benefit from enhanced legal rights when buying from businesses

Luke said: “This is a positive step forward to create a fairer and more transparent ticketing industry, and I fully support cracking down on companies such as Viagogo that notoriously fail to comply with current regulations.

“Consumers have the right to know who they’re buying their tickets from and transparency on specifics such as seat number and row.”

But Preston-born Luke added there were still many ticketing sites who were positioning themselves as ethical, face-value only, when in fact many of their listings were in breach of the regulations.

Luke said: “There are many others out there doing exactly the same thing. It’s a huge industry.

“What we want to see is consistency across the board.”

Viagogo is also required by the CMA to make changes to its processes to prevent customers being misled by messages about the availability and popularity of tickets – making it easier for customers to get their money back under its guarantee when things go wrong.

In the coming weeks there will be a comprehensive review of the changes each website has made to its processes.

This is to ensure they have all fully complied with the formal commitments given to the CMA by StubHub and Ticketmaster, and the court order imposed on viagogo.

This will be followed by annual compliance reviews.

Once complete, the results of these reviews will be reported to the CMA.

The CMA will update its case page with information on whether the sites are compliant with their commitments once it has reviewed the results.

If it is found that the required changes have not taken place, the CMA will take further action. This could include pursuing action through the courts.

​The CMA has also published the following information for businesses:an open letter to event organisers on how to make sure information about tickets for their events is disclosed on secondary ticketing websites and the steps that those who use restrictions on resale can take to reduce the risk of the CMA prioritising enforcement action against them.

There is also an open letter to secondary ticketing websites about how to comply with consumer law.

In 2016 Vibe entered Richard Branson’s Voom contest looking for the best new talent.

In 2017 Luke was adopted as the face of Voom on a massive marketing campaign.

Vibe is still based in Lancaster but now has a London office, opening up new opportunities.

Luke said there were “exciting things” in the pipeline for 2019.