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gzt



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  Reply # 1039146 8-May-2014 15:04
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Geektastic:
gzt:
Geektastic: Thus it seems fairly obvious to me that if an event is cancelled, any refund from the promoter MUST go to the holder of the ticket.

No law change is required here. There are many good reasons the refund should go to the person who actually paid for them.

Moving on to when the ticket changes hands I completely agree with Scwup that the sale is a civil matter between buyer and seller, and therefore so is any refund required if the event is cancelled.

Commenters in the previous thread were indicating that where this occurs, it is TradeMe policy not to get involved at all. This is unsatisfactory and I cannot understand the reasons for it.

If the buyer gets no response from the seller at this point I would expect TradeMe to contact the seller and ask for an explanation. If the seller cannot offer one then I would expect TradeMe to advise the seller account will be closed.

Several commenters in the previous thread indicated that TradeMe would not take these steps in the case of concert tickets. I really cannot understand why this could be the case and there has been no explanation offered so far.


I see no good reason why the refund should go to the person who no longer owns the tickets rather than the person who does.

If you buy a car and the manufacturer recall it for an urgent repair, they do not refuse to work on the car unless the person bringing the car in is the original owner. They accept that you are the owner now and that you are entitled to the benefit of the recall work.

How can you have a civil matter between buyers and sellers on TM when personal details are not disclosed: you couldn't serve writs etc. unless TM were prepared to divulge the seller's address and so on which they would doubtless be very unwilling to do. Also, you could have a chain of many people involved if a ticket had been sold multiple times which would make life very hard!

The simplest and most elegant solution is to require ticket companies to refund only the person who can demonstrate legal title to the item being refunded - i.e. the person who owns the physical ticket.

The car example does not fly. The manufacturer does the work to protect their reputation in the market and their legal position.

It is not a simple or elegant solution. With electronic tickets it is obvious there can be many copies. Even with paper tickets there can be things like two for one deals which would make refunds on any one individual ticket problematic. Then there are complimentary tickets which can be onsold but which have no purchase price and therefore no refund.

I was interested in your assertion that TradeMe refused even to contact the seller in your case. This surprises me that they would not take the minimal steps for this category that they will take to protect the integrity of the market for other categories.

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  Reply # 1039154 8-May-2014 15:16
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It becomes clearer when you also read this..



http://www.consumer.org.nz/reports/booking-tickets/ticket-sellers-liability


It seems noone wants to be responsible for a piece of paper that lets you get in the door to see something.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1039176 8-May-2014 15:30
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Also a shame the legislation change only covered the events they had to to meet contractual agreements.

http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2007/0035/latest/whole.html#DLM413068

OK, now it gets silly... Some snippets from an article in 2012 http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/opinion/6591610/Scalpers-cashing-in-on-events


So is it fair to blame the scalpers? Ticketek managing director Brendon Bainbridge doesn't think so. There are not enough events in New Zealand to justify someone making a living out of scalping, he says. "We don't really know scalping in this country. There are career scalpers around the world."  

"We have a reselling issue and that really pisses some people off," Bainbridge says. "I know it's a big deal probably three or four times a year down here, but in reality, I don't think [scalping] is a big issue."


Wait.. what?

"We have a reselling issue" - you mean like the terms on the back of your product say you can't do without permission!

Trade Me spokesman Paul Ford says ticket on-selling is about supply and demand. A limited supply makes a secondary market inevitable.

 

"A couple of years ago we polled the Trade Me community about whether we should allow the on-sale of tickets. The result was an overwhelming yes, 81 per cent, so we decided to continue to allow their sale." But anyone wanting tickets to anything protected under the Major Events Management Act - such as the Rugby World Cup, world rowing championships, Volvo Ocean Race Auckland stopover - cannot turn to Trade Me since on-selling is prohibited.

 

And there are strict conditions around providing "proof of goods" for tickets not covered under the act - like those for One Direction concerts, Ford says.

 

But once they are proven to be legitimate, the sky is the limit on bids.


 

"It goes against the grain of Trade Me to regulate pricing," Ford says. "We leave it to [members] to decide what an item is worth.

 

"We'd be reluctant to intervene and impose constraints here, as it is a slippery slope." Another act trying to prevent this "slippery slope" is the Commerce Act, preventing price-fixing, he says. "If it became illegal to scalp tickets in New Zealand, then these items would automatically breach our terms and would be removed as we don't allow anything that is illegal to be sold on Trade Me." Tickets are a tiny money-spinner for the online trading website, so revenue is not a factor in deciding whether to continue to do so.

 

So thats their standpoint - Nothing says we can't other than the terms on the original sale. So we let it happen. It's suckers willing to pay that drive it.

I commended a user here for selling his additional tickets at face value. Likewise anyone that has a buy now of face+admin fee. Need more people like that, and less suckers to drive the demand.

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  Reply # 1039189 8-May-2014 15:43
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gzt:
The car example does not fly. The manufacturer does the work to protect their reputation in the market and their legal position.

It is not a simple or elegant solution. With electronic tickets it is obvious there can be many copies. Even with paper tickets there can be things like two for one deals which would make refunds on any one individual ticket problematic. Then there are complimentary tickets which can be onsold but which have no purchase price and therefore no refund.

I was interested in your assertion that TradeMe refused even to contact the seller in your case. This surprises me that they would not take the minimal steps for this category that they will take to protect the integrity of the market for other categories.


Surely the ticketing companies have solutions to the possibility of many copies of the ticket - You don't often hear of 14 people turning up for the same seat at a concert...

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  Reply # 1039222 8-May-2014 16:24
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The amazing thing is the number of people who seem perfectly happy for the present mess to continue....if you can find a better way, why wouldn't you do that?!





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  Reply # 1039230 8-May-2014 16:35
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Geektastic: The amazing thing is the number of people who seem perfectly happy for the present mess to continue....if you can find a better way, why wouldn't you do that?!

Because what you are suggesting is unworkable for many common cases and will not keep pace with new technology.

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  Reply # 1039233 8-May-2014 16:38
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gzt:
Geektastic: The amazing thing is the number of people who seem perfectly happy for the present mess to continue....if you can find a better way, why wouldn't you do that?!

Because what you are suggesting is unworkable for many common cases and will not keep pace with new technology.


There is no reason TM could not use a form of Safe Trader for all ticket sales, with the funds only being released to the seller after the event took place. Would clean that right up.

And just because what I am suggesting may or may not work is surely no reason to object to finding something that would do so.





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  Reply # 1039257 8-May-2014 16:50
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That would be cool. I can only agree. But there are any number of events for TradeMe to verify and still the problem of duplicate print yourself tickets, comp tickets, etc, etc. It really only solves one case of the problem and TradeMe would be in the position of explaining all the cases it didn't solve to the inevitable out of pocket customers who had paid for the additional service. annoyed customers. I can see why they don't do that.

Still can't see why they did not begin by contacting the seller in your case. That is the minimum I would expect, and it would probably solve a lot of cases.

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  Reply # 1039273 8-May-2014 17:07
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Geektastic:
graemeh:
Geektastic: The simplest and most elegant solution is to require ticket companies to refund only the person who can demonstrate legal title to the item being refunded - i.e. the person who owns the physical ticket.


Perhaps you are right but in a lot of cases there is no physical ticket, just a PDF or similar that can be passed around.

How does a person demonstrate legal title to the item to the ticket company?


I'm pretty sure that using a smartphone app they could render the ticket worthless other than by the holder of the phone it was 'attached' to when purchased at least - which would have the added benefit of killing scalping too.

The other elegant solution would be for TM to step up and change the system to use a variety of Safe Trader where money for the sale of a ticket is held in escrow until the event takes place, being automatically refunded to the buyer if the event is cancelled.


Yes, they could have a smartphone app with a "transfer" facility where you could transfer your ticket to another person and your ticket would be revoked.  This way the ticketing company could ensure there was only one valid version of each ticket out there.

Unfortunately that type of infrastructure is not cheap to develop and I doubt the ticketing company has any interest in doing so.

Looking at it from the ticketing companies point of view for refunds they just refund the card used and the job is done.  Also the first punter who turns up to a venue and presents a copy of the ticket is allowed in, if someone else turns up with a copy of the same ticket they are told to go away.

There seems to be no incentive for the ticketing company to provide a secure transfer mechanism to transfer ownership.

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  Reply # 1039277 8-May-2014 17:10
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Geektastic: There is no reason TM could not use a form of Safe Trader for all ticket sales, with the funds only being released to the seller after the event took place. Would clean that right up.


That's a great idea, now we just need to convince TM to do it and convince sellers to use it.  I expect convincing the seller to use won't be hard as what sane buyer would pay big bucks for a ticket without the Safe Trader guarantee (assuming of course that at least some sellers start using it).

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  Reply # 1039301 8-May-2014 18:03
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graemeh:
Geektastic: There is no reason TM could not use a form of Safe Trader for all ticket sales, with the funds only being released to the seller after the event took place. Would clean that right up.


That's a great idea, now we just need to convince TM to do it and convince sellers to use it.  I expect convincing the seller to use won't be hard as what sane buyer would pay big bucks for a ticket without the Safe Trader guarantee (assuming of course that at least some sellers start using it).


But if people paid by credit card for the tickets, using trademes pay now, then people could just do a charge back if the tickets got canceled, and they couldn't get a refund back out of the seller. Maybe that is the key, ask the seller to sell via paynow?

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  Reply # 1040384 8-May-2014 21:49
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The ticketing company needs to offer an instant ticket refund / reselling service. If the show is sold out, but you can't attend for any reason. You could login to the ticket company website and say that you want to resell your ticket. The ticket will then be available for sale at the original price + $50 (to cover the cost of running that service). When the ticket sells the original buyer then gets a full refund and the serial numbers on the old ticket are blacklisted. (Onsold ticket will have a different serial number)

This will allow anyone who has a genuine reason for not attending will get a full refund. Everyone who buys resold tickets will get a guaranteed genuine ticket for not too much more than the original event cost. If the event gets cancelled the ticket company can still easily refund everyone who has bought tickets. (while still keeping the $50 fees on the resold tickets) The ticket company gets a new revenue stream. And they can then assume that any remaining tickets for sale out of their system are "scalped" tickets. So they can take action against those scalpers. Also there won't be any more empty seats at events that sold out within minutes of going on sale.

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  Reply # 1040426 8-May-2014 22:47
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graemeh:
Geektastic: There is no reason TM could not use a form of Safe Trader for all ticket sales, with the funds only being released to the seller after the event took place. Would clean that right up.


That's a great idea, now we just need to convince TM to do it and convince sellers to use it.  I expect convincing the seller to use won't be hard as what sane buyer would pay big bucks for a ticket without the Safe Trader guarantee (assuming of course that at least some sellers start using it).


All TM need to do is make it mandatory. They require, for example, sellers of firearms to input their licence numbers before being able to list firearms - so they already have compulsion in some areas.

Simply make it the only way to sell a concert ticket - or any other kind of event ticket.





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  Reply # 1040761 9-May-2014 12:26
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Late to the party. Again. Nightmarishly long day yesterday. Now that I've flicked through the thread...(TL;DR version at end of post)

gzt: Continued from off-topic discussion in Wheedle thread...

dratsab: The reason Trademe don't get involved has already been explained.

I read your previous posts but none contained an explanation of why TradeMe would not get involved in the one case of concert tickets.

Starting with this one: I haven't made any posts about why Trademe don't get involved. AJobbins did, here.

gzt: Last time I purchased concert tickets from TradeMe they were sold by a person who had received complimentary tickets but could not attend due to a pre-booked holiday on the same date. Concert was sold out, the asking price was the same as or very close to the booking office price iirc. I was a happy customer. 

Hypothetically if the concert had been cancelled I expect that person would have refunded the purchase price. I would have expected some involvement from TradeMe if the person did not. 

Can you explain to me then why TradeMe are happy to collect the commissions from these sales but are unwilling to take minimal steps to protect the integrity of the market in this instance? 


gzt: on the first line you describe a perfectly valid reason for someone to sell tickets, and I'm sure this does happen on a relatively regular basis. As has already been linked to by Oblivion, the T&C's of ticketing companies generally allow this as long as the seller is not making a profit.

With your hypothetical situation you are 100% correct: I expect that person would have refunded the purchase price. Given your correctness, I'm at a complete loss why you suddenly contradict yourself and expect Trademe to get involved if the person didn't refund your money. Trademe's obligations are discharged once the transaction is completed to the satisfaction of both parties. A future event is not their concern. Scuwp has quite rightly said it's a civil matter - it's a matter between yourself and the seller. 

From my own observations, when 'high interest' acts come here for a concert they sell out extremely fast. Tickets start appearing for resale very quickly on places like Trademe at an inflated value and these are snapped up by people who 'just have to' see the act. Good on 'em. Two points arise from here:
1. Trademe's job is not to enforce 3rd party T&C's - the obligation is on the original purchaser to act within the T&C's
2. Cancellation of concerts is unplanned and uncommon.

Feeding into all of this, the tickets sellers, whether genuine or scalper, are not generally out to commit fraud - i.e. they sell, you buy, everybody's happy. Then the carpet gets pulled out from under someones feet with a concert getting cancelled. The original purchaser gets a refund which is generally electronic these days.

Geektastic: I see no good reason why the refund should go to the person who no longer owns the tickets rather than the person who does.

Dribble...

This has nothing to do with being lazy and everything to do with ticketing companies keeping a record of who paid them (as they are the official supplier) and expecting the purchaser to abide by their obligations. You can waste as much time as you like arguing about this point until you're blue in the face if you want - but it really is that simple. As is the point about it being a civil matter. If it comes down to taking the reseller (from Trademe) to a disputes tribunal, you can get their details - it just takes  some effort. Nothing is going to get handed to you on a silver platter.

There is a blog post about all of this on the Trademe site. It enunciates a lot of the issues very well.

I'll put up another +1 for caveat emptor.

TL;DR - Trademe is not the problem. The lack of policies and enforcement by the official sellers is.

Edit: Spelling/grammar. Disclaimer: Still not guaranteed to be correct.

gzt



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  Reply # 1040784 9-May-2014 12:40
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I could quote ajobbins post but I think I'll leave that out. I'm not expecting TM to get involved in dispute mediation.

The main difference is that you seem to regard the ticket as 'goods'.

However, the reality is that the seller is selling a service, for which the ticket provides entry. If the service is no longer available (concert cancellation) and the seller does not refund the cost of the service then minimally I would expect TradeMe to contact the seller and ask for an explanation like they will do for otherexamples of this nature. If there is no good explanation then I would expect TM to suspend the account. It surprises me that they will not take these two basic steps (that are fundamental to their service) for this type of sale. It's very clear cut in this case.

There is no disputed question about the quality of the service provided, the service was not provided at all.

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