Mar192013

Legislation Gives Customers a Break at the Box Office

Posted by Kassy Perry

AB 329 protects consumer rights

SACRAMENTO – Fan Freedom, a consumer education and advocacy organization with more than 10,000 California supporters, today applauded Dr. Richard Pan, Sacramento Assemblymember, for introducing legislation guaranteeing fans’ ticketing rights. The legislation is in response to the rise in restricted ticketing, which prevent fans from easily giving away or reselling their tickets. Restricted tickets are tied to the original purchaser’s credit card and photo ID and often non-transferable or only transferable on the original seller’s preferred website.

“Currently, restricted tickets prevent consumers from giving tickets to family or friends or reselling unused tickets that end up going to waste,” said Dr. Pan. “This legislation guarantees the consumers’ right to transfer concert and sporting event tickets however they choose.”

Specifically, AB 329, authored by Dr. Pan, makes it “unlawful for a ticket issuer to prohibit or restrict the resale, or offering for resale, of an event ticket by a lawful possessor of the ticket.”

Restricted ticketing practices used by Ticketmaster and other ticket sellers make it difficult for fans to see the artists they love; this keeps some consumers from getting tickets at all. Fans deserve a fair and competitive ticket resale market where they can buy tickets to sold-out shows, cheap tickets to favorite sporting events and resell tickets that cannot be used.

Pan’s legislation also addresses other anti-consumer practices by prohibiting the use of robotic ticket-buying software, or “bots,” which bombard online box offices with thousands of simultaneous purchase requests thereby gobbling up the best seats and preventing the average fan from obtaining tickets.

“This is simple, fan-friendly legislation. You bought it, you own it. If your plans change and you can’t make it to a concert or a game, you have the right to give away your ticket or resell it on the secondary market,” said Jon Potter, President of Fan Freedom, a national advocate for live event fans.

Several states, including Florida, Minnesota and Tennessee have considered or are reviewing legislation that would require venues and artists to disclose the number of tickets available for an event and the amount held back in an effort to make the ticket market more fair and transparent for fans.

About The Fan Freedom

Launched in February 2011, Fan Freedom is supported by more than 150,000 live-event fans and is backed by leading consumer and business organizations such as the American Conservative Union, National Consumers League, Consumer Action, the Institute for Liberty, and Net Choice. For more information, visit http://www.fanfreedom.org.
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