Which? research has found that companies such as Ticketmaster are charging customers an average fee of £2.50 to receive tickets by email for some events despite the fact they incur no printing and postage costs.
Customers then print off the tickets and have them scanned before getting into events. The fee for Ticketmaster’s Ticketfast service is in addition to service charges and is often only slightly cheaper than the cost of receiving tickets in the post.
Booking companies like Ticketmaster often charge a delivery fee to cover the cost of printing and posting tickets but when it’s the customer who is printing the ticket, it’s not clear exactly what this charge is for.
Commenter Lady Margaretta recently told us on Which? Conversation: ‘I just bought tickets to an event at the O2 via Ticketmaster website and I’m pretty annoyed because I had to pay £2.75 for its ‘Ticketfast’ service. This basically means I paid £2.75 for the privilege of printing off my own ticket, using my own printer and my own ink.’
Customers charged twice to cover technology and staffing costs
Ticketmaster says that all its fees and charges adhere to the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers’ guidelines and that the fee for Ticketfast is to cover the cost of ensuring that there is appropriate staff and technology in place at venues ‘to read and validate the tickets’.
However, on the Ticketmaster website it states that service charges, which all customers have to pay regardless of how their tickets are delivered, help to pay for ‘access control at venues’.
Ryanair charges for online tickets
Ticketmaster is not the only company which charges customers to print their own tickets. Ryanair charges £6 to check in online and print boarding cards. Anyone who forgets to print one faces a £60 fine for a replacement at the airport. Ryanair said its passengers agree to check in online and print boarding cards, which lowers handling costs and fares.
Which? has long campaigned to stop companies charging customers excessive fees. We believe companies shouldn’t charge extra to print off tickets and should include costs in the headline price.