Can I avoid hidden ticket charges?
By law, ticket sellers must give you clear, honest information about prices and tell you about any extra charges on top of the ticket's face value.
Unfortunately, it has become increasingly commonplace to be charged extra fees when buying theatre tickets, tickets to music events or tickets for seasonal leisure activities.
Extra charges, such as a booking or postage fee, are still legal and the rules don't say how much a company is allowed to charge.
Terms used to describe extra charges vary among different ticket sellers.
For example, a booking fee or service charge can also be a processing fee or commission.
The delivery fee can be known as a transaction fee or order processing fee.
The amount for these fees isn't restricted by regulations that protect consumers from excessive ticket charges.
Rather, the rules that relate to ticket charges are founded in the Committee of Advertising Practice Code (or CAP Code), which is administered by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
These rules reflect the requirements of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, which require all compulsory fees, whether fixed or variable, to be clearly disclosed at the outset when the ticket price is first displayed.
Ticket seller charges
There are typically two types of extra fees charged by ticket sellers on top of a ticket's face value:
a booking fee or service charge for every ticket in your order
a postage charge for each complete order
There is no standard way to calculate a service charge for particular tickets.
Promoters and agents simply agree on the fees for each individual event.
Even opting to collect your tickets at a venue's box office rather than having them delivered to your door often attracts a charge from official ticket sellers.
You may even have to pay to have your tickets emailed to you for you to print yourself - such as with Ticketmaster's TicketFast service.
Avoid ticket service charges
Often, the first you hear about a ticket seller's service charges is when you go through to a sales site or phone line to book the tickets, so don't rely on promotional advertising to give you the full price you'll be asked to pay.
There should always be an option to buy tickets at face value without paying extra service charges.
For many events the only way to avoid paying any extra charges is to turn up at the venue's box office.
Remember, venues should no longer charge you a surcharge for paying by credit card.
If you spot any firm wrongly adding a surcharge for paying by card you should report it to Trading Standards.
Join our campaign & help us reach 125,000 signatures
Two thirds of us think that companies use fees or charges to trick us into thinking that the cost is cheaper than it is. We're calling for all financial fees and charges to be upfront, fair and easy to compare. We want companies to take action and the Government and regulator to conduct a thorough review.