Pop musician Prince has blamed touts after postponing the sale of tickets for three UK shows later this month. The singer then prompted his social media followers to read a new Which? investigation into unfair practices in the secondary ticketing market.
Tickets for Prince’s Piano & a Microphone tour were due to go on sale at 10am Friday morning for gigs in Glasgow, London and Birmingham but less than an hour beforehand, primary ticket agency Ticketmaster announced the postponement.
Prince took to Twitter to explain his reasons to his fans, firstly by posting a picture of a vulture, captioned: ‘A. Scavenger B. Vulture C. Tout D. All of the above.’
He then linked to this Which? investigation into secondary ticketing with the words: ‘Answer therein.’
Which? tickets investigation
From August to October 2015, Which? monitored the four big secondary ticketing sites in the UK – Seatwave, Viagogo StubHub! and Get Me In! – and found tickets appearing before they were officially released, tickets appearing simultaneously on primary and secondary sites, and resale restrictions being ignored.
Ticketmaster, which owns both Get Me In! and Seatwave, told us: ‘The UK ticket resale market has developed high levels of consumer protection over recent years, with incidents of fraud being very rare. Ticketmaster’s resale marketplaces, Get Me In and Seatwave, offer fans full consumer protection, with guarantees of full refund or ticket replacement. We are concerned that Which?’s statement and advice risks confusing consumers at a time when we, the industry, are working to educate consumers on how to avoid websites which offer little or no protection.’
StubHub! commented: ‘As a trusted brand, backed by eBay, StubHub! is committed to transparency and as a true marketplace we do not own, purchase or price tickets. It is very clear in our terms and conditions that sellers are not permitted to list or sell tickets that they do not own or that have not been allocated to them, known as speculative selling.
‘If we are made aware of speculative selling on our site for specific events, we will investigate and remove the listings where appropriate. However, there are many cases where fans will have access to priority tickets in advance of an official on-sale and this is one reason why tickets can be listed so quickly.’
Viagogo failed to answer any of our questions.
Have you struggled to get tickets to a show? Tell us your views on Which? Conversation