It's time to stop ticket reselling rip-offs

We regularly receive complaints about ticket resellers and their hugely inflated prices. But sky-high markups are not the only problem with these ticket resale sites. 


What's the problem?

Our research has found that most people who end up on these resale sites don’t know they’re dealing with a reseller. Eighty-five percent of people who bought tickets for a New Zealand event didn’t know they were buying from a resale site. 

These sites tell you tickets are selling fast so you are more likely to snap them up quickly. 

Our investigation with Australian consumer group CHOICE found a range of issues with ticket resellers, including: 

  • Paying more than the face value of their ticket 
  • Paying hidden fees 
  • Didn’t know it was a resale site 
  • Seat sold was not the seat number on the ticket 
  • Tickets didn’t arrive 
  • Received fake tickets 
  • Credit card was overcharged 
  • Denied access at the event venue 

Some sites didn’t disclose the ticket price until after you’ve handed over your credit card details. 

And some charged in a foreign currency – so as well as paying for a pricey ticket you could be charged a currency conversion fee on top. 

How we can fix it

We need a resale market that works well. The Government agreed and in 2019 released a discussion document putting forward a variety of options to address issues in the ticket resale industry. But we’re still waiting for action to be taken. In the meantime, consumers continue to be ripped off.  

However, change could be on the horizon. After encouraging consumers to lodge complaints about Viagogo with the Commerce Commission, it took the Switzerland-based company to the High Court, seeking declarations it’s breached the Fair Trading Act. A decision is expected soon.  

How to avoid getting ripped off

  • Only buy event tickets from authorised sellers – this is your best protection against ticket resellers. You can find out who the authorised seller is by heading to the official website of the performer/team you want to go and see. 
  • Don't click on the top result of an internet search – ticket resellers pay to go the top of the list. 
  • Don't panic if you miss out – additional dates or seats might be released by the event organiser. 
  • Pay by credit card – if anything goes wrong you might be able to get a chargeback from your bank. Keep records of your transaction. 
  • Don't fall for pressure tactics – ticket resellers will pile on the pressure to get you to purchase tickets quickly. If you are being bombarded with messages telling you tickets are selling fast, it is probably a ticket resale site. 

What to do if you get ripped off

  • Contact the reseller – make a complaint and request a full refund.  You might not receive a response but you should keep your request as evidence you can use if you apply for a credit card chargeback. 
  • If the reseller ignores your request – contact your bank and request a chargeback. Share any evidence you have with your bank and explain what happened. If your bank refuses to help you can contact the Banking Ombudsman. 
  • Complain to the Commerce Commission – use this online form or call on 0800 943 600 or email [email protected]