Cashing in on fans’ passion


BOOKING BONANZA: Tickets for
cricket matches featuring teams
from the subcontinent or
Bollywood concerts are often
resold at many times their face
value on sites such as Seatwave
(left), and StubHub (below left)
BOOKING BONANZA: Tickets for cricket matches featuring teams from the subcontinent or Bollywood concerts are often resold at many times their face value on sites such as Seatwave (left), and StubHub (below left)

by NADEEM BADSHAH ONLINE TICKET SITES ACCUSED OF CHARGING INFLATED FEES FOR POPULAR EVENTS WEBSITES which facilitate the purchase and resale of tickets to Bollywood con­certs and sports events have been criti­cised by campaigners over the booking fees they charge customers. Sellers on the online platforms have also been accused of taking advantage of die­hard fans with the prices they are setting for tickets for gigs and cricket matches. On Viagogo, Britain’s biggest secondary ticketing website, a ticket to see Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s concert in Leicester in July ranged from £40-152, but that did not in­clude a delivery fee, VAT and a booking fee. For the same gig, tickets started from £39.38 on Chilli Tickets with a £1 booking fee. Last week, football’s ruling body FIFA filed a criminal complaint against Viagogo, saying it wanted to protect fans and prevent unauthorised ticket resales at the World Cup in Russia starting this week. Zurich-based FIFA said last Tuesday (5) it had filed a complaint, based on the law on unfair competition, with the public prosecutor’s office in Geneva after com­plaints about the Swiss company’s practices. FIFA said that its own website was the only legiti­mate place to buy World Cup tickets, which are on sale until July 15, the final day of the tournament. Viagogo did not reply to a request for comment. Jasmine Birtles, director of financial advice web­site MoneyMagpie, said she would like to see a cam­paign to ban booking fees. She said: “I’m glad Eastern Eye is looking at this because it’s a ridiculous situation. “Booking fees are a particular bugbear of mine, there really is no justification for them. “Before the internet one might accept that there were costs involved in organising tickets, putting them in the post and so on. “But now the consumer does…

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