Sun, May 13, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Proposed changes to rules aim to halt ticket scalping

FOUR OPTIONS:The suggested amendments would provide organizers several ways to handle returns or exchanges based on the type of event being hosted

By Cheng Wei-chi and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

In a bid to fight ticket scalping, proposed amendments to regulations would allow event organizers to refuse returns or exchanges of tickets that were not purchased for personal use, the Executive Yuan’s Consumer Protection Committee said on Friday.

In the past few years, tickets to popular concerts have often sold out within seconds, forcing the public to purchase tickets from resale platforms at higher prices, the committee said, adding that tickets are often bought by scalpers who take advantage of return policies and sell tickets for huge profits.

As this phenomenon has led to operational difficulties, financial losses and consumer disputes in the music industry, the committee said it asked the Ministry of Culture to revise its mandatory and prohibitory provisions for standardized contracts regarding arts and cultural performance tickets.

Under the proposed regulations, which could go into effect next month at the earliest, event organizers can refuse to accept returns or exchanges of tickets that were purchased for resale instead of personal use.

Three new return or exchange options are to be added to the current policy, which stipulates that returns and exchanges should be made up to 10 days before the performance date and that associated fees cannot exceed 10 percent of the ticket’s face value.

One of the new options requires consumers to make returns or exchanges within three days of purchase and sets a maximum fee of 5 percent of the ticket’s face value.

The second option requires consumers to make returns or exchanges up to 20 days before a performance and sets a maximum fee of 10 percent of the ticket’s face value.

The third option introduces tiered pricing, meaning that the closer to the performance date a return or exchange is requested, the greater the potential fees.

The third option also stipulates that organizers may refuse to accept returns or exchanges up to two days before a performance.

The proposed amendments stipulate that organizers must select one of the four policies based on the type of event.

The committee urged the public to pay attention to whether organizers provide comprehensive information on their return and exchange policies when purchasing tickets.

Noncompliance with the regulations can be reported to the ministry or to local cultural bureaus, the committee said.

In the case of consumer disputes, complaints can also be filed with event organizers, consumer protection groups or customer service centers, it added.

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