An important tennis tournament? A reunion performance of your favourite band? A summer festival you have been looking forward to for months? You would not miss it for love or money.
Unfortunately, the event is sold out. It is therefore not so silly to look online for a way still to be there. Once again, though, fraud or scam lie in wait.
Did you still find the ticket you are craving somewhere else? Be careful. There are companies that buy up all tickets very rapidly and then sell them at higher or exorbitant prices on the internet. Now, there are various risks attached to secondarily resold tickets:
- Your ticket does not have the desired category.
- The ticket is in somebody else’s name so that you may be refused entry.
- The ticket is not supplied, even though you paid high for it.
Advice from ECC Belgium: only buy from the officially accredited vendors of the event!
What does European law stipulate?
There is no specific European law covering the resale of tickets for cultural and sports events (e.g. concerts and football matches). EU legislation concerning unfair trading practices specifically prohibits the resale of tickets acquired using ‘bots’ or other software which would enable resellers to circumvent the maximum number of tickets per purchase imposed by ticket suppliers.
This prohibition is intended to give as many people as possible the opportunity to acquire a ticket and prevent tickets from falling into the hands of a limited number of players who buy them solely to resell them in order to make a profit.
In many countries the resale of tickets is governed by national legislation, but the rules vary from country to country.
What does Belgian law say?
The organised secondary selling of tickets is forbidden in Belgium. Only vendors accredited by the event organiser are allowed to sell the tickets. The price quoted on the offers and in publications must match the price shown on the ticket. You can only be requested to pay that amount.
If you are detained at the last minute and you want to sell your ticket, Belgian law allows this on condition that it happens only occasionally and you do not make a profit.
What happens elsewhere in Europe?
Foreign websites can also offer tickets for events in Belgium. These sites are not necessarily subject to Belgian legislation. In principle, they fall under the legislation of the country where they are registered.
Secondary selling is permitted in the Netherlands but with all its possibly associated risks. Be sure to check out the website www.weetwaarjekoopt.nl to know the official vendors.
Secondary selling is forbidden in France. Only the organiser or the accredited vendors are allowed to sell tickets for the event. If in doubt, check the official price at www.levraibillet.fr.
- First search for the official organiser of the event (via the website of the performer, the venue, etc.).
- On the website of the official organiser, check out the terms and conditions for purchasing the tickets.
- You can check the vendor’s reliability at www.ilovemyticket.com. There you will also find a blacklist of non-accredited vendors. The list is not exhaustive, so stay on your guard.
- Be critical: it is not because a vendor appears as the first listing in the results list of a search engine that also makes it the official vendor.
- Contact the vendor as soon as possible, if your ticket does not arrive or you have some other problem. In certain cases, and if you have paid by credit card, you can ask for your money back via www.mijnkaart.be or www.macarte.be.