With just five days to go until the start of the UEFA European Championships, a Which? investigation has revealed a significant number of unofficial websites claiming to sell Euro 2016 tickets, in breach of ticket restrictions and consumer law, leaving fans at risk of being disappointed and turned away from the ground.
UEFA’s terms and conditions are very clear that tickets cannot be resold except through their official resale site and that consumers must bring photo ID to gain entry to the stadium.
Consumers who buy tickets sold in someone else’s name are therefore running a substantial risk of parting with significant sums of money only to be turned away at the gate.
Our investigation found that some tickets on unofficial secondary sites are selling for up to £5,000 and it is expected that these prices will go up as it gets closer to the tournament final.
As part of our investigation, we contacted several sites (www.gettickets.co, www.atstickets.com and www.
We also found that tickets are being sold on these sites and others in breach of the Consumer Rights Act 2015, by not communicating the seat location, original face value of the ticket and the restrictions on the ticket.
Which? is also warning consumers about the different risks of scam sites, which may be set up with the sole aim of defrauding sports fans looking for Euro 2016 tickets. Which?’s advice to football fans searching for Euro 2016 tickets is to buy only through official channels.
Alex Neill, Which? Director of Policy and Campaigns, said:
“If you haven’t bought your ticket directly from an official source there is no guarantee that you’ll be able to get into the game and you could be left thousands of pounds out of pocket.
“More must be done both in the UK and across borders to stop these sites breaking the rules and scamming members of the public.”
Whether buying tickets to the theatre or a festival, Which? has a free guide on how to tell if a ticket seller is official or not. Look out for the following:
· The site may be offering tickets outside of official channels, often in large quantities
· The site may be unresponsive or very difficult to get hold of, by email or phone
· There may be a high number of online complaints about the site from previous users
· You may be asked to pay by wire transfer, rather than by credit or debit card
· The site may have been set up not long before the sporting event.
If you have bought a ticket that hasn’t turned up, or you suspect to be fake, contact your credit card provider immediately, as you may be able to get your money back.
Last month, Which? launched a ‘Safeguard Us from Scams’ campaign calling on the Government to take action. To date over 72,000 people have supported the campaign.
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Notes to Editors:
· When contacted for a comment, UEFA told us: “UEFA EURO 2016 match tickets for individual fans can only be purchased officially through EURO2016.com. Products offered to the public by other companies or on platforms other than EURO2016.com are not part of or related to the official ticket sales programme for UEFA EURO 2016. UEFA stresses that no tickets for individual football fans are being distributed via agencies or brokers, and encourages fans not to be lured into deals with touts, who not only demand exorbitant prices but are often not even in possession of the tickets they purport to have for sale.”
· In UEFA’s FAQ it states that: “Stadium entry and match attendance is governed by the Stadium Rules for UEFA EURO 2016 and any other applicable laws or regulations. Only authorised holders of a valid ticket and, upon request, valid photographic proof of identity in the form of an official document (such as a national ID card, passport or driving licence) may enter the stadium.”
· Those with tickets not purchased through UEFA may be refused entry as the original ticket purchaser must show valid identity that matches up with the name on the ticket when entering the stadiums.
· We also found a number of tickets on these secondary ticketing sites being sold in breach of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 by not communicating the seat/standing location, original face value of the ticket and the restrictions on the ticket.
· On 26 May, an Independent Review of Consumer Protection Measures concerning Online Secondary Ticketing Facilities was published. The report notes the problem of fraud, and calls for continued vigilance in regard to ticketing offences, encouraging reporting to, and greater publicity for, Action Fraud and the taking down of bogus websites, including those based outside the UK.
· Which? exposed scam site Getsporting.com in the run up to the Rugby World Cup 2015, which was subsequently shut down.
· We shared our concerns about these websites with Trading Standards, Action Fraud and City of London Police, as well as other consumer organisations within Europe.