A new type of consumer protection act has been proposed in order to curb the reach of scalpers in British Columbia.
The ticket sales act, if passed, would eliminate ticket bots and mass-buying software in order to provide fairer ticket prices to event goers across the province.
“These changes are going to make our live-event industry in B.C. even better for the people who matter most – the fans,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.
“The new laws will make the ticket buying process more transparent and equitable for consumers, so that everyone in our province will have a fair chance of getting tickets for their favourite acts and events.”
If passed, the ticket sales act would not only prohibit ticket buying software/bots that purchase large amounts of tickets for resale at inflated prices, but also regulate how tickets to live events are sold in B.C. – a market that was previously regulated by general consumer protection laws.
This proposal is a result of a March 2018 consultation conducted by the province in which 6,500 British Columbians responded, expressing general frustration with how quickly tickets sell out.
Here is what the ticket sales act would require of sellers:
- clear and prominent disclosure of prices,
- refund guarantees by secondary sellers and secondary ticketing platform operators,
- disclosure of key terms and conditions by primary and secondary sellers,
- ticket resellers to disclose they are secondary sellers,
- prohibition of the sale of speculative tickets that the seller does not possess or control, and
- the ability for civil action to be taken by consumers or ticket selling businesses if they feel they have suffered losses as the result of a contravention of the legislation.
“For too long, artists and concert goers were being unfairly hurt by ticket buying software and bots,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
“This new ticket buying legislation will ensure that people are protected with better price transparency. Most of all, people will be able to enjoy the diverse performances and entertainment B.C. has to offer, without being unfairly gouged at the box office.”