Consumer Affairs Victoria has launched a national education campaign, providing simple tips for consumers to avoid being left out of pocket by major changes in festivals and events.
The recent postponement of several festivals and events has highlighted how important it is for consumers to understand their rights, and for ticketing agencies to understand their responsibilities.
If a festival or event does not go ahead or changes significantly from what was advertised when the ticket was purchased, consumers can seek a refund from the company that sold them the ticket.
Refunds may also be available if event organisers are unable to provide products or services that are included in the ticket price, such as food and beverage packages or meet-and-greets.
Organisers of pop-up events will also be contacted about their responsibilities under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), through a national consumer protections compliance project. Event organisers and ticketing agents should review their promotional material to ensure that they are not illegally stating no refunds are available, as consumers may be entitled to a refund under the ACL.
Buying tickets from an unauthorised reseller comes with risk of being turned away at the venue, if the ticket was not permitted to be resold, and can impact potential refunds or exchanges if the show is postponed or cancelled.
Acting Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria, Elizabeth Lanyon, said it is important for consumers to know their rights in the event of major changes, postponements or cancellations.
“Festivals and events are a vibrant part of Victorian life, but we do see instances of major changes, postponements or cancellations where consumers aren’t fully aware of their rights,” Dr Lanyon said.
“We encourage consumers to follow these simple tips when purchasing tickets to festivals and events or seeking a refund for issues such as line-up changes and postponements.”
Top ticket-buying tips:
- Do your research on the event and the ticket seller – make sure the tickets are legitimate
- Read the terms and conditions before you purchase tickets
- Buy tickets from an authorised seller
- Buy tickets online through a secure website (look for the https:) with a credit card or payment service such as PayPal
- Keep all related documentation and receipts
- If buying a ticket through a reseller, check the venue or event’s restrictions.
Find out more about consumer rights around festivals and events at the Festivals and events page of the Australian Consumer Law website.