If there's a dollar to be made you can guarantee there's someone out there willing to make it.
Baycourt Community and Arts Centre manager Megan Peacock-Coyle is warning the community that tickets for some of the upcoming events and shows taking place at the Tauranga venue, are currently being sold on overseas websites at ridiculously inflated prices.
Megan stresses to the community ticketing provider Ticketek is the only company authorised to sell tickets online for events and shows at Baycourt.
“These companies buy the tickets legally then on-sell them at higher prices with huge booking fees. Customers will end up paying far too much, and in the event of a cancellation, Ticketek will not refund them.
“The worst thing about this issue is it only affects our customers. That's it. Baycourt gets paid, the ticketing agency gets paid, but it's the customers who get duped out of their money and that's the most frustrating thing for us.”
To highlight the problem, Megan says tickets to The Pink Floyd Experience's shows around New Zealand are currently being sold on the Viagogo website at inflated prices, while also stating the Tauranga show is sold-out.
“Tickets to The Pink Floyd Experience's show at Baycourt on May 18 are selling well, but they haven't sold out so no local fans have missed out. But someone has probably visited the Viagogo website, seen the Tauranga show was ‘sold-out' when it wasn't and in the long run missed out on tickets.”
A screenshot of the Viagogo website. Image: Viagogo.
While tickets to the Tauranga show are no longer being sold on Viagogo, tickets to the Hamilton show at Claudelands Arena range in price from $154.99-$155.69. On Ticketek they range from $99-$120.
While tickets to another upcoming show at Baycourt, Grumpy Old Women – Game of Crones, is being sold on Viagogo for $109.99-$119.99 – but via Ticketek they range from $65-89.90.
Furthermore, neither the Ticketek nor Viagogo ticket prices stated above includes booking fees, service and handling fees, or GST/Value Added Tax.
To confuse customers even more – Viagogo has paid advertising with search engines like Google and Bing.
A search via Google for ‘The Pink Floyd Experience' shows the Viagogo website at the top of the page above the search results.
“So many customers will do their search, see the Viagogo ad and think ‘oh here we go', and not realise that they've been charged an inflated price for their tickets. It's not good. All we can really do is educate our customers that Ticketek is the only authorised ticketing provider for Baycourt.”
The issue – probably better known to people as ‘scalping' – has been affecting larger events for a long time, but it was now starting to seep down into the smaller venues, says Megan.
“Unfortunately it's legal, we're trying to put pressure on the Government to write legislation around it, but it seems the politicians don't want to go near it unfortunately.”
Megan says anyone who purchases tickets via the Baycourt website will be directed automatically to the Ticketek website.
“If you're booking a Baycourt show over the internet, please ensure you're paying via Ticketek.”
Ticketek is the only authorised online seller for Baycourt shows. If you are unsure of any tickets you have purchased from an overseas website contact the Baycourt Box Office on 577-7188.
A Google search for ‘The Pink Floyd Experience' shows the Viagogo website above the rearch results. Image: Google.