Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Who owns the ticket for the FA Cup Final that you buy?

In yesterday's Guardian there was an article about how the Government is planning to crackdown on what it calls ticket toutings, however they want to make it so that you and me cannot resell a ticket we might buy for one of its "crown jewel" events, like the FA Cup final, Wimbledon etc.

Personally speaking this sort of thing is an affront to basic private property rights. If I buy a ticket for an event and then for some reason cannot go, it is my property to sell, period. It shouldn't matter what the event is.

Polling by ICM, commissioned by eBay in 2006 and 2007 found that that view is held by over 80% of people, and quite right too. So this begs the question, why is the Government even considering introducing laws that stop me selling my private property?

21 comments:

Galactus said...

Resale of football tickets is already illegal under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 without express permission of the original selling club.

Micheal Howard's bill that one.

T England said...

Because Labour can't keep its thieving, polictically correct hands off anything the public own!

Blue Eyes said...

I think I am right in thinking that football tickets are already banned from resale?

dizzy said...

Bad example by me then, there are other events, although I don;t think that is right anyway. Couldn;t care less who introduced the law either.

Blue Eyes said...

I agree, I don't think it is right. I suspect the football tickets ban was to prevent tickets ending up in the hands of potential troublemakers in the bad old days.

Tony Kennick said...

Even more annoying is that the vested interests in this scam, like the FA, Ticketmaster etc. are lobbying for more anti-touting laws, while still refusing to have any kind of refund policy.

Croydonian said...

The difference between touts and 'ticket agencies' is that the former react to supply and demand by cutting prices if lumbered with something that proves less popular than they had thought. Agents don't....

Lola said...

Demand exceeds supply of scarce and very desireable commodity which is rationed by bureaucrats (in the FA) = inflated prices and corruption.

FA should make the tickets available on first come first served basis. Corporate hospitality is a separate issue. That's a commercial arrangement. And the allowance for affiliated clubs should be theirs to do what they want with and if that means a profit so be it.

Howard's bill is as bonkers as New Labours proposed extra layer of bureaucratic rationing.

All this anti free market stuff just makes it worse.

Alex said...

The simple answer is that you do not own the seat rather you have a license to occupy it which may or may not be transferable.

One reason for making it non-transferable may well be that like an airline, the organiser does care who actually gets the tickets. For sporting events such as the FA Cup and Wimbledon, a lot of tickets are made available by the sports association to clubs who sell their allocation to supporters/members, and where supply is limited, they tend to discriminate on the basis of loyalty, which the sports association thinks is good for the sport. They may be happy to take your £50 but they can get that from anyone. They would prefer to see tickets go to people who have shown loyalty to the sport.

Consequently, if you have got yur ticket through a local ballot but can't use it, they would rather that you return the ticket so that it could be reallocated.

Lola said...

Alex, I stand corrected. I had forgotten that it was a 'club' and could quite rightly decide who gets what. Nevertheless a black market will exist because the ticket has a value outside the 'club'? But does that need making illegal?

Not a sheep said...

Control, complete control, that's what Labour want. They are the masters, we are their servants.

Anonymous said...

This is very poorly informed for you, Dizzy. You only receive from the ticket distributor the rights they give you (unless you want to argue that you have some sort of non-legal property right - in which case fine, but good luck enforcing it).

If you actually read the terms and conditions of tickets, they typically already specify: (a) the ticket is the property of the distributor, it is merely proof that you have permission (a licence) to attend the given event; and (b) that your rights are non-transferable. The only reason ticket resellers get away with it at present is because the rules are not consistently enforced, but they could be.

Unless you want to deny the freedom to property owners (stadium owners etc) to decide how they use their own property rights (which certainly do exist), you cannot really complain about such Ts&Cs.

Shug Niggurath said...

More pertinent to this problem would be banning corporate seats for blue-chip events that end up going to MP's as freebies.

Joking aside (cause lets face it, that aint gonna happen), it's yet another sledgehammer to crack a nut. The problem with touting in the main is that they get a hold of a lot of tickets which reduces the chance ordinary punters have of getting tickets. So why then not make it illegal for promoters to sell batches of tickets on to touts?

What I mean is the kind of resellers who appear to manage to get hundreds if not thousands of tickets for events and then sell them at higher than face value - whether packaged with cheap hotels at 5* prices or simply selling them on the net and charging a massive handling fee. Outwith that a punter trying to get shot of a pair he has changed his mind on using has got bugger all to do with the government (or the venue for that matter).

As to the point above about the airlines, I get what's meant but disagree - an airline will sell a ticket to anyone who requests one. It's government that sets the rules for boarding planes, and this is one of the first things those ID cards will be used for... not preventing terrorism but making us cowtow to their demands.

Richard Holloway said...

Anonymous 20.57
He can complain, it just won't make much of a difference. If there was a good refund policy from clubs then it wouldn't matter so much. They could always harness the power of the internet and set up an official site for the club where ticket holders who cannot go to a particular game can sell their tickets. The club has control as it can assign membership of the site, and the fans win because they can get to the games they want to go to. Alas it is a long time since any club did something positive for its fans...

dizzy said...

Anon it's not really misinformed because it's about a point of principle about purchasing something and being allowed to sell it and not lose money if for some reason you cannot go. The issue is thus, should the Government really be making the every day guy equivalent to a "tout" for very specific event?

Anonymous said...

Dizzy, you miss my point - the "point of principle about purchasing something" is, simply, wrong. You have not purchased the right to transfer the rights to acquire in these cases. You may think you OUGHT to have purchased and then acquired them, but the current owner of the rights does not transfer that right to you, so you do not have it. You are confusing is and ought.

dizzy said...

"You have not purchased the right to transfer the rights to acquire in these cases"

If that is true then why are the Government consulting on making it illegal to resell in these case? The very presence of a consultation on such a thing means that you do currently have those rights unless, as has already been mentioned, the ticket stipulates it is not transferable which is clearly is anyway because ticket agencies resell them.

dizzy said...

"the "point of principle about purchasing something" is, simply, wrong."

Well no it's not simply that at all. As you and others have rightly pointed out it all depends on what the ticket is (a) for and (b) what it says on it are its conditions of sale. As my last comment noted, there is to be proposed a list of "crown jewel" events that you will not be able to resell your ticket for, by implication you can currently resell your ticket for those events else why the need for the proposal? Your "is" is not actually the case in all circumstances although it does seem to me that you're trying to arguing that your "is", "ought" to be the case.

Anonymous said...

Could it not be seen as un unreasonable clause not to be able to resell one's ticket if no refund is offered, making the conditions invalid?

Submariner said...

You can't sell on an airline ticket either. Or, technically, a rail ticket. I'm all for property rights but I think you're misconstruing the purpose of the transaction here, and the nature of the property. As others have said, the substance of your transaction is not for the ticket itself, it is for the underlying service. So the question of who actually owns the piece of paper is fairly meaningless. A bit like someone asserting that because they own a piece of paper and some toner on which they have printed someone else's copyright work, that they own the words themselves. They don't, of course.

TheFatBigot said...

there is to be proposed a list of "crown jewel" events that you will not be able to resell your ticket for, by implication you can currently resell your ticket for those events else why the need for the proposal?

The implication is not necessarily correct. There might be no legal impediment to reselling a ticket but, as others have noted, the original seller can limit the scope of what you buy so that you are not at liberty to resell. That is an arrangement between the original seller and you, but the original seller could change his policy.

The new proposal appears to wish to make it unlawful for him to sell the ticket without a restriction on resale. It does not necessarily mean that any tickets are currently sold with freedom to resell, it just means that in the future that will not be an option.