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Brooklyn councilman proposes ban on drip pricing

NY councillor Justin Brannan’s legislation hopes to prohibit additional 'hidden' fees on sport and concert tickets

By Jamie Raybould on 23 May 2018

Brooklyn councilman Justin Brannan

image © Justin Brannan

New York city councillor Justin Brannan is pushing legislation to prohibit drip pricing – the practice of adding additional unavoidable fees and charges at the end of the ticket booking process – for sporting events and concerts.

Brannan, a ‘councilman’ from Bay Bridge, Brooklyn, is following in the footsteps of the Advertising Standards Agency, which recently clamped down on drip pricing among secondary ticketing sites in the UK. The bill is to be introduced to New York City Council today (23 May).

The bill would require any and all fees to be shown in all  listings and adverts giving the price of the tickets.

The prevalence of drip pricing on ticketing websites means that customers are often paying a lot more than previously thought on tickets. In some cases customers could pay 40% of the tickets’ price just for booking and delivery fees. In Canada, where drip pricing could reach up to 65% of the ticket price, Ticketmaster and Live Nation have been hit with a lawsuit for the damages and repayment of the extra fees.

“Ticket prices in our city are already through the roof. New Yorkers don’t need big retailers making things worse by hiding extra fees until the very end of a sale”

Brannan (pictured), who in a past life played guitar in a punk band, tells the New York Daily News: “When I was a touring musician, live shows were about having fun and building a sense of community – not nickel-and-diming kids who like music.

“Ticket prices in our city are already through the roof. New Yorkers don’t need big retailers making things worse by hiding extra fees until the very end of a sale.”

He continues: “Nobody wants to click on a ticket that costs $50, fill in their name, address, telephone number, email and credit card information, and then find out it actually costs $100 or more.”

Ticket companies in the Netherlands were recently hit with a similar action from consumer group ACM, which forced all costs to be listed in the ticket’s ‘base price’.


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