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Ticketmaster to refund booking fees in the Netherlands

The Dutch Consumers’ Association (Consumentenbond) has urged other ticketing companies to follow suit after Ticketmaster announced it would begin refunding customers’ booking fees in the case of cancelled or postponed events.

The association said last month there is “no good legal reason” not to reimburse service fees along with the cost of the ticket for called-off events, an opinion it said is shared by the Netherlands’ consumer watchdog, the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM).

According to the ConsumentenbondTicketmaster Netherlands has now become the first ticket seller in the country to adopt a policy of refunding fees along with the cost of the ticket. Service fees can range between €2 and €10 depending on the ticket price, it says.

“The Consumers’ Association calls on other ticket providers to follow the positive example set by Ticketmaster”

“The Consumers’ Association calls on other ticket providers who have not yet [committed to] reimbursing the service costs to follow the positive example set by Ticketmaster,” the association says in a statement.

Ticketmaster is the leading ticketing service in the Netherlands, followed by Eventim, which gained ground on its competitor last year, according to the International Ticketing Yearbook 2018.

The price of concert tickets in the Netherlands has increased an average of 3% this year, as the country’s rate of VAT – which includes “admission to cultural events” – rose from six to nine percent.

 


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Dutch consumer org contests TM booking fees

Dutch consumer protection organisation Consumentenbond has criticised ticketing giant Ticketmaster for not refunding customers’ booking fees in the case of cancelled or postponed events.

The consumers’ association states there is “no good legal reason” not to reimburse the handling fee along with the cost of the ticket for axed events.

According to the Consumentenbond, this opinion is shared by the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM).

In 2017, the ACM ordered all ticket agencies operating in the country to include all additional or “unavoidable” fees, such as booking or processing fees, in the “base price” of a ticket.

The consumers’ association states there is “no good legal reason” not to reimburse the handling fee along with the cost of the ticket for axed events

The consumers’ organisation is hoping to arrange a meeting with Ticketmaster to discuss the matter further and “find a solution”. IQ has commented Ticketmaster for comment.

Ticketmaster is the leading ticketing service in Holland followed by Eventim Netherlands, which gained ground on its competitor last year, according to the International Ticketing Yearbook 2018.

The price of concert tickets in the Netherlands increased on average by 3% this year, as the country’s reduced VAT rate – which includes “admission to cultural events” – rose from six to nine percent.

 


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Dutch ticketers comply with drip pricing ban

Tickets sold online in the Netherlands are now listed with all ‘unavoidable’ costs, such as booking and processing fees, listed upfront, following a successful intervention by the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM).

ACM in July warned the country’s leading ticket agencies – which, according to the International Ticketing Yearbook 2017, are Ticketmaster, Eventim, Ticketpoint and Paylogic – that all extra costs must be listed in the ‘base price’ of the ticket, giving them until 1 October to comply. ACM’s counterpart in Canada, the Competition Bureau, followed suit the following week, warning sellers they could face court action unless they ceased drip pricing online.

Under Dutch law, ‘avoidable costs’, such as optional extras or upgrades, may be displayed at a later stage in the booking process.

“ACM has established that the sector has turned a corner,” comments Bernadette van Buchem, director of ACM’s consumer department. “Trade organisations have played a positive role in that process.

“Consumers are now able to see at the start of the booking process what a ticket will cost them, including all unavoidable costs. This will enable them to compare prices better. Providers are able to compete more fairly on price.”

 


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