17 March 2015 at 10.51am | Comment on this article
On Saturday night a couple visited the Royal Opera House to watch Swan Lake. They had purchased tickets from Stub Hub for £175, but on arrival realized that they had been sold lower slips tickets with a face value of £6. Unfortunately, this is a regular occurrence at the Royal Opera House, and for other venues where tickets are much in demand. It’s disappointing for the customers who have been exploited, and it’s frustrating for us to see our audiences deceived in this way. I wrote a blog post last year when the question of ticket touting was in the news, and reflected on the position of publicly-funded theatres who aim to make highly sought after tickets affordable, only to see the unscrupulous sell them on for profit.
I’m pleased to report that the government has taken the issue seriously, and last week the Consumer Rights Bill was passed. These new regulations will require sellers and marketplaces to give more information about the ticket being resold, including face value, any restrictions on use and the location of the ticket. Sellers will be fined up to £5,000 if they break these rules, and we will be required to report any abuses we are notified of.
Please continue to take care when buying tickets online, and only purchase seats from the ROH or one of our authorized agents. If a performance is sold out, it is always worth checking the website for returns, or (if the production is on the main stage) queuing for one of 67 day tickets, available for each and every performance, however much in demand. We look forward to the implementation of the new law and hope that it will result in fewer disappointed customers.