Purchasing Concert Tickets and Your Rights

Eric Wieder / The Concordian

Students share their experiences getting hold of concert tickets and reminders to keep in mind when doing so.

With technology expanding and individuals getting better at it, it isn’t uncommon for people to get scammed when buying a ticket for their favourite artist after the initial sale gets sold out within hours—if not minutes, or even seconds in some cases.

The Consumer Protection Act in Quebec says that in order to legally resell a ticket, a merchant must notify the consumer that it is, indeed, a resale and provide several other pieces of valid information, such as notifying them and revealing the initial price of the ticket. It also states that it is prohibited to sell or use any softwares that lets you circumvent security measures or control systems put in place by the organizers of an event.  

Resellers take advantage of passionate and enthusiastic fans to exaggerate prices. Bots are also notorious for annoying customers in official sales. A communications student at Concordia expressed her frustration regarding the sales on Ticketmaster: “The seats have astronomical prices, especially the platinum sections, and the Ticketmaster queue is really bad when the shows are really popular so I guess tickets get bought by bots even at that stage,” said Adèle. 

A psychology student, Mirra, also shared that there have definitely been times when a show has sold out very quickly before she could even try to get tickets, which resulted in her “getting stuck in the ‘waiting room’ for quite some time,” causing frustrations. Slow progress of even attempting to enter the general sale is an issue most people face. 

One must also be careful when searching for an authorized sale from the artist, producer or venue of the show or event. Resale sites can pay to appear at the top of a web search results list, therefore the first recommended website won’t necessarily be the right one. 

Using a credit card when doing a purchase is also an extra way to be more assured, but be as certain as possible before doing any bank transfers. You are generally liable to a refund from the credit card issuer in the circumstance that the merchant does not have you refunded after purchase cancellation. Moreover, even when buying tickets from an official website, look up your rights and protections in case a show ever gets postponed or cancelled. 

In order to escape potential scams, Adèle shared her tip to look up people selling tickets, going through their profiles to check their legitimacy, and eventually chatting with them. She prefers to only ever buy using PayPal goods. 

Another thing that is worth a try is visiting the in-person box office of a venue before the show, if possible—you may be able to get your hands on some last-minute available tickets! 

Good luck out there and don’t hesitate to be extra meticulous! 


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