Lawmakers concerned ticket resale sites are hitting customers with hidden fees

Washington DC Bureau
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WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Whether it’s a ballgame or a concert, Americans spend tens of billions of dollars every year on ticket reseller sites like StubHub and Ticketmaster.

Some members of Congress say that leaves room for consumers to be taken advantage of. Lawmakers want to make sure that doesn’t happen.

“We need to make sure people aren’t getting ripped off when they want to go to a concert and buy tickets online,” Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA) said.

Rep. Ruiz represents Coachella, California – known for its music festivals. At Wednesday’s hearing, he questioned leaders of six ticket resale companies about hidden fees, aggressive price increases and deceptive “white label” websites designed to look like they’re affiliated with a sports team but really operated by the reseller.

“They’re milking the system to draw as much money from the consumer as possible. They should make it known there’s a primary, a secondary, possibly a tertiary fee,” Ruiz said.

Representatives from companies, like StubHub and TicketNetwork, defended the industry practices, including undisclosed fees.

“It was confusing for consumers when we were offering all-in pricing and other ticketers were not,” StubHub Vice President Stephanie Burns said.

CEO of TicketNetwork Don Vaccaro was asked whether he agrees that more information needs to be disclosed so consumers know where they’re buying their tickets.

“I think we have enough. And I think the disclosures comply with what the FTC set,” Vacarro said.

More than high costs and deceptive practices, Congress is also concerned about how these ticket resale companies get your personal data and how they use it.

Congress is now considering a bill that would require ticket resale companies to disclose all fees and be more transparent about where tickets come from.

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