Ticketmaster has agreed to be more upfront with the restrictions on its paperless tickets. Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster reached agreement with the company after consumers complained who bought paperless tickets through Ticketmaster's website often did so without a full understanding of restrictions limiting transfer of the tickets.
The agreement with the state of Missouri covers all transactions offered on Ticketmaster's website, not just those transactions with Missouri consumers.
Ticketmaster employs paperless ticketing for some high demand events expected to sell out rapidly. Also known as credit card entry tickets, the paperless tickets associate the credit card used to purchase the entry with the person named on the card. There is no printed ticket or electronic ticket displayed on a smart phone. Instead, the purchaser presents the credit card used to make the purchase and a photo ID to enter the venue.
With traditional paper tickets, the only requirement for attendance at the event is possession of the physical ticket itself. But paperless tickets limit entry to the original purchaser only. Paperless tickets generally cannot be given away, sold, or transferred to someone else and a group of attendees must enter the venue at the same time as the credit card holder who purchased the tickets.
Koster said Ticketmaster did not prominently feature the limitations and conditions online as consumers were purchasing tickets, requiring consumers to take an additional step before being alerted to the restrictions
"Because Ticketmaster's website limits the time a consumer has in order to complete a purchase, many consumers are reluctant to take the time to click on and read the terms and conditions of paperless ticketing. As a result, many consumers could be unaware of the entry conditions at the time of purchase," said Koster. "Under this agreement, Ticketmaster will more prominently feature terms and conditions consumers need to know when buying a paperless ticket."
Koster said his office contacted Ticketmaster in August of last year and began negotiating an agreement with the company to satisfy concerns raised by consumer advocates and customers.
In the agreement announced today, Ticketmaster voluntarily agrees to clearly display the limitations of paperless ticketing before the consumer initiates the purchasing process, and again at the delivery method selection page after the consumer has entered payment information but before the purchase is completed.
Effective immediately, Ticketmaster has modified the language in the portion of the website where a consumer selects the method of ticket delivery, to plainly and prominently notify consumers when proof of credit card used and valid ID are required, as well as the requirement that the entire group must enter at the same time. The notification states:
"RESTRICTIONS APPLY; PROOF OF CREDIT CARD USED FOR PURCHASE AND VALID ID MAY BE REQUIRED FOR ENTRY. TICKETS ARE NON-TRANSFERABLE. YOUR ENTIRE GROUP MUST ENTER AT THE SAME TIME."
By February 19, 2015, Ticketmaster will modify the event landing page header consumers see before initiating the purchase to prominently display notice of restrictions requiring the credit card used for payment and valid ID are required for entry and that the ticket is non-transferable.
Ticketmaster has committed to continue to modify the displays to enhance clarity, and will include information about the restrictions in other forms of promotional media in order to increase consumer awareness of paperless ticket events.