New bill would protect rights of ticket holders

April 12, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
If you've ever bought or sold concert or event tickets, you'll be interested in what California state lawmakers are doing. They're talking about a measure that would make it easier to navigate both sides of a ticket transaction.

Frustrated by restrictions, a group called Fan Freedom" thinks fans should have greater control over their tickets. After all, they paid for them.

Are you catching the latest Rolling Stones concert? Maybe Pink is more up your alley. For Steve Barrilleaux, his splurge is sports -- NBA season tickets. "If I pay the money for the ticket, they're my tickets and I can use them however I choose and I can give them to whoever I want to. I can use them. I cannot use them. They're mine," he told ABC7 News.

But when fans buy "paperless" or "will call-only" tickets, it's tough to sell them. Consumers have to show ID at the event or the same credit card used to purchase the tickets, which will not match the new buyer. Sometimes, pro sports teams will require fans to re-sell tickets on the teams' website. The Los Angeles Angels began that this season.

Assemblyman Richard Pan just introduced a bill that would protect the rights of ticket holders. His measure would ban restricted tickets by giving owners the right to re-sell, donate, or give them away. "For most people, it's really about, you can't make it at the last minute. You want to give it to a family member or friend," he said.

Ticketmaster hasn't seen Pan's proposal, but generally opposes any easing of restrictions. The company says it's not ticket sellers dictating the policy. It says the teams or performers determine what form the tickets are sold. They typically want to keep prices down for their fans.

"They select paperless tickets or will call-only tickets as a method to reduce scalping, and those methods are proven to reduce scalping between 75 and 100 percent," Ticketmaster spokesperson Jacqueline Peterson said.

Barrilleaux can't believe that sometimes his hands are tied when he can't use his tickets. "I think there's really a fundamental concept there. I bought the ticket. Is it really my ticket?" he asked.

Ticketmaster says that if you think there's even a chance you might miss an event, you can always choose paper tickets because that will give you more freedom.

Pan's measure will have its first hearing in a couple of weeks.


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