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Consumer Reports Supports TICKET Act for Transparent Ticket Pricing, Urges the Senate to Prioritize Consumer Protection

The TICKET Act would require “all-in pricing” for sales of tickets for concerts, sports events, and other live entertainment events

WASHINGTON, DC – Consumer Reports (CR) strongly endorses S.1303, the Transparency in Charges for Key Events Ticketing Act (“TICKET Act”), which calls for “all-in pricing” for concert, sports, and live entertainment event tickets. The TICKET Act will ensure upfront disclosure of the complete ticket cost, including all mandatory and unavoidable fees, equipping consumers with greater price transparency and information to make informed purchase decisions. CR has sent a letter of support to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation, which is scheduled to hold a mark-up of the bill on July 27, 2023.

“The current ticket marketplace lacks transparency, with sellers employing ‘drip pricing’ to hide additional fees that can inflate prices by up to 30 percent,” said Jonathan Schwantes, senior policy counsel at Consumer Reports. “The TICKET Act will combat this issue, creating fair ground rules for all sellers and enabling consumers to make head-to-head comparisons at the point of sale.”

Consumer Reports has received thousands of stories from frustrated consumers burdened by excessive ticket fees. These testimonials shared a common frustration with the purchase process, citing hidden fees significantly raising ticket prices beyond expectations, bait-and-switch tactics causing uncertainty about purchased tickets’ legitimacy, and the opaqueness of the secondary ticket market. Many more consumers have voiced similar complaints about hidden ticket fees to the FTC, state attorneys general, and other state and local consumer protection agencies.

“The TICKET Act’s “all-in pricing” requirement is urgently needed to provide essential consumer protections and promote a fair and transparent ticketing industry,” said Chuck Bell, advocacy program director at Consumer Reports. “The common-sense consumer protections provided through the TICKET Act are long overdue. Consumer Reports calls on Senators to cosponsor and vote ‘yes’ for this critically important consumer protection bill.” 

Consumers often are not informed about fees until they have selected their tickets, sometimes only after entering their payment information. The late disclosure of fees right before purchase increases search costs for consumers and makes comparing-shop harder. It also creates opportunities for unfair and predatory competition by obscuring the actual price of tickets available for sale on competitive platforms.

The TICKET Act will provide an enormous step forward to ensure consumers can shop and compare ticket prices on a fair and transparent basis—as consumers routinely do for other products and services—and will ensure all market actors act appropriately.

Media Contact: Emily Akpan, emily.akpan@consumer.org