Internet Tout Bites The Dust

Internet ticket broker has been shut down by the British government following hundreds of complaints about the way it operates.

The Companies Investigation Branch of the Department of Trade & Industry raided Getmetickets London offices, seized assets and company records and shut the business down because it’s not in the public interest for the company to continue trading.

The CIB only takes such measures when it determines there is a real danger that assets will disappear or that members of the public are suffering to such an extent that urgent action is required. The assets and potential creditors are therefore protected until the court hears the winding-up petition.

The case against Getmetickets, a company that has been investigated by the BBC’s Watchdog program twice and has been subject to several complaints to the English media, is expected to be heard in The High Court within a month.

According to a note on the DTI Web site, the high-profile ticket agent – which re-sells on “the secondary market” – doesn’t appear to have sufficient tickets to supply all the customers who have ordered and paid for them.

The tickets seized at the Getmetickets offices will be distributed to customers in the order they were paid for until the stock runs out. The Official Receiver’s staff is expected to complete this within a few days.

When that stock runs out, the receiver isn’t able to provide more tickets or supply refunds, although those who have bought by credit card and not received tickets might be entitled to a refund from the card company under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act of 1974.

At the time it was closed, the U.K. company – which has gained a reputation for only delivering tickets at the last minute or sometimes not at all – was offering seats for The Rolling Stones at £1,777 (US$3,100), Eric Clapton (£1,377), the Eagles (£977), David Gilmour (£777) and Take That (£677).

Wembley Arena general manager Peter Tudor – who has actively campaigned against secondary market sellers and is trying to get eBay to ban ticket re-selling – told Pollstar, “We’re going to have problems with customers who’d thought they’d got tickets because they’d parted with money.”

Tudor, whose venue has just awarded Ticketmaster a new multi-year contract as preferred ticket provider, will chair a ILMC panel on the problems the business faces, including resale, forgeries and eBay’s stance on the secondary market.

– John Gammon