Ticket Tout Makes Express Return

A new secondary market site called London Ticket Express has terms and conditions directly linking it to Ticket Tout Ltd., which went bankrupt owing music fans an estimated £2 million.

Lane Bednash of Valentine & Co., the official receiver appointed to wind up Ticket Tout’s finances, has said he hopes the Internet trader’s bankruptcy may help persuade culture secretary Tessa Jowell to introduce laws to curb the secondary market.

The investigation into Ticket Tout’s affairs has since been passed to the Department Of Trade & Industry (DTI), which is believed to be looking into a connection between the company and GetMeTickets, another Internet site that went bust a year ago.

That site was run by Michael Rangos, a regular subject for "Watchdog" – BBC television’s consumer program – but Ticket Tout managing director Caroline Beale has categorically denied Rangos having any connection with her new (and now bankrupt) company.

The DTI shut down GetMeTickets because it wasn’t in the public interest for it to continue trading.

It raided the company’s London offices, seized assets and company records and found it didn’t have sufficient stock to supply all the customers who ordered and paid for tickets.

It’s since been proved that Beale was a GetMeTickets employee, although not a director. Her new company was incorporated at Companies House (February 13, 2006) within days of GetMeTickets being put into compulsory liquidation by London’s High Court.

Whether there’s any legal connection between Ticket Tout Ltd. and GetMeTickets, there’s clearly some connection between Ticket Tout and London Ticket Express.

The terms on the latter’s Web site begin by stating, "Ticket Tout Ltd. trading as www.londonticketmarket.com," before listing the conditions under which it does business.

London Ticket Market, a site almost identical to the London Ticket Express site, begins its term and conditions by saying, "MLT Services Ltd. trading as www.londonticketmarket.com."

Both new sites use the same contact telephone number, which hasn’t worked for days, and both are registered to companies giving the same postal address.

So far, questions e-mailed to the addresses given have failed to draw any response and Pollstar has notified the DTI of its findings.

The London Ticket Market site, which describes itself as the "most reliable and reputable online ticket agency for buying Genesis tickets," was asking £295 for VIP entrance to a show that doesn’t exist.

It offered a range of seats, beginning at £95, for the act’s July 14 gig at Rome Colosseum. But the band is actually playing the city’s Circo Massimo on that date, a show produced by Live Nation Italy and paid for by a major mobile phone company and entrance is free on a first-come, first-served basis.

News of the new sites, and their apparent links to an old bankrupt one, coincides with the U.K. government gathering further evidence and submissions in a bid to re-examine its stance on the secondary market.