‘Hidden Fees’ Under Fire

Australian ticketing companies, including market leaders Ticketek and Ticketmaster, were criticized for what consumer magazine Choice described as excessive and hidden fees.

It pointed out that Ticketek charged $11.25 to send Ghostface Killah and DOOM tickets out by registered post.

“This same service would have cost $3.65 at the post office,” said the magazine’s Ingrid Just. Jack White fans were hit with an additional $7.60 for a ticket sent as an email attachment. Cameron Hoy, Ticketmaster Australia’s managing director argued, “’Our fees include labour, dispatch, handling and the cost of technology that supports the scanning of these tickets.”

Choice suggested high fees were the result of agencies using “outdated booking systems” and exclusivity agreements with venues. The latter, it said, gave major agencies a market clout that allowed practices like excessive fees to thrive.

Ticketek processes 18 million tickets to 13,000 events per year. Ticketmaster handles 10,000 events annually.

Last December, the Federal Court fined Ticketek $2.5 million for using its market strength to inhibit the operations of Lasttix.