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Consumers (29-09-2011)

Buying on the internet : it´s now safer for consumers to shop for tickets online following EU action.

Brussels, 29 September 2011 - Buying tickets for music and sporting events on the internet is now much less likely to end in tears, following a crackdown on problematic websites which sold tickets to non-existent events or where terms in relation to getting a refund were unfair, (where the event was cancelled). 88% of the websites selling tickets for cultural and sporting events, checked for breach of EU consumer rules, now comply with EU law (compared with only 40% in 2010), and further improvements can be expected as cases are brought to the courts. The EU co-ordinated "Sweep" investigation was launched in September 2010 by national authorities in all Member States, Norway and Iceland. The problems identified included: incomplete or misleading information about the price of tickets; unfair terms and conditions; incomplete or misleading information about the trader. Sites have been corrected, usually voluntarily, but in some cases penalties were imposed.

EU Health and Consumer Commissioner John Dalli said: "This is a major achievement for EU consumers : the enforcement 'sweeps' are delivering results, targeting problematic sectors, and cleaning up the market, so that pricing is clear and information is truthful. People are using the internet more and more to check their entertainment options and to compare prices and offers – they must be able to do so without falling victim to scams'.

National authorities will continue to work on the outstanding cases. For cross-border cases, they are in contact with their counterparts in other countries. The system of EU-wide sweep investigations will continue, a new sweep is currently being prepared and more joint actions are planned for 2012.


For more information see:
Sweeps website (including Mock web pages with examples of good/bad practice):