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Ticketek Prices Were In Australian Dollars

Ticketek Prices Were In Australian Dollars: Warning That Ticketing Companies Must State What Currency They Are Using

After Ticketek New Zealand Limited did not disclose that its prices for a Barbra Streisand concert in Sydney were in Australian dollars, the Commerce Commission is warning all ticketing companies to clearly state what currency they are using when selling tickets.

Commission Chair John Belgrave said that the Commission has decided to end this investigation with a settlement, which includes Ticketek acknowledging that it made misleading claims about the price of the tickets and breached the Fair Trading Act.

"This settlement is a warning to the industry," Mr Belgrave said. "Future cases could end in court."

"Businesses can choose to use whatever currencies they wish," he said, "but if they do not use New Zealand dollars, then they must clearly state what currency is being used. If they state a price in 'dollars', without stating a country, then the price must be in New Zealand dollars."

Ticketek staff received telephone calls from a consumer and quoted prices in "dollars" for the Barbra Streisand concert. They did not say that the prices were in Australian dollars.

The consumer bought tickets using a credit card, was charged considerably more than expected and complained to the Commission.

A Commission Investigator telephoned Ticketek and asked about prices for the same concert. A Ticketek staff member said that the prices were in New Zealand dollars. However, this was not correct and the prices were in Australian dollars.

The calls were made in December last year and March this year.

In the settlement, Ticketek has given signed undertakings, including that: * it acknowledges that it made misleading claims about the prices of the tickets and breached the Fair Trading Act * it will arrange for an independent audit of its compliance programme, including random checks of its operators to ensure compliance in foreign currency pricing * it sponsored and presented a conference of the Entertainment Venues Association of New Zealand, included in its presentation were the implications of the Act to entertainment ticketing * the Commission may publicise the settlement, and * the Commission can take court action if the settlement is not honoured.

Background

Section 13(g) of the Act prohibits false or misleading representations about the price of any goods or services. Courts can impose fines of up to $100,000 on a company and $30,000 on an individual.

Media contact: Fair Trading Manager Ross McPherson Phone work (04) 498 0909, cellphone 021 627 909, home (04) 232 6004

Senior Advisor Communications Vincent Cholewa Phone work (04) 498 0920, home (04) 477 0039

Commission media releases can be viewed on its web site www.comcom.govt.nz

Regards Leo van Schyndel Records Officer Corporate Services Direct dial : (04) 498-0929 E-mail : leo.vanschyndel@comcom.govt.nz


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