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A German consumer rights group Verbraucherzentrale NRW recently brought legal action against the ticketing firm CTS Eventim. Verbraucherzentrale NRW claimed that fees on tickets (such as charging a consumer additional money to print the tickets they just purchased) should not be allowed. The court ruled in favor of Verbraucherzentrale NRW, stating “if a fee was charged, then the provider was contractually bound to send out actual tickets.”
Though this court ruling is international and not yet legally binding (it will have to go to a higher court to do so), it may be the beginning of a shift in the way consumers view online ticket purchasing. Similar companies to CTS Eventim, such as the all familiar Ticketmaster, have been abhorred by customers for years. Excessive fees and monopolistic practices have taken away the convenience online ticket buying is supposed to provide, and instead filled consumers with dread upon seeing that the tickets they’ve been coveting are only being sold through such outlets. The whole process is painful, costly, and detracts from the joy that attending an event ought to bring.
That being said, if the court ruling is upheld (and eventually made legally binding), CTS Eventim may be required to reimburse customers of past fees deemed improperly charged. Additionally, companies such as Ticketmaster would have to follow suit, changing the ticket purchasing process as we know it. Event lovers everywhere will (hopefully) soon be able to breathe a sigh of relief as a precedent is set and the power is once again placed in their hands.