If things go wrong
If you are not happy with your event ticket, eg they are not the seats you thought you booked, you can:
- Contact the ticket agent or promoter: Before you make contact, read our information on your rights and how to complain. Get in touch as soon as you can.
- Ask your bank or credit card company for a chargeback: This reverses the payment on your credit or debit card. There are usually time limits on chargebacks.
- Claim on event insurance:If you took this out when buying your ticket, you may be able to claim back the price of your ticket if you can no longer attend. Reasons covered include: being ill, in an accident, and airline delays.
- Go to the Disputes Tribunal: They may help you reach an agreement with the ticket agent or promoter, or order them to act.
- Report the seller to the Commerce Commission: If you think theseller has misled or deceived you. This government agency doesn't take on individual cases. But your information will help them assess if the issue is causing wider harm.
You may not have the same rights if you bought from an individual reseller.
There is a time limit on getting a chargeback. Ask your bank or credit card company what it is.
Chargebacks(external external link) (external external link) — Banking Ombudsman
An event ticket is a contract between you and the ticket seller. The seller has to clearly display or tell you the ticket's terms and conditions before you buy it.
They cannot rely on terms and conditions printed only on the ticket, unless you were given a reasonable chance to read them before buying it.
If they are doing it as a business, promoters and licensed ticket agents must comply with the Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA). This means:
- they must use the reasonable skill and care of a competent promoter or ticket agent
- the tickets must be fit for your particular purpose, eg give you the type of seats you agreed to buy.
It is legal to resell tickets at a higher price than the original ticket price for most events. Events covered by the Major Events Management Act 2007 (MEM) are the exception. Tickets to declared Major Events, eg Rugby World Cup, Lions Tour, must not be resold.
Ticket resale websites
If you bought tickets from aticket resale website or trader, you have rights under the Consumer Guarantees Act. Sorting out the problem could be much more difficult if your reseller is not based in New Zealand, or you buying from someone who isn't in trade.
Private sale or unlicensed reseller
If you were sold tickets through an unlicensed reseller, eg through someone on Facebook, the Consumer Guarantees Act does not apply. It is up to you and the reseller to resolve the issue.
Complain to the Commerce Commission if the seller said they were a licensed trader, but were selling privately. They may investigate and issue a warning or fine.
Buying event tickets(external link) — Commerce Commission
How to complain
- Check the terms and conditions of your ticket — this will help you understand what you can expect, eg if the ticket is valid if it has been resold.
- Gather proof, eg emails between you and the seller, bank statements, details of conversations and dates.
- Think about what you will say, eg what you are unhappy about.
- Decide your ideal outcome, egan apology, money off other tickets, a refund.
During the conversation:
- Stick to the facts — explain the problem in detail and provide any evidence you have.
- Be clear it is a complaint — use the word "complaint" in your phone call, instant message or email.
- Tell them what you want — be clear what will fix your concern.
- Take time out, if needed — if the conversation is getting heated or you need time to think, arrange a time to call back. Explain you need time to digest the conversation.
How to complain