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Consumer & Business Advice
26 October 2016

With the summer music festival season fast approaching, the State’s consumer watchdog is offering consumers some simple strategies to avoid joining those left out of pocket by the cancellation of almost 50 music festivals across Australia since 2010.

Acting Commissioner for Consumer Affairs, George Kamencak, said Consumer and Business Services (CBS) provides information and resources to help individuals increase their own understanding of their rights as a consumer, and this can potentially save a lot of money and time.

“Under Australian Consumer Law, a business cannot accept payment and then fail to deliver what was promised. If a festival is cancelled, ticket holders may be entitled to a full refund from the company that sold them the ticket.

“If the event goes ahead but is significantly different from what was advertised, ticket holders may also have a right to a refund on the ground that they were misled or deceived, or because they would otherwise not have agreed to buy the ticket in the first place, had they known the line up – or any other important feature – would change so much.

“Unfortunately things do go wrong from time to time, but with a bit of preparation ahead of time the level of consumer dissatisfaction can be reduced and a resolution found.”

Consumers should only buy from reputable ticket sellers, and always prepare for the unexpected by keeping all receipts and documentation in case a dispute arises and proof of purchase is later required.

Top tips

  • Do your research – know your rights.
  • Buy from a reputable ticket seller – read reviews online and talk to your friends and family.
  • Read the terms and conditions before you purchase tickets to see what you are entitled to.
  • Buy tickets online through a secure website (look for the https:)
  • Like any purchase, keep all related documentation and receipts.

Mr Kamencak said knowing what to do and when can go a long way towards successfully achieving a refund.

“Credit card users may have the potential to seek a chargeback from their bank if unsuccessful in obtaining a refund from the ticket seller, while escrow users are able to seek advice from the agents (such as PayPal and its PayPal Resolution Centre).”

Regardless of how you pay, all ticket buyers should prepare for the unexpected and retain all receipts and relevant information in case a dispute arises and proof of purchase is required at a later date.
For more information contact CBS on 131 882 or visit consumerlaw.gov.au/MusicFestivals.