National Consumers League

NCL: BOSS ACT is the fix a broken ticket market needs

June 13, 2019

Media contact: National Consumers League – Carol McKay, carolm@nclnet.org, (412) 945-3242 or Taun Sterling, tauns@nclnet.org, (202) 207-2832

Washington, DC—The National Consumers League, the nation’s pioneering consumer advocacy organization, applauds Congressman Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) for reintroducing the Better Oversight of Secondary Sales and Accountability in Concert Ticketing Act of 2019 (“BOSS ACT”). The bill will create much-needed transparency in a live event ticketing marketplace that is too often rigged against consumers. 

“Today's ticketing marketplace is rigged against the consumer,” said NCL Executive Director Sally Greenberg. “Unfair and deceptive practices such as sky-high fees, undisclosed ticket holdbacks, deceptive speculative ticketing, and anti-consumer ticket terms are rampant. Fans are fed up with the artificially-engineered ticket scarcity, deceptive advertisements, ticket-buying bots, and cornucopia of hidden fees that too often prevent them from seeing their favorite artist or sports team at an affordable price.” 

The BOSS ACT will change that. The bill takes a comprehensive approach to putting fans back in the driver's seat by:  

  • Requiring all-in pricing on the primary and secondary ticket markets, ending the practice of slamming consumers with hidden fees during high-pressure checkout processes; 
  • Requiring primary ticket sellers to be honest about how many seats they plan on making available; 
  • Eliminating resale price floors which artificially inflate prices and saddle ticket holders with seats they cannot use or sell; 
  • Allowing fans to resell their tickets in the manner they choose; 
  • Prohibiting unethical scalpers from impersonating venues’ and teams’ websites to charge higher prices for less-desirable seats; 
  • Requiring the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to identify ways to improve their enforcement against illegal ticket buying bots.  

At an FTC workshop on live event ticketing this week, representatives of the leading primary and secondary ticket marketplaces came together and expressed their support for federal legislation that would require all-in pricing for event tickets. “In an unprecedented show of industry consensus, businesses from across the live event industry pledged to do the right thing by consumers and support all-in pricing of tickets,” said John Breyault, NCL vice president of public policy, telecommunications and fraud. “The BOSS ACT is the industry’s opportunity to show whether it is serious about tackling the rampant abuses of consumers in the ticket marketplace.” 

The National Consumers League applauds Congressmen Pascrell and Pallone and Senator Blumenthal for their continued leadership on this issue and urge members of Congress to stand up and support this important consumer protection legislation. 

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About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.