Ticket-buying crackdown bill named after Taylor Swift, Bruce Springsteen
A day before pop star Taylor Swift kicks off a weekend of shows at Metlife Stadium, and months after countless fans were shut out from securing tickets online, members of New Jersey's congressional delegation have introduced legislation aimed at improving transparency and the customer experience during the ticket buying process.
Named after Swift and Jersey rocker Bruce Springsteen, the BOSS and SWIFT Act specifically takes on issues such as hidden fees, buyer protections, and speculative tickets.
BOSS and SWIFT ACT = Better Oversight of Stub Sales and Strengthening Well Informed and Fair Transactions for Audiences of Concert Ticketing Act
"For decades, the ticket market has been the Wild West: mammoth, opaque, speculative, and brutally unfair," said U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J. 9th District. "A fan shouldn’t have to sell a kidney or mortgage a house to see their favorite performer or team. At long last, it is time to create rules for fair ticketing in this country and my legislation will do exactly that for all the fans."
The legislation sponsored by Pascrell and U.S. Rep Frank Pallone, D-N.J. 6th District, is being backed by major consumer groups and attempts to clamp down on both the primary and secondary ticket selling markets.
“The time is long overdue to bring transparency, fairness and competition back to the live event ticketing marketplace,” said Erin Witte, director of consumer protection at Consumer Federation of America. “The BOSS and SWIFT Act will level the playing field for consumers and ensure that they can enjoy these events without being deceived and overcharged in the purchase process.”
Among the reforms required in the federal measure are:
- Mandatory all-in pricing to ensure the true ticket price is clearly displayed and does not change during check out process
- Disclosing to buyers whether a ticket is being offered as a primary sale or secondary sale
- Primary-market transparency on the total number and cost of tickets that will be offered for sale to the general public
- Preserving primary-market transferability so consumers are not restricted from reselling their tickets or facing a price ceiling or floor on ticket resales
- Clamping down on unauthorized speculative ticket sales (listing tickets that don't yet exist)
- Protecting secondary-market consumers who receive tickets that do not match the description of those purchased.
- Disclosing to purchasers when the secondary seller is the primary ticket seller, venue, team, or artist associated with the event.
- Restricting resellers from selling the same seat to more than one person at the same time.
Pascrell originally introduced his BOSS act in 2009 after Springsteen fans on Ticketmaster were redirected to secondary sites without notice for his "Working on a Dream" tour.
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