The Tragically Hip perform in 2009. The band’s final tour in 2016 sparked renewed public outcry across Canada about ticket ‘bots’ snapping up event tickets and reselling them for a profit. (Scott Alexander/Wikimedia Commons)

B.C. man’s lawsuit over Ticketmaster, StubHub can proceed, judge rules

Class action on behalf of people who lost out due to ‘ticket bots’

A B.C. man’s lawsuit over ticket resellers jacking up prices for live events has taken a step forward in B.C. Supreme Court.

David Gomel is suing TicketMaster and associated companies in a class action on behalf of all B.C. residents who bought event tickets for personal use from resellers between Jan. 25, 2010 and Sept. 18, 2018. It’s one of a series of similar class action lawsuits, and Gomel alleges that Ticketmaster isn’t doing enough to stop scalpers from using “bots” to scoop up tickets within seconds of them going on sale.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Michael Tammen ruled this week that Gomel’s lawsuit can proceed, refusing a procedural motion by Ticketmaster lawyers to stay the action until Saskatchewan case involving multiple provinces can be decided. Ticketmaster has not yet filed a statement of defence in the B.C. case.

Gomel’s case is based on his purchase of a concert ticket from a secondary seller, StubHub, which was originally sold by Ticketmaster.

RELATED: B.C. law attempts to regulate online ticket resellers

RELATED: Survey finds frustration with fast event ticket sellouts

“Broadly put, the essential claim is that Ticketmaster represents on its website, at the time of initial sale of all tickets, that there are purchasing limits in place for the number of tickets per customer, and that such limits ensure fairness and prevent purchasers from purchasing a large number of tickets for resale,” Tammen wrote in a decision released this week.

“The notice of civil claim alleges that Ticketmaster has, contrary to the representations on its website, actively developed and marketed software called TradeDesk, which facilitates and encourages the use of ‘ticket bots.’ Ticket bots are automated software programs used to allow one purchaser to purchase a large number of tickets online.”

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth passed legislation in the spring of 2019 aimed at preventing mass-buying software for live event tickets. The law requires clear disclosure of ticket prices, refund guarantees by secondary sellers and declarations by them that they are not the original ticket provider. Enforcing such rules is hampered by ticket resellers operating outside of the province.

The B.C. government hosted an online questionnaire in March 2018 on the subject. Of the 6,507 people who responded, 96 per cent reported live event tickets selling out quickly, and nearly 60 per cent said they had seen tickets offered by a secondary seller before the primary seller made them available.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pandemic spurs egg-citement for backyard chickens in Greater Victoria

Fowl surge in popularity during COVID-19 pandemic

Saanich looks at allowing alcohol in parks after North Vancouver gives the green light

Bylaw allowing liquor in parks ‘a very positive idea,’ mayor says

Pandemic profiles: Passion at the heart of community businesses

Businesses rely on community support to stay open

Organizer, Victoria councillor, VicPD talk about upcoming rally for Black lives

‘It’s a simple ask’: Peace rally for Black lives organizer asks people to listen

George Floyd mural appears on Victoria street

Victoria artist Paul Archer painted the mural outside his shop on Fort Street

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

POLL: Are you sending your children back to school this month?

Classrooms looked decidedly different when students headed back to school for the… Continue reading

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Most Read