By Daniel Hunter
Following an Office of Fair Trading (OFT) investigation, Euroteam AS, Uncus AS, Ticket and Travel AS and the controlling director of these companies, Andreas Gyrre, have given undertakings to the High Court in relation to the unauthorised sale of tickets to the London Olympics.
Under the terms of the undertakings, the traders have committed to provide a full refund to any of their customers who either do not receive their tickets or are refused entry to an event as the tickets supplied are not valid. People who are refused entry should ensure that they retain their tickets, or get a receipt from the Games Organisers if their ticket is seized indicating that the customer was unable to gain entry.
They should send a copy of their void ticket or the receipt to the trader when applying for their refund. The traders have also promised the High Court that they will make their contact details available on their websites so that customers can submit their refund requests easily.
Last week, the Honorable Mr Justice Kenneth Parker granted an interim enforcement order requiring 12 websites owned and operated by the Norway based traders to stop selling Olympic tickets, failing which the OFT would be able to have the sites redirected to a holding page. He ruled that the traders had misled consumers by failing to make clear that they were unauthorised to sell Olympic tickets, that they may not be able to supply the tickets ordered, and any tickets they do supply may not in fact allow the purchaser to enter the Games. Following the traders' agreeing to undertakings, the OFT agreed to release six of the websites.
The investigation was initially launched over concerns that the traders are not authorised to sell Olympic tickets. The OFT has worked in partnership with the Metropolitan Police and Serious Organised Crime Authority (SOCA) during the course of the investigation. Under the terms of conditions of the tickets, the tickets are only valid if purchased from an authorised ticket seller. In July 2012, the OFT was informed that approximately 20,000 tickets were purchased from the websites but the traders had only sourced 5,000 to supply.
"This is an important agreement from the traders to provide refunds to anyone who finds their ticket does not turn up or is turned away from an event because their ticket is not valid," Jason Freeman, Legal Director in the OFT's Goods and Consumer Group said.
"Lots of people want to go to see the Olympics, but you need to be careful about where you go to get your ticket. Only authorised sellers can guarantee to supply you a ticket, and if you buy from someone else, even if your ticket arrives, you may be refused entry to the Games."
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