The Football Association (FA) and the Rugby Football Union (RFU) together with Wembley Stadium connected by EE and Twickenham Stadium have become the first sports organisations to join the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR) – the self-regulatory body for the ticket industry.
Charged with promoting excellent service and good practice throughout the ticketing industry, STAR members work to a strict code of practice that includes promoting clear information for the ticket-buying public. STAR also operates an approved dispute resolution service to help customers quickly resolve outstanding complaints.
Safe ticket-buying has come into focus as high-profile ticket scams increasingly hit the headlines. These scams range from adverts on social media platforms asking people to transfer money for non-existent tickets to unauthorised websites selling tickets with vastly inflated prices and no guarantee of a ticket.
Paul Smyth, The FA’s Head of Ticketing, said:
“Wembley Stadium is a world class venue which attracts millions of visitors each year. We’re determined to give our fans the brilliant customer service they rightly expect, protecting them from unscrupulous and illegal operators and ensuring they can buy tickets safely and securely. Joining STAR cements this commitment.”
RFU Chief Commercial Officer Simon Massie-Taylor added: “We’re pleased to be giving our fans this extra layer of protection. The RFU takes the issue of black-market tickets very seriously and we’re doing everything in our power to curtail the activities of ticket-scammers.”
Jonathan Brown, Chief Executive of STAR said:
“I am thrilled to welcome both The FA and the RFU on board. It’s brilliant they share our members’ resolve to provide confidence to ticket buyers. It’s also a milestone for STAR to start working with sports organisations and we’re delighted to have them, and their two stadiums, on board alongside our many members from the biggest names in UK ticketing including venues, theatres and ticketing companies. It can only make consumer power stronger.”
Ticket-buyers should always look out for the STAR logo (attached) when making their purchase.
Last year a fraudster who made thousands of pounds selling football tickets he did not have on social media was jailed for almost three years after an investigation by the Met Police.
Hussayn Hirani took images of real football tickets posted by other users on social media, and advertised them for sale on Twitter. Once sold, victims would be asked to make payment into bank accounts belonging to friends and associates of Hirani. The cash was then withdrawn at a later date and handed back to him. No tickets were ever sent to the buyers.
Hirani was arrested after a lengthy investigation was carried out by the Met’s Fraud and Linked Crime Online (FALCON) that used Action Fraud reports to link the fraudster to other crimes. Met Police detectives also discovered that Hirani sold fake Wimbledon and concert tickets. He defrauded his victims out of more than £9,000.