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)

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

This suspect allegedly stole a charity donation jar from a Langley store in November. (Langley RCMP/Special to the Langley RCMP)
Thief snatches charity donation jar from Langley store

The suspect is one of several Langley Mounties are searching for linked to recent thefts

Winners of the “Shop Your Heart Out” contest put on by the Downtown Langley Business Association posed for a group photo in McBurney Plaza on Tuesday, Jan. 12 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Thank you for your support, Langley Hospital Auxiliary tells customers

Penny Pincher Thrift store was a winner in voting for ‘Shop Your Heart Out’ contest

Langley activist Dorscie Paterson celebrated her 108th birthday on Monday, Jan. 25 at the Cedar Hill long term care facility. Because of the pandemic, she remained inside, able to see, but not shake hands with visitors. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Langley’s Dorscie Paterson celebrates her 108th birthday

Pandemic required her to remain behind a window, able to see, but not make contact with visitors

The business case for bringing SkyTrain to Langley has been finalized but some are pushing for another rail method. (Black Press Media file)
LETTER: Rail expert continues to lobby for light rail over SkyTrain to Langley

SkyTrain the most expensive option for rail through communities South of the Fraser, writer argues

The speculation and vacancy tax declaration must be filled out by the end of March. (Black Press Media files)
SVT declaration packages en route to homeowners in Langley

A penalty will apply to those, not exempted, who don’t pay by due date

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

FILE – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers his opening remarks at a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine CEO ‘very, very clear’ that Canada’s contracts will be honoured: Trudeau

Trudeau says he spoke to Moderna CEO on the morning of Jan. 26

Ben Tyler was working on a Nicola area ranch when he disappeared. File photo
Ben Tyler was working on a Nicola area ranch when he disappeared. File photo
2 years after his riderless horse was found, police believe Merritt cowboy was killed

Two years after he went missing, Ben Tyner’s family makes video plea for information

A ground worker wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 unloads lobsters from a WestJet Airlines flight at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., on Thursday, January 21, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Trudeau teases stricter travel measures; Canadians flying to U.S. now need COVID test

Prime minister says measures need to not hurt imports and essential trade

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Seats in the waiting area of domestic departures lounge of Calgary International Airport are seen with caution tape on them on June 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
3-in-4 Canadians in favour of banning interprovincial travel: Poll

According to Research Co., 80 per cent of Canadians would like to see restrictions imposed

The shirts sell for $45, with 30 per cent of proceeds from each sale going to Battered Women’s Support Services in Vancouver. (Madame Premier/Sarah Elder-Chamanara)
Canadian company launches ‘hysterical’ T-Shirt to combat health officials’ use of word

A partnership with Tamara Taggart will see women broadcast the word on a T-shirt or tote bag

ICBC has seen savings on crash and injury claims in the COVID-19 pandemic, with traffic on B.C. roads reduced. (Penticton Western News)
ICBC opens online calculator for rate savings starting in May

Bypassing courts expected to save 20% on average

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
16% boom predicted for B.C. real estate sales in 2021: experts

Along with sales, the average price of homes is also predicted to rise, by nearly 8 percent

Most Read