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NJ LEGISLATURE CONSIDERS STRENGTHENING CONSUMERS’ RIGHTS WHEN PURCHASING TICKETS

New Jersey’s legislature is currently assessing a bill that would protect consumers who purchase tickets for events held in New Jersey. In addition, the bill would require that fees be disclosed upfront when tickets are sold instead of hidden until the end of the transaction.

Assembly Bill 4344 was introduced on July 2, 2020. In a statement provided with the bill’s submission, the legislature explained:

This bill establishes that primary sellers of tickets to places of entertainment are required to provide the ticket buyer the option to purchase a paper ticket and to notify ticket buyers of any fees added to the total price of a ticket, including, but not limited to, service fees, convenience fees, or venue fees. A violation of the bill’s provisions is an unlawful practice under the consumer fraud act. An unlawful practice under the consumer fraud act is punishable by a monetary penalty of not more than $10,000 for a first offense and not more than $20,000 for any subsequent offense. In addition, violations of the bill may result in cease and desist orders issued by the Attorney General, the assessment of punitive damages, and the awarding of treble damages and costs to the injured party.

The bill also amends current law to require the full price of a ticket purchased by a ticket broker, including the base price and fees, including, but not limited to, any service fee, convenience fee, or venue fee that is added to the base price, be disclosed prior to the purchase of a ticket.

The Consumer Fraud Act is already one of the strongest state consumer protection laws in the nation. N.J.S.A. 56:8-2 prohibits:

“The act, use or employment by any person of any unconscionable commercial practice, deception, fraud, false pretense, false promise, misrepresentation, or the knowing[] concealment, suppression, or omission of any material fact with intent that others rely upon such concealment, suppression or omission, in connection with the sale or advertisement of merchandise… “

At Shub Law, we specialize in consumer fraud litigation. Each state has its own consumer protection statutes that protect consumers against unscrupulous business practices. This is one of the many devices we have to fight back against companies that defraud consumers.

The proposed bill seeks to protect consumers by addressing the fees charged for tickets and the format that they can be issued by primary ticket providers. Many venues and ticket rights-holders have preferred mobile-only tickets, going so far as requiring that tickets be issued on mobile. However, this limits consumer choice and invasive to consumers in the data that is collected through mobile-only transfers.

The proposed bill would also require the seller to show the full price of a ticket from the start of the transaction process rather than waiting to disclose those fees until the end of the transaction. This results in greater transparency to the consumer in the buying process, especially given that ticket fees have only been increasing over the years.

The full text of the Bill can be found HERE.

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As an advocate for consumer rights, Shub Law Firm applauds New Jersey’s efforts to increase ticket buyers’ protections. We are dedicated to representing consumers in all aspects of consumer rights litigation.  If you or someone you know has been the victim of fraud, please contact us at 856-772-7200 or email us at leads@shublawyers.com for a no-fee consultation. 

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