Consumer Rights Act 2015 – An Update

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is currently consulting on proposed changes to its guidance, in light of the new Consumer Rights Act 2015 (the Act).  Within its Quarterly Review, the FCA has put forward changes to a number of sourcebooks within its Handbook, along with changes to two regulatory guides: the Enforcement Guide (EG) and the Unfair Contract Terms Regulatory Guide (UNFCOG).  Further details can be found here.

Whilst the consultation is undertaken some months prior to the commencement of the majority of the Act (which shall come into force in October of this year), certain provisions relating to secondary ticketing rules, were effective from 27 May 2015.

The new rules affect those who re-sell tickets or operate facilities for re-selling of tickets (for instance through a website or app).  In line with the Act’s attempt to protect consumers, these provisions implement a raft of changes including:

  • A requirement that the secondary seller must provide the buyer with certain pieces of information including the face value of the ticket, details to allow the buyer to locate their seat or standing area, and any restrictions which apply to the ticket.
  • A prohibition preventing an event organiser placing a buyer on a blacklist or cancelling a ticket simply because it has been bought from a secondary seller, unless the original terms of sale allows the organiser to do so (subject to such terms complying with ‘unfair contract terms’ legislation).
  • A requirement for secondary tickets operators to report criminal use of the facility and inform the event organiser of the incident and the person involved in the activity, (except where the operator has reasonable grounds for believing disclosure to the event organiser will prejudice a criminal investigation).
  • An obligation on the Secretary of State to review and report on the consumer protection provisions within 12 months of their coming into force.


It is intended that the new Act will help provide consumers with a greater element of choice and flexibility in seeking redress.

The rules on secondary ticketing are particularly designed to protect consumers from excessive re-sale values and provide greater clarity as to what they are buying.  The new regime is expected to highlight the disparity between genuine businesses and rouge traders, allowing consumers a fair choice.

Event organisers, meanwhile, do retain an element of control of their tickets post-sale, provided they implement a set of terms which are fair and reasonable, in compliance with the relevant legislation.

If you would like advice on how the Consumer Rights Act 2015 affects your business or you would like updated terms and conditions, contact John Pickervance, a solicitor specialising in Commercial Contracts, in the Corporate & Restructuring Team at Forbes on  0800 689 0831 or or via our Contact Form.

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