The exponential growth of the performing arts sector in Colombia, along with the passing of Law regarding Public Events #1493 from 2011, have positioned Colombia as a destination for a wide range of shows and cultural performances.
Arts such as theater, dance, circus, and especially music, are greatly appreciated by the Colombian public. In 2017 alone, we received artists like Bruno Mars, U2, Justin Bieber, and many others that came to take part in music festivals in our country.
However, these shows are not free. Many have high ticket prices and could be subject to unforeseen circumstances that cause them to be canceled, rescheduled, or oversold. This isn’t just annoying to the public. It could result in legal problems for the organizers and ticket sellers.
When something unexpected happens, consumer ask for the most obvious solution: that the money they paid be returned. This is the responsibility of the entity that sells the tickets or the organizer. Most people believe that the people that received money and delivered the tickets are the ones who have to settle the matter.
The Superintendence of Commerce and Industry (SIC) also thinks that the event producer is responsible for handling the clients. This agency, as of a couple of years ago, has been clearly stating that the ticket sellers and event producers are the responsible parties. “They are mutually responsible for the quality, aptitude security, and good condition of the products and services they sell in the market.”
This means that the ticket sellers and event producers have to settle the matter of the cancellation, change to the conditions initially announced, and other situations as mentioned above, of any event.
Therefore, it is considered in poor taste when ticket sellers do not return some of the money when an event is canceled. They consider it a “service fee.”
The responsibility that comes from the effectiveness of a guarantee to perform a service, according to the Superintendence of Commerce and Industry, makes it mandatory for the entire price paid for a ticket to be returned to the consumer.
The SIC has also been paying close attention to investigating the terms and conditions, published by some ticket sellers, in which they transfer the responsibility for an event to rest solely on the shoulders of the producer. These terms and conditions should be forced to be modified, as they are considered abusive clauses.
Finally, our firm found, upon carefully reading the terms and conditions published by five of the most important ticket sellers in Colombia, that four of them have clauses that could be considered abusive. The clauses attempt to exonerate them of any responsibility.
Author: Jimmy Buenaventura