Football fans have been warned to be vigilant when buying tickets from third party sites as excitement reaches fever pitch ahead of Sunday’s Euro 2020 final.
Tickets for the England-Italy final have sold out via the official Uefa portal leaving desperate fans scrambling to find them on resale websites such as Ticombo, Seatsnet.com and Live Football Tickets.
Live Football Tickets was listing 818 tickets available for a minimum of £3,299, despite Uefa officially banning the resale of match tickets above face value.
While Germany-based Ticombo has largely good reviews on Trust Pilot, despite selling tickets on Thursday for a minimum of £1,900, Dubai-based Seatsnet has attracted a flurry of warnings from users in recent days.
One user wrote: “An absolute sham of a company. Booked tickets for the England v Denmark game last night on 30th June. Received an email on Tuesday saying not to worry the tickets will appear in the App that evening.
“The tickets have still not appeared. I waited on the customer service line for 4 hours yesterday. I left a message on the ‘urgent’ message facility. I emailed and tried to use the chat facility – which I don’t think actually exists. Wasted journey to London and hotel etc. Still no reply. Now to try get back my money.”
Another wrote: “Total scam, I paid £3600 for 2 tickets and no email, no one answers the phone, the voicemail is full, luckily I have spoken to my card provider and they said they will get my money back…
“Please if anyone reads this don’t trust this company, I wish I read the reviews before purchase :(.”
Another wrote on Thursday: “Do not use!! Spent a lot on a ticket that did not arrive! No one contacts you back about a refund.”
A review for Ticombo, posted on Thursday, read: “From the seller side, the service is awful and concerning when we will get paid. Prior queries were slow but were answered or attended.
“Now, when I enquire about overdue payments the company can not be found. Very very concerning! But I hope, they are just slow…. To be continued..”
Uefa said it issued all tournament tickets subject to strict terms and conditions which prevented their unauthorised resale and transfer.
It warned fans not to be duped by touts “who demand exorbitant prices despite often not being in possession of the tickets they claim to have for sale”.
Uefa said: “Any tickets which are offered for sale on secondary ticketing platforms, social media, marketplaces etc. are advertised in breach of the ticket terms and conditions that all ticket buyers agree to before the purchase.
“Our organisation has actively enforced its ticket terms and conditions, including by monitoring the internet for unauthorised offers.
“Uefa will not hesitate to take action (including cancelling tickets) where such unauthorised offers are identified and take legal proceedings against third parties involved in the unauthorised resale of tickets, as we have done in the past.”
Campaign group FanFair Alliance warned that “rogue” ticket touts continued to appear at the top of online search results.
Adam Webb, of FanFair Alliance, said: “”This is the first time England have reached a major football final in over 50 years, so quite obviously demand is going to vastly outstrip supply.
“However, first and foremost, I always advise fans not to trust Google, since rogue ticket tout websites continue to buy their way to the top of search results – misleading would-be buyers, and giving what are highly controversial businesses an undeserving cloak of legitimacy.
“Unfortunately, the fact is that anyone using these websites does so at significant risk. Typically, they will be registered outside of the UK, they will fail to comply with consumer protection laws, and they will take payment for tickets that their suppliers often cannot provide.
“You will then, in all probability, be left chasing a refund.
“Of course I can fully understand the clamour to be at the game. But you’d do much better to ignore the temptation, save your money, and settle down in front of the TV instead.”
Adam French, a consumer rights expert at Which?, said: “England’s win over Denmark has understandably kicked off an almighty scramble for the chance to be at Wembley for the national team’s biggest match in 55 years – and we’re seeing tickets for sale on websites or via secondary sellers for thousands of pounds.
“Even though some of these websites claim to offer tickets from ‘100%’ trusted sellers, this is often not the case and you need to be aware that Uefa’s terms and conditions state it can void tickets sold on unofficial sites. So there’s no guarantee that you will get your tickets or entry to the match and you could be left thousands of pounds out of pocket.
“If you’re not lucky enough to get your hands on a ticket through the official website you might be better off saving your cash and making plans to watch Gareth Southgate and the lads take on Italy with family and friends at home or in the pub.
“If you insist on trying your luck and buying tickets for the match from an unofficial seller, make sure to pay with a credit card for purchases over £100 so you stand a better chance of getting a refund if things go wrong.”
A Google spokeswoman said: “When people use our platform for help with purchasing tickets, we want to make sure that they have an experience they can trust.
“As such, we regularly review our policies to ensure we are providing a good experience for consumers.
“We updated our secondary ticketing policy in 2018 to ensure that resellers cannot claim to be official providers of tickets and that they must be transparent about their price, fees and taxes before requiring payment.”