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STAR shines a light on ticket buying

First Published 22 July 2009, Last Updated 1 August 2018

The Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR) today launched a new set of recommended terms and conditions for its members aimed at making the purchasing of tickets as simple and safe for consumers as possible.

The new guidelines, which will apply to members of STAR across the entertainment industry, including many theatre ticket retailers, will be used to standardise their approach to issues surrounding refunds and exchanges, ticket delivery, cancelled events and conditions of entry.

Created with the help of the Office of Fair Trading, the guidelines will help create a standard level of service across STAR members in the theatre, music, sport and events sectors – though will not be adopted by the many rogue traders touting on the street and via the internet.

Speaking about these new terms and conditions Jonathan Brown, Secretary of STAR, said: “STAR has been protecting consumers from sharp practices for over 10 years, but there is more work to be done, as complaints about online ticket scams and street touts continue to flood in. We need to improve consumer awareness of what to look for when buying tickets, so people can avoid paying inflated prices or risk losing everything if something goes wrong. Adoption of the Model Terms represents a firm commitment to excellent customer service, and providing clear and transparent information about the tickets on sale.”

Commenting on the new model terms and conditions, Paul James, Commercial Manager of the Society of London Theatre, said: “We welcome STAR’s initiative as a valuable way of standardizing excellent customer service in the entertainment industry. In the theatre world, it throws into sharp relief the difference between legitimate ticket sellers – theatre box offices and established ticket agents – the great majority of which are members of STAR, and the rogue sellers, none of whom are.”

Ticket sales via Official London Theatre (operated in collaboration with partners Ticketmaster), will be subject to the new terms and conditions, as will the tkts booths in Leicester Square and Brent Cross Shopping Centre, both operated by The Society of London Theatre.

The Society suggests a number of sensible steps when buying your theatre tickets. These include:

  • Ask what the face value of the ticket is. Any booking fee should be expressed separately.
  •  Ask where you are sitting and whether this has a restricted view.
  • Check any forms you are asked to sign carefully in order to protect your legal rights. If in doubt, do not buy.
  • Beware sellers (eg in street kiosks) who ask you to pay up front then return later to collect tickets. If in doubt, do not buy.
  • Remember: STAR members are committed to excellent levels of customer service.


For more information about the STAR and its new terms and conditions, visit the STAR website.

For ticket-buying information from the Society of London Theatre, check the How To Buy Theatre Tickets page.

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