Netherlands bans hidden costs on concert tickets

Prinsengracht Concert
Prinsengracht concert with the Royal Concert Building Orchestra.

Online providers of concert, festival and theater tickets in the Netherlands will soon be held to stricter rules when quoting prices. As of October 1st all mandatory costs must be included in the base price, so that consumers aren't surprised with admin costs and service charges when trying to pay, the Dutch authority for consumers and markets ACM announced.

The ACM decided on this measure after receiving many complaints about surprise charges on tickets, according to the Telegraaf. In some cases ticket prices ended up being 20 percent more expensive than advertised after all charges were added. 

"During the booking process, consumers should not be faced with additional costs that they have to pay", Bernadette van Buchem of the ACM said to the Telegraaf. "Clear prices are not only important for consumers, but also for entrepreneurs who compete with each other."

It is already law in the Netherlands that all mandatory costs must be added to the base price of tickets, NU.nl reports. But according to ACM, many ticket sellers still ignore this fact. The authority will perform a thorough inspection after October 1st. 

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