Such a policy is harmful to consumers in the best of times, and in the current context, may actually be dangerous for public health reasons, says Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel of NetChoice, a consumer rights advocacy group that has regularly spoken on the harmful nature of such transfer restrictions.
“The crux of this issue is the shock they’re setting up for fans [who have purchased tickets to this event through third party websites],” he says. “They’ve booked a hotel room, gone out to dinner, and then they get to the door and all of the sudden they’re turned away because of these restrictions.”
“And, from a public health perspective, this is the wrong attitude you want to have for any event,” he continued. Barring the right of a consumer to sell a ticket they cannot use is problematic to begin with, but when paired with a strict no refund policy on the part of the event organizers, can potentially put consumers up to a lose-lose situation. “If I have a ticket that I can’t get a refund on, but then for example, I test positive for COVID, this policy is a disincentive for me to do the right thing, which is to stay home and get healthy and keep others safe. Instead, you’re putting a financial price on that choice that pushes me to go to the event anyways.”
There is also the question of the disclosure of the restrictions on resale (or entering the event with tickets that don’t have your name on them.