Manchester United 0 – Fans 1
Published 13 October 2009
By Gary Rice, Beauchamps Solicitors
Manchester United’s fans have won in an off the pitch contest played out at the UK’s Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”). Arising out of a complaint by the Manchester United Supporters Trust, the OFT identified a number of potentially unfair terms in the terms and conditions for the team’s season tickets under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations legislation.
While disagreeing with the finding of the OFT, the club has since agreed to make amendments to its ticket terms and conditions to ensure the following: that every season ticket holder is guaranteed a seat at every home league and cup game; that clearer information is given in relation to when a ticket holder is likely to be moved to a different seat for a cup match; that if a fan’s ticket is terminated for failure of a credit card payment the fan will be given a pro rata refund of the money already paid to the club; that if original tickets are lost or stolen duplicates are issued; and a clearer appeal process is implemented to deal with disputes over cancellation of season tickets due to non payment for cup matches. The club also promised to give more and clearer information to allow fans to calculate, prior to purchasing their ticket, the maximum total cost over a season based on the club reaching the final stages of the various campaigns as well as an indication of the number of home cup games in the previous campaign. While this case is based in the UK it serves as a reminder that governing bodies and clubs need to ensure that their ticket terms and conditions are clear, unambiguous and fair to the consumer.
Article obtained from www.beauchamps.ie, the website of Beauchamps Solicitors. Article reproduced with their kind permission.
For more information, contact Gary Rice
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