In a surprise ruling that’s bound to make many, many people happy, a German court has ruled that charging service fees just to print tickets at home should be outlawed.
The German court handed the victory over to the consumer rights group North Rhine-Westphalian Consumer Association, or Verbraucherzentrale NRW in German. They took German events and tickets agent CTS Eventim to court. CTS Eventim is the German wing of parent company Eventim UK.
The district court of Bermen found that services charges on self-printed tickets, better known here as print-at-home tickets, are “inadmissible,” or unzulässig in German. CTS Eventim cannot charge such fees to their customers. The court ruled that the company can only charge ticket fees on “postage costs.”
According to IQ, North Rhine-Westphalian Consumer Association is taking the judgment as a “test case,” and definitely will open the door for legal action against six other online ticket agencies in Germany: ADticket, Ticketmaster, ReserviX, easyticket, BonnTicket, and DTicket. The consumer rights group admitted that the judgment was not yet legally binding, but holding their figurative head up high, they warned the six agencies against charging similar fees.
What exactly was CTS Eventim charging customers? A €2.50 fee for printing tickets at home through their “print @ home” and “ticketdirect” options.
According to IQ, if Eventim decides not to appeal the verdict, or if a higher court upholds the judgment, then the company may have to reimburse previous customers. Lawyer Thomas Waetke cited section 812 of the German civil code, where it states,
“those who gain at the expense of another […] are obliged to make restitution.”
Eventim isn’t happy with the ruling, calling it “materially incorrect” and told IQ that they do plan to appeal the ruling.
tickets!! image by Moonez, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC by 2.0)