December 6, 2023
Media contact: National Consumers League – Melody Merin, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-207-2831
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Consumers League (NCL), America’s oldest consumer advocacy organization, today applauded the House Commerce Committee for advancing five important consumer protection bills that would implement long-sought reforms to the live event ticketing industry, require all-in pricing in short-term lodging, crack down on online dating scams and protect consumers’ plumbing systems from “flushable” cleaning wipes.
Two bills, the TICKET Act (H.R. 3950) and the Speculative Ticketing Oversight and Prohibition Act of 2023 (STOP Act), would implement much-needed reforms in the live event ticketing industry. The TICKET Act would prohibit hidden event ticket fees by requiring sellers to display the full price—including all mandatory charges—at the beginning of the transaction and in advertising. The STOP Act would prohibit the sale of tickets that the seller does not actually possess, a controversial practice known as speculative ticketing. The bill would also crack down on deceptive “white label” ticket resale websites and require fans to be provided refunds promptly in the event that a concert is canceled or postponed.
“Live event fans achieved an important victory with today’s vote,” said NCL Vice President of Public Policy, Telecommunications, and Fraud John Breyault. “Add-on junk fees for concerts and sporting events have been the bane of consumers’ existence for decades. These reforms are long overdue and promise to make the ticket-buying experience a fairer, easier process for millions of fans.”
Additionally, the committee advanced H.R. 6543, the No Hidden Fees on Extra Expenses for Stays Act; H.R. 2964, the Wastewater Infrastructure Pollution Prevention and Environmental Safety (WIPPES) Act; and H.R. 6125, the Online Dating Safety Act of 2023.
H.R. 6543 would require all-in pricing of hotel, Airbnb, and other short-term lodgings. This will prevent unscrupulous lodging companies from advertising one price to consumers only to hit them with additional fees later. The WIPPES Act will require that disposable cleaning wipes be clearly labeled with a “Do Not Flush” label. This has the potential to reduce estimated $441 million in additional operating costs that U.S. clean water utilities incur due to the flushing of so-called “flushable” cleaning wipes. Finally, the Online Dating Safety Act would require dating websites and apps to proactively notify users that an account they messaged has been banned. Such notifications would do much to intervene in ongoing frauds and likely help to reduce the scourge of romance scams.
“By advancing these bills, the House is demonstrating that consumer protection is a bipartisan issue. We urge the full House approval for these measures,” said Breyault. “Undisclosed hotel resort junk fees have bedeviled travelers for too long, draining consumers’ travel budgets and harming honest hotel operators. Similarly, the damage from ‘flushable’ wipes harms all consumers since the costs to municipal water systems are passed along to all ratepayers. Finally romance scam victims lost $1.3 billion to fraudsters last year. Requiring dating websites to offer them more support will do much to reduce the scourge of these scams.”
The committee’s actions come after NCL testified in support of these bills in a House legislative hearing in September of this year.
About the National Consumers League (NCL)
The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit nclnet.org.