With the posting of the NFL's fall schedule comes a warning from Consumer Protection and the Green Bay Packers: Be careful buying tickets online and from newspaper classifieds!
In addition to problems with Internet auctions, 17 consumers filed complaints saying they didn't get the tickets they paid for from a website allegedly masquerading as the Green Bay Packers.
A number of websites showed a photo of Lambeau field and illegally used the Green Bay Packers name, both of which are trademarks owned by the Green Bay Packers. This has resulted in confusion for many fans that unfortunately believe they are working directly with the Green Bay Packers through these unauthorized sites.
"Consumer Protection is investigating and has gotten ticket purchases refunded in many cases," says Janet Jenkins, administrator of Trade and Consumer Protection, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. "However victims also lost money on hotel and airline reservations when the tickets did not materialize."
- Don't deal with sellers who do not reveal their exact address and telephone numbers.
- Don't deal with sellers without a permanent business location.
- Before paying any money or giving a credit card number, determine if the seller actually has tickets. Ask the seller to fax you a copy of the tickets being sold.
- Where possible, pay by credit card to protect your rights in disputes. Don't give your credit card number on the phone unless you know the person.
- Don't get on the plane without having official game tickets.
- Verify that the travel agent you are dealing with is a member of a trade association such as the American Society of Travel Agents.
- If you are buying from a ticket broker, make sure they are members of the National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB). A list is available at www.natb.org
- Deal with brokers who are bonded. The NATB site reveals which ones are.
For more information, call the toll free hotline of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection: 1-800-422-7128.