As much as I may sometimes appear a bit ‘picky’, there are a few things that really do “get my goat” – mainly when venues fail to abide by some pretty simple and very well publicized regulations, directives or laws.

If you have attended a conference, a briefing, a seminar or user group – or read one of our newsletters, or those of membership organisations or vendors, you cannot have missed the “All inclusive fees” discussion, guidance or compliance.

There are still some venues and systems who are not compliant – some blatantly, by adding fees in at the last possible moment, some who are technically not compliant, as they don’t display them completely ‘pre-contract’

Now, the fee is the fee, or fees. So you would have paid that anyhow, it’s about presentation.

What about items you didn’t ask for / didn’t want? “What do you mean?” I hear you ask.

I’m talking about extra cost items, such as ticket protection, merchandise or more commonly – DONATIONS

It’s the law, and has been for over two years now that you cannot add items into a basket that a customer has not actively chosen to add to their basket.


Pre-ticked boxes

The Regulations make it clear that a trader won’t be able to charge a consumer for an item where it was selected for the consumer as part of that purchasing process, rather than the consumer actively choosing to add it to their basket.

For example, retailers are not allowed to charge for an extended warranty if it was added into your basket as a result of a pre-ticked box.

If a company does charge you in this way, you are entitled to your money back. 


To be clear on this, if you ask a question such as “Would you like to give a £2 donation?” and the customer can answer YES and it’s added or NO and it’s not IS compliant, as they are making a clear decision……TO ADD IT.

If you add it into the basket and the emphasis is on them to REMOVE IT, SET AMOUNT TO ZERO or any other way of UNTICKING or DELETING then it is not compliant as THEY did not ADD IT. You did.

Heh, it’s a pain, I have worked with many venues over the last 10 years who collected size-able amounts from this type of auto-donation / round-up or other methods. I  remember one or two possible times a customer had complained about it pre-these regulations.  The simple fact is now, that you are not allowed to operate in this way. Many vendors have been innovative in making a light-box appear, a prompt or some other way of making the opt-in smoother and more appealing, with some even removing the ability to auto-add, a lot, it seems haven’t.

Venues, c’mon, regulations are there for a reason. Play nice, play fair.