Thousands of basketball fans who paid up to $500 to sit in plastic seats to watch the Boomers play a little-known USA squad will be given REFUNDS
- It was advertised LeBron James and other top tier players would be taking part
- But it was later announced they wouldn’t be playing in the August 2019 game
- Fans who paid hundreds of dollars complained of plastic seating and poor views
- It prompted the ACCC to launch an investigation into misleading advertising
- TEG Live, who sold the tickets, has admitted it made false or misleading claims
- More than $5million will be refunded to 5,000 fans who bought 20,000 tickets
More than $5million will be refunded to thousands of fans who bought tickets to a basketball that used false advertising to claim LeBron James would be playing.
Entertainment company TEG Live will reimburse around 5,000 customers who purchased 20,000 tickets to the game between the Australian Boomers and the USA team in Melbourne last August.
NBA stars Steph Curry, Lebron James, Anthony Davis and James Harden were used in the original marketing material for the games.
However in the lead up to the showdown it was announced the top tier players wouldn’t be participating.
When promoting the games, TEG Live also used a picture of an American basketball stadium showing the floor-level seats would be tiered.
The plastic seating set up court-side to accommodate the 50,000 strong crowd were slammed by fans who couldn’t see the players
But the seats at the Melbourne games were placed on the floor and made of plastic, causing many fans to complain about having limited or no view of the players.
The controversy prompted the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to launch an investigation into misleading advertising.
TEG Live, who sold the tickets, has now admitted it made false or misleading claims about seating at the games.
The company acknowledged the ACCC’s concerns that it may have breached consumer law by misleading consumers about which USA national basketball team players would be playing.
‘In our view, TEG Live’s conduct was unacceptable, and we are pleased around 5000 consumers will receive automatic refunds before the end of July,’ ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.
‘Consumers paid a premium for floor-level seats, ranging between $895 and $3995 for a hospitality package and may have done so as a result of misleading seating advertising,’ Mr Sims said.
Customers who will receive refunds
• Consumers who purchased tickets on or after August 15, 2018
• Consumers who made a refund request prior to the relevant game on the basis that one or more USA players referred to in the advertisements were not attending and did not attend the game
• Consumers who purchased floor-level seats at the Melbourne games between 18 June 2018 and 24 August 2019
The ACCC also found TEG Live may have misled consumers when it advertised the games using James and Durant’s names.
‘Over a year before the games, a 35-man squad was selected and TEG Live included the names and images of the majority of those players in its advertisements,’ Mr Sims said.
‘In the end, only four players from the 35-man squad, Harrison Barnes, Kemba Walker, Khris Middleton and Miles Turner, played in the games.
‘We are concerned consumers may have purchased tickets believing many of these advertised high profile players would be playing when, in the end, this was not the case.’
Affected consumers will be contacted by TEG Live and receive an automatic refund using their original payment method before the end of July.
The company acknowledged the ACCC’s concerns that it may have breached consumer law by misleading consumers about which USA national basketball team players would be playing. Pictured: The Australian Boomers and USA team at Marvel Stadium on August 24, 2019