Be wary of “mystery parties” this NYE

THE NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe has wanred the public about the risks associated with mystery parties, particularly around New Year's Eve.

Mr Stowe said Fair Trading had concerns that so called exclusive parties promoted and sold through social media could leave consumers out of pocket when the promised function failed to deliver on what was advertised.

"We had numerous complaints 12 months ago when a mystery New Year's Eve party was eventually closed down by authorities leaving partygoers disappointed because the promoters didn't provide the expected outcome" Mr Stowe said.

"It is an offence under the Australian Consumer Law to accept payment for goods and services if those goods and services are not supplied.

"However, it can be very difficult for consumers to obtain a refund and for regulators to pursue rogue traders when these promoters cannot be identified or located.

"My advice is to be very wary and consider these tips."

  • Purchase event tickets from reputable ticket outlets only - avoid buying tickets through social media
  • Pay for tickets using a credit card where possible - financial institutions may be able to arrange a credit 'charge back' if you don't get what you paid for
  • If you decide to attend a mystery party, make sure you let a loved one know where you will be
  • Be aware that if the mystery party does not deliver what it promises, you may not be able to recover the money paid for tickets, food, drinks etc.

Last year's advertised mystery New Year's Eve Mansion Party indicated a venue on the harbour foreshore as the location, only for partygoers to be informed by email on the day that the venue was being changed.

It was also significantly oversold, resulting in insufficient seating, toilet facilities and security while consumers also complained about being unable to redeem pre-paid drink vouchers.

"New Year's Eve in Sydney can be one of the most memorable nights of the year. Just don't let yours become one the most of the memorable for all the wrong reasons that careful planning and sensible decisions could have prevented." Mr Stowe said.

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