Innovative ticketing app DICE has introduced the world’s first gig ticket refunds service for ticket holders who are no longer able to attend an event. Initially, refunds will only be available for sold out gigs on DICE, but the platform intends to use its data to offer refunds on all events later this year.

DICE says that 17% of people who have bought a ticket don’t turn up to the gig. Until now, DICE ticket holders could send a ticket back by email to the firm’s customer support team. It then tried to match these tickets with “waiting list” requests for sold out gigs. But DICE has now worked out a technical solution that automatically matches returned tickets with waiting list requests, and checks that touts are not involved.

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The limitation of refunds to sold out gigs on the waiting list isn’t as bad as it sounds, because 80% of events listed on DICE sell out. The platform says this is because it hand picks gigs. “Can’t make the gig? Cool, we’ll refund you,” DICE says. “Life happens, circumstances change and fans need flexibility.” 

DICE has built up its phone-based app ticket selling business on the basis that it does not charge fans any booking fees. It sells all tickets at face value. Tickets are 100% mobile and can only be transferred to a friend’s mobile. User have to show their phone at the door to access a gig. 

The platform hopes that its innovations will reduce fans’ dependence on secondary ticketing sites and scalpers or touts: “We’re focused on ending scalpers/touts by building technology that is smarter and easier to use for fans.”

DICE acknowledges that secondary sites are not exclusively used by touts to sell overpriced tickets, but says that the inability to get a fair refund, until now, increases those sites’ vulnerability to scalpers: “A lot of tickets that appear on secondary/reselling platforms are originally put there by genuine fans who have no other means to return a ticket. These are quickly exploited by speculators and brokers who hoover up these tickets and immediately resell them —  often for big profits and causing huge frustrations for artists.”

DICE makes it clear that tickets can only be refunded at face value, never for a profit. It says the system increases the chance for fans to buy tickets for shows that sell out closer to the day of the gig. “Fans get the tickets at fair prices, venues are packed and artists don’t have to worry about people flogging their tickets for insane prices,” DICE says.

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