'Lovely' offer after Sheeran ticket scalping

Ed Sheeran will perform in Dunedin next March.
Ed Sheeran will perform in Dunedin next March.
A man whose young daughter unknowingly racked up $500 online has offered to bail out the Dunedin family stung by Ed Sheeran ticket scalpers.

Dunedin woman Leah Harper revealed she paid $1223 for three tickets which should have cost $90 each after her 11-year-old daughter was left in charge of the laptop during Tuesday’s Ed Sheeran pre-sale.

The youngster had unwittingly clicked on the Viagogo website, an online ticket marketplace where tickets to Sheeran’s Dunedin show next March were being resold at inflated prices.

After reading of the family’s plight, the man, who asked not to be named, contacted the Otago Daily Times offering to help.

The New Zealander, who runs a consulting business in the United States, said his family found out the hard way how easy it was to run up credit card bills online.

Five years ago, his daughter was travelling with her mother overseas and spending her free time playing a game offering "in-app purchases" which she did not realise involved real money.

"My wife had a look at it and there was no clear delineation between whether you were using real money or fake money.

"My daughter was 8,  she didn’t know. She was just plodding along having fun with the game. And then it got up to 500 bucks."

After "a lot of phone-calls", the family managed to get the money refunded but his daughter felt "really, really guilty". He said he felt for Leah’s daughter and could not understand people on social media who  said  the scalping was the family’s fault when children of all ages were spending significant time online.

"What 11-year-old kid these days doesn’t have a laptop or access to some sort of electronic device?

"You can’t blame Leah. You definitely can’t blame the kid."

He was offering to refund the difference between the legitimate ticket price and the inflated price.

"Then they can go and enjoy the concert and not have to worry about it. Otherwise they’re going to go to the concert and think ‘I spent $1200 on these tickets’ and it’s not going to be very enjoyable."

Mrs Harper said she was thrilled with the offer and would be in contact with the man.

"That is absolutely lovely," she said.

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