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Rep. Jan Schakowsky Calls For Law To Protect Consumers From Abuses By Ticket Brokers

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The CBS 2 Investigators were getting results Tuesday, just one day after we exposed abuses by ticket brokers.

Those abuses included selling tickets for the same seats to different people.

On Tuesday night, U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Illinois), who heads the House Consumer Protection Committee, put the sites on notice. Schakowsky talked with CBS 2 Investigator Pam Zekman.

"I think this is exactly the kind of thing that cries out, 'There ought to be a law,'" Schakowsky said. "There shouldn't be a big hassle for you to either be able to get your money back."

But as we disclosed, that's exactly what happened to Steve Derkacy and Tammy Walczyk when they purchased tickets for different concerts from a broker called Verified Seats.

Derkacy paid more than $1,000 for six tickets to see Bob Seger's farewell concert. But when his group got to the gate, he said, "The last two of us tried to scan our tickets, and the ticket taker said: 'No, this is invalid. It's been scanned 20 minutes prior.'"

Walczyk paid $320 for two tickets to see Isbell at Northerly Island. She said her tickets were invalid when they were scanned at the gates.

"So someone else must have purchased the same seats and were able to scan in before we did," she said.

They both got a huge runaround when they asked for refunds.

"That's putting a burden on consumer to go through hoops to get their money back from someone else's mistakes," Walczyk said. "Wrong."

Schakowsky reviewed our stories and agreed with consumer concerns.

"I believe as a consumer that there's is a flaw in the ticketing system that allows two completely different parties to buy the same tickets," Derkacy said.

Upon listening to that comment, Schakowsky agreed.

"There has to be a process that that never happens," she said. "It should be against the law."

Another problem confronted Gary and Christine Waller. They never got tickets they purchased on line for a Cubs game from a company called Vivid Seats.

"It was heartbreaking because we were so psyched," Waller said.

That was the result of a technological downloading error, said a spokesman for the broker.

"If there is a problem electronically of downloading tickets, that's a serious problem," Schakowsky said. "And that's why we appreciate your input, and hopefully we're going to very soon get a results of an investigation, and the next step would be legislation."

The legislation, Schakowsky said, will also improve disclosures that brokers have to make upfront about added service fees, refund policies, and a warning that seats you order may be switched to ones you don't want.

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