Viagogo under fire for ticket resale practices

Secondary ticketing site Viagogo has recently faced fresh criticism for its selling practices – this time from a group of MP’s from the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee.

The group has accused Viagogo of “misleading consumers” by using Google to promote the website with paid ads. This has resulted in new calls for a review of ticket touting laws, following growing pressure to change the regulations around secondary ticketing platforms in general.

Last year, the CMA released information showing that there was evidence second-hand ticket sellers were breaching the laws in their countries.

There was also research that said the results of this was a concern throughout the world, and that the information consumers are being given is under close scrutiny.

Viagogo, which is based in Switzerland, currently sells tickets for music, theatre, and sports events in other countries. However, there are alleged breaches of consumer law, and in particular, there are accusations of “callous profiteering” from charity events.

Because of this, the CMA says it wants court action taken against Viagogo, which it says is guilty of not publishing adequate details about the tickets its selling. For example, there can be resale restrictions that result in customers being turned away from events.

The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee says that secondary ticketing sites  have “caused distress for too many music fans for too long”

The report states: “We regret that such time and public money is being spent on bringing the platforms, principally Viagogo, into line with consumer law that they should have complied with from the outset.”

“We believe that Viagogo has yet to prove itself a trustworthy operator given its history of resisting compliance, court orders and parliamentary scrutiny, and flouting consumer law.”

A Viagogo spokesperson commented: “For those transactions that fall into the 1% annually where customers do have an issue, the overwhelming majority of cases are due to the unfair and potentially illegal restrictions the event organisers pose simply because customers have chosen to purchase tickets from a competitor of theirs.”

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