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Commerce Commission issues warning over buying event tickets through Viagogo

Commerce Commission issues warning over buying event tickets through Viagogo
March 17, 2018

New Zealand’s Commerce Commission is advising consumers to seriously consider whether buying tickets from ticket reselling website Viagogo is worth the risk after the latest series of complaints.

The Commission is investigating Viagogo and to date has received 228 complaints. This includes 21 received earlier this month related to a number of recent and upcoming sporting events and concerts including Celine Dion, Ed Sheeran, Shania Twain, and Bruno Mars.

The complaints include:

• Viagogo making representations that they were the official ticket seller not a reselling website
• Additional fees not being adequately disclosed
• Consumers being sold fake tickets or the same ticket being sold multiple times
• Consumers purchasing tickets that do not have the seating, access or other attributes that were advertised
• Viagogo making representations that the number of tickets are limited or selling very quickly, creating a sense of urgency to make the purchase
• Consumers never receiving the tickets they purchased and being unable to get hold of Viagogo to receive a refund.

Consumer Manager Stuart Wallace explained “our investigation has been focused on alleged false and misleading representations made by Viagogo which could breach the Fair Trading Act. We are currently seeking expert legal advice on whether and how we can enforce New Zealand consumer laws against Viagogo which is based in Switzerland.

“We (have) received a wave of new complaints and there is a wealth of media coverage of consumers feeling ripped off after buying tickets from Viagogo. We are concerned our previous consumer advice via social media and on our website about the risks of ticket resale are not getting through. We strongly advise consumers to have their eyes wide open if they are considering buying tickets from Viagogo.

“We suspect consumers type the name of the artist they want to see into a search engine and then click the first result that appears – which is often Viagogo. We recommend consumers buy from primary ticket sellers. They can do this by visiting the artist or event’s official website and following the links from there.”

A number of other international regulators are also dealing with similar consumer complaints against Viagogo, including the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

In February 2018, Google also made changes which require event ticket resellers to be certified with Google before they can advertise through Google AdWords. To be certified resellers must disclose to customers that they are a reseller and that their prices may be higher than the face value. Prices must also be broken down to show the values of included fees and taxes before a customer provides payment. In March 2018, Google will also require certified resellers to post the face value of the tickets alongside the reseller’s price.

Ticket reselling, including at a profit, is generally lawful in New Zealand unless the seller engages in misleading conduct or the event is covered by the Major Events Management Act. 

16th March 2018 - MAN ARRESTED OVER SALES OF FAKE TICKETS FOR ED SHEERAN BRISBANE CONCERTS

10th March 2018 - ANZ STADIUM WARNS FANS TO BEWARE OF UNAUTHORISED ED SHEERAN TICKET SALES

8th March 2018 - GUDINSKI: ‘PROMOTERS AREN’T THE BAD GUYS’ IN ED SHEERAN TICKET SCALPING DEBATE

23rd January 2018 - AUSTRALIAN OPEN FANS TURNED AWAY AFTER BUYING RESALE TICKETS 

23rd November 2017 - GOOGLE UPDATES ADWORDS POLICY TO RESTRICT ONLINE TICKET SCALPERS 

17th November 2017 - AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT BEGINS TICKET SCALPING CONSULTATION 

16th November 2017 - LIVE PERFORMANCE AUSTRALIA PASSES 100 YEAR OPERATIONAL LANDMARK 

5th October 2017 - CHOICE NAMES VIAGOGO AMONG AUSTRALIA’S SHONKIEST PRODUCTS OF 2017 

1st September 2017 - GOOGLE URGED TO BLOCK ONLINE RESELLERS WHO DUPE TICKET BUYERS

 30th August 2017 - CONSUMER NZ CALLS FOR CLAMPDOWN ON TICKET RESELLERS

28th August 2017 - ACCC COMMENCES LEGAL ACTION AGAINST TICKET RESELLER VIAGOGO

20th April 2017 - CONSUMER NZ INVESTIGATES TICKET RESELLERS

22nd March 2017 - SENATE PASSES RESOLUTION CALLING FOR REFORM OF LAWS AGAINST TICKET SCALPING

23rd February 2017 - TICKET RESELLER VIAGOGO HIT BY MULTIPLE SPANISH LEGAL ACTIONS

13th January 2017 - SOUTHLANDERS WARNED ABOUT OVERSEAS TICKETING WEBSITES 

24th September 2016 - GROWING USE OF BOTS FOR HOT SPORT AND ENTERTAINMENT TICKETS REIGNITE SCALPING DEBATE 

30th August 2016 - BAYCOURT WARNS AGAINST ONLINE TICKET SCALPERS 


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Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

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