Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Google urged to block online resellers who dupe ticket buyers

Google urged to block online resellers who dupe ticket buyers
September 1, 2017

Consumer advocates have accused Google of being "complicit" in the controversial tactics used by some ticket resellers to allegedly dupe Australians ticket buyers into paying high fees entertainment and sport events.

Australian consumer group Choice, along with partner organisation Consumer NZ, has called on the internet search giant to stop accepting payments from ticket reselling companies that sees them placed at the top of internet ticket searches – generally above the official ticket sellers.

Earlier this week, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) announced it was taking ticket reseller Viagogo to court for allegedly engaging in misleading and deceptive conduct.

The Swiss-based company, which also operates in the US, Europe and New Zealand, describes itself as an online ticket marketplace that allows consumers to buy and sell tickets to sporting events, concerts, and plays.

A joint Choice/Consumer NZ survey released on Wednesday showed multiple consumer about ticket resellers including Viagogo, Stubhub and TicketmasterResale.

They found that 79% of complainants mistakenly believed they were purchasing tickets from the official seller.

Choice spokesperson Tom Godfrey explained “once you land on a resale site, you don't really stand a chance with resellers using tricky tactics such as disguising buttons to look similar to authorised sellers or making 'official' claims.

"Search engines such as Google are complicit in the confusion because they allow resale websites to place paid links above official sites in search results."

On 29th August - a day after the ACCC launched proceedings against Viagogo — the top Google search results for ‘Ed Sheeran tickets’ and ‘Ashes tickets’ were ads for Viagogo.

Both Viagogo links included the word ‘official’.

Last month, Cricket Australia cancelled almost 3,000 tickets being sold via resale websites at inflated prices for December’s Ashes Test in Perth.

Godfrey added “clearly Google has a lot of work to do.

"As you go through these sites, claims that these resellers are the official site, claims that they offer consumer protection, lead consumers to believe that everything is okay, and it just isn't."

However, Google defends its advertising approval process.

The internet giant's advertising policy states that Google does not "allow ads or destinations that intend to deceive users by excluding relevant information or giving misleading information about products, services, or businesses".

Google also states that it bars advertisers which promise "products, services, or promotional offers that aren't easily found from the landing page".

A Google spokeswoman told the ABC that the internet giant did not comment on individual advertisers, advising in a statement “to make sure that ads are safe and appropriate for everyone, all ads go through an approval process using the AdWords advertising policies.

"Users can lodge complaints if they believe an advertiser breaches these policies and all complaints are investigated. Ads that violate our terms and conditions we will be removed."

Choice said the internet has given ticket resellers an air of legitimacy, but consumers still need to be vigilant, with Godfrey adding “if you saw these sellers in front of the venue there's no way you'd approach them and buy a ticket.

"What we're seeing is widespread fraud through this industry. We'd like to see a crackdown on misleading online advertising.

"The promoters, the venues and the ticketing companies need to be more transparent about the number of seats and tickets available.

"That way consumers can legitimately on-sell tickets without fear of being ripped off."

A petition to have Viagogo removed from Google can be found at www.ipetitions.com/petition/to-have-viagogo-removed-from-google

Lower image shows a Google search for Ashes tickets with the Viagogo listing stating 'Official Site'.

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

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

24th August 2017 - CRICKET AUSTRALIA CANCELS 3,000 SCALPED TICKETS FOR PERTH ASHES TEST

8th August 2017 - LPA RELEASES GUIDE TO HELP CONSUMERS AVOID TICKETING SCAMS

18th July 2017 - WARNING THAT RESOLD AND SCALPED COMMONWEALTH GAMES TICKETS WILL BE CANCELLED

22nd May 2017 - INFLATED TICKET RESALE PRICES IMPACTING CONSUMERS’ DISCRETIONARY ENTERTAINMENT SPENDING 

17th May 2017 - PROMOTERS SLAM EXCLUSIVE WELLINGTON VENUES TICKET DEAL

20th April 2017 - CONSUMER NZ INVESTIGATES TICKET RESELLERS

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

8th March 2017 - CHOICE MAGAZINE ACCUSES TICKET RESALE SITES OF MISLEADING FANS

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 


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.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

Altitude Training Systems

Also at 3 Squill Place, Arndell Park NSW 2148 ATS are global leaders in altitude training and research. From mask systems and inflatable tents to simulated altitude facilities, we help…

read more

Fitness / Sport / Technology

 
 

Vticket

Vticket Pty Ltd is the Australian and New Zealand distributor for Gateway Ticketing Systems Inc., the world leader in high-speed access control, admission control and ticketing software for the…

read more

Attractions / Security / Technology / Ticketing / Venues

 
 
 

VIVATICKET

As of the 1st July 2018, Enta Australasia Pty Ltd/Best Union has been rebranded as VIVATICKET Pty Ltd.  19th July 2018 - ENTA AUSTRALASIA REBRANDS AS VIVATICKET 17th October 2016…

read more

Attractions / Entertainment / Sport / Ticketing / Venues

 
 

Ecoline

Ecoline is a highly experienced and skilled company that offers world-first technology in safety, protects the environment and provides a unique and challenging custom-made adventure and educational…

read more

Attractions / Environment / Safety / Tourism

 
 

QUAYCLEAN

Quayclean are a national cleaning and waste services partner with proven results in the understanding and delivery of cleaning needs and challenges faced by facilities including; major venues and…

read more

Aquatics / Hospitality / Surfaces / Venues

 
 

SOLARWISE NSW DOLPHIN TECH

Solarwise NSW / Dolphin Tech were the first and are the largest Dolphin dealer in NSW with a full service facility and full range of spare parts "on the shelf". We also provide on site…

read more

Aquatics / Venues

 
 

Perfect Gym

Perfect Gym Solutions is a software as a service (SaaS) solution purpose-built to service the fitness industry, with over 1000 clients servicing over 2 million gym members across 40 countries making…

read more

Access / Fitness / Marketing / Recreation / Technology

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business