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Labor shadow minister slams Google and Viagogo over sales of fake concert tickets

Labor shadow minister slams Google and Viagogo over sales of fake concert tickets
May 13, 2017

Australian Labor’s Shadow Arts Minister, Tony Burke, has used a speech in the Federal Parliament this week to slam ticket reselling website Viagogo and search engine Google over fake concert tickets being advertised and sold online.

In his speech, Burke criticised the Swiss-based Viagogo for allegedly allowing ticket scalpers to sell multiple copies of the same ticket online, so that all but one of the purchasers are left with an invalid ticket.

Burke stated “we do need to find a way of making sure …  that when tickets say they’re ‘not transferable’ and ‘not to be resold’, that we acknowledge the site doing the reselling is engaging unlawfully.

“And when they’re selling something that turns out to not be valid, they’re engaging in theft.”

Burke referred to advise that he had received from promoter Frontier Touring about Justin Bieber fans who had flown from New Zealand to Australia for the singer’s most recent tour, only to find out that their tickets were invalid.

He advised “Viagogo’s official policy is if you turn up and it turns out to be a fake ticket, they’ll give you your money back. Well that’s not much good if you’ve flown to be at the venue.”

Burke also accused Google and other search engines of profiting from ads which direct Australians to fraudulent tickets on Viagogo.

Tony Burke addresses Federal Parliament 

He continued “can we continue with a situation where the search engines are receiving advertising dollars to continue to promote sites like (Viagogo)?

“We should find if there’s a way of working with the search engines to get a sensible outcome here, but we cannot allow there to be a continued situation where companies effectively operating in Australia are receiving advertising dollars to direct Australians to purchase stolen and illegal goods. That cannot be a valid commercial arrangement.”

In his speech, Burke also recounted his own recent experience at Bluesfest, when a friend of his daughter couldn’t enter the festival because their family had allegedly purchased fake tickets on Viagogo.

Viagogo was referred to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) earlier this year by consumer advocacy group CHOICE.

When Viagogo entered the Australian market in 2013, it released research showing that 500,000 Australians a year were being caught out by online ticket scams.

At the time, Viagogo Chief Executive Eric Baker said the online ticketing platform would be able to guarantee security and authenticity of tickets purchased online. 

Main image shows Labor’s Shadow Arts Minister Tony Burke addressing Federal Parliament over fake concert tickets being advertised and sold online.

5th May 2017 - CHOICE CHIEF EXECUTIVE SLAMS TICKETING INDUSTRY ‘RIP OFFS’

6th April 2017 - VISITOR ATTRACTIONS HIT BY STOLEN CREDIT CARD SCAM 

4th May 2017 - LIVE PERFORMANCE AUSTRALIA CALLS FOR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO ‘STOP THE BOTS’

20th April 2017 - CONSUMER NZ INVESTIGATES TICKET RESELLERS

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

9th March 2017 - TICKETMASTER DEFENDS RESALE WEBSITE


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