money & Banking

Wed, 8 May, 2019Courtney Allan

Controversial ticket reseller Viagogo claims it’s just “misunderstood”

Controversial ticket reseller Viagogo claims it’s just “misunderstood”

Ticket reseller Viagogo has been found guilty of making false or misleading representations and engaging in conduct liable to mislead the public in the Federal Court.

However, despite misleading Australian consumers and having competitors saying that it aids ticket scalping on “an industrial scale”, the managing director of Viagogo claims it’s misunderstood.

“If it wasn’t for us, most fans wouldn’t have a chance to go to high-demand events because the odds are stacked against them. We give them that one last chance to make it to the event,” Viagogo managing director Cris Miller told news.com.au.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and NSW Fair Trading has warned customers against buying tickets from Viagogo due to the site creating a “false sense of urgency” and giving the appearance that it’s an “official” seller.

However, Miller explained the changes that are already underway by Viagogo.

“The ruling does not reflect our current ticketing platform and the many changes we have made. We are disappointed that the Chair of the Commission does not support the greater competition that Viagogo and other ticket resellers bring to the market which provides greater choice for Australians consumers,” he said.

Many Australian celebrities, such as comedian Kitty Flanagan and band Peking Duk have called out Viagogo and urged punters to use other sites.

Flanagan took issue with the prices advertised on Viagogo, saying that “the tix have often been fraudulently obtained, are always STUPIDLY priced and will not be honoured by the venues I’m playing.”

Miller admits that this kind of criticism has hurt the brand of Viagogo.

“Of course we would love to have a better reputation. We’re misunderstood, and we need to do a better job of educating our customers and dispel myths about what it is we do.”

However, competitors such as Ticketek would prefer that the platform not exist at all. Chief Operating Officer of Ticketek owner TEG, Cameron Hoy, said that Viagogo is a “scourge on the live entertainment industry”.

He told news.com.au:

“Viagogo is under scrutiny because fans and authorities have had enough of the rip-offs,” Mr Hoy said.

“Viagogo facilitates resale scalping of tickets at an industrial scale, a practice that is rife with fraud, price gouging and leaves many fans heartbroken and out of pocket.”

Many consumers have issues with the fees that Viagogo inform you about halfway through the transaction. News.com.au conducted a test for Fleetwood Mac tickets in Sydney this August on Ticketek and Viagogo to discover the difference in fees.

They found that despite the ticket prices being similar between the two brands, the fees are what made the difference. Ticketek added fees that were $6.90. Viagogo added GST and fees of around $80.

Miller claims that despite the fees being added, prices will continue to go up.

“We didn’t create the market; it was always there. We just put order to the market.”