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Ticket provider pays $7m for misleading consumers

  • October 05 2020
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Ticket provider pays $7m for misleading consumers

By Cameron Micallef
October 05 2020

A leading ticket provider has been ordered to pay $7 million after making misleading or false claims about reselling tickets.

misleading consumers

Ticket provider pays $7m for misleading consumers

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  • October 05 2020
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A leading ticket provider has been ordered to pay $7 million after making misleading or false claims about reselling tickets.

misleading consumers

The Federal Court found in 2019 that Viagogo made false or misleading representations to consumers that it was the “official” seller of tickets to particular events, that certain tickets were scarce, and that consumers could purchase tickets for a particular price when this was not the case because significant fees, such as a 27.6 per cent booking fee, were not disclosed until late in the booking process.

The courts heard examples included a ticket for the Book of Mormon advertised at $135, but which was sold for $177.45 including booking and handling fees, as well as Ashes cricket tickets advertised at $330.15, but sold for $426.81 after fees were added.

In imposing the penalty of $7 million, Justice Burley described the misrepresentations as serious or very serious, and considered the conduct demonstrated a level of deliberateness. He described one category of representations as having been made on “an industrial scale”.

ACCC chair Rod Sims said: “Viagogo’s business practices were unacceptable. Viagogo misled thousands of consumers into buying tickets at inflated prices when they created a false sense of urgency by suggesting tickets were scarce and when they advertised tickets at a lower price by not including unavoidable fees.”

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The court also observed the need for general and specific deterrence in this matter, particularly to make it clear to corporations which conduct internet-based operations in Australia that they are subject to the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

“Today’s $7 million penalty sends a strong signal to businesses like Viagogo conducting business in Australia that they cannot get away with profiting from misleading Australian consumers about the price of the tickets they are selling, or other misleading conduct.”

The Federal Court ordered an injunction against Viagogo to reinforce the need for adherence to the ACL. The court also ordered Viagogo to conduct a compliance program and pay the ACCC’s costs.

Ticket provider pays $7m for misleading consumers
misleading consumers
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About the author

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Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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