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Viagogo under the microscope for ‘ripping off’ consumers

  • July 12 2021
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Viagogo under the microscope for ‘ripping off’ consumers

By Cameron Micallef
July 12 2021

Viagogo is under investigation by Fair Trading after ticket scalpers have been accused of raking in excessive profits through the ticketing site.

Viagogo under the microscope for ‘ripping off’ consumers

Viagogo under the microscope for ‘ripping off’ consumers

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  • July 12 2021
  • Share

Viagogo is under investigation by Fair Trading after ticket scalpers have been accused of raking in excessive profits through the ticketing site.

Viagogo under the microscope for ‘ripping off’ consumers

Ticket reseller Viagogo is facing a new investigation after members sold tickets exceeding caps imposed by state laws.

Viagogo was lashed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commissioner last year, receiving a $7 million fine for making “false or misleading representations” when reselling tickets.

The platform is now facing fresh allegations after alleged breaches of consumer rights law, which prevents resellers from charging more than 10 per cent extra on the original ticket price and transactions costs.

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According to the NSW Fair Trading Commission, 36 complaints have been received about Viagogo in 2021 so far, 16 relating to ticket scalping, 11 relating to the cancellation of events that were not refunded, five relating to misleading customers that they are the authorised seller, three for tickets not being delivered in a timely manner and one for not providing age restriction advice. 

Most notably, key events, including Hamilton, have seen ticket scalpers look to take advantage of buyers.

NSW Fair Trading commissioner Rose Webb said that with the arts and entertainment already struggling, ticket scalpers and especially Viagogo should not get away with ripping off consumers.

“Those within the entertainment and arts industry have been vocal about the obliteration of their industry due to COVID, and they do not need the additional stress of ticket resellers scalping well-meaning fans,” she said.

“We will be investigating and using our powers to stop any unlawful behaviour.”

Noting the number of investigations are back following a drop last year during COVID, Ms Webb warned consumers to know their rights when buying tickets.

“It was big news in 2018 when NSW Fair Trading made ticket scalping illegal by making it an offence for ticket resellers such as Viagogo to charge more than 10 per cent extra on the original ticket price and transaction costs,” Ms Webb said. 

A spokesperson with NSW Fair Trading encouraged victims of the scam to come forward. 

“Anyone who has been a victim of ticket scalping is encouraged to make a complaint with NSW Fair Trading,” the spokesperson said. 

“Fair Trading will assess the complaint for potential breaches of consumer laws and attempt to negotiate an outcome with the business.”

They also had a blunt message for those who are looking to profit from consumers.

“The maximum fine for corporation is $110,000. The penalty infringement notice for a corporation is $1,100,” the spokesperson said.

In a statement released to nestegg, Viagogo confirmed they were working with regulators against ticket scalpers. 

“viagogo has taken prompt action to remove tickets from our platform that do not comply with the state’s regulatory regime," a Viagogo spokesperson said. 

“viagogo is committed to complying with legislation in all markets we operate in, including NSW, and when we are notified of listings that are not compliant, we act quickly to remove them.  We look forward to continuing to productively engage with regulators to ensure that our website is compliant and the safe and transparent marketplace we offer continues to help customers gain access to events worldwide.”

 

Viagogo under the microscope for ‘ripping off’ consumers
Viagogo under the microscope for ‘ripping off’ 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

author image
Cameron Micallef

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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