Ticket reseller Viagogo misled consumers, court finds

Online ticket reseller Viagogo – a “secondary marketplace” where ticket holders can on-sell their tickets for inflated prices – made false and misleading representations, and engaged in misleading conduct, the Federal Court has found.

The Court found Viagogo misled consumers by claiming tickets to popular events were “scarce”, when they may not have been. The Court also took issue with Viagogo adverts which contained the word “official”.

Viagogo’s penalties will be determined at a later date

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission first took action against the business in 2017, with the Federal Court now siding with the watchdog.

Penalties against Viagogo will be determined at a later date.

“Viagogo’s claims misled consumers into buying tickets by including claims like ‘less than 1% of tickets remaining’ to create a false sense of urgency,” ACCC chair Rod Sims said.

Sims took the opportunity to issue a further warning to consumers.

“We urge consumers to only buy tickets from authorised sellers, or they risk their tickets being dishonoured at the gates or doors.”

In addition, the Court found that between May and June 2017, Viagogo failed to sufficiently disclose additional fees, and provide a single price for tickets.

In most cases, this amounted to a 27.6% booking fee, the ACCC said.

“Viagogo was charging extraordinarily high booking fees and many consumers were caught out,” Sims explained.

He reminded businesses: “Today’s Federal Court decision is a reminder to businesses that consumers must be clearly told that there are additional fees associated with a displayed price.”


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