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Australia: Regulator takes ticket reseller Viagogo to court

 |  August 28, 2017

The consumer watchdog is taking controversial ticket reseller Viagogo to court following hundreds of complaints from ripped-off customers.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) alleges the Swiss-based company, which has come under fire for heavy mark-ups, hidden fees, cancelled events and failure to provide refunds, breached Australian Consumer Law when reselling tickets for entertainment, music and live sport.

The ACCC alleges Viagogo made false or misleading representations and engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct with the price of tickets on its online platform by failing to disclose substantial fees.

“We allege that Viagogo failed to disclose significant and unavoidable fees upfront in the ticket price, including a 27.6% booking fee for most events and a handling fee,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said in a statement on Monday, August 28.

A ticket to the show The Book of Mormon on Viagogo was marked up by 31%, from US$135 to US$177.45 when the US$37.50 booking fee and US$4.95 handling fees were included. Similarly, a three tickets for the Ashes 2017-18 increased by 29% from US$330.15 to US$426.82 when the US$91.71 booking fee and US$4.95 handling fees were included.

And two Cat Stevens tickets were 29% more expensive, increasing from US$450 to US$579.95 when the US$125 booking fee and US$4.95 handling fees were included.

The ACCC also alleges Viagogo misled consumers with claims tickets to certain events were scarce, without disclosing that it referred to tickets on its website only. “Viagogo’s statements such as ‘less than 1% of tickets remaining’ created a sense of urgency for people to buy them straight away, when tickets may have still been available through other ticket sources,” Ms. Rickard said.

Full Content: ACCC

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