IndustryLegal July 8, 2021 Dave Clark
New South Wales Fair Trading has announced it is investigating Viagogo after consumer complaints over prices on tickets for events listed on the Swiss-based ticketing marketplace.
According to a NSW Fair Trading press release, most of the complaints are related to the NSW government having made resale of tickets for more than 10 percent above face value illegal. Other complaints involved tickets not being delivered in a timely manner, refunds not being granted for cancelled events, and accusations of misleading consumers about being the official event ticket sales agent.
“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% extra on the original ticket price and transactions costs,” says NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rose Webb.
“We did briefly see a drop off in complaints but then we saw a spike at the end of 2019. When the pandemic hit complaints obviously dropped off again as events were not able to go ahead. However now that events are back on the agenda, we have seen a spike again and despite Viagogo being explicitly warned and receiving a $7 million fine from the ACCC in 2020, they continue to flout the rules.
“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.
“We will be investigating and using our powers to stop any unlawful behaviour.”
Viagogo responded to the $7 million fine levied for “misrepresentation” by a judge in Australia by saying it had overhauled its systems to bring it into compliance with the various legal boundaries in countries it operates.
“Viagogo is committed to providing an important service to consumers that use our platform,” a spokesperson said at the time of that fine being announced.