The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission have announced today that they are taking Viagogo to court.
The ACCC alleges that the controversial ticket reseller deceived customers, by failing to disclose substantial fees from consumers ahead of the booking process. Under Australian Consumer Law, the full price of a product, including all applicable fees, must be advertised.
In a press release, ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said that they had received 473 separate contacts about Viagogo over the past year. Rickard added:
We allege that Viagogo failed to disclose significant and unavoidable fees upfront in the ticket price, including a 27.6 per cent booking fee for most events and a handling fee.
Viagogo has gained wide notoriety for being among the worst ticket reselling websites in Australia. Aside from a plethora of angry customers across social media, they’ve also gained the ire of several major figures including the Queensland state attorney-general and performer Todd McKenny.
“People are just getting blindly ripped off and as a person who puts on shows to entertain people and tries to keep the costs down, I’m furious,” McKenny said in a interview with 9 News.
ACCC also lists a plethora of sporting events, concerts, and shows that are unreasonably marked up by Viagogo, including tickets to the musical Book of Mormon in Melbourne and the Ashes test cricket series. But even a cursory glance at Viagogo’s prices reveals some atrocious markups.
Tickets to the upcoming Falls Festival, for example, are going for an astronomical $924.97 before booking fees on Viagogo, despite tickets actually going on sale tomorrow for a the more reasonable $339 before fees and charges. In addition, it was difficult to even find out all the fees we would be charged by Viagogo, as it required us to go past several confirmation pages and several stages of loading and wait times.
This is before you get into other dodgy AF practices by the reseller, including saying that tickets are ‘scarce’ despite being widely available, allowing scalpers to sell multiple copies of the same ticket, advertising themselves as an ‘official’ reseller when they aren’t, and generally allowing the BS scalping industry to thrive under its wing.
In other words, it doesn’t matter if it’s ‘The Big Event Of The Year’, always buy from official channels.
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Image: Getty Images / Cassandra Hannagan