Victims Of Secondary Ticketing Company Viagogo Recover Over $130,000
Monday, August 7, 2017
by | Billboard.com
The secondary ticketing company sold bogus Ed Sheeran tickets to the wrong person...
A grass roots campaign group for people who claim to have been mis-sold tickets by Viagogo, says it has helped claw back over £100,000 ($130,000) for disgruntled customers of the controversial secondary ticketing platform.
A Victims Of Viagogo Facebook page was set up by Oxford-based Claire Turnhamafter she tried to buy four tickets for an Ed Sheeran concert for her family earlier this year. Having been unable to purchase tickets from Sheeran’s official site or established primary vendors, a Google search took her to Viagogo, where she was charged over £1,400 ($1,800) for four tickets with a maximum face value of around £300 ($400).
Although Turnham eventually received a refund from the Switzerland-registered vendor, the experience led her to set up Victims Of Viagogo on Facebook and was soon contacted by hundreds of similarly unhappy customers from around the world.
In March, Turnham appeared before a Parliamentary hearing on the secondary ticketing sector, held at London's House of Commons, to talk about her campaign. Viagogo had also been invited to appear at the hearing, but failed to send a representative, leading one committee member to criticize the company for its “lack of respect to parliament and, by extension, the British public."
Since then, Victims Of Viagogo has steadily grown in members and profile, recently partnering with U.K.-based FanFair Alliance to produce a free self help guide for people seeking refunds from Viagogo, as well as other leading secondary ticketing vendors such as eBay-owned Stubhub or Ticketmaster's Seatwave and GetMeIn platforms.
According to the FanFair Alliance, the Victims Of Viagogo campaign has now resulted in Viagogo returning over £100,000 ($130,000) to irate customers since the group’s formation six months ago.
Around £45,000 ($58,000) of that total came from tickets illegally purchased over the secondary market for Ed Sheeran’s 2018 stadium tour, with Sheeran’s official website providing a link to the self-help guide for anyone who had purchased through a secondary vendor.
Viagogo didn’t respond to requests to comment when contacted by Billboard.
“A properly-functioning secondary market should work in the interests of consumers, and enable those who genuinely need to resell a ticket to do so at the price they paid for it,” said FanFair Alliance’s Adam Webb in a statement accompanying today's news.
He went on to slam Viagogo’s business model for “profiteering at the audiences’ expense - persistently masquerading as an “official site” in its online advertising, employing high-pressure sales techniques and potentially breaching consumer law.”
“If you are distressed and desperately seeking a refund, I urge you to persevere,” added Turnham. “It’s not an easy process, but it is possible to reclaim your money back. Keep referring to our self-help guide and connect with others for support. You can do this!”
Meanwhile, the growing pressure on Viagogo – and other players in the secondary market – in the U.K. is unlikely to rescind anytime soon. Earlier this year, the British government passed new legislation criminalizing the use of bots to bulk-buy tickets, while a Competitions and Markets Authority enforcement investigation into the entire secondary ticketing sector is still ongoing.