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News July 7, 2021

Ticket reseller Viagogo are being investigated by NSW Fair Trading

Ticket reseller Viagogo are being investigated by NSW Fair Trading

Viagogo are being investigated after seeing a spike in complaints against them since the restart of ticketed events.

As per Music Feeds, Viagogo are now being investigated by NSW’s consumer watchdog, Fair Trading. In just the first half of 2021, Fair Trading received 36 complaints related to Viagogo and the accusations were varied. 16 of the complaints were due to ticket scalping, 11 were because of cancelled events that were not refunded, five were in relation to misleading customers into thinking they were the authorised seller, three for tickets not arriving on time, and one for not providing advice on age restrictions for a certain event.

It’s especially tough given how much the arts industry is struggling right now after the COVID-19 pandemic. Fair Trading’s Commissioner Rose Webb stressed how disappointing Viagogo’s continued unreliability was to see. “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,” Webb explained.

“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.”

Music Feeds also discovered that most of the complaints were specifically related to Hamilton tickets being resold for over the 110% cap, a significant amount.

It’s the latest setback for Viagogo. In 2019 they were indefinitely suspended from advertising with Google. The year before that, several big Australian artists, including Tash Sultana and Gang of Youths, publicly shared statements denouncing Viagogo on social media.

For more on this topic, follow The Industry Observer newsletter.

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.


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