Viagogo responds to industry efforts to have the company banned
Viagogo have issued a response to recent attempts by members of the Australian music industry to have the controversial resale site banned.
It’s no secret that Viagogo have a reputation as one of the most controversial ticket resale sites going around. In fact numerous fans and bands – including The Rubens – have hit out the service, claiming that their sole purpose is to rip-off consumers.
“We REALLY hate Viagogo,” The Rubens explained earlier this year. “They exist to rip you off, take your hard earned cash, and let scalpers take advantage of all aspects of a show they have nothing to do with.”
“We’ve been getting some messages lately that have really got us pissed off. A whole bunch of people out there have paid $222 for a ticket that is $76. This is thanks to Viagogo and their dodgy profiteering. This is completely wrong, and we have no idea how this is still legal. Fuck Viagogo.”
If you’re not entirely sure how it all works, Viagogo provides people with a service with which they can sell tickets to events. Due to there being no cap on prices that tickets can be sold for, many consumers have noted that it’s no different to scalping, and that Google’s continued ties with the service aren’t helping.
While the last couple of weeks have seen Viagogo in the headlines thanks to a supposed defiance of a German court order to ban the sale of Rammstein tickets, it seems that the Australian music industry has had enough.
Just last week, Gang Of Youths took to Instagram to call upon their legions of fans to share their stories of being ripped off by the resale site.
“As many of you have encountered, Viagogo has become one of the most disgraceful and disruptive scams our live industry has faced in recent years,” the band began. “Viagogo impacts promoters, managers, venues, ticket agencies and most importantly artists and their fans.”
“A number of different bodies over the past 12 months have been talking to both State and Federal Government regarding this issue. There is an opportunity to help eradicate this business from Australia.”
“We are calling for as many examples of how this fraudulent operation has affected your business, additionally, we are encouraging artists to also post on their socials so fans can reply with real-life examples of how they have been affected by Viagogo.”
Now, Viagogo has responded to these criticisms, issuing a rather bland statement to Music Feeds earlier today.
“Viagogo provides a platform for third party sellers to sell tickets to event goers,” a spokesperson for Viagogo stated. “Viagogo does not set ticket prices, sellers set their own prices, which may be above or below the original face value.”
“The tickets sold on Viagogo’s platform are genuine tickets that have been sold on by the original ticket purchaser in good faith.”
Although there have been cases in the past where Viagogo have supposedly been caught selling fake tickets, the company asserted that only “genuine tickets” are sold through their website, and that issues can be directed to their “event day hotline”.
Notably, they also attempted to explain away the abundance of overpriced tickets on the site, noting that prices increase “where demand is high and tickets are limited”, and that “customers will often find multiple sets of tickets for the same section at different prices” elsewhere on the site.
Viagogo also called claims that their tickets could be considered fraudulent and may see buyers refused entry as “highly unfair and in our view, unenforceable and illegal.”
“Therefore, as with all tickets on our platform, Viagogo customers should feel confident that they will gain entry to the event, and that is why we back every ticket with the Viagogo guarantee.”
Viagogo’s response also comes just days after a new bill being introduced into WA Parliament, which intends to make ticket scalping illegal in the western state.
“Our legislation goes further in that it will capture a broad number of events where organisers have put a restriction on the reselling of tickets — not just declared events,” explained Commerce and Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston.
“(The new laws) will apply to most outdoor concerts, most of the events at RAC Arena and the large events like AFL matches at Optus Stadium. This is to protect those large events that are often sold out.”
“Some people buy a ticket to an event and can’t go for legitimate reasons. So you don’t want them to be trapped, wasting their money,” he continued. “But you don’t want to encourage ticket scalpers who try and make a business out of buying and selling tickets.”
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This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.