CHOICE membership

Been taken for a ride by Viagogo or Ticketmaster Resale?

Has anyone ever had a bad experience buying tickets through a third party reseller? It’s ticket scalping in the digital age: these websites look like you’re buying the genuine article but really all they’re doing is connecting you with a person who wants to flog you a second-hand ticket at grossly inflated prices.

A lot of venues are now refusing to accept e-tickets bought through these sites. People turn up to the a show only to be told they won’t be admitted, leaving them hundreds of dollars out of pocket. Has this ever happened to anyone? Keen to hear some horror stories.

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I considered using these sites when I was in the UK recently and wanted to buy tickets for a Premier League football match. It’s almost impossible to buy standard tickets (i.e. non-hospitality packages) for a lot of the games, unless you are a local member. But the horror stories from some users did put me off, e.g. tickets that were paid for but didn’t turn up before the game and weeks taken to get a refund.

At the same time I think it’s hard to say consumers shouldn’t have the right to resell tickets they have legitimately bought. Perhaps it’s worth looking at ballot systems for super-popular events to ensure price gouging doesn’t happen? Sometimes I think it is more in the interests of event promoters and Ticketek/Ticketmaster to prevent secondary sales than consumers.

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I have just been ripped off by Viagogo. I received what I thought was an e-mail from Ticketek, the correct agency, warning me that there were very few tickets left for the one-day international cricket between Australia and Pakistan at Adelaide Oval. I bought two tickets. When I downloaded them to print, they were genuine Ticketek tickets but with another person’s name on them. I then found that my tickets had been sold to me by Viagogo, who had charged $50 each for two $30 tickets, plus two fees adding more than $30 more. So I was charged about $135 for two $60 tickets. When I said something about it on Facebook, I got replies from other people who had been fleeced by this mob. How are they allowed to get away with it?

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For those interested in this thread, here’s @dangraham’s investigation into ticket resellers and scalping.

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I have had a similar experience of being ripped off by Viagogo. I thought I was buying ticketmaster tickets to a concert in my home town as the viagogo site was the first one to come up in my search engine on my phone (apparently they pay big $$ to have this happen). And I’ve ended up paying nearly $200 per ticket for tickets worth around $72 each (I’m out of pocket around $800). I entered all the names of myself and the other ticket holders upon purchase yet when I downloaded the tickets to print at home they are ticketmaster tickets but have someone else’s name on all of the tickets. I couldn’t find any email address for the company and the “Contact Us” button just leads you back to the same list of frequently asked questions. I eventually found a phone number which is supposed to be available Mon-Fri 8.00-19.00 & Sat to Sun 8.00-18.00 but when called it was disconnected or unavailable. I then contacted the venue of the concert and they said that there was no way of knowing if the tickets were bona fide and we all may be refused entry on the night once the tickets are scanned. I’m furious. I’ve never purchased concert tickets online before (theatre tickets yes but not concert tickets) and I think I will be shy to ever purchase them again.

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Hi @niquedin, sorry to hear about the trouble. While there’s not much you can do at this stage about the additional expense, most sites advise the tickets to your show should remain valid even with a different name. If not, Viagogo’s policy is to provide a refund. I realise none of this is ideal for you, but at least that info may help out a bit. Please let us know how it all goes.

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At the start of the year I purchased 2 tickets to see Coldplay in Paris in July. The tickets I purchased showed a row number and “seats are together” was shown in red. I purchased the tickets and the confirmation email showed no row number or seat numbers, with advice that the tickets would be sent my courier a week before the concert. I asked for something to show these tickets were in fact genuine before I started planning our holiday. Viagogo refused to provide tickets details beyond saying I would receive them a week in advance and only by courier, and they asked for a delivery address. I felt pretty much that I had purchased nothing more than a promise of tickets that may or may not materialise. A refund was refused and Viagog merely suggested I sell the tickets through them, which would have incurred another fee. I also did not feel it was fair to onsell this to another poor victim, so in the end I decided not to proceed with holiday plans and I gave the tickets to a my UK friend’s neighbour who is currently living in Paris. I will never, never, ever use Viagog again. Taken for a ride - very much so!!!

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Sorry to hear about your holiday. Selling tickets without a seat or row number is a trick commonly used by scalpers. They do this because concert promoters regularly scour scalping websites and cancel tickets being on-sold without permission. If the promoter can’t tell what seat a scalper is selling, they can’t cancel it.

We’re currently collecting consumer stories about Viagogo and other ticket scalping websites. If you like, go to www.choice.com.au/tickedoff to share your story. We’ll be using the results of the survey to put pressure on regulators to fix this industry.

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Shonky Award notwithstanding people remain oblivious and continue to be taken.

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We looked at purchasing tickets to QPAC in Brisbane for the 78 Storey Treehouse. The tickets direct from QPAC were $35 plus a $7.20 booking fee.

When googling for QPAC, Viagogo came up saying it also sold tickets to the same show (wee, not exactly, their website said that the Sunday show had sold out while the QPAC website still had dozens of tickets left in the Stalls and Balcony). Viagogo tickets were $70 each…what, couldn’t believe my eyes…same tickets being sold for a 100% markup.

Their website also said ‘viagogo is the world’s largest safe, secure, guaranteed secondary marketplace for tickets. Prices are set by sellers and may be lower or higher than face value’ …As QPAC was the seller, I would have expected the tickets to be near the same price. I didn’t look any further to see if they had a booking fee as could easily see that they were ripping of consumers.

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Is there any way to get your money back from Viagogo I purchased Hamilton tickets and fell victim to both there advertising of official tickets, countdown on ticket purchases and not being shown the final price of tickets until after the money has been taken from my account. Where can I go from here has anyone had any success?

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Welcome to the Community @Sflowers,

Check the prior posts in this thread, and especially the link in post #3 by @BrendanMays. You can also find information by searching the Community for Viagogo (use the forum search, not the google search).

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I bought tickets to Hamilton on the 10 March 2021, money was paid out of my credit card and Viagogo sent me an email saying 'congratulations you are going to Hamilton", and tickets will be issued prior the performance. Well…on the 27 April 2021, one day before the performance Viagogo emailed to say my tickets were cancelled, “order not fulfilled”. I did receive a refund (less booking fee) 4 days later, but they kept my money for 6 weeks and made me believe my tickets were secure . How can they take my money when they have no tickets to sell??? They are still advertising and I know ticket to Hamilton are now scarce.

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Welcome to the Community @iwatch,

I merged your topic into this one about both Viagogo and Ticketmaster Resales. There are others about Viagogo - many to chose, none put Viagogo in a good light.

Note you are not the only victim who thought they had Hamilton tickets…

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That is highly unethical, shonky and could contravene the Australian Consumer law. What is shonky is they are still advertising Hamilton on their website as tickets being available. This is false and misleading advertising under the ACL.

Taking your money and then Viagogo unable to fulfil the advertised booking…then penalising the consumer by charging a booking fee…this is unacceptable and I would be formally advising them to refund the booking fee otherwise you will be taking the matter further. It appears that may be cashing in on the popularity of Hamilton tickets to make some money from consumers knowing that they can’t fulfil the booking.

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I would make a formal complaint to recover your booking fee from Viagogo. This requires that you set out your demand in a letter or email citing your reasons that you are requiring the fee to be refunded. Don’t bother with phoning as this is not verifiable contact, which you should have in case you need or want to proceed further. As @phb notes this fee is really free money for Viagogo if you don’t get it back, imagine 100s or 1,000s of these “booking fees” they would collect for doing nothing other than taking your money and not providing the goods. You can also make a claim for compensation for time and costs of getting your refund (they should be reasonable and provable costs eg postage receipt for cost of registered mail would be one)

There is a helpful page at the ACCC that guides you in making a complaint and also allows you to further lodge a complaint with the ACCC (which I strongly suggest you do even though they are unlikely to investigate your particular case). The page has a link to a letter creation page to help assist you formulating your contact.

CHOICE, if you are a member, can also help guide you about your rights, and it has letter formats as well.

https://www.choice.com.au/choice-help-form

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I would like Choice to run a campaign to get these organisations off the google search (at least ban them from advertising) and give consumers more warning when you do google them.

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CHOICE have produced warnings about Viagogo and similar types of ticket resellers (see this link https://www.choice.com.au/shopping/everyday-shopping/tickets/articles/ticket-resale-websites). To get the action you request you are best served by contacting Google and making a complaint (you might like to include the ACCC link about their Court action against Viagogo), AND contacting the ACCC with a complaint, posting on Social Media the facts of your interaction (be factual to protect yourself from libel claims), posting about your issue on CHOICE as you have done here and even on https://www.productreview.com.au/ about your experience.

Further action you might like to take is point your friends and Social Media contacts to this site so they can check on what is happening or has happened, point them and your Social Media readers to the CHOICE & ACCC links on Viagogo. Send a letter to the Editor with similar information to your State and Local Newspapers, contact Current Affairs programs about the issue.

The ACCC launched action against Viagogo in 2017 after CHOICE referred them (see https://www.choice.com.au/shopping/everyday-shopping/tickets/articles/accc-takes-viagogo-to-federal-court-280817).

The result can be read at the following ACCC link

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It is not as if Choice has not been publicising what Viagogo is… for some years now.

@grahroll’s advice is germane, as is reporting your experience to the ACCC where they will dutifully acknowledge it and possibly wring their hands once or twice.

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Searching ‘Viagogo’ on google yields the following top hits

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