Australian Federal Court Finds Viagogo Misled Consumers

Australia’s Federal Court found April 18 that ticket reseller Viagogo AG mislead consumers when reselling music, entertainment and live sport event tickets. 

Justice Stephen Burley said the Swiss-based company broke several consumer laws when falsely claiming tickets were about to sell out and masquerading as an official ticket seller. 
The Court also found that May 1, 2017, to June 26, 2017, Viagogo failed to sufficiently disclose additional fees, which included a 27.6% booking fee, or specify a single price for tickets. Penalties and orders will be determined at a later date.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which initiated action against Viagogo in August 2017, said it had received 3500 complaints. 
“When you’re thinking about just one company, that’s an enormous number,” said its chair Rod Sims. He added only a small percentage of consumers bother to complain, “so I think you could be confident that this behaviour affected tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands.”
Viagogo managing director Cris Miller expressed disappointment with the ruling. “It does not reflect our current ticketing platform and the many changes we have made. We strongly believe our website is compliant and we will continue to work closely and constructively with the ACCC,” he said in a statement.
“Without services like Viagogo, people would be forced to return to buying and selling tickets outside venues, or to use informal social media platforms where no customer protection exists. We don’t believe anyone should have to take that risk. We are disappointed that the chair of the Commission does not support the greater competition that Viagogo and other ticket resellers bring to the market which provides greater choice for Australians consumers.”