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Court decision reinforces Viagogo caution

18 April 2019

The Federal Court’s findings that ticket reseller Viagogo made false or misleading representations highlight why consumers need to exercise caution when dealing with the online reseller.

Consumer and Business Services first warned consumers about the risk of using Viagogo in 2017, after a number of complaints from consumers that included allegations of overcharging, a failure to disclose booking fees and a failure to supply tickets purchased through the site.

Today, the Federal Court found Viagogo had misled consumers by claiming tickets were scarce – when this was a specific reference to tickets found on the website, creating a false sense of urgency.

The Court also found that using the word ‘official’ in its online advertisements was misleading, with consumers misled into believing they were purchasing tickets from an official site – rather than a resale site.

In addition, the Court found Viagogo had failed to sufficiently disclose extra fees or specify a single price for tickets.

“These are all valid reasons why consumers need to think twice before using the site,” Commissioner for Consumer Affairs Dini Soulio said.

“They expose themselves to a considerable level of risk, and may have little recourse open to them should the event be cancelled, or they are sold a counterfeit ticket.”

Mr Soulio encouraged consumers to exercise caution when using any retailers, and take note of the ACCC’s advice for buying tickets online, which can be found at https://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/online-shopping/buying-tickets-online

Last year, the Government passed anti-scalping laws, prohibiting people from re-selling tickets to events subject to re-sale restrictions at more than 110% of the original price.