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Viagogo are "the worst" - don't use them, says Minister

Nic McBride

Nic McBride
May 30, 2018

Concert goers and sports fans have been warned by a Government Minister not to use ticket reselling website Viagogo.

Digital Minister Margot James said if fans had to use a secondary site to buy tickets, "don't choose Viagogo - they are the worst", she told BBC Radio 5 live.

A Spokesman Said has received more than 330 complaints from Viagogo customers.


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James spoke about secondhand ticketing with Kelvin MacKenzie on LOVE SPORT Radio. Listen to the full interview below.

"Viagogo are undoubtedly the worst offenders - they are very elusive," she said.

However, James said she was confident they could get Viagogo to comply with UK standards.

"We want to make the market work better for consumers.

"We have decided not to make secondary ticketing illegal - that is another debate."

But the Government was acting to make it a criminal offence to use bots to buy up tickets, James said.

Viagogo could be taken to court for misleading and pressuring customers into making a purchase, and for advertising tickets for sale that they didn't actually have yet, the Competition and Markets Authority said last month.

Meanwhile, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has said Viagogo was breaking UK advertising rules by failing to make additional fees clear.

The ASA cracked down on the four major ticket reselling sites - Viagogo, StubHub, Seatwave and GetMeIn - for using "drip pricing", where VAT, booking and delivery fees were added at the end of the booking process.

StubHub, GetMeIn and Seatwave have all formally committed to ensuring better information will be given about tickets being resold through their platforms. Viagogo has not.

Crackdown on ticket resellers starts today
Viagogo could be taken to court for not fixing dodgy practices
Viagogo caught using fake reviews and misleading prices


Viagogo ticket markups

Maria Olsthoorn bought tickets to see folk singer Joan Baez in Edinburgh in March.

She was shocked to learn how much they’d been marked-up by.

“Their value is £34 each. I paid £60 per ticket plus a £20 booking fee per ticket which effectively makes each ticket cost £80.”

The same thing happened to Bradley Kovaleski when he booked tickets to see rock band Elbow.

“When going through the process I was told the tickets were priced £76, then at final payment they came to just above £213.

“That was £61 in fees and VAT. Extortionate rates to say the least. Why was VAT not put into the original price?

“Why am I paying booking fees for BOTH tickets when it should be for the booking?”


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