Court order to force Viagogo to improve ticket info
Secondary ticketing website Viagogo is to overhaul its practices and start giving customers much more information about the tickets they're buying after a court order was issued today.
The online marketplace, which MoneySavingExpert.com founder Martin Lewis has previously urged concert-goers not to use, will have to tell customers if there is a risk that they will be turned away at the door and inform them which seat they will get in the venue.
The order has come as a result of legal proceedings launched by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in August over concerns the company was breaking consumer protection law.
See our Cheap Tickets guide for what to watch out for when buying cheap theatre, sport and gig tickets.
What will Viagogo have to do?
At court, Viagogo agreed to address the CMA's concerns without the need for a trial.
The legal order, which is binding, instructs Viagogo to comply with the law by:
- Telling purchasers of tickets if there is a risk that they will be turned away at the door.
- Informing customers which seat in the venue they will get.
- Providing info about who is selling the ticket, so people can benefit from enhanced legal rights when buying from a business.
- Not giving misleading info about the availability and popularity of tickets – this could potentially lead to customers being rushed into making a buying decision or making the wrong choice.
- Making it easy for people to get their money back under Viagogo's guarantee when things go wrong.
- Preventing the sale of tickets a seller does not own and may not be able to supply.
The CMA also says that the court order should ensure that Viagogo does not repeat historic failures to make its customers aware of the face value of tickets on sale through its site.
It also says businesses selling tickets will have to include their details and an indication that they are a business or a trader, with a trader being someone who sells more than 100 tickets per year.
The court order must be complied with by mid-January – the same deadline set by the CMA for other resale sites that agreed to change their practices prior to legal action.
Back in April, following CMA enforcement action, three other major secondary ticketing websites – StubHub, Seatwave and Get Me In – pledged a number of changes to the way information is provided to customers.
At the time, Viagogo didn't agree to make the changes the CMA wanted, which is what led to the legal action.
What does the CMA say?
CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli said: "This court order is a victory for anyone who decides to buy a ticket through Viagogo.
"We have been clear throughout our investigation that people who use these resale websites must know key facts before parting with their hard-earned money, including what seat they will get and whether there is a risk they might not actually get into the event at all.
"Viagogo has agreed to a comprehensive overhaul of its site to ensure it respects the law, just like the other resale sites who have already signed commitments to improve the information they offer and give people a fair deal."
What does Viagogo say?
A spokesperson for Viagogo said: "We are pleased that we have been able to work closely with the CMA to come to an agreement that provides even greater transparency to consumers."
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