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Watchdog threatens to take Viagogo back to court

The competition watchdog says it has "serious concerns" that secondary ticket seller Viagogo has not followed a court order which was put in place to protect consumers and is threatening to take it back to court if it doesn't make changes. 

In November 2018, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) secured a legal order against Viagogo meaning that it has to tell buyers which seat in a venue they will get and if there is a risk they might be turned away at the door of an event.

The court order came after founder Martin Lewis urged concert-goers not to use Viagogo, following many complaints from customers.

And the CMA now says it has formally raised concerns with the company about its compliance, and if it doesn't address these it will be taken back to court.

What did the court order say?

At the High Court in November, Viagogo agreed to address the CMA's concerns without the need for a trial.

The legal order instructed Viagogo to comply with the Consumer Rights Act by:

  • Telling purchasers of tickets if there is a risk they will be turned away at the door.

  • Informing customers which seat in the venue they will get.

  • Providing information about who is selling the ticket, so people can benefit from enhanced legal rights when buying from a business.

  • Not giving misleading information 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.

It was required to comply with the above by 17 January, but on its website the CMA now says it has concerns the company hasn't done so.

What does the CMA say?

A CMA spokesperson said: "Having conducted urgent checks, the CMA has serious concerns that Viagogo haven't complied with important aspects of the court order we secured against them.

"We have told Viagogo we expect them to make the necessary changes without delay. If they do not, we will go back to court to force them to do so. Severe penalties are available if they are found to be in contempt of court."

When asked for a comment on the CMA's update, Viagago said "we are compliant."

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