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ACCC Launches Action Against Ticket Reseller Viagogo

The ACCC has launched proceedings against ticket reseller Viagogo in the Federal Court for allegations of “false or misleading representations” and “misleading or deceptive conduct”.

According to the ACCC, Viagogo failed to disclose “substantial” fees when advertising tickets to concerts, sports, theatre, and other events.

“We allege that Viagogo failed to disclose significant and unavoidable fees upfront in the ticket price, including a 27.6 per cent booking fee for most events and a handling fee,” said ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard.

Examples of ticket markups provided by the ACCC include a $135 ticket to The Book of Mormon that increased by 31% to $177.45 when factoring in a $37.50 booking fee and $4.95 handling fee.

The watchdog said it had received 473 contacts about Viagogo this year.

“The ACCC expects all ticket reselling websites to be clear and upfront about the fees they charge, the type of tickets they sell and the nature of their business,” Rickard said.

Along with failing to properly disclose fees, the ACCC also said Viagogo misled consumers with warnings such as ‘less than 1% of tickets remaining’ which did not make clear that they were only in reference to the Viagogo site and not all ticket outlets.

Viagogo’s use of the word ‘official’ in search engine advertisements is also alleged to be misleading by the ACCC.

“By using the word ‘official’, we allege that Viagogo represented in these ads that consumers could buy official original tickets, when in fact Viagogo is a platform for tickets that are being on-sold by others,” Rickard said.

The ACCC said it was seeking “declarations, injunctions, pecuniary penalties, corrective publication orders, orders for a compliance program and costs”.

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