The 'highly unusual step' from the committee warns the public not to use the services of Viagogo.
Date published: 19th Mar 2019
A committee of MPs have taken the "highly unusual step" of warning live music fans against using the secondary ticketing site Viagogo.
In a new report on the live music industry, the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee criticised Viagogo for “misleading” consumers, and that the firm had “caused distress for too many music fans for too long”.
The report has also criticised Google for promoting the website, many of the consumers who were stung found the site via paid-for ads on the search engine.
MPs said that Viagogo has also shown an “unwillingness to appear before the committee and provide oral evidence.”
The company has come under fire for its business practices, including alleged breaches of consumer law. “We regret that such time and public money is being spent on bringing the platforms, principally Viagogo, into line with consumer law that they should have complied with from the outset,” the report said.
It continues: "“We are concerned that while that work takes place, consumers remain vulnerable to the site’s misleading sales practices. It is imperative that the CMA acts promptly and decisively to bring Viagogo into line with consumer law and, until it does so, we advise the public not to buy or sell tickets via Viagogo."
Committee chairman Damian Collins said that, despite a “boom in live music” in the UK, it is also facing “stark challenges”, with “bad experiences with ticket resale platforms damaging trust in the industry.”
Viagogo contacted us to respond, saying:
"“We are disappointed that the DCMS have singled us out particularly, when hundreds of thousands of British citizens use our service to buy and sell tickets to their favorite live events every day and never experience any problems. We provide an invaluable service to UK consumers by giving them access to events in the UK and all over the world. For those transactions that fall into the 1% annually where customers do have an issue, the overwhelming majority of cases are due to the unfair and potentially illegal restrictions the event organizers pose simply because customers have chosen to purchase tickets from a competitor of theirs. We have been complying and will absolutely continue to work constructively with the CMA to make further amends where necessary, all the while putting all of the buyers and sellers who use the platform first.”
The MP committee called on the government to review new laws preventing the use of bots to harvest large numbers of tickets. The campaign against second ticketing continues, and we strongly recommend buying from a trusted primary site.