Ticket reseller Viagogo fined $7 million for misleading Australian customers

Ticket reseller Viagogo fined $7 million for misleading Australian customers

Photo by Neal Walters
Words by Kate Streader

The company was found to have deceived customers with hidden fees, false claims and misleading advertisements.

Swiss-based ticket reseller Viagogo has been ordered to pay a penalty of $7 million by the Australian Federal Court for misleading Australian consumers “on an industrial scale”.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) took Viagogo to court after the company falsely lead customers to believe it was an official seller rather than a resale marketplace by using the word “official” in its Google advertisements in 2017.

The company also mislead consumers by using phrases such as “only a few tickets left” to suggest events were almost sold out when such information only represented the number of tickets available through Viagogo.

The court also found that the resale service did not disclose its “extraordinarily high” fees, such as a 27.6 per cent booking fee which applied to most tickets in 2017, and deceptively lured customers in with a base ticket price that did not account for additional fees.

Viagogo has been issued an injunction to ensure the company cannot continue to operate in a way that misleads consumers and has been ordered to take part in a compliance program.

“Today’s $7 million penalty sends a strong signal to businesses like Viagogo conducting business in Australia that they cannot get away with profiting from misleading Australian consumers about the price of the tickets they are selling,” said ACCC Chairman Rod Sims in a statement following the court ruling.

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