Consumer NZ is welcoming the Commerce Commission’s announcement it’s taking ticket resale website Viagogo to the High Court, seeking declarations the company has breached the Fair Trading Act.
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Consumer NZ chief executive Sue Chetwin said the organisation called for action against Viagogo after its own investigation of the ticket resale market in 2017 found evidence of misleading sales tactics.
“Consumers are being duped by Viagogo’s sales practices. Many purchasers who end up on the site don’t know they’re dealing with a reseller. They’re pressured to buy by claims tickets are in high demand and selling fast when that may be far from the case,” she said.
Unclear pricing and hidden fees also resulted in consumers paying significant mark-ups on tickets. In one case, a consumer was charged $445 by Viagogo for a ticket that had a face value of just $59, a 654% mark-up.
Regulators in other countries have already taken action against Viagogo. Last year, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission announced it was prosecuting Viagogo, alleging the company had misled consumers.
The Commerce Commission action alleges Viagogo made false or misleading representations about ticket prices, that it was an “official” seller, that tickets were limited or about to sell out and that consumers were "guaranteed" to receive valid tickets.
The commission is seeking an injunction restraining Viagogo from further breaches of the act and corrective advertising orders.