Our AW Facebook post below focused on the Viagogo scam after a personal experience of their dodgy practices. In the last week they won a major ‘Shonky award’ by the consumer advocacy group CHOICE – nonetheless, they and their general scam are still able to operate without formal intervention from any regulatory body it seems.
July 3, 2017 Aussie Watchdogs FB Post: In the last days Viagogo was listed by Business Insider (June 29) as topping the list of ‘most complained about companies in NSW [ Go to http://themusic.com.au/news/all/2017/10/05/viagogo-just-won-an-award-that-it-doesnt-want,-but-it-absolutely-deserves/ ] . Even then The Business Insider were still deceived and called them a ‘ticket resale marketplace’ when they try to get listed in Google searches for new tickets – which it appears they then buy and resell themselves at a massive mark-up rort plus ‘additional charges’. As someone who rarely gets fooled these days, my experience is testamount that anyone can have a momentary lapse and get ripped off by unscrupulous scams.
With seeing Cat Stevens live one of my few remaining lifelong goals, I was keen to get two tickets to see his concert in December when announced. Google searching just after the launch of ticketsales to this concert (later that day when I feared it might be already sold out) , I came across Viagogo as the apparent sole rights to sell tickets and when further checking it seemed to be a legitimate company. When I clicked on the link and identified some tickets still available the site also had two additional banners – one saying that there were only a few tickets left before a sell-out and the other that I had just five minutes to complete the sale. Both of these bits of information were false as I found out later, but this is all part of how these rip-off merchants design their traps in ruthless and calculating as well as very devious fashion. And when I went to purchase ‘more expensive tickets’ as I went to pay found out that the quoted price had become further inflated. Desperately thinking it might be my last chance ever to see a lifelong hero, I decided to fork out the extra money. Even then I found that I had just vaguely purchased tickets in one row (no seats were given in my receipt). I was not able to get my actual tickets online for another couple of weeks. By that time I found that (a) they had added an additional $60 or so for ‘booking fees’, (b) that I had paid three times what my actual tickets were worth on paper, and (c) really adding insult to injury there were still tickets available (yes, the same for a third less) with the official ticket-seller Ticketek which had somehow been muscled out of my original google search.
Viagogo are not just an off-shore profiteering business causing havoc in other countries as well as Australia. They are also reportedly based in Geneva, Switzerland which does not reflect very well on relevant Swiss agencies as well as government (perhaps the Gnomes of Zurich have got up to their old practices again and have some role in this behind the scenes???).