Ticket reseller Viagogo found guilty of misleading consumers | Money

A ticket reseller that slugged Australian sport, theatre and music fans booking fees of up to $52 misled them on several fronts, a judge has found.

Swiss-based ticket marketplace Viagogo – which resold tickets to events including tennis’ Australian Open, Ashes cricket matches and Queen concerts – falsely claimed to customers it was an official ticket seller, federal court Justice Stephen Burley said on Thursday.

It also broke the law by claiming tickets were about to sell out and by not stating clearly how much it would charge in booking fees.

In one case, a Victorian psychiatric nurse was charged $104.98 in fees when she booked two tickets to comedy theatre show The Book of Mormon in 2017.

The woman said several warnings that tickets were running out made her feel anxious and that she paid the fees as she was worried she’d lose her tickets.

Competition watchdog chief Rod Sims said Viagogo used claims like “less than 1% tickets” remaining to create a false sense of urgency.

“Viagogo was charging extraordinarily high booking fees and many consumers were caught out,” the ACCC chief said in a statement.

The court will decide penalties and orders against Viagogo at a later date.

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