British MPs have warned music fans about the use of secondary ticketing outlet Viagogo, saying they should avoid the website until it complies with consumer law.
A new report by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee criticises Viagogo for “misleading” consumers, and says that the site has “caused distress for too many music fans for too long”.
Viagogo was handed a court order in November, which demanded the website provide accurate information about all tickets sold on its platform.
Now, the DCMS has taken the “highly unusual step” of warning the general public about the company.
“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,” says the new report.
“We believe that Viagogo has yet to prove itself a trustworthy operator given its history of resisting compliance, court orders and parliamentary scrutiny, and flouting consumer law.
“It is time for companies such as Google to take more responsibility and act against such advertising, or else be considered to be knowingly making money out of fraudulent selling,” the report continues.
Labour MP Sharon Hodgson, who has been a longtime campaigner against ticket touting, said: “I hope that the government will respond positively to the report, particularly to the recommendations about reviewing the effectiveness of current regulations, and act appropriately if they are found to be ineffective.”
A spokesperson for Viagogo responded to the report, claiming the website offers an “invaluable service” and were disappointed to have been singled out.
“Hundreds of thousands of British citizens use our service to buy and sell tickets to their favourite live events every day and never experience any problems.
“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 organisers 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.”
Read this next:
“From choirboy to rock’n’roll singer…” AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson will be releasing his memoirs later this year.
Listen to Gojira’s new single Into The Storm, ahead of the release of upcoming album Fortitude later this month.