We almost spat our cornflakes out last week, when we read that unscrupulous ticket reselling platform Viagogo was listing tickets for Michelle Obama’s O2 gig at three-times their face value. Eye-watering mark-up alone, given that the retail price for the lowest tier seating was already a handsome £97.00 before fees, that’s a staggering amount to pay for a ticket that might turn out not to be genuine. Worst of all, is that any secondary buyers risk being denied entrance even if they are the real deal, as the T&Cs clearly stipulate that the tickets will only admit the named buyer.
The O2 has gone on record as to warn consumers about purchasing from Viagogo - and similar sites, and now we echo their sentiments. The message is clear: “we are not affiliated with Viagogo and they are not an authorised ticket seller.” You know you have to be treading some pretty questionable moral territory when politicians wade in on the debate. Labour MP Sharon Hodgson was one of the first to publicly lambast the platform’s activities, accusing them of “using” consumers and “trying to rip off fans.”
Despite protesting that they are safe for consumers numerous times, the fact remains that literally hundreds of fans turn-up at the gates of events with tickets purchased through them, only to be given some bad news. According to consumer watchdogs experts, the disclaimer on their website doesn’t stand-up to scrutiny. Even in the cases when your money is protected, it’s often only returned after a lengthy fight and lots of passing the buck. And it certainly won’t reimburse you for an additional costs, such as travel or hotels - not to mention the massive inconvenience of not getting in and the heartbreak of missing the event. In short, it just isn’t worth the hassle. Though perhaps the worst part, is losing face when you return to the office on Monday morning and your colleagues - all too familiar with how excited you were - ask you how your weekend went. Bummer.
As we approach another busy festival seasons, a highly popular - and highly lucrative - time of year, we are reminded that this issue still remains at large. As much as we and the rest of the industry provide warnings, many will tempt fate with their hard-earned cash and buy secondary tickets from strangers online. Having worked the doors at Junction 2 and elrow Town festivals for the past three years, we know that the problem is rife - and still the touts and frauds manage to dupe a lot ot trusting people.
We yearn for the day when this blight on our industry is extinguished, but in the meantime we can all do our piece by buying solely at source from event partners and our nearest & dearest. Secondly, we can apply pressure to official bodies - including our local MP - to help tackle this form of theft. Lastly, we can report suspicious-looking listings to the websites they’re found on. Though, this one is only really applicable if the host site has any intention of looking after its customers. Sadly, too often they are only concerned by the money they are making.
Be safe with your finances - and buy direct. It always happens to somebody else, until it happens to you!
Tickets for events such as Elrow, Junction 2, Dimensions, Outlook, Parklife can be bought from our site safely and securely.