Those of you who are longterm subscribers or who have been following our newsfeed will no doubt already be familiar with the ongoing furore surrounding Viagogo. The second hand ticketing platform’s unethical practices have drawn the attention of consumer watchdogs and even the government. Most recently, the company was instructed to change the way it operates by the Competition & Market Authority in order to adhere to consumer right’s law. Evidently, that warning has fallen on deaf ears; the subsequent acceptance of the CMA’s terms the latest in a long line of mistruths. Here’s the latest headline in the industry scandal.
The world’s largest search engine - Google - has gone on the record as suspending Viagogo as an advertiser, as it investigates its current business practices. Whilst Viagogo insists that it is cooperating with the CMA, Google seems to think otherwise. In an official statement, the tech giant said:
"When people use our platform for help in purchasing tickets, we want to make sure that they have an experience they can trust. We have strict policies and will take the necessary action when we find an advertiser in breach."
It would appear that Google are not alone. As well as the thousands of consumers who have been left out-of-pocket, inconvenienced, embarrassed and upset about experiences buying second hand tickets through Viagogo, the CMA are not best pleased. Alleging that demands have been ignored, the CMA is now preparing to launch legal proceedings for contempt of court. If found guilty, Viagogo are likely to be hit with substantial fines. However, the real way to deal this unscrupulous entity a blow, is to cut their revenue stream off at source and boycott the platform. We can emphasise the importance of signing-up to official mailing lists to artists and events - and buying first-chance tickets through official ticket partners or trusted friends. No matter how badly you want to see you favourite DJ or band, nobody wants to be turned away at the gates having spent money on travel, accommodation and an unuseable ticket.
Campaign group the FanFair Alliance, had the following to say in regards to this latest development:
"We are delighted Google has finally acted and suspended Viagogo's advertising. We now hope other platforms, particularly Facebook, can follow its example."
Customers need more education on the practice of buying tickets securely from first hand sellers and the use of resale features to stop fraudsters up selling tickets multiple times. Festival season is well under way so take care to make sure you are buying valid tickets from reliable first hand sellers.
Tickets to festivals such as Elrow Town London, Naked City, We Out Here, Abode In The Park, Mint festival, Dimensions, Outlook, One Day At The Disco Festival, Art's House, Brighton Boundary, Hospitality In The Park and more are on sale now.