Viagogo leaves viewers ‘disappointed’ and ‘out of pocket’

Concertgoers have spoken out after being left massively out of pocket from concert tickets they bought through Viagogo. On BBC’s The One Show tonight (Wednesday 15 May), Watchdog presenter Matt Allwright talks to two people who bought tickets through the online secondary ticket market.

Viagogo says it is “the world’s largest secondary ticket marketplace for live events and covers all transactions between sellers and buyers with a guarantee. Buyers will receive their tickets before the event – ​​or receive a full refund.” But on tonight’s programme, Matt talks to Beth from Salisbury, who last July booked a big trip to Singapore to see her husband’s favorite band, Coldplay, as thanks for his unwavering support during her cancer treatment.

The two tickets he bought through Viagogo cost £500. Six and a half weeks before the concert, Beth received a package, but it wasn’t the tickets she expected. Speaking to Matt, Beth said: “I opened it up and it said ‘This is not a ticket’.

When the actual tickets still hadn’t arrived 18 days later, Beth started chasing Viagogo with what was eventually the final email saying “We’re very sorry, we can’t offer you a refund”. Matt then asks, “What about the warranty?”

Beth replies, “I know… (if) they say they guarantee their tickets, they have to offer that guarantee.” Viagogo guarantees that you will receive the tickets you paid for in time for the event – and if there is a problem, “at its discretion”, it will replace or refund them.

Also on the show, Matt hears from lifelong Pearl Jam fan Siôn from Abergavenny, who spent £550 on tickets to their show in Berlin for daughter Elena’s 18th birthday. He wanted to make sure his tickets would be valid when he got there, so before he traveled he checked with the concert organizer to see if, if he did get them, his tickets would be accepted.

They responded by saying they were “advised not to purchase through Viagogo or other secondary ticketing sites and must assume his tickets will not be valid.” Commenting on Siôn’s situation, consumer advocate Dean Dunham told Matt: “… the Consumer Rights Act specifically says, they should have told her, here’s a ticket. Here is the price, but they may not be valid. Do you still want to buy? That didn’t happen.. He’s entitled to his money back.”

Both Beth and Sion bought official tickets, spending £575 and £300 respectively on replacements that will guarantee entry. Something Dean says neither of them should have done. Commenting on Beth’s case, Dean said: “You absolutely deserve your money back as the seller has an obligation to get the tickets to you. Viagogo must prove that the envelope contained the tickets and they arrived.”