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Viagogo reprimanded over “misleading” marketing

The secondary ticketing site has become the latest target of Germany's Consumer Federation, which has demanded it cease "deceiving" buyers by posing as an official seller

By Jon Chapple on 08 Feb 2017

Ed Sheeran, Southside 2014, Markus Hillgärtner, Verbraucherzentrale

Ed Sheeran at Southside in Germany in 2014. He this week said he's "vehemently opposed" to secondary

image © Markus Hillgärtner

German consumer protection agency Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband (VZ) has criticised Viagogo for “deceiving” consumers by allegedly masquerading as a primary ticket seller.

The Bavarian (Bayern) branch of VZ says it has, along with its counterparts in seven other German states, received numerous complaints from customers that Viagogo seeks to disguise the fact it is a secondary ticketing site, posing instead as as “an official ticket sales portal”.

“In this way,” says the agency’s Susanne Baumer, “the company deceives users about the essential characteristics of its service.”

“Consumers are particularly critical of the fact that the company appears to be an official ticket sales portal”

VZ Bayern also blasts Zurich-based Viagogo’s guarantee as “useless”, noting that by “guaranteeing the receipt of tickets, [Viagogo] reinforces the impression that consumers are dealing with a direct ticket seller. In fact, this guarantee does not include any more than the statutory rights of the buyer.”

The agency has, therefore, sent a letter demanding the secondary ticketing site “make its status as a ticket exchange clear” and cease all advertising using the “misleading” term Viagogo Guarantee (Viagogo-Garantie).

Verbraucherzentrale in North Rhine-Westphalia won a court case in September forcing CTS Eventim to stop charging service fees on print-at-home tickets.


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