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MPs slam Viagogo secrecy: “Odd practice” for ‘legitimate co’

Viagogo UK, trading as VGL Services, has been denying it is based at its new offices on Fenchurch Street, as MPs call for "more transparency" from the resale giant

By Jon Chapple on 20 Jul 2017

71 Fenchurch Street, VGL Services offices

71 Fenchurch Street, which houses VGL Services' offices


image © screengrab via Google Street View

British parliamentarians have written to Viagogo to express their concern over the culture of “secrecy” at the controversial secondary ticketing business, which is reportedly instructing receptionists to deny the company is based at its new UK HQ on Fenchurch Street, London.

In a letter dated 18 July, Nigel Adams MP – who sat on the Culture, Media and Sport (CMS) Committee at the time of Viagogo’s infamous no-show – and Sharon Hodgson MP, co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Ticket Abuse, call on Viagogo to provide “more transparency about its UK presence” and advise on how both they and their constituents can “engage” with the notoriously publicity-shy business.

Viagogo in the UK is now trading as VGL Services, with one listed active director, Prabah Shah, a ‘digital marketer’ who founded the company Online Seller UK.

“We recently learned with interest that VGL Services/Viagogo are now operating from address at 71 Fenchurch Street,” write Adams and Hodgson to Shah. “This is different from the address listed with Companies House, and we understand that despite journalists and consumer advocates seeing correspondence for Viagogo on the reception desk in the building, the reception desk has been instructed to deny that Viagogo has offices there. We find this an odd practice for a company that contends it is behaving in an entirely above-board manner.”

“Despite journalists and consumer advocates seeing correspondence for Viagogo on the reception desk, it has been instructed to deny Viagogo has offices there”

The MPs also rebuke Viagogo for its snub of the CMS Committee’s inquiry, saying the company had told the committee it “did not have sufficient capacity in the UK [to attend] – something we had trouble believing given that clearly the operation is of significant size, as there were between 40 and 50 positions with Viagogo in the UK being advertised online at the time. We do hope that should be the committee resume this inquiry in the current parliament, Viagogo will be more forthcoming.

“However, it is also of concern to us an elected representatives that we, and the committee clerks, had such difficulty getting in touch. This seems to us to be somewhat obstructive, as select committees and their inquiries are an important part of public accountability. Additionally many of our colleagues have been contacted by constituents who have been Viagogo customers with issues and wish to make their own representations to Viagogo.

“They should be able to do so. In light of these issues, we would appreciate more transparency from Viagogo about its UK presence, and how we can engage.”

It is illegal to list an “unauthorised address” for a company trading in the UK.

 


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