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Viagogo agrees to website changes after EU action

The resale platform has committed to implementing a number of changes and clarifications following a three-year investigation

By James Hanley on 17 May 2024

European Union flags

Viagogo has committed to improving terms and consumer information on its website following a three-year investigation by the European Commission (EC).

The agreed changes, which must be implemented to the versions of its website directed at EU/EEA consumers by the end of August 2024, include informing consumers on whether the seller of a ticket is a trader, and substantially reducing the number of countdown messages that appear when making a purchase.

In addition, the secondary ticketing site will allow customers to choose an exact seat number on their ticket, where possible, and include delivery fees in the displayed price where there is only one delivery option available for a ticket. There will also be more time to apply for a refund under Viagogo’s ‘discretionary’ ticket guarantee scheme, as featured this week on the BBC’s Watchdog consumer advice programme in the UK.

The agreement further clarifies that EU citizens will be protected by their national consumer laws and can take actions against Viagogo, if needed, in their own country of residence.

The Consumer Protection Cooperation (CPC) Network, coordinated by the EC, began a dialogue with Viagogo in April 2021. As a result of this first coordinated action from the EU, the Swiss-headquartered resale platform has agreed to implement a number of changes and clarifications to several clauses in its terms & conditions by the end of August.

“Consumers buying second hand tickets must understand exactly what they buy, the potential risks they face when tickets do not come from authorised retailers and that scarcity claims may only be a trick to make them purchase at a higher price,” says Věra Jourová, the EC’s VP for values and transparency. “I hope the commitments made by Viagogo will bring the company’s website and terms and conditions more in line with the requirements of EU consumer protection law. I call on this market leader now to ensure a swift and accurate implementation of its commitments across the Union.”

“We expect this will save lots of time and money in legal battles, which the live performance sector can ill afford”

A Viagogo spokesperson says: “Following a period of ongoing cooperation with the European Commission and the CPC Network, we have agreed to make amendments to our platform that will further enhance our consumer protection measures by the implementation deadline.

“Viagogo remains fully committed to fulfilling all legal obligations and ensuring compliance in all markets in which we operate. We are pleased to have reached a resolution and underline our commitment to prioritising fan safety and access.”

Commenting on the development, Sam Shemtob, director of the Face-value European Alliance for Ticketing (FEAT), says: “FEAT has been calling for better enforcement for rogue ticket resale marketplaces for five years. This is the EU’s first coordinated action, and introduces some of the most far-reaching consumer protection for European consumers to date.

“The changes will also prove incredibly useful in promoters’ efforts to curtail ticket scalping. We expect this will save lots of time and money in legal battles, which the live performance sector can ill afford.”

Nevertheless, Viagogo has refused to commit to changes the CPC Network had requested around informing consumers about the amount of possible delivery fees at the beginning of the purchase procedure, as well as making clearer to consumers that they may have additional rights when their event is cancelled or postponed.

“The CPC Network urged Viagogo to address these issues as well and may resort to enforcement actions as necessary,” says the EC. “The CPC Network will now actively monitor how Viagogo implements its commitments. If Viagogo does not implement the commitments properly within the agreed timeframe or if it fails to address the remaining concerns raised by the CPC Network, national consumer authorities may decide to take measures to enforce compliance, including sanctions.”

 


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