So, Viagogo is getting a bit of bad press (understatement of the year) at the moment. But is it justified?
I can’t talk about hidden fees or anything, but what I can talk with experience about is the widespread sale of invalid tickets! So here’s my experience of dealing with what I consider a complete Viagogo scam.
Ed Sheeran Tickets
So, a family member of mine bought Ed Sheeran tickets on 12th July this year. Just a matter of days later, it was in the news that Ed’s promoters, Kilimanjaro Live, had cancelled 10,000 tickets they believed were being resold.
That’s when my personal battle with Viagogo began.
The Facts About Viagogo and Ed Sheeran Tickets
Everyone has their own opinion about ticket reselling but this isn’t about the moral side of it. It’s about consumer rights. Here are the facts:
- The promoters made it clear when tickets went on sale that resale sites were NOT authorised to sell them. It was clear enough to all the big ticket resale sites – with the exception of Viagogo, who completely ignored this and went on to sell the tickets
- Kilimanjaro Live declared all tickets sold on resale sites, naming Viagogo specifically in this letter, invalid and proceeded to put another 10,000 tickets on sale at face value (presumably the ones they’d cancelled!)
- Viagogo’s “Guarantee,” supposedly protects consumers in the event they are sold invalid tickets and says a replacement or refund will be provided
- Viagogo cannot provide a valid replacement, since all tickets sold through their site are now invalid, therefore they should provide a refund
Pretty straightforward, you’d think?
The Ed Sheeran Refund Battle So Far…
A few things you should know before I share the support thread so far:
- There is no telephone support for users unless their gig is within 72 hours. You are asked for your booking reference upon calling and if your booking is for tickets for an event more than 72 hours away, you don’t get to speak a human. You are simply sent back to the online support
- It’s not as simple as simply contacting them through online support. You have to login, go through a few questions and answers first and declare that the text doesn’t answer your question before you get to send an email
- Unsurprisingly, if you are trying to buy tickets, you can get hold of them easily!
Here’s my support thread to date…
So, “Karen,” gets back suggesting I should just push my dodgy tickets on to someone else… This is very clearly a copy and paste response. But let’s give Karen some credit – she sent me that generic response within an impressive 5 minutes.
Of course, I assumed she must have misread my message. So I went back…
A slightly longer response time this time, but Karen clearly just copied and pasted another stock response.
Come on, Karen at Viagogo. You can do better!
By now, responses are hours apart and Karen appears to be getting a bit snappy with me. Apparently Viagogo, “do not offer refunds,” and she put that bit in bold.
Still not satisfied, I went back…
By this point, I’m apparently talking to myself. Karen has enough of me, do we think?
It seems that yes, indeed, Karen has had enough of me! In steps Samuele with another default Viagogo copy and paste response that relates in absolutely no way whatsoever to my query.
Samuele disappeared and in stepped Niamh.
Fair enough, their terms do say I should be refused entry first. But of course, if I organise transport and accommodation and turn up knowing I am going to be refused, I would have no chance in hell of getting reimbursed from Viagogo for that! So I decide to go back with more logical points:
A little while later…
Another generic stock response and once again, another suggestion from Viagogo that I should pass the dodgy tickets on to someone else…
So I go back again!
Is this progress? They’re going to let me send the letter proving the tickets are invalid?!
Of course, I sent the letter through. And this followed:
What that actual F**K?
Viagogo are now claiming that Kilimanjaro Live haven’t told them directly of this fact. Yes, for real.
Megan’s next reply didn’t even include my name….
We then went back and forth for a day or two like this, with some more stock responses about how I should resell my tickets blah blah blah.
Then I got another response assuring me the tickets are valid:
I got another similar reply and finally I asked them to supply me with evidence to prove that the tickets are valid.
I have had no response.
In fact, I have had no response since 26th July and I’ve since sent 22 messages to them.
I am being ignored. My refund is not being issued.
My bank is currently assessing whether they will issue a refund or whether I need to be actually turned away from the venue before they’ll process it.
What are the options then?
I plan to continue pursuing a refund. Even the experts on BBC Watchdog this week said that Viagogo’s interpretation of consumer law is questionable!
But ultimately, what may happen is that I simply have to go to the gig, get the tickets stamped invalid and then claim my refund afterwards. It might be the only choice I have.
Support and Resources
If you’re in a similar situation of trying to claim a refund from Viagogo, check out http://fanfairalliance.org/ for support and take a look at the Victims of Viagogo Facebook Group to speak to others in a similar situation.
Is Viagogo a Scam?
My own one experience of Viagogo has been being sold tickets that are invalid and then being refused a refund because Viagogo still claims they’re valid despite all evidence to the contrary. On that basis, I cannot possibly come to any other conclusion that yes, Viagogo is a scam. A complete and utter con.