Scalping websites could be a costly mistake for concert-goers

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Concert-goers are being left out of pocket by scalping websites, prompting a major national campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of buying tickets through certain platforms.

With the rise of fake and overpriced tickets being bought from unauthorised ticket re-selling websites such as Viagogo and Gumtree, Consumer Affairs Victoria is warning consumers about the risks involved with buying tickets to live events online.

It’s easy to get confused about where to buy tickets online, in particular when the top search results are not the official ticket outlet, Consumer Affairs Victoria said.

“Many consumers are reporting being left out of pocket, or out in the cold, by buying tickets through unauthorised reselling sites,” said Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria, Simon Cohen.

The statement released by Consumer Affairs Victoria further reminded consumers that in the case of an event being cancelled, under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), they are entitled to a full refund from the company that sold them the ticket. However, the ACL doesn’t apply if the ticket was purchased from a private seller on a website.

“The best way to protect yourself is to only buy tickets through an event’s authorised ticket sellers,” said Mr Cohen. “If using a ticket reseller, always check the website’s terms and conditions to see if they have any buyer protections in place and if you believe someone is selling fake tickets report it to the website administrators.”

In response to the claims, a Gumtree spokesperson told 9 News: “The safety and security of Gumtree’s community is our number one priority, and we encourage our community to report any suspicious or concerning ticket listings and we will remove any listing which breaches our policies.

“Gumtree’s ticket policy identifies that Gumtree users must comply with various laws set out in each state. A ticket ad must always state the face value of the ticket. Gumtree does not support ticket touts or scalpers and ads not containing the face value of the ticket may be removed.”

Viagogo gets a no-no from the ACCC

In August, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) filed proceedings claiming that Viagogo made misleading representations and engaged in deceptive conduct in regards to the price of tickets on its website, failing to disclose substantial fees. The ACCC received 473 contacts about Viagogo from Australian consumers in 2017.

In the statement of claims, the ACCC uses three examples to showcase the hiked up rates from three different events, with increases ranging from 29% to 31%. The ACCC further alleges that Viagogo misled consumers by promoting itself as an authorised ticket seller through the use of the word ‘official’ in search engines.

In order to protect yourself, it’s important to do your research on the event and the ticket seller, as well as read the terms and conditions before you purchase tickets. It’s also suggested that you keep all related documentation and receipts in case there are any issues.

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