Viagogo to appear in court for breaching consumer law

Ticket resale website Viagogo is to be taken to court by The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) for refusing to change its controversial business practices.

This comes after growing allegations that the company is breaching consumer protection laws with practices including misleading customers on the availability of tickets and not informing customers of seating numbers.

The company is also accused of not informing customers they may be turned away from events due to restrictions placed on ticket resale.

Viagogo were warned earlier in the year that they could face legal action if they refused to change their business practices and rectify the way in which they sell tickets to customers.

However, the company has failed to adjust the way it operates over the year, prompting The CMA to go to the high court in an attempt to prevent further wrongdoing against Viagogo customers.

The CMA is currently seeking an interim order that would mean Viagogo are forced to change these practices until the case reaches trial.

If this order is granted and Viagogo does not comply, they could face unlimited fines and company executives could be imprisoned for up to two years.

Viagogo said: ‘Having worked closely with the CMA for some time, we are disappointed with the announcement of formal action today. However, we respect the CMA’s intentions and remain committed to reaching resolution through the legal process.’

The CMA said that rival company StubHub, alongside Get Me In and Seatwave who are due to be closed down by Ticketmaster, had complied with demands whereas Viagogo failed to engage with the regulators concerns.

Practices such as withholding refunds and not telling customers who they were buying from, often illegal ticket touts, have caused a great deal of anger towards the company and has lead to artists like Ed Sheeran boycotting the company.

Digital and Creative Industries Minister Margot James said on Twitter: ‘I’m delighted to see The CMA are using their powers to protect consumers. Real fans should have access to tickets for their favourite events at a fair price. Well done!’