NSW watchdog to probe ticket reseller

·1-min read

Ticket reseller Viagogo is being investigated by NSW's consumer watchdog again, having received a spike in complaints as events resume across the state.

NSW Fair Trading has received 36 complaints about Viagogo in 2021 so far, for everything from ticket scalping, refusing to refund tickets of cancelled events, failing to deliver tickets and not advertising age restriction advice.

The most common complaints related to price gouging of tickets to the Hamilton musical.

NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rose Webb said ticket scalpers like Viagogo were sticking the boot into the already struggling arts and entertainment industry by ripping off consumers.

"Those within the entertainment and arts industry have been vocal about the obliteration of their industry due to COVID and they do not need the additional stress of ticket resellers scalping well-meaning fans," she said.

"We will be investigating and using our powers to stop any unlawful behaviour."

Ticket scalping was made illegal in NSW in 2018, when it became an offence for ticket resellers to charge more than 10 per cent extra on the original ticket price and transactions costs.

But that only briefly curbed the practice, with complaints ramping up again in the months before the pandemic hit.

"Now that events are back on the agenda, we have seen a spike again and despite Viagogo being explicitly warned and receiving a $7 million fine from the ACCC in 2020, they continue to flout the rules," Ms Webb said.

Anyone who has seen or experienced ticket scalping should report the incident at the Fair Trading website, she said.

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