If you don’t know by now that online ticket re-sellers are dodgy – ticket re-sellers are dodgy. Now UK Officials are warning against them after they break advertising rules.
One of the biggest digital ticket sellers ViaGogo has been breaking advertising rules and earned the disapproval of a top UK official. UK Digital Minister Margot James has spoken out against them on BBC Radio 5 live, saying: “Don’t choose ViaGogo – they are the worst.”
ViaGogo was found to be in breach of National Trading Standards in the UK and the Advertising Standards Authority have been in contact. The ticket re-sellers were found to be breaching the rules of clearly stating additional fees. The ASA took action in March against ViaGogo and 3 other ticket sellers after which ViaGogo said they agreed to make compulsory fees clear by the 26th of May. They’ve now found that they haven’t.
The ASA say: “ViaGogo continues to mislead consumers by not being upfront and clear about additional booking fees and delivery charges that are added at the end of the booking process.” The ASA then sent the case over to the National Trading Standards who will take enforcement action on the issue. A spokesperson said: “We have now launched an investigation into ViaGogo, which will look at all legal options to bring them into compliance with the law.” Penalties for breaching the ASA can include fines and in extreme circumstances lead to closures.
The Advertising Standards Agency requires all of the major secondary ticketing sites to be upfront and clear with any additional fees that may occur in the transaction. Many ticket-buyers have been caught out in recent years by extra charges on top of their tickets, such as ‘administration fees’, which can amount to over 4 times the price of the tickets themselves.
One unlucky mother bought the last 4 tickets for an Ed Sheeran show for her daughter and friends on ViaGogo. The site said the total would amount to £263 which she happily paid for only to find out after the transaction that extra fees incurred brought the cost up to a ridiculous £1,421.