Viagogo has been awarded a consumer gong in Australia – but might wish it had missed out.
The Shonky Choice Awards, in their 12th year, are handed out by consumer advocacy group Choice to companies it considers to be serving up poor value, false advertising, hidden charges, faulty goods and questionable claims. Shonky is, according to Choice, Australian slang for “unreliable, unsound, dishonest, poor or of dubious quality; shoddy”.
Viagogo, electronics giant Samsung and major car manufacturers Honda, Toyota, Lexus, BMW and Mazda were among those to be “named and shamed for the shonkiest products and companies taking advantage of Australian consumers”.
A long-time critic of the secondary ticketing market, Choice said Viagogo allows people to attempt to offload fraudulent tickets at inflated prices. It said it has received hundreds of reports from angry consumers, who say the company fails to respond to complaints.
Viagogo was therefore awarded the Shonky Award for ‘Dodgy practices that tick off consumers’.
“Viagogo’s drip-pricing practice and dodgy ‘customer guarantee’ is about as reliable as a scalper in a back alley,” Choice said.
Earlier this year, Choice published an investigation that found ticket sellers were inflating prices by up to 500 per cent. It referred its findings to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). At the time, it described Viagogo as “the worst offender when it comes to dodgy pricing practices [and] cheap ticket claims”.
Samsung was handed a Shonky for its WD16J9845KG AddWash Dryer combo, which apparently took 6.5 hours to complete a cycle. The product was eventually discontinued by the Japanese firm.
The car manufacturers were included because of their handling of the Takata airbag recall, which Choice said put people’s lives at risk.