Victim Of Viagogo (VoV) founder Claire Turnham has been awarded an MBE for her services to consumer rights.
Turnham has created a strong and united consumer voice collectively campaigning for fairer, clearer and a more transparent ticketing practice.
She set up the Facebook group, Victim of Viagogo #VofV, in February 2017 to support those who felt they had been ripped off. In March, she gave evidence at the parliamentary inquiry.
Turnham told TheTicketingBusiness.com: “I am very proud to accept this award on behalf of every Victim of Viagogo because it shows what ordinary people can do when we are determined to stand up together for fairness, justice and for what is right.
“Our campaign began with one person and is now a true team effort, showing people power at its best. Together, our commitment to ensure safer ticketing practice and our strong, connected voices are empowering victims, transforming experiences and bringing change.
“When I set up the VofV group in early 2017 my intention was to connect with and to support others who were struggling. I also wished to show my children the value of kindness, compassion and courage to speak truth to power for those in need.
“So far, with the help of the media, we have raised public awareness worldwide about the misery Viagogo causes and we have worked alongside others to bring change. I am especially grateful to Sharon Hodgson, Nigel Adams, Ed Sheeran’s team and Fanfair Alliance for their shared commitment and unwavering support.”
In July 2017, Turnham published a self help guide, in conjunction with anti-touting campaign group FanFair Alliance, successfully empowering fans to reclaim thousands of pounds from Viagogo.
Turnham continued: “Our efforts have now empowered fans to reclaim close to £1m. I personally believe that the money lost by customers on Viagogo, which can be a huge sum, is secondary to the human cost involved. It is sad knowing so many people from all sectors of society in many countries, have suffered in their relationships, their jobs, and both their mental and physical health.
“The long lasting impact of this deceptive practice cannot be underestimated. I would never have expected in my wildest dreams to earn an MBE but am humbled and honoured to receive it. I trust even more now that our combined voices will become stronger, reach further and ultimately contribute towards ending ticket abuse.”
Turnham was a key speaker at TheTicketingBusiness Forum 2018 at Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester.