The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has threatened to take legal action against Viagogo for allegedly breaching UK consumer law through its sale of tickets for the Specsavers Ashes Series.
In a letter to the controversial ticketing company, the governing body of English cricket alleges that Viagogo is breaching the ticketing terms and conditions of the various grounds, such as Old Trafford and Edgbaston, and violating the Consumer Rights Act and the High Court enforcement of 2018.
It also incorrectly refers to the Specsavers Ashes Series as the ‘Quantam Ashes.’
The governing body alleges that Viagogo is in breach the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and of the High Court enforcement order dated 27 November 2018.
The letter urges the ticketing firm to cease and desist from describing the series as the ‘Quantum Ashes,’ and states “In the event that you fail to do so, our client (ECB) reserves all of its rights, including the right to issue proceedings against you seeking damages and costs.”
Daniel Gidney, chief executive of Lancashire Cricket, which runs Old Trafford, told TheTicketingBusiness.com: “Lancashire Cricket are very disappointed that tickets for the highly anticipated upcoming Specsavers Ashes Series at Emirates Old Trafford are being offered for resale by both Viagogo and StubHub in flagrant breach of the UK CMA regulations which clearly state that block, row and seat number must be displayed on any secondary ticketing websites.
“StubHub enjoyed significant press over its previous announcement to comply with these regulations by October 2018. As we have been able to evidence, neither StubHub nor Viagogo are complying with the legislation and we urge them to either publish block, row and seating information or to take all such tickets for resale down from their platform with immediate effect or face enforcement action to ensure compliance with UK law.
“Lancashire Cricket is a community and benefit society with all surpluses re invested into cricket at all levels. Our ticketing terms and conditions reflect our status and specifically prohibit resale of any tickets. This year we are investing heavily in blockchain technology with our partner Secutix and we will endeavour to ensure that the majority of tickets are distributed to individual mobile phones directly and thus securely preventing re sale and also requiring proof of identification if anybody brings print at home tickets with them to the ground.
“In light of this we urge customers to buy tickets through official channels (including the Lancashire Cricket official ticket exchange platform that will go live in the spring of 2019) and not through re sale platforms such as Viagogo or StubHub as those tickets will not gain access to Emirates Old Trafford for the Specsavers Ashes Series in September 2019.”
Gidney added: “In addition to this both Viagogo and Stubhub are referencing the event inaccurately and without recognising that Specsavers have invested significantly in cricket including acquiring the naming rights for the aforementioned series.
“Publishing the event details in this way is a clear breach of the intellectual property rights shared between the ECB and Specsavers and both platforms are urged to immediately cease any inaccurate event referencing that breaches the above mentioned rights.”
Viagogo did not reply to TheTicketingBusiness.com’s request for comment ahead of publication.
Image: Dan Heap