Viagogo has claimed it is now compliant with the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA’s) demands relating to consumer rights as last night’s (Thursday’s) midnight deadline passed.
The controversial ticketing website was due to release full data about its sellers who have identified themselves to the platform under the terms of a court order secured, demanding greater transparency for consumers.
Viagogo has been legally required to “overhaul” the way it does business and comply with a wide range of consumer protection legislation. These include changes such as making sure ticket listings clearly and prominently disclose details like seat location, restrictions on use, face value and whether or not the seller is a business.
Viagogo has also been ordered to stop presenting users with misleading messaging about the availability and popularity of tickets. It also has been pushed to take action when notified by an event organiser about problems with a ticket listing. It was also supposed to carry out an independently supervised review of unpaid refund claims going back to 2016.
Yesterday, viagogo took the unusual step of proclaiming their own compliance with a court order to overhaul their business. Today, we have evidence that leopards don't change their spots. Tomorrow? We need action from @CMAgovUK https://t.co/zIXGTdEsIn #toutsout pic.twitter.com/26kcLRk6TR
— FanFair Alliance (@FanFairAlliance) January 18, 2019
While Viagogo tweeted stating it was now compliant, anti-touting campaign FanFair Alliance tweeted in response saying it was “nowhere near compliant.”
Adam Webb, campaign manager, FanFair Alliance, said: “As of this morning, Viagogo was under strict instruction to overhaul its business practices. Based on our findings today, they have failed to do this. Although a few minor changes have been implemented, some of which may add even more confusion for consumers, we would be astonished if the site is compliant with the terms of its court order.
“FanFair Alliance urges all music fans to avoid Viagogo. It’s practices are an affront to audiences, to artists and to the law. We feel the CMA must now step up and take urgent action.”
You really don’t get this court order concept do you?
— FanFair Alliance (@FanFairAlliance) January 17, 2019
CMA responded to those on Twitter that doubted Viagogo’s compliancy status. It said: “Following the deadline today there will be a comprehensive independent review of changes made and we will publish the results. If required changes haven’t been made, the CMA won’t hesitate to take action”.
Sharon Hodgson MP, chair of the APPG on Ticket Abuse, added: “I’m disappointed, but not surprised, to find this morning that Viagogo has not made any drastic changes to its unscrupulous practices that rip off fans.
“This is after a long-running and costly enforcement investigation, and after the CMA secured a court order demanding a substantial overhaul of its business.
“For years Viagogo have acted in blatant disregard of consumer protection legislation. Surely they’ve now run out of road? It is time that the CMA take serious and urgent action, so that even more genuine fans don’t become victims of this company.”