Live Performance Australia (LPA) has called Viagogo’s latest plea to consumers in the country a “load of PR blah,” after the firm claimed to better understand its “responsibility as a leader in ticket resale.”
Viagogo responded to the public outcry after Google decided to reinstate it as an advertiser by stating that it had made several changes to become compliant with the search engine’s policies in Australia.
It claims to now offer clearer pricing information, demand, supply and availability messaging, and improved customer protection and communication.
Viagogo stated in the announcement that ticket buyers would be protected by a guarantee to replace tickets and offer a refund, acknowledging that in “rare” cases there can be “potential risks”.
Viagogo’s head of development Cris Miller said, according to The Music Network: “Our goal is to set the industry standard and ensure all Aussie fans feel safe, secure and confident when accessing tickets they may have missed out on.
“Our aim is to set the standard for the ticket resale market in Australia – to give fans a transparent, safe and secure platform to access tickets they may have missed out on at first release.
“Now, when fans go to our website, they’ll immediately have an accurate estimate of how much a ticket will cost, the ticket price set by the seller, in addition to all fees, delivery expenses, and tax. This provides fans with clear pricing and ticket information early in the online sale.”
However, Evelyn Richardson, chief executive of LPA, the peak body for Australia’s live performance industry, told The Music Network that the changes were all required by regulators: “The point to make is that Viagogo has only been responding to crackdowns from regulators here and overseas.
“Sites like Viagogo fuel the ticket bots by providing a resale outlet for them. What have they practically done to stop the bots?
“Our members have made significant investments in combating ticket bots, and led calls for government action to legislate against them. Viagogo’s claim the primary ticket market is not interested in this issue is totally without foundation. The ticket bots thrive because of platforms like Viagogo.
“Beneath Viagogo’s new coat of paint, the fundamentals of its business model haven’t changed and we continue to urge consumers to stay away.”