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Austrian Supreme Court deems 42 of Viagogo’s terms to be illegal

Austria’s Supreme Court (OGH) has found 42 of Viagogo’s general user terms and conditions to be illegal.

In a move that marks the first ruling of its scale into the Swiss resale operator’s T&Cs, Viagogo will have to amend clauses relating to refunds, replacement tickets and liability disclaimers.

The most notable clauses that were deemed unlawful include a stipulation that all sales are final so the buyer has no right to a refund or exchange if the ticket is lost, or the terms of the ticket sale are only partially fulfilled, such as if there is a date or time change. Another clause states that a consumer forgoes their right to a refund if tickets are not delivered to the buyer and returned to Viagogo more than three times, regardless of whether they were at fault or not.

The OGH also ruled against a clause stipulating that if the seller does not deliver the tickets, Viagogo may, at its own discretion, decide whether to offer replacement tickets or refund the buyer.

It has also been ruled illegal for Viagogo to include a clause allowing the seller to change the seat to which the listing refers for a comparable seat without the buyer’s consent.

The Supreme Court also found a number of clauses purporting to exclude or limit Viagogo’s liability, such as for its own website and services.

It also ruled against a clause stating that Swiss law applies to contracts entered into on the Austrian site, as it confirms that consumers are protected under Austrian consumer law and have the right to sue the reseller before an Austrian court.

Face-value European Alliance for Ticketing (FEAT) campaign lead Katie O’Leary said: “For a platform that claims to serve fans, the level of protection that Viagogo offers its users, as brought to light in this ruling, is shocking. We welcome the OGH’s decision and hope that it encourages other jurisdictions to ensure that their consumers are equally protected.”

TheTicketingBusiness has contacted Viagogo for a comment on the ruling.

The ruling marks the second notable ruling in Austria in the past year. Last year, the OGH ordered Viagogo to better inform its buyers about the identity of ticket sellers and the type of ticket being sold by a seller before a purchase is made.