Viagogo agrees to platform changes under Swiss consumer agreement

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Viagogo will pay out more than €100,000 and make changes to how it operates following a long-running dispute in Switzerland.

The resale marketplace has reached a settlement with the Fédération Romande des Consommateurs (FRC) consumer rights group in a case brought by more than 800 people. Viagogo, which has its European headquarters in Switzerland, has allocated 100,000 CHF (€105,000/£90,000) as compensation for the 807 individuals that lodged complaints against Viagogo with the FRC prior to February 5, 2024.

Viagogo has also agreed to make changes to its Swiss website, with a commitment to indicating the platform’s status as a resale marketplace in the nation’s three national languages and English.

In return for these changes, the FRC has withdrawn its lawsuit. However, should Viagogo fail to meet any of its commitments, the FRC will be free to make another legal complaint.

Viagogo: “We are fully compliant”

In a statement issued to, Viagogo said: “We are pleased to have reached an agreement with Fédération romande des consommateurs (FRC). As part of this, we have made changes to our Swiss platform to enhance the fan experience for our Swiss customers. Viagogo is a safe, secure, and regulated marketplace that is fully compliant in the markets in which we operate.”

Jean Tschopp, head of the FRC’s legal department, said the agreement was a better result for consumers rather than a protracted dispute.

“In our view, this agreement was the best option faced to a procedure that was getting bogged down and would certainly have taken many more years before a final decision was reached,” Tschopp said.

“Our association preferred concrete improvements for Internet users in the form of changes brought to Viagogo’s Swiss website instead of waiting several more years for a final decision.

“What’s more, pursuing the legal route wouldn’t have guaranteed a favourable outcome for aggrieved consumers. Even if the courts had found against Viagogo, the victims wouldn’t necessarily have received compensation. In this case, the 807 people concerned will be», he continues. This unexpected outcome is rare enough to warrant mention.”

Viagogo offers greater transparency

The FRC first lodged a criminal complaint against Viagogo with the Geneva public prosecutor’s office in 2017 after receiving more than 100 complaints against the site. These related to allegations of a lack of transparency over pricing, pressure-selling tactics, and leading consumers to believe that they are buying from an official ticket seller.

Among its other commitments, Viagogo will offer greater transparency over ticket prices and seating information, with the total cost and seating information clearly shown throughout the buying process. It will reduce the number of “pop-up” windows and clearly identify professional resellers or traders.

Calls for Google action

FRC reiterated calls for Google to bar resellers from advertising, adding: “As long as search engines like Google allow resale sites to pay to appear at the top of web searches using Google Ads (or Ad Words), which give them the appearance of officiousness, web users will be duped.”

In 2019, Google temporarily removed Viagogo ads at the request of the FRC and other stakeholders, causing the site’s traffic to plummet.

Commenting on the agreement, Face-value European Alliance for Ticketing (FEAT) director Sam Shemtob said: “While great news, the settlement – made after six years of legal work – highlights the difficulty of hauling uncapped ticket resale sites through the courts.

“For consumers in the EU, we hope and expect the new Digital Services Act, which requires online marketplaces to improve transparency and desist from pressure buying tactics, will be robustly enforced.”

Last year, the Paris Court of Justice fined Viagogo for the unauthorised sale of Rugby World Cup France 2023 tickets online. According to a report from Reuters, Viagogo was ordered to pay €400,000 (£342,000/€447,000) in penalties.

Posted in LegalTagged |