Tickets purchased on Viagogo that do not exist
By purchasing tickets with Viagogo, it is not guaranteed that you will be able to attend your show.
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Viagogo, a world-class ticket resale site
Concert tickets sold for places that don't exist, tickets that are no longer available on the day of the show. Viagogo, a ticket resale site, is causing discontent and disappointment in Quebec, as elsewhere in the world.
The Angélik and Dalia Perrier sisters share a love for dance and the music of Justin Bieber, an artist they have followed since childhood. Last March, they learn on the TikTok network of his visit to Montreal, they decide to get tickets.
By searching the Internet, they see the Viagogo site appear in the first results. Tickets are available there at a reasonable price. It wasn't complicated because basically it was like buying tickets normally, you just entered your information, you clicked on the tickets you wanted. With the seating plan displayed at the time of purchase, Angélik chooses the best available seats and that's it.
Dominique Champagne bought tickets on the Viagogo website.
For their part, Dominique Champagne and Guillaume Fournier, two music teachers, bought tickets to see James Taylor in Ottawa on the Viagogo site. Much like the Perrier sisters, the couple didn't realize it was a resale site.
“ We could clearly see the places, the seats, all that. I did not notice that I was dealing with ticket resellers!
—Dominique Champagne, Viagogo customer
Viagogo is a site that allows you to buy or sell tickets for concerts, sporting events, theater and festivals that take place around the world. Founded in 2006, the company is based in Switzerland and recently merged with StubHub, another resale site. Viagogo would give away 4 million tickets for events in 50 countries. The artists are varied and there are big names like Harry Styles, Elton John, Post Malone and Iron Maiden.
Renaud Legoux is a professor at HEC Montreal.
According to Renaud Legoux, professor at HEC Montreal in arts and cultural industries marketing, it is not easy to know that this is a resale site. It almost feels like we're in front of a perfectly ordinary ticketing site, but it's not a ticketing office, explains Mr. Legoux.
“Viagogo's business model is to be a platform where we connect sellers and buyers. It's a virtual scalper, in a way. »
— Renaud Legoux, professor at HEC Montréal in arts and cultural industries marketing
After concluding the transaction, the Perrier sisters receive an email stating that their tickets will be transferred in two days, which worries them. But the day before the show, their tickets for Justin Bieber have still not been sent. They then contact Viagogo customer service. They said to me, 'It's not normal that you don't have your tickets. I'll send you an email and you just have to show up to the show with it. Then they'll let you in,” recalls 16-year-old Angelik.
Angélik Perrier, disappointed user of the Viagogo resale site
On the night of the show, they arrive at the Bell Center without tickets, but with an email which, according to Viagogo, should allow them to enter. They go to the counter and show the email to the employee. She just sees the Viagogo sign at the top, then she's discouraged, but as if discouraged with life, Angelik recalls.
“She look on the Bell Center website for the places, then she tells us that in the end these places don't even exist!
—Angélik Perrier, disappointed Viagogo user
Sisters Dalia and Angélik Perrier
In an email, Viagogo denies selling fake tickets. It is explained that the whole thing would be due to a technological error or an error by the seller when registering the seats on their platform. Viagogo explains that their customer service tried to solve the problem and that they finally reimbursed them according to their guarantee.
In February, Dominique and Guillaume also tried to download their tickets purchased two years ago. The download leads to a blank page.
A few weeks before their romantic getaway in Ottawa, they multiply the calls and emails with Viagogo. Without success. They then ask for a refund since they no longer trust Viagogo, but the company refuses and offers them to resell their tickets instead. Guillaume Fournier can't believe it. So there, you want us to resell tickets that we don't have, when we are not sure that the tickets exist?
Guillaume Fournier is disappointed with Viagogo.
Then, the morning of the event, Viagogo informs them by email that their seller is no longer able to provide the tickets they ordered. They are offered replacement tickets in less convenient locations, according to the couple, who declined Viagogo's offer.
Just like for Dalia and Angélik, their saga ends with a refund. This is ridiculous for a transaction that normally takes five minutes. You buy, you get your QR code, you put that in your phone, it's done! There, you find yourself having to write 40 emails, then calls, deplores Guillaume Fournier.
“When you buy tickets with Viagogo , we can't be sure we'll get the tickets. »
—Dominique Champagne, disappointed Viagogo user
Yet, according to Viagogo, fewer than 1% of shoppers have problems, and cases of counterfeit notes are even rarer.
The Victims of Viagogo Facebook group, also known as ViaNogo, has nearly of 14,000 members from around the world. You can read thousands of testimonials from dissatisfied customers.
Artists recommend their fans to avoid buying tickets on this site. Others, like metal band Rammstein, are taking to court to stop Viagogo from reselling their tickets. Lawsuits against the company have also been filed in many countries.
Alexandre Plourde, lawyer at Option consommateurs, notes that this type of merchant, to avoid being subject to regulation, inserts clauses in their contract where they define themselves as a simple intermediary, a platform for exchange between two individuals. . However, Me Plourde explains that a merchant cannot escape the obligations of the Consumer Protection Act (LPC) simply by inserting a clause to this effect.
Me Plourde is d I believe that the CPA should apply to Viagogo, because it is clear that the transaction is genuinely made with the platform. Guillaume Fournier agrees: When you buy something on Kijiji, you know who you're buying from. We know the person, we can write to him, we can communicate with him. This is not the case with Viagogo since buyers have no idea who they are buying their tickets from.
Being subject to the LPC, Viagogo cannot resell tickets unless it has obtained the promoter's authorization to resell them at a price higher than the initial price. Justin Bieber's promoter, AEG Presents, confirms that it does not do business with Viagogo and has not authorized it to sell tickets for its shows.
In addition, Viagogo must also provide the name of the official box office as well as the initial price of the ticket, information that does not appear during the transaction.
Viagogo's position is that it trusts sellers who use its platform to apply the regulations in force.
The Consumer Protection Office is conducting checks on Viagogo, confirms Charles Tanguay, spokesperson for the organization.
The report by Katherine Tremblay and Stéphanie Allaire is broadcast on La invoice on Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 12:30 p.m. on ICI Télé.