Sisters Angélik and Dalia Perrier share a love for the dance and music of Justin Bieber, an artist they have followed since childhood. Last March, learning about his visit to Montreal on the TikTok network, they decide to get tickets.
When 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 put in your details, you clicked on the tickets you wanted. With the seating plan displayed at the time of purchase, Angélik chooses the best seats available and off he goes.
For their part, Dominique Champagne and Guillaume Fournier, two music teachers, bought tickets to see James Taylor in Ottawa on the Viagogo site. 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 didn’t realize she was dealing with ticket scalpers! »
What is Viagogo?
Viagogo is a site that allows you to buy or sell tickets for concerts, sporting events, theater and festivals around the world. Founded in 2006, the company is based in Switzerland and recently merged with StubHub, another reselling site. Viagogo would give away 4 million tickets to events in 50 countries. The artists are varied and there are big names like Harry Styles, Elton John, Post Malone and Iron Maiden.
According to Renaud Legoux, arts and cultural industries marketing professor at HEC Montreal, it’s not easy to know that it’s a resale site.
It almost feels like we’re looking at a very common ticketing site, but it’s not a ticketing site.explains Mr. Legoux.
” Viagogo’s business model is to be a platform where sellers and buyers meet. He’s a virtual speculator, in a way. »
Seats that don’t exist
After completing the transaction, the Perrier sisters receive an email informing them that their tickets will be transferred in two days, which worries them. But the day before the show, his Justin Bieber tickets still haven’t shipped. They then contact Viagogo’s customer service.: \”It’s not normal that you don’t have your tickets. I send you an email and you just have to show up to the show with her. Then they let you in\””,”text”: “They told me: \”It’s not normal that you don’t have your tickets. I send you an email and you just have to show up to the show with this. Then they let you in\”” } }”>They told me: “It’s not normal that you don’t have your tickets. I send you an email and you just have to show up to the show with this. Then they let you in.”remembers Angelik, 16.
The night of the show they arrive at the Bell Center without tickets, but with an email that, according to Viagogo, should allow them entry. They go to the counter and show the email to the clerk.
She just sees the Viagogo sign at the top, then gets discouraged, but like she’s down with life.remember Angelik.
” It looks up places on the Bell Center website and then tells us that basically those places don’t even exist! »
Wrong or counterfeit tickets
In an email, Viagogo denies selling fake tickets. It is explained that everything would be due to a technological error or by the seller when registering the seats on his platform. Viagogo explains that their customer service tried to resolve the issue and they were eventually reimbursed according to their guarantee.
Tickets not available the day of the show.
In February, Dominique and Guillaume also try to unload their tickets purchased two years ago. The download leads to a blank page.
A few weeks before their romantic getaway to Ottawa, calls and emails multiply with Viagogo. Unsuccessfully. They then request a refund since they no longer trust Viagogo, but the company refuses, offering to resell their tickets instead. Guillaume Fournier can’t believe it.
So you want us to resell tickets we don’t have, when we’re not sure the tickets even exist?
Then, the morning of the event, Viagogo informs them via email that their vendor can no longer provide them with the tickets they ordered. They are being offered replacement tickets at less convenient locations, according to the couple, who declined Viagogo’s offer.
As for Dalia and Angélik, their saga ends with a refund.emails, then calls”,”text”:”That’s ridiculous for a transaction that normally takes five minutes. You buy, you receive your QR code, you put it on your phone, it’s settled! There, you have to write 40 emails, then calls”}}”>That’s ridiculous for a transaction that normally takes five minutes. You buy, you receive your QR code, you put it on your phone, it’s settled! There, you find yourself having to write 40 emails, then callslaments Guillaume Fournier.
” When you buy tickets with Viagogo, you can’t be sure that you’ll get the tickets. »
However, according to Viagogo, less than 1% of buyers have problems and cases of counterfeit bills are even rarer.
discontent is global
the facebook group Victims of Viagogo, also called ViaNogo, has nearly 14,000 members from all over the world. You can read thousands of testimonials from dissatisfied customers.
The artists advise their fans to avoid buying tickets on this site. Others, like the metal band Rammstein, are going to court to stop Viagogo from reselling their tickets. Lawsuits have also been filed against the company in many countries.
Viagogo subject to the law
Alexandre Plourde, lawyer for Option consommateurs, points out that this type of merchant, in order to avoid being subject to regulation, inserts clauses in their contract where they define themselves as a simple intermediary, an exchange platform between two people. However, Me Plourde explains that a merchant cannot avoid the obligations of the Consumer Protection Law (LPC) simply by inserting a clause to that effect.
Me Plourde is of the opinion that CPA should be applied to Viagogo, because it is clear that the transaction is actually carried out with the platform. Guillaume Fournier agrees:
When you buy something at Kijiji, you know who you’re buying from. We know the person, we can write to him, we can communicate with him. Which is not the case with Viagogo as buyers have no idea who they are buying their tickets from.
Being subject to the CPA, 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 to his 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 using its platform to enforce applicable regulations.
The Consumer Protection Office is conducting controls on Viagogo, confirms Charles Tanguay, spokesman for the organization.
The report by Katherine Tremblay and Stéphanie Allaire is broadcast on The invoice Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 12:30 p.m. on ICI Télé.
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