Adele Auckland concert: Wheelchair-bound fan 'tricked' by scalping website

  • 22/03/2017

An Adele fan is crying out for help after allegedly being scammed into buying seats without the crucial wheelchair accessibility she needs.

Letita Butler's friend Maiz Marshall-Amai, who is wheelchair-bound, bought a pair of tickets for AU$1252 from scalping website Viagogo last year.

When she finally received the tickets this week, they turned out to be worth NZ$204.50 each and not for the seats they were sold as - instead, they're higher up the stand in a non-wheelchair-accessible location.

Ms Butler says she's "sickened" by Viagogo's actions and has taken to Facebook with a desperate plea.

"When they sold her the tickets, they misled her. Now we don't know if she's going to be let into the concert - and if she is, I may have to pick her up and carry her to our seats," she says.

"It's always annoying being ripped off, but don't they take into consideration someone's disability? It's not a joke. It's not like we're trying to get a cheaper ticket, they simply need special conditions to be able to access locations at all.

Ms Butler says she's cared for Ms Marshall-Amai for years, but had to leave her last year and care for her father, who was dying from cancer.

Adele Auckland concert
Adele's series of Auckland concerts are the most popular in New Zealand history (Getty)

Ms Marshall-Amai bought the tickets as a gift, knowing her grieving friend was a huge Adele fan who sings many of her hits herself.

'Make You Feel My Love' is her favourite.

Ms Butler says the ticket resale website looks surprisingly legitimate and as they had Adele tickets go on sale the same day as Ticketmaster, Ms Marshall-Amai didn't know not to trust it. She was also happy to pay the huge price, as she often has to pay more to ensure the accessibility she needs.

"Viagogo is making out like they can help you, taking your money and then you don't even know if you're going to get in. It's sickening. It's not right," says Ms Butler.

Viagogo has told the pair their tickets will not be refunded, but suggested they use the website to resell them again - one day out from the event.

Concert promoter Live Nation has warned fans never to buy tickets from unofficial sources.

"Only tickets purchased via the respective approved ticketing agent (Ticketek or Ticketmaster) are valid for entry to the show. Tickets purchased via onseller sites such as Viagogo, Ticketblaster, Queen of Tickets or E-Bay may not gain entry into the event and we do not encourage anyone to purchase via these third party agencies," says Live Nation in a statement.

Viagogo is currently making headlines in the UK for refusing to attend a parliamentary hearing on their global scalping business.

The Swiss-based company left its chair at the session empty, saying it doesn't have "adequate representation" in the country to send a representative or assist with enquiries.

Live Nation restricted ticket printing for Adele's New Zealand concerts to one month out from the events in an effort to keep a lid on reselling.

Viagogo has been contacted for comment.