Viagogo: Bad publicity will hopefully warn public away despite court fight failure - Consumer NZ

Consumer NZ says negative publicity will hopefully warn the public away from controversial ticket re-seller Viagogo, even though the Commerce Commission's fight in court against the company has failed.

On Monday, the High Court ruled that as Viagogo is based in Switzerland, New Zealand had no jurisdiction to enforce an interim injunction to stop it making claims the commission say are misleading.

The commission argues the company breaches the Fair Trading Act by making misleading claims about tickets it resells, with some tickets even being invalid for use at concerts.

However, despite the hurdle in court, Consumer NZ's head of research Jessica Wilson told Newshub there may be a silver lining.

"The more publicity about the company's bad practises, the more chance consumers will hear about it and be warned off," said.

"It has shown it is not voluntarily willing to do anything, so taking it to court is the only option available"

Ms Wilson said while the court decision meant Viagogo's behaviour was unlikely to change anytime soon, the fact the commission had to take it that far was a "black mark" against the company.

"It's really another black mark against the court that it is having to be dragged through the courts before it will address the numerous complaints and problems with its behaviour."

A Viagogo spokesperson told Newshub they are pleased with the outcome of the case.

"For over a decade, millions of customers have been successfully using Viagogo which is why we remain committed to providing a secure platform for people to sell as well as buy sport, music and entertainment tickets to events in New Zealand and all over the world."

Earlier this month, Consumer NZ's chief executive Sue Chetwin told The AM Show that Google should drop Viagogo from its search results.

"Google is not prepared to give away all of the millions that they're getting from this company, which I think reflects very badly on Google," she said.

Before appearing in the Auckland High Court, a Viagogo spokesperson said it was willing to work with the Commerce Commission to address concerns.

"We remain committed to providing a secure platform for people to buy and sell sport, music and entertainment tickets to events all over the world."

But Ms Wilson remains adamant the public shouldn't deal with Viagogo.

"Our advice is certainly don't go near the company."


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