Today, the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) have published in full Viagogo’s court order.
It is a substantial document. Viagogo must comply with the contents by 17th January 2019.
Non-compliance might result in fines, seizure of assets – or for Viagogo’s directors to be imprisoned.
It is certainly not an “agreement”, as Viagogo suggested in a press release published on Tuesday morning.
The order can be viewed in full here. It is binding upon all of Viagogo’s interconnected companies.
As already detailed by the CMA, the requirements include:
– telling purchasers of tickets if there is a risk that they will be turned away at the door
– informing customers which seat in the venue they will get
– providing information about who is selling the ticket, so people can benefit from enhanced legal rights when buying from a business
– not giving misleading information about the availability and popularity of tickets – which had the potential to lead to customers being rushed into making a buying decision or making the wrong choice
– making it easy for people to get their money back under viagogo’s guarantee when things go wrong
– preventing the sale of tickets a seller does not own and may not be able to supply
The full order goes into further detail, including requirements that Viagogo must:
– not set up an Event Page until tickets are “officially available”
– provide a mandatory facility that sellers must complete before listing tickets
– pay for and provide customer services by telephone, email, internet and mail
– stop advising buyers to “re-list their tickets” if they might have valid claim under Viagogo’s Guarantee
– impose fair and reasonable deadlines for consumers to submit a claim under this Guarantee
– ensure that a full complaint and claim handling process is available to view and provided to consumers
– ensure that tickets being advertised represent the tickets that are actually available for sale – not the totality of tickets available for the event
– not suggest that website traffic or demand for tickets is affecting website performance unless this is actually the case
– ensure that a seller enters a monetary values for the Face Value of the ticket
– at its own expense, appoint a Reviewer to carry out: (a) an Initial Compliance Review; and (b) Annual Compliance Reviews
– implement all changes recommended in a Compliance Report within one month, or explain to the Reviewer and the Claimant why this is the case
Importantly, the order also forces Viagogo to undertake a review of historic unpaid claims under its guarantee.
On this, the CMA has provided the following information:
On 27 November, the CMA announced that it has obtained a court order against viagogo that will overhaul the way it does business. Since then, some people have asked whether customers of viagogo who had claims refused under its guarantee might be entitled to compensation.
As part of the court order, the CMA has secured an independently supervised review of unpaid claims made by people who provided viagogo with:
- evidence that they didn’t get in to an event, or
- specific evidence from the event organiser that their ticket was invalid.
The review will look at claims made between January 2016 and November 2018.
If the review finds any claims that should have been paid, then viagogo must give the affected person a refund.
An independent, qualified third party (for example, an auditor or a lawyer) will be appointed to supervise the review. The independent third party needs to be approved by the CMA before they are appointed.
People who believe that they may be entitled to compensation do not need to do anything.
Viagogo must arrange for the review to be carried out and for any payments to be made. There is no need to contact viagogo, the independent third party or the CMA.
The process should be completed by early in 2019.