An amateur theatre company in Rotorua is heartbroken after ticket reseller Viagogo onsold tickets to its shows at inflated prices.
Rotorua Musical Theatre's production of Rock of Ages runs until October 27. The vice-president of the theatre and the production secretary Pam Turner said they discovered Viagogo was selling tickets when a festival attendee showed up with them.
The woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, had spent $232.36 on two tickets which should have cost $64.
"I was annoyed of course. I wondered what was going on," the woman said.
She said she had searched for tickets on Google and the Viagogo listing came up.
"I went through the process and it said $92 for two tickets. I accepted that and my tickets came through but I didn't check my credit card until later."
The woman's tickets were legitimate and she was able to see the show.
Turner said Viagogo was also selling tickets for a 8pm Sunday show which didn't exist.
"It's gutting because we're an amateur theatre. Everyone in the cast provides services for free so for that to happen is heartbreaking really," she said.
"There's not a lot we can do except get the message out there to buy through the official site."
Turner said the only way to buy official tickets was through the Ticketmaster website, at the Ticketmaster office at the Energy Events Centre, or at the door.
The Rotorua Daily Post contacted Viagogo and was referred to the business' frequently asked questions document.
It explains the site is a platform for third party sellers.
"Viagogo does not set ticket prices, sellers set their own prices which may be above or below the original face value.
"The tickets sold on Viagogo's platform are genuine tickets that have been sold on by the original ticket purchaser in good faith … Viagogo customers should feel confident that they will gain entry to the event."
In August, the Commerce Commission announced it would take the Swiss-owned company to the High Court under the Fair Trading Act for breaching consumer law.
The commission alleged Viagogo made false and misleading claims, acting as an "official" concert ticket seller when it was not, labelling tickets as limited or about to sell out and claiming consumers were "guaranteed" to receive valid tickets to events.
A Commerce Commission spokeswoman said the commission had received 382 complaints about the company this year.
Rock of Ages tickets on Viagogo this week were listed at price ranging from $98.88 to $117.16.
The site states how many tickets were left for a show although Turner said she didn't think the figure was accurate.
"Over the weekend they were advertising both a Saturday evening and Sunday matinee were sold out and they weren't."
Rock of Ages
- When: October 12 to 27
- Where: Casa Blanca Theatre
- Tickets: Available at www.ticketmaster.co.nz, from the Energy Events Centre or at the door.