A controversial online site where scalpers are onselling tickets for a circus in Whangārei say it has no control over what prices are charged by sellers on its platform.
Viagogo came under the spotlight this week after organisers of The Great Moscow Circus and iTICKET complained scalpers - many from overseas - were onselling tickets for the Whangārei shows at exorbitant prices.
In one case, a Whangārei woman paid $156 each for five circus tickets through Viagogo instead of $60 and the manager of Weber Brothers which is touring the circus said her company could not do anything.
iTICKET has been actively blocking overseas credit card purchasers attempting to buy legitimate tickets for reselling at more than twice the prices they were bought for.
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But Switzerland-based Viagogo said it has made changes to improve customer experience after listening to feedback from its customers, regulators and other key players from around the world.
"We have all kinds of ticket sellers on our platform, including fans and event organisers. We do not buy tickets from anyone or any event, we are solely a secure marketplace that exists to connect sellers and buyers.
"Ticket prices are set by the seller and where demand is high and tickets are limited, prices increase. Tickets that are listed at unreasonable prices tend to get the most media
attention but rarely, if ever, sell," Viagogo said in a statement.
The company said it was and would always be committed to providing an unrivalled guarantee so customers around the world were able to gain access to their favourite events.
"We are keen to work with event organisers and rights owners wherever possible to provide an open and transparent platform for customers to access the widest possible selection of tickets to events of their choice, which we believe should be the ultimate goal of everyone in the industry."
Consumer watchdogs around the world have issued "buyer beware" warnings about scalpers reselling tickets on Viagogo for inflated prices.
The Commerce Commission took the Switzerland-based reseller to court in November 2018, claiming that the reseller made false, misleading or deceptive representations in breach of the Fair Trading Act.
Viagogo faces court or enforcement action in Switzerland, Germany, France, Spain, the UK and Australia. It has been fined in Italy and sued by Fifa.