New Zealand consumer watchdog takes ticket platform Viagogo to court

New Zealand's Commerce Commission has collected more that 500 complaints about Swiss company Viagogo.
New Zealand's Commerce Commission has collected more that 500 complaints about Swiss company Viagogo. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM VIAGOGO.COM

WELLINGTON (DPA) - New Zealand's Commerce Commission has joined a growing number of watchdogs around the world taking controversial Switzerland-based ticket platform Viagogo to court claiming it is breaching consumer law.

The commission, which has collected more that 500 complaints about the Swiss company, presented its case at the New Zealand's High Court on Tuesday (Feb 5), alleging that Viagogo has breached the law and seeking an injunction restraining it from further breaches.

The commission is accusing the company of making misleading claims that tickets were in short supply when they were not, advertising incorrect prices for tickets and claiming they could guarantee the validity of tickets when they cannot.

Sue Chetwin, chief executive of non-profit organisation Consumer NZ, told Radio New Zealand on Tuesday the company was hard for punters to deal with.

"With Viagogo it's almost impossible to find anybody to speak to if something goes wrong. They're based in Switzerland and very secretive," Chetwin said.

It was a great idea to have an outlet for punters to resell unwanted tickets, "but Viagogo turned this into an international business and in some circumstances, the tickets are actually fraudulent," Chetwin said.

The company is also facing court or enforcement action in Switzerland, Germany, France, Britain and Australia.