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Viagogo sued over its COVID cancellations policy

By | Published on Friday 14 August 2020


Viagogo is the latest ticketing company to be hit by a lawsuit in the US over its policies regarding shows cancelled as a result of COVID-19.

The lawsuit filed in Florida accuses the secondary ticketing company of wrongly classifying cancelled shows as postponed, so that it can get out of the obligation under its own guarantee scheme to provide ticket-buyers with a cash refund. The company has been accused of employing similar tactics in the UK.

The litigation stateside has been filed by a fan who bought tickets to a subsequently cancelled Tool show via the resale site. “[Viagogo] did not contact plaintiff regarding the cancellation of the event”, the lawsuit states. “Instead, plaintiff found out that the event was cancelled through Tool’s Facebook page, wherein a post was made that all of the band’s concerts scheduled in 2020 were cancelled”.

It goes on: “Plaintiff contacted defendant on multiple occasions from April through July. Defendant indicated that the show was ‘rescheduled from its original date’ and that, ‘it was decided that tickets which had already been issued would remain valid for the new dates’. Defendant then stated, ‘once the ticket order has been placed, Viagogo is unable to cancel orders. All orders are non-exchangeable/non-refundable'”.

The legal filing adds: “Even though many thousands of events have been cancelled, Viagogo wrongly refuses to classify events as ‘cancelled’ allowing it to maintain dominion and control over … funds which it has no legal right to possess or use for its own business purposes”.

The litigation, which is seeking class action status, accuses Viagogo of breach of contract and unjust enrichment, as well as violations under Florida’s Deceptive And Unfair Trade Practices Act.

It’s not the first ticketing company to be sued over its COVID cancellations policies. And among those already facing legal action is StubHub – now owned by Viagogo of course – which is a much bigger deal in secondary ticketing in the US than it’s new owner.