Feb 21, 2024 2 min read

Viagogo to pay out £90,000 compensation in Swiss consumer rights settlement

After six years of legal work by Swiss consumer rights organisation FRC, Viagogo has committed to make changes to its website in the country and to pay compensation to 807 ticket buyers who formally complained about the secondary ticketing company

Viagogo to pay out £90,000 compensation in Swiss consumer rights settlement

Viagogo has reached a settlement with Swiss consumer rights organisation FRC which will see the often controversial secondary ticketing company make changes to its website in the country and pay 100,000 Swiss francs (about £90,000) in compensation to ticket buyers. 

The settlement has been welcomed by FEAT, the pan-European campaign against for-profit ticket touting. However, FEAT Director Sam Shemtob noted that the fact it required six years of legal work "highlights the difficulty of hauling uncapped ticket resale sites through the courts".

In return for the FRC withdrawing legal action, Viagogo has committed to make a number of changes to its site in Switzerland. These are similar to changes it has already been forced to make in a number of other countries due to the intervention of regulators or lawmakers. 

The changes include clearly stating that Viagogo is a resale marketplace in all three of Switzerland's national languages and English; providing better transparency around ticket prices and seating information; clearly identifying professional resellers; and reducing the number of pop-up windows that pressure consumers into completing a transaction. 

It will also pay compensation to the 807 ticket buyers who lodged complaints with the FRC prior to 5 Feb this year, with the payouts totalling 100,000 Swiss francs, which equates to about £90,000. 

FRC first went legal against Viagogo in 2017, lodging a criminal complaint with the Geneva public prosecutor. It was prompted to act after receiving more than 100 complaints from consumers who raised many of the usual concerns about Viagogo. That included the lack of transparency over pricing, tactics employed to pressure consumers into making quick buying decisions, and language that suggests people are buying from official sellers instead of touts. 

Viagogo has its European HQ in Switzerland, so this dispute was very much on its home turf. The resale site has come under criticism from the music community, consumer rights groups and politicians in multiple countries, with various campaigns having called for and - in some cases achieved - much tighter regulation of online touting. 

Within the European Union it is hoped that new regulations in the Digital Services Act will help. Noting that in his statement on the Swiss settlement, Shemtob added, "For consumers in the EU, we hope and expect the new Digital Services Act, which requires online marketplaces to improve transparency and desist from pressure buying tactics, will be robustly enforced".

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