Airlines are among a long list of companies targeted by regulators for not disclosing fees and surcharges, but now a different business has found itself on the wrong side of the law.
Ticket reseller Viagogo is being prosecuted by the competition watchdog over the practice, which in some cases inflated advertised ticket prices by 31 per cent.
The ACCC alleges that between 1 May and 26 June 2017, Viagogo sold a range of live sport, music and entertainment tickets where advertised ticket prices did not disclose substantial fees levied on top.
As examples, it cited tickets for The Book of Mormon production advertised at $135, but these increased by 31 per cent to $177.45 when a booking fee and handling fees were added. Meanwhile, three Ashes 2017-18 tickets and two Cat Stevens tickets both increased by 29 per cent when the same fees were added.
Viagogo is also in trouble for allegedly misleading consumers by claiming to be an official ticket seller for the events it promotes.
“By using the word ‘official’, we allege that Viagogo represented in these ads that consumers could buy official original tickets, when in fact Viagogo is a platform for tickets that are being on-sold by others,” said ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard.
“The ACCC expects all ticket reselling websites to be clear and upfront about the fees they charge, the type of tickets they sell and the nature of their business.”
The action follows 473 complaints and queries to the ACCC so far this year about Viagogo and its conduct.
Misleading marketing also recently burnt a $50,000 hole in the pockets of a managed investments company.
Despite the ACCC continuing its crackdown against ‘misleading claims’, the agency confirmed to My Business that there is no legal definition of what constitutes a misleading claim.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.