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More Kiwis getting scammed with fake concert tickets

NZ's Commerce Commission is investigating hundreds of complaints against ticket reseller Viagogo.

The Commerce Commission is warning Kiwis to be careful when buying tickets from reselling website Viagogo after a flurry of recent complaints.

The government agency said it is investigating Viagogo and to date it has received 228 complaints from consumers.

The complaints include consumers being sold fake tickets or the same ticket being sold multiple times and consumers never receiving the tickets they purchased and being unable to get hold of Viagogo to receive a refund.

The Commission said it received 21 complaints over the weekend in relation to the Bruno Mars gig and the upcoming Celine Dion concert among other events.

Kiwis who bought tickets for the upcoming Celine Dion concert among the complainants.
Kiwis who bought tickets for the upcoming Celine Dion concert among the complainants.

Consumer Manager Stuart Wallace said the Commerce Commission is seeking expert legal advice on whether and how they can enforce New Zealand consumer laws against Viagogo, which is based in Switzerland.

"Over the weekend we received a wave of new complaints and there is a wealth of media coverage of consumers feeling ripped off after buying tickets from Viagogo. We are concerned our previous consumer advice via social media and on our website about the risks of ticket resale are not getting through. We strongly advise consumers to have their eyes wide open if they are considering buying tickets from Viagogo," Mr Wallace said.

"We suspect consumers type the name of the artist they want to see into a search engine and then click the first result that appears – which is often Viagogo. We recommend consumers buy from primary ticket sellers. They can do this by visiting the artist or event's official website and following the links from there."

Ticket reselling, including at a profit, is generally lawful in New Zealand unless the seller engages in misleading conduct or the event is covered by the Major Events Management Act, as was the case with the Rugby World Cup.