An ITV News investigation has uncovered evidence that ticket resale site Viagogo has been selling invalid concert tickets to its customers – as well as allegedly selling tickets that never existed at all.
Hundreds of thousands of Ed Sheeran fans descended on Wembley Stadium over the weekend for the latest leg of his world tour. But as excited ticket holders poured into the stadium, others were stuck outside. Sheeran’s promoters have cancelled tens of thousands of tickets bought through resale site Viagogo in an effort to stop tickets being sold on at inflated prices.
Undercover footage, filmed by ITV News, shows a man who claims to work for Viagogo alleging that they sent him to the concert to fulfil existing customer orders by buying tickets from street touts on the pavement.
ITV News spoke to fans who had paid as much as three times the original face value to buy their tickets on Viagogo, to find out on the day of the concert they didn’t exist.
Two teenagers travelled all the way from Israel, having purchased their tickets in November. They told ITV News that Viagogo had promised to deliver the tickets, but never did. They said were then instructed by email to collect the tickets from a Viagogo representative at the Ibis Hotel near Wembley Stadium, between 3pm and 9pm on the day of the concert.
A police search of two individuals, filmed by ITV News, recovered twenty empty envelopes – each with a Viagogo order number printed on the outside, and the number of tickets that were supposed to be inside. Police also recovered a dozen tickets, but on inspection they were found to be invalid – among the thousands of tickets already cancelled by Sheeran’s promoters.
ITV News gained exclusive access to the ‘Victims of Viagogo’ area at Wembley Stadium – where a dedicated team of people worked throughout the weekend to offer fans advice on how to claim a refund for invalid tickets bought on Viagogo. They were then given the chance to buy new tickets at face value for the gig. On Saturday night alone, they helped 1,000 frustrated concert goers.
Operations Director Reg Walker is a security expert employed to keep touts away from Ed Sheeran’s tour. He told ITV News that Viagogo’s actions amount to fraud and he will be making a criminal complaint to police. He also plans to refer the evidence to the Competition and Markets Authority.
RW: “It is very clear that Viagogo did not have these tickets and the purchaser has not been made aware of that, that’s an emission under consumer protection regulations which means that, if you’d have told the purchaser, give us your money, we don’t have the tickets but we’ll go out and find them, what’s the chances of the person buying those tickets the answer is zero. At the thick end of the wedge its fraud, they’re falsely representing the fact that these tickets exist and they’re up for sale on this website and they clearly weren’t.
He added: “We’ll be making a formal complaint to police, we’ll also be evidencing this with the competitions and markets authority and asking for a criminal investigation.”
Viagogo did not respond to the allegations.