Secondary ticket platforms like viagogo allow fans to buy and sell tickets to popular events. However, questions remain around the legitimacy and safety of these sites, especially for consumers in Singapore.
This post aims to shed light on viagogo’s operations and policies in Singapore through independent research and expert opinions.
You will learn about key issues like fake tickets, how to identify real tickets, and alternative ticket sources to consider. This will help Singapore fans make informed choices when purchasing event tickets. Especially in the upcoming Bruno Mars Concert in Singapore
Background of Viagogo Business Model
Founded in 2006, Viagogo is a Switzerland-based online ticket marketplace acquired by investment firms in 2020 for $4.05 billion.
It functions as a secondary ticket platform that allows fans to resell tickets to concerts, sports games, and other events to other fans. This differs from primary ticket sellers like Ticketek or Sistic that sell tickets directly from event organizers.
Viagogo utilizes a customer-to-customer model where individual sellers set ticket prices higher than face value hoping to make a profit. The site takes a commission from every successful transaction.
Critics argue this business model incentivizes speculative buying and inflated resale prices, hurting fans’ access to affordable tickets. Supporters counter that it offers a legal channel for fans who can no longer attend events to recoup some costs.
While operating globally, Viagogo is not without controversy. It has faced legal actions in Europe and North America over unregulated ticket scalping and misleading advertising.
Specifically in the UK, regulators fined Viagogo over £7 million for wrongfully stating tickets were limited or selling fast to nudge fans into rushed purchases.
Is Viagogo Legit and Safe to Use in Singapore?
When fans in Singapore search “is viagogo legit”, concerns around fake tickets and lack of consumer protections tend to arise. Let’s examine these issues in detail:
Risk of Fake or Invalid Tickets
One major complaint against secondary marketplaces is the difficulty authenticating tickets, opening doors for counterfeits. Unlike primary sellers that produce official tickets, Viagogo has no means to verify if resold tickets are real, especially as paperless mobile tickets become common.
In 2019, a BBC investigation found over 11,000 tickets on Viagogo for major UK events had duplicate barcode numbers, a sign they were fake. While Viagogo removed the fake listings, it highlighted the platform’s inability to prevent fraudulent listings from cropping up.
For Singapore fans, there is no guarantee tickets purchased from foreign Viagogo sellers will be accepted at local venues. Different countries and event organizers use diverse ticketing technologies, so tickets meant for overseas shows may lack codes to scan for entry.
Lack of Legal Protections and Refund Policy
Unlike in Australia and parts of Europe, Singapore currently has no legislation governing secondary ticket transactions or protecting consumers. This means fans have little recourse if faced with invalid tickets from Viagogo sellers.
The platform’s refund policy is also restrictive. It only provides refunds or exchanges for fake or invalid tickets if the issue is raised within 72 hours of purchase or before the event starts—whichever is earlier. For late discoveries, users must sort it out directly with sellers who may refuse responsibility.
Viagogo also does not actively verify seller identities. This opens possibilities for scammers selling tickets they never possessed in the first place and disappearing after payment. Tracking down such anonymous offshore sellers for disputes would be extremely difficult.
High Resale Prices and Service Fees
While Viagogo touts itself as a marketplace of supply and demand, critics argue it facilitates profiteering. Tickets on the site routinely sell for double, triple, or even ten times their face values. Multi-million dollar sports franchises also use it to resell coveted packages.
On top of inflated resale prices, Viagogo levies hefty service fees. A 15-20% fee plus taxes on every transaction keeps ticket costs artificially elevated. Such sum could otherwise be allocated toward the event experience itself.
What To Do If Viagogo Tickets Are Fake Or Invalid
Given the above concerns, what recourse do Singapore fans have if sold fake or unusable Viagogo tickets? Unfortunately, options may be limited:
✔️ Contact Viagogo Support: You may try requesting a refund within 72 hours under their policies. But late disputes after the event pass this window face an uphill battle.
✔️ Pursue the Seller: For invalid tickets, Viagogo provides the seller’s details. But foreign sellers may prove unresponsive, especially scammers. Legal recourse across borders is an unrealistic option for most.
✔️ Escalate to Local Consumer Protection Agency: Singapore currently lacks regulations over secondary markets. So agencies like Consumer Association of Singapore may not have grounds to intervene on the consumer’s behalf.
✔️ Dispute Payment with Bank: As a last resort, fans could dispute credit card transactions as “item not received”. But banks also favor merchants under their agreements with platforms. Outcomes are uncertain.
✔️ Warn Others & Avoid Viagogo in Future: Share online about the negative experience as a cautionary tale. Patronize only authorized primary sellers for peace of mind.
The reality is fans betrayed by Viagogo tickets face few practical solutions. This uncertainly underscores calls for Singapore to introduce consumer safeguards regulating secondary markets.
How To Check If Concert Tickets Are Real On Viagogo
For Singapore fans still considering Viagogo, it’s important to verify listings are genuine. Here are some tactics to detect potentially fake tickets:
1. Cross-Check Barcodes and Ticket Numbers: Search event hashtags on social media for real tickets’ serial codes. Fake ones may show duplicate barcodes across listings.
2. Inspect Seller History and Ratings: Newly created accounts or those with mostly negative feedback raise red flags. Established sellers with a track record offer more reassurance.
3. Check Ticket Formatting: Official designs like holograms, watermarks may differ country-to-country. Tickets lacking these details or seeming photocopied raise suspicions.
4. Verify Seller Location: Overseas resellers not attending locally offer no recourse if tickets fail. Deal locally for higher confidence in resolution.
5. Price Comparison: Tickets priced far higher than similar listings or face value indicate attempted profiteering or invalidity.
6. Ask Seller Questions: Reputable sellers freely share ticket and order details for validation. Evasive or illogical responses suggest dishonest intent.
While these checks aid authenticity assessments, no method fully guarantees validity for tickets crossing international borders. Caveat emptor remains the wise approach on doubtful secondary platforms like Viagogo.
Alternative Ticket Sources Consider in Singapore
Considering the downsides explored, Singapore fans still eager to attend popular events have safer alternatives to Viagogo:
Official Ticket Sellers
- Sistic/ Apactix: Major ticket agency in Singapore directly selling from event organisers.
- Ticketmaster SG: Official partner for major tours and shows releasing tickets direct from promoters.
- FB Event Pages: Organizers at times permit approved resellers to avoid touting on secondary markets.
- Fan Club Presales: Join verified clubs for early access or discounted allotments.
Ticketing Exchange Platforms
- StubHub SG: Marketplace explicitly vetting listings for validity before sales in Singapore only. International tickets carry higher risk.
- Spotlight Tickets: New local app aiming for inventory transparency and verified seller identities.
Social Media Notice Boards
- Facebook Events: Fans offer or request tickets while still attending shows together prevents scams.
- Reddit Exchange Threads: Community-moderated discussions to facilitate above-board trades.
The pros of these legitimate sources include face value prices, verified ticket authenticity upon delivery, local access to support, and legal protections under SG law. They remove uncertainties regarding counterfeits and recourse present on unregulated secondary sites.
While online resale platforms fill a niche, legitimate concerns remain around Viagogo especially for consumers based in Singapore. Lacking oversight leaves users at risk and without solutions should issues arise. Educating fans on such platforms’ limitations helps everyone transact safely.
Alternatives exist for attending desired events through official and approved channels without worrying over invalid tickets or exorbitant costs. With popular demand consistently high, events will continue finding audiences through trusted routes respecting both artistry and fandom.
As secondary markets expand globally, Singapore would do well introducing balanced regulations similar to other developed markets. This provides confidence for sellers while protecting fans’ rights to recoup costs or gift tickets as intended. A balance of interests nurtures a sustainable live industry for years to come.
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