I faced losing close to £900 because of ticket selling platform tech nightmare – how I got my money back


MARK McVitie’s heart was pounding as he faced losing nearly £900 after an attempt to sell tickets on an online platform went wrong.

A tech glitch on ticket selling site Viagogo meant Mark’s tickets weren’t uploaded properly – and he was slapped with a hefty charge.

Mark faced losing hundreds of pounds when an attempt to resell his tickets went wrong

Mark, 28, who works in PR, bought two tickets in June worth a total of £440 to a UFC show taking place in October.

But when he realised he couldn’t actually make the event, he decided to sell his tickets on Viagogo.

Mark said the process of uploading both tickets appeared “really straightforward”, and he followed the step-by-step procedure.

He sold both tickets two weeks before the event, and received a notification saying the sale had gone through and that Viagogo would handle sending the uploaded tickets to the buyer.

But just days before the event, Mark received an email saying that he hadn’t uploaded his tickets – even though he did.

Viagogo said it would cancel the sale and potentially charge him for the replacement tickets it would have to send to the buyer if Mark didn’t upload his.

He uploaded them again, but still received emails telling him to do it again – or risk being charged.

“When I saw these emails, I panicked, so I called up the helpline,” Mark said.

“A customer service person said there was a problem and it needed to be sorted.”

Mark was told to fill out a form and to reattach the tickets to it.

But the next day, he was horrified when Viagogo emailed him to say the sale was off and he would be charged £446.

With Mark’s tickets trapped in the company’s system, he faced taking an £886 hit.

“I ended up in a situation where I have no money from the sale, am unable to list my tickets elsewhere because Viagogo are in possession of them and I now face losing over £800 for the whole thing,” Mark said.

“There was no way I would have been able to sort that out – I would have had to ask my mum to help me out. It was a total nightmare.

“It was really worrying, the whole thing was scary.”

After HOAR stepped in and asked Viagogo to investigate, Mark has been paid for the sale of the tickets, and the charges have been removed from his account – meaning he won’t go out of pocket.

A Viagogo spokesperson said it was an “isolated incident”, adding: “We were very disappointed to hear about the technical error that led to this customer being incorrectly charged and the broken communication that made for a confusing process for him. 

“This has now been resolved, the customer has been paid, and the charges on the customer’s account have been cancelled.”

Tips for buying and selling tickets safely online

Before you go and sell your tickets online, make sure you’re clued up on your rights as a seller.

Make sure you check out the terms and conditions before you list your tickets.

There could be easy to miss small print outlining how you could be charged big fees for using the site to sell tickets.

Which? consumer rights expert Lisa Webb said: “For some events, ticket resales are prohibited except through approved platforms, so if you need to resell your ticket, we’d recommend contacting the event organiser or company you bought your tickets from to find out if they have a partnered resale platform you can resell your ticket on.”

If you’re buying tickets, you’ll also need to get clued up on your consumer rights.

Try and buy them directly from the event organiser, as you’ll be better protected if something goes wrong.

“You’ll have fewer protections if you purchased tickets from a secondary ticket seller and will need to check the seller’s terms and conditions to see what you’re entitled to,” Lisa added.

You should also beware of paying far more than face value for your tickets on these kinds of websites.

Fans have complained of paying up to 370% more for football games, gigs and shows.