A Glasgow MSP has joined the fight against online ticketing site Viagogo after a constituent was duped into paying five times over the odds for tickets.
Ellen McCann, 59, had planned a family trip to see show Seven Drunken Nights: the Story of the Dubliners in Glasgow as a treat for her 60th birthday, but only found the tickets available on Viagogo when she put the name of the show into a search engine.
Told by the site that only six tickets were left, she panicked and snapped up the seats, forking out a total of £644, including £150 in booking fees.
But when her brother stepped in a day later to see if there was any way he could buy extra tickets for other family members, he found plenty available on the theatre’s own booking site – for just £20 each.
The promoters of the show are now to arrange for her to meet the show’s stars as compensation towards the situation, after they were contacted by SNP MSP Bob Doris.
Ms McCann, a civil servant from Maryhill, Glasgow, said: “I was tricked into paying what is half a month’s salary for me on the tickets.
“We had set our hearts on going as a treat for my birthday as we all love The Dubliners and I just panicked when I saw that there were only a few left and paid what they were asking, then realised what I had done. I can’t believe that they are allowed to get away with this, it’s a rip off.”
Mr Doris said: “It appears that what Viagogo has done is perfectly legal, but the scourge of these secondary sale sites impacts on many consumers.”
Viagogo last month came under fire from MPs. The Commons digital, culture, media and sport select committee criticised Viagogo for “misleading” consumers, many of whom found the site through paid-for ads on Google.
A spokeswoman for Viagogo said: “Viagogo does not set ticket prices, sellers set their own prices, which may be above or below the original face value.
“Where demand is high and tickets are limited, prices increase.”