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Google praised after suspending Viagogo as an advertiser

Newstalk ZB, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thursday, 18 July 2019, 4:59PM
Viagogo has come under fire for their ticket reselling practices for events such as concerts. (Photo / 123RF)

Google has suspended controversial ticket reseller Viagogo as an advertiser after finding it breached the search engine's advertising policies.

The decision will take immediate effect on searches made around the world, the Australian reported.

Previously, Google searches for sporting and musical events would turn up Viagogo as the first result.

In a statement, Google said: "When people use our platform for help in purchasing tickets, we want to make sure that they have an experience they can trust."

"This is why we have strict policies and take necessary action when we find an advertiser in breach."

In response, Viagogo said: "We were extremely surprised to learn of Google's concerns today. We are confident that there has been no breach of Google's policies and look forward to working with them to resolve this as quickly as possible."

Brent Eccles from the New Zealand Promoters Association told Heather du Plessis-Allan it's come out of the blue, but is incredible.

"Finally, Google has stepped up, as a white knight if you like, and said they can solve this. It's been a long time coming, but thank you very much."

Eccles says he's had hundreds of problems with Viagogo tickets at events he's promoted.

The Swiss-based ticket marketplace has routinely come under fire in New Zealand.

Last year it was revealed Viagogo was New Zealand's most complained about retail company, with the Commerce Commission receiving a whopping 400 complaints from consumers between January 2017 and April 2018.

And as of June this year, the ComCom updated that there was now an "unprecedented" 1034 complaints on its books relating to Viagogo.

Documents released under the Official Information Act reveal the majority of Viagogo's complaints were about its advertised ticket pricing which did not include additional fees, GST and currency conversion costs.

A string of other complaints included misleading claims it made that it was an official ticket vendor, for the non-delivery of tickets paid for, the inability for consumers to get a refund, labelling tickets as "limited" or "about to sell out" and not guaranteeing consumers would receive valid tickets to events.

ON AIR: Heather du Plessis-Allan Drive

4PM - 7PM