We flew to Mexico to see Lewis Hamilton F1 race but our Viagogo tickets were fake
I'm a Formula 1 fanatic and it was my dream to watch him win.
We spent all our savings on flights for £1,300 and tickets to the race which were £200 on Viagogo.
But when we went to meet the seller to pick up the tickets he gave us the run around.
We eventually tracked him down and he gave us the tickets.
By this time the drivers were already doing their final lap.
When we tried to get through to the circuit we were told that one of the tickets was fake.
To get a new one would have cost £600 and the race was practically over.
So we missed out on seeing Lewis Hamilton win his fifth world title.
I was absolutely devastated.
So I contacted Viagogo but they wouldn't say whether they would give me a refund.
They told me they would need to investigate but I've heard nothing for 10 days.
Not only have we missed the race but we also spent a fortune on flights to get here.
We'll make the most of our trip which cost us nearly £4,000 in total, but the only reason for coming here was to see the race.
If it wasn't for the F1 we would have chosen a much cheaper holiday.
Can you help us get our money back?
Lewis Watson-Thompson, Birmingham
Leah Milner replies: How heartbreaking to be conned in this way after paying so much money and travelling so far.
I'm glad you're still going to make the best of your stay in Mexico, but it's not acceptable for the ticketing site Viagogo to turn its back on you like this.
On the website Viagogo claims: "Buyers are guaranteed to receive valid tickets in time for the event.
"If a problem arises, Viagogo will step in to provide comparable replacement tickets or a refund."
But when you contacted the website you weren't given any assurances that you would get your money back and you were left in limbo.
Thankfully after I got in touch with the company it got back to you and said it would refund you cost of the tickets.
It has also agreed to give you a $500 "compensatory voucher" – which is equivalent to £389.
But it hasn't provided any comment and you're still a long way out of pocket for this expensive holiday.
The whole purpose of the trip was for an event that you didn't get the chance to enjoy.
Do you have a money problem that needs solving? Email Leah at [email protected]
Stories like yours are one of the reasons that the consumer watchdog announced legal action against Viagogo at the end of August.
WATCHDOG CHARGES AGAINST VIAGOGO
- Not telling customers there is a risk that they will be turned away at the door.
- Not informing customers which seat in the venue they will get.
- Not telling customers who is selling the ticket, so that they can benefit from enhanced legal rights when buying from a business.
- Given misleading information to customers about the availability and popularity of tickets – which has the potential to lead to them being rushed into making a buying decision or making the wrong choice.
- Customers experiencing difficulties in getting their money back under Viagogo’s guarantee when things go wrong.
- Offering tickets for sale that a seller does not own and may not be able to supply.
Viagogo said at the time: “Having worked closely with the CMA for some time, we are disappointed with the announcement of formal action today. However we respect the CMA’s intentions and remain committed to reaching resolution through the legal process."
In September Viagogo changed the way it displays prices after the advertising regulator said it was misleading customers.
The website was in hot water for listing ticket prices without mentioning compulsory booking fees and VAT.
Commenting on the Advertising Standards Authority's investigation, Viagogo said: "After working closely with the ASA to review our website, we are pleased to confirm that the ASA has now removed all sanctions it had in place including withdrawing its referral of Viagogo to National Trading Standards.
"We remain committed to providing clear information to our customers."
Buying tickets from resale websites remains a risky business.
It's worth bearing in mind that you may not even be able to claim through your credit company under Section 75 rules if something goes wrong, because you have bought the tickets through an intermediary.
It's always much safer to source your tickets from an official source.
Do you need our help with a customer service gripe or money dilemma? Email us at [email protected] and don't forget to include a daytime phone number. If you're complaining about a particular company, please include a line to say you give the firm in question permission to speak to The Sun about your case so that we can look into it for you. We cannot take any legal responsibility for the guidance given and it does not constitute financial advice.
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