Simon Read: 'Taylor Swift tickets purchased on Viagogo were cancelled hours before the concert'

The 17-year-old daughter of our Paris correspondent discovered that sellers were cancelling the sales if they could get more from another buyer

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The Independent Online

Imagine the excitement of flying to another country to see your favourite pop star. Imagine the thrill of the journey and the anticipation of a marvellous night. Now imagine that you arrive at your destination only to be told that the tickets you paid for aren't now available to you.

Would you be upset? Angry? Or just disappointed? All of these and more were experienced by the 17-year-old daughter of our Paris correspondent this week. John Lichfield had bought Taylor Swift tickets for Grace and her friend two months earlier as a treat to look forward to after their exams.

Her favourite star wasn't visiting France so her parents bought tickets for the Dublin show through the ticket- exchange site Viagogo, paying well over the odds for them: €232 (£165) for tickets with a face value of €60. Flights and accommodation with family were organised, but hours before the concert the tickets were suddenly cancelled with no explanation.

 

After the family contacted Viagogo, they were told they would be refunded in full. Meanwhile tickets for the concert were still being openly sold on the site at higher prices. "It looked as if sellers on the site were taking money in advance and cancelling the sales if they can get more from another buyer," John said.

There was a happy ending for the girls as, after John was interviewed about the affair on an Irish radio station, a contact came up with two more tickets for them.

Viagogo also responded positively after it was contacted by The Independent. It apologised to the girls and handed them a €500 voucher in addition to the refund.

A spokesman for the company said: "Where a seller lets a buyer down, our policy is to step in and provide replacement tickets. That didn't happen here because one of our customer services team made an unacceptable mistake. We will do anything we can to make our customers happy and we have taken steps to make sure this doesn't happen again."

I hope that no more people end up disappointed after going through the site, but the story demonstrates the dangers of buying tickets online from what may prove to be untrustworthy strangers.

s.read@independent.co.uk

Twitter: @simonnread

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