Viagogo criticised by woman who paid '£3,000 to take her dying father to BBC's Last Night At The Proms'

Hannah Maturin says she feels like she has been 'scammed' after paying an inflated price for the two tickets

Tuesday 11 September 2018 12:49 BST
BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall
BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall (PA)

A woman has spoken of her devastation after paying almost £3,000 for two tickets on resale site Viagogo to see the BBC's Last Night of the Proms with her dying father.

Hannah Maturin, 30, claims she paid £2,959 to fulfil her father John's dream of attending one of the shows, despite their original sale price of £87. She believed the site was a genuine retailer after spotting it near the top of Google search, not realising that it allows people to sell already bought tickets at extortionate prices.

According to Mail Online, Ms Maturin alleges that the tickets were not actually delivered, with Viagogo informing her that the seller had not sent the tickets to them.

She was reportedly offered two replacement tickets but refused them after being told that the concert venue, the Royal Albert Hall in London, would not accept resold tickets. Eventually she attended with her partner, instead of her father, worrying that they might be turned away at the door.

She also claims she was refused a refund for the £2,785 difference between the cost of two face value tickets, and the inflated price she paid.

Ms Maturin said her father, who was diagnosed with cancer 15 years ago, was left in tears over the ordeal. "He started crying when I told him about the ticket problems. It would have been such an experience for him to attend before his time to go.

"When I told him how much I had paid he said I had been silly, but having these experiences when you only have one year left with your dad is priceless. I'm so angry at Viagogo."

She continued: "They shouldn't be allowed to do this. I feel like I have been scammed."

A Viagogo representative told The Mirror: "All tickets on Viagogo are genuine and backed by the guarantee that Viagogo will find a replacement in the very rare instance a problem occurs.

"In this case, in accordance with that guarantee, Viagogo ensured that the buyer successfully gained entry into the event. All prices on the Viagogo platform are set by sellers."

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A Royal Albert Hall spokesperson said: "Whilst we use no other ticket agent for the BBC Proms, it is very difficult to manage unofficial selling." A BBC spokesperson added: "We work closely with the Royal Albert hall to do what we can to prevent secondary selling."

Last year Viagogo was criticised by the Teenage Cancer Trust after inflated ticket prices to see Ed Sheeran, who was performing a benefit concert for the charity at the Royal Albert Hall, were spotted on its website.

The company is currently the subject of legal action from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which is seeking a court order to make Viagogo change its controversial business practices.

It said that it is concerned Viagogo is breaking consumer law by failing to alert customers to issues that might arise if they purchase tickets from the website.

Viagogo was previously censured by the Advertising Standards Authority for "failing to make clear upfront all fees that can be calculated in advance when making price claims".

Google is now under pressure from music fans and MPs to stop promoting the site over concern that many customers are not aware that they are purchasing a resold ticket at an inflated price.

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