Seatwave responds to accusations, Viagogo stays quiet

Ticket-touting websites adopt a "good cop, bad cop" approach to handling the fallout from Channel 4 documentary 'The Great Ticket Scandal'.


Words by: Charlie Jones

In the wake of Channel 4’s airing of Dispatches documentary ‘The Great Ticket Scandal’ on Thursday 23rd February, Seatwave and Viagogo have been adopting pretty different strategies to repairing their reputations.

The documentary used undercover footage acquired by reporters posing as employees to reveal that both companies were allowing staff to get their hands on huge quantities of tickets, to be re-sold at extortionate prices.

Viagogo initially tried to force the programme off-air with a High Court Injunction, but it was since overturned by Channel 4. The company have mostly kept their heads buried on the subject of the shady activities they have been accused of, apart from company director Ed Parkinson’s comment to BBC News that, “we allow anyone to sell on our marketplace and the overwhelming majority of our sellers are individuals but it also includes larger sellers which can include concert promoters. We don’t discriminate.”

Seatwave, however, have taken a transparent approach to customer service in the last few days, with CEO Joe Cohen tweeting up a storm , as well as posting a comprehensive blog that clarifies the company’s policies on touting. He writes, “Seatwave itself does not buy any tickets for resale. We do allow our employees to do so – it helps them understand what we do and improve our service – but they can only do so under strict guidelines.

“Employees cannot buy or sell during business hours, or while in the Seatwave offices, nor can they use Seatwave equipment to do so. They can never work from home on Fridays (often the day tickets go on sale) so they can’t be on the platform at 9am. These rules mean that any buying or selling by our employees is on such a small scale that it has no effect on ticket prices or availability and importantly, Seatwave staff are not buying during on-sale periods so as not to drive up prices.”

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