Austrian Supreme Court rules 42 of Viagogo’s T&C clauses illegal

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In the first ruling of its scale into Viagogo’s T&Cs, Austria’s Supreme Court (OGH) has ruled 42 separate clauses of the company’s general terms to ticket buyers and sellers illegal.

Viagogo will now have to amend all 42 clauses for Austrian consumers accessing the website via www.viagogo.com and www.viagogo.at.

Notable clauses that were deemed unlawful include:

  • No refund if lost: A clause stipulating that all sales are final so the buyer has no right to a refund or exchange if the ticket is lost, or the terms of the ticket sale are only partially fulfilled, e.g., if there is a date or time change.
  • Wide discretion on replacement tickets: A clause stipulating that if the seller does not deliver the tickets, Viagogo may, at its own discretion, decide whether to offer replacement tickets or refund the buyer.
  • Seat changes: A clause allowing the seller to change the seat to which the listing refers for a comparable seat without the buyer’s consent.
  • Refund for non-delivery: If tickets are not delivered to the buyer and returned to Viagogo more than three times, the buyer forgoes their right to a refund, regardless of whether they were at fault or not.
  • Liability disclaimers: A number of clauses purporting to exclude or limit Viagogo’s liability, such as for its own website and services.
  • Applicable law: A clause stating that Swiss law applies to contracts entered into on the Austrian site was illegal as consumers are protected under Austrian consumer law and have the right to sue the reseller before an Austrian court.

This is the second notable ruling in Austria in the past year. Last year, the OGH ordered Viagogo to better inform its buyers about the identity of ticket sellers and the type of ticket being sold by a seller before a purchase is made.

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FEAT Campaign Lead Katie O’Leary added: “For a platform that claims to serve fans, the level of protection that Viagogo offers its users, as brought to light in this ruling, is shocking. We welcome the OGH’s decision and hope that it encourages other jurisdictions to ensure that their consumers are equally protected.”

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