I bought some tickets to a Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott concert in 2019 using the resale website Viagogo.
The concert was due to happen in 2020, but was rescheduled several times due to Covid. Sadly I could no longer attend on the new date which was in October 2021.
I went back to Viagogo to ask for a refund. As per its policy it put the tickets back up for sale, telling me that when another fan purchased the tickets I would be sent the money.
This reader was hoping to see Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott on their 2020 tour – but it was rescheduled several times due to Covid and he then decided to re-sell the tickets
The tickets were sold in October for £180, but so far I have not seen the money.
Viagogo says it paid me in November, but it has not turned up in my account.
To add to the confusion, I was refunded the £9 delivery fee I paid for the original tickets to my correct credit card. Can you help me find out what has happened here? M.B, via email
Helen Crane, This is Money, replies: This tricky ticket issue has been going on for quite some time.
Your first port of call was to query this with Viagogo, which said it had paid the money to a card that was registered on your account, under your name.
However, when it gave you the final two digits of the sort code and account number, you didn’t recognise them.
Both you and the company were insisting that you weren’t in the wrong. Viagogo said that its fraud team had investigated your complaint, and detected no evidence of wrongdoing.
The tickets were bought and sold online, using the Viagogo fan resale platform
But you insisted that you had not made the account change – and while £180 is not an insignificant sum, it seemed unlikely that you would still be pushing the issue had you not genuinely believed that something had gone wrong here.
You had also spent quite some time sending emails and making phone calls back and forth with the company.
Thankfully, I have now managed to get to the bottom of it.
Here is what happened. It appears that, several years ago, your wife had used Viagogo and, perhaps unbeknownst to her, the website was logged in under your account.
When she made her payment, she used a card you then used regularly, but which is now lying dormant and which you had both forgotten about.
Fast forward a few years, and the details she entered were still saved on your account.
You don’t use the website regularly, so did not realised that you had any card details saved – you presumed the money would go back to the account you originally bought the Paul Heaton and Jackie Abbott tickets with, which you had entered manually when you made the purchase.
Viagogo sells tickets from one fan to another, so it does not issue refunds – instead, it sells the tickets on again and passes the proceeds to the seller.
Crucially in your case, this means that the money was not paid back into the account that you used when you bought the tickets.
Instead, it was paid into the bank account that was saved on your Viagogo profile – the one your wife had innocently entered years before.
The reader’s wife had saved card details for an old account on Viagogo years earlier, but as they did not use the website regularly, neither remembered doing so
As you don’t use this account any more, when Viagogo told you the final two digits of the card that the money had been paid back to, you didn’t recognise them.
But for its part, Viagogo – having checked your account for evidence of fraud and not found any – was understandably unwilling to issue a refund when the money had been paid to a card under your name, which you had seemingly registered on to your account.
Because the £9 delivery fee refund was coming directly from the company, it was refunded to the card you paid for the original tickets on.
A Viagogo spokesperson said: ‘This customer successfully bought and sold tickets using Viagogo and we are satisfied that this situation is resolved, after he recently confirmed in an email to us that he had located the nominated bank account, in his name, which contained the sale payments we deposited into it in November last year.
‘This is the benefit of working with a regulated and trusted platform like Viagogo. Our customer service team has assisted this customer at length and provided all the information and proof he needed to identify the bank account in question.
‘Our fraud team also carried out a full investigation to reassure the customer that there was no suspicious activity on his account.
‘Our multi-step security process to ensure the validity of account changes, including the input of any bank details, to protect our buyers and sellers is only one part of the assurances we provide.
‘In terms of the £9 delivery fee, this was refunded to the credit card the customer used for his ticket purchase – in line with our standard procedure for any buyer refunds.’
You have told me that, while you are glad to have located the money, you were not satisfied with Viagogo’s customer service and will not be using them again.
You also say that despite being in contact with them for months, Viagogo only recently told you which bank the card that the money had gone to was with, which was what triggered your memory of the old account.
It can be easy to mix up card details when shopping online, as many sites will require users to save their details, or auto-fill them when they are making a purchase
Mixing up card details may feel like a silly mistake, but it is one that is very easy to make.
It can happen on any website where payments are taken.
Resale websites in particular will often ask customers to have a payment card linked to their account, to make it easier for payments to be processed quickly when they are received.
But it is not just these sites where buyers need to be careful. Almost all retailers now have an option to ‘save this card for faster check-out next time’.
And even if you don’t save your details, lots of computers and mobile phones will ‘auto-fill’ addresses and card details that you have previously entered when you are filling out your payment information.
And that is before you consider the millions of shoppers now using contactless payment services such as Apple Pay or Google Pay, or digital versions of a credit or debit card stored on a mobile phone.
Shoppers are advised to double check card details when shopping on computers or mobile devices
While these do have an option to change the saved card details or address when you pay, the speed of the process means it is easy not to notice if one of them is incorrect.
For those who have recently moved home, it can also be possible to have the correct card details stored, but with the old address – meaning that the product will be delivered to the wrong place.
I consider myself to be relatively savvy when shopping online, but this is something I fell foul of when I moved home recently, resulting in several painful calls to a customer service number to explain and rectify my mistake.
Luckily I spotted this in time and managed to get the parcel diverted back to the sender and refunded.
If I hadn’t noticed before the parcel was actually delivered, the person living at my old address may well have received a free dress, and I may not have got a refund.
These saved payment methods are designed to make life easier, so we don’t have to type in our full addresses and payment information every time we make a purchase – but as your case shows, it is vital to exercise caution.
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