A COUPLE were left strictly ripped off after tickets bought online turned out to be duds.
Marti Toth-Norris, 34, headed to the National Indoor Arena (NIA) in Birmingham with her husband Phil last Saturday to watch Strictly Come Dancing.
The couple had bought their tickets second-hand from viagogo.co.uk – paying an extra £20 more per ticket – after tickets were sold out on the official website.
But stewards told them their ticket prices had already been refunded, leaving the couple having to shell out another £100 to get in.
Marti, 34, from Up Hatherley, said she was a big Strictly Come Dancing fan and had been looking forward to seeing her favourite dancers in action at the NIA.
She added: "I knew the tickets at £70 were more expensive than normal, but we couldn't get any through the official ticket website. The tickets looked fine and we had no reason to doubt that they wouldn't be valid.
"But after queuing to get into the NIA, the person who scanned the tickets said they had come up as a 'fail'.
"We had no idea what had happened, as we had bought the tickets in good faith through Viagogo and had definitely not claimed any money back.
"We had spent about £240 on two tickets and we had the embarrassment of being turned away from the venue in front of hundreds of people.
"The show was terrific, but knowing we had potentially been the victims of fraud spoiled the day."
The couple are now hoping to raise awareness against such issues in the future.
Ed Parkinson, head of marketing at Viagogo, said: "It's our mission to protect customers, that's why we have a guarantee and every customer that had a problem was fully refunded.
"In this case, we decided to offer them tickets to another Strictly Come Dancing performance with our compliments.
"Sellers on Viagogo aren't paid for their tickets until buyers have successfully attended the event, so it's baffling why anyone would attempt to sell invalid tickets through us as they simply won't get paid."
Marti said that she was delighted with Viagogo's response.