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Online ticket scam cost Cheltenham couple more than £100

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: January 22, 2013

Stars of the show: Lisa Riley and Robin Windsor as part of the Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour. Inset, Marti Toth-Norris

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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.

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  • KLR86  |  January 22 2013, 4:15PM

    Oh Thomas1996, that's like suggesting never paying to have sex because you can watch a blue movie on tv for free instead. Some things have to be experienced, live, in real time, to truly appreciate their glory. This no doubt applies to the wondrous spectacle that is Strictly Come Dancing.

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  • TimMessanger  |  January 22 2013, 1:54PM

    Sorry didn't realise the site had been taken to the high court and lost by the RFU for resale of tickets! http://tinyurl.com/ah5zloc

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  • IsitJimKerr  |  January 22 2013, 12:00PM

    Viagogo are a bunch of crooks. They regularly buy up large tranches of tickets, and sell them at huge mark-ups, then with extras, prices that make you squirm. They operate illegally, yet somehow get away with it. Under the pic it says 'Inset, Marti Toth-Norris'......is that her hiding under Lisa Riley's dress?

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  • TimMessanger  |  January 22 2013, 10:51AM

    So you got your money back, there was no need to try and drag the website into this, their policy is perfectly sound, what more could they do? Pay you money not to run to the newspapers? There are always going to be a few bad apples out there who don't care about hurting people's feelings and shame on them!

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  • thomas1996  |  January 22 2013, 9:47AM

    Or watch it on TV 'for free'

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