Nigel Adams MP and Sharon Hodgson MP today wrote the following letter to the only listed UK director of Viagogo-affiliated VGL Services Ltd, protesting the company’s lack of engagement with consumers and with MPs:
VGL Services Limited
71 Fenchurch Street
18 July 2017
Dear Mr. Shah,
We are writing to you as the listed director of VGL Services Limited, which manages Viagogo. Following the General Election, we want to follow up on some outstanding matters which we were seeking to address during the last Parliament, and to make you aware of our continuing interest.
We recently learned with interest that VGL Services/Viagogo are now operating from this address at 71 Fenchurch Street. This is different from the address listed with Companies House, and we understand that despite journalists and consumer advocates seeing correspondence for Viagogo on the reception desk in the building, that the reception desk has been instructed to deny that Viagogo has offices there. We find this an odd practice for a company that contends it is behaving in an entirely above-board manner.
In the previous Parliament, the Clerks of the Culture, Media, and Sport Select Committee attempted to contact Viagogo to request testimony as part of an inquiry into ticket touting. The Clerks had significant trouble making contact with Viagogo, despite trying every publically-available method. Indeed, it seemed that a response was forthcoming only after Committee members expressed in the media their desire to ask questions of Viagogo.
Of course, it remains of significant concern to us that Viagogo declined the committee’s request to provide a representative, claiming the company did not have sufficient capacity in the UK to do so – something we had trouble believing given that clearly the operation is of significant size, as there were between 40 and 50 positions with Viagogo in the UK being advertised online at the time. We do hope that should the Committee resume this inquiry in the current Parliament, that Viagogo will be more forthcoming.
However, it is also of concern to us as elected representatives that we, and the Committee clerks, had such difficulty getting in touch. This seems to us to be somewhat obstructive, as Select Committees and their inquiries are an important part of public accountability. Additionally, many of our colleagues have been contacted by constituents who have been Viagogo customers with issues, and wish to be able to make their own representations to Viagogo. They should be able to do so. In light of these issues, we would appreciate more transparency from Viagogo about its UK presence, and how we can engage.
We would appreciate if you would share this correspondence with your fellow officials in public affairs, government relations, or management positions in Viagogo’s UK organisation. No doubt as a result of the same secrecy discussed above, it remains very difficult to ascertain with whom we should communicate. We are copying this correspondence to the people mentioned below, as well as to the other possible addresses for you and for VGL Services that we have been able to ascertain. We would appreciate a response at your earliest convenience.
Nigel Adams MP Sharon Hodgson MP
Former CMS Select Committee Member Chair of the APPG on Ticket Abuse