US visitors fall prey to West Coast Eagles game ticket scam
A COUPLE from the US are warning football fans to be wary of online resales after they were turned away at the gates of Optus Stadium on Saturday after spending $350 on tickets.
Chris West and Beth Drake had hoped to spend their last day in Perth watching West Coast and Collingwood’s blockbuster qualifying final.
They paid $350 for two match tickets worth about $118 using the online ticket resale website Viagogo and forked out even more cash for Eagles gear.
But when Mr West and Ms Drake arrived at Optus Stadium they were told someone else had used their tickets to enter the venue at 4pm.
Mr West said the event was supposed to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience before they flew out of Perth.
“We knew the footy finals were happening and we thought how lucky are we to be able to go and see one of these games, especially at the new stadium,” he said.
“We are a bit embarrassed that we didn’t do more due diligence as far as maybe doing a little bit more research, but Viagogo was the first result that came up on Google so we thought it would be OK.
“We knew the game was sold out and we thought this was something that we really wanted to go to.”
Mr West and Ms Drake, who are from Olympia in Washington State, did not know the face value of the tickets when they bought them.
They ended up watching the game on a big screen at a bar and said they would continue to follow football when they returned home.
“It is an amazing game and I think it is something we are going to continue to watch even from afar in the US,” Mr West said.
“Now that we have a team we are even more excited.”
Consumer Protection Commissioner David Hillyard said buying resale tickets online always came with risk.
“If you’re buying them privately off Gumtree and those sorts of places, absolute risk, because you just don’t know who the people are that you are dealing with,” he said.
“If it’s a printed ticket you don’t know how many times it’s been used.”