Victim of Viagogo campaign founder given MBE after helping reclaim almost £1m

Claire Turnham created the VofV group on Facebook in early 2017 after she was overcharged by Viagogo for Ed Sheeran tickets.

A woman who has helped recover almost £1 million in refunds for people who have bought concert tickets from resale website Viagogo has been awarded an MBE.

Claire Turnham, campaign leader for the Victim of Viagogo (VofV) group, said being recognised for her services to consumer rights was part of an “incredible journey”.

She founded the group on Facebook in early 2017 to support other Viagogo customers after she was overcharged for Ed Sheeran tickets bought from the company for her son’s birthday.

Claire Turnham thanked Ed Sheeran’s team for their contributions to the campaign (Claire Turnham/PA)

Ms Turnham, 51, from Oxford, has since collaborated with Sheeran’s team, and thanked them for their commitment and unwavering support.

Viagogo is a Switzerland-based online marketplace for ticket resale, providing customers with tickets for sport, music and entertainment.

Last month, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) told the company it must overhaul the way it does business to protect consumers under a High Court order.

Ms Turnham said: “I’m very proud and I accept this award on behalf of every victim of Viagogo.

“We started as a one-person group and we’re now a thriving movement which really reflects people who had the courage to stand up and speak out about ticket abuse and about the misery that this company has caused.

“I’m hoping now and trusting with this award that we will be able to do even more with the ultimate view of ending ticket abuse.

“None of us who have been victims can change what happened to us but we can stop people falling into the same trap.”

Fans who had bought tickets for Ed Sheeran's UK tour in 2018 were turned away (Claire Turnham)
Fans who had bought tickets for Ed Sheeran’s UK tour in 2018 were turned away (Claire Turnham/PA)

The consumer rights champion has accepted her MBE with dual nationality, as she was born in the UK and grew up in New Zealand.

She said the campaign has now become a global movement, with people contacting her from across the world for advice, after she teamed up with FanFair Alliance to publish a guide assisting consumers seeking refunds from secondary ticketing sites.

She said: “When I began the campaign there was huge issues with tickets for Adele and people were contacting me all through the night from Australia.

“We’ve stuck together and persevered and been able to claim back what was rightfully theirs.

“I set up the campaign without asking for anything in return, all we asked was once they had been helped was that you help other people.”

Sheeran’s promoters cancelled all tickets bought from the secondary ticketing platform for his UK stadium tour earlier this year, which left fans in the lurch when they arrived at the venue.

At the Wembley Stadium leg of his tour there were six Victim Of Viagogo box office windows advising people what to do with cancelled tickets and how to request a refund.

Ms Turnham was also honoured by Amnesty International earlier this year for fighting against modern injustices.

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