Shopee apologizes after 'event fell short of high expectations'
Online retailer Shopee Philippines was at the receiving end of Blackpink fans' displeasure during a meet-and-greet with the popular K-pop act on Thursday.
The company organized a fan event promising seats to those who would buy items from their online store, while indicating that the "top 40 spenders" will get autographs from members of the group.
But on the day of the event, several fans alleged they were denied entry despite scoring tickets by spending tens of thousands of pesos, and became increasingly worried that they were "scammed."
Responding to the concerns, Shopee Philippines apologized in an official statement and acknowledged that the event "fell short of the high standards that users and Blackpink fans expect."
"All of us at Shopee would like to sincerely apologize to users and fans of Shopee and Blackpink for the issues involving the Shopee x Blackpink meet-and-greet today in Manila.
"The event fell short of the high standards that Shopee users and Blackpink fans expect, and we hear our community’s feedback loud and clear.
"Although we took immediate steps as soon as we discovered our errors to ensure the rightful winners of our contest could claim their prizes, we know that the entire process caused confusion, disappointment, and upset for many Shopee users and Blackpink fans.
"We are reaching out to all those affected by this issue, and we are also taking steps to ensure that such an incident does not occur again in the future."
TICKET MIX UP
A fan who only chose to be identified as "Kia" said she was infuriated to find out that there were people who spent less than her but got "tickets and good seats."
"Kia" said she received a notification from Shopee saying that she won a ticket on Monday but it was later revoked. She said she spent more than P20,000.
According to "Kia," Shopee explained that a system error caused the mix-up with the tickets and that a revised list of winners was sent out this Wednesday. She said that she wants transparency.
"Nalaman ko some friends spent less [who got tickets] and good seats," she said, adding that a group of fans is planning to file a case against the online retailer.
Shopee Philippines only allotted 568 tickets for the promo.
The outrage from fans drove the hashtag "ShopeeScam" to the top of the worldwide trending topics list of Twitter.
Reaction ranged from confusion to outrage, with many of those aggrieved suggesting a boycott.
Those who got tickets and were able to score an autograph from the Blackpink members described it as "worth it."
Michael Rapes, who spent more than P200,000, which was good enough for the No. 1 spot among the "top spenders," said that this was a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
Others were less than impressed, saying that the fan meet was disappointingly short.
It was further marred by one of the members allegedly almost having a panic attack, and a lack of a performance. The group performed during a Shopee fan meet in Indonesia last year.
Hours after the event, one of the members of Blackpink, Lisa, posted on Instagram a photo of her with the caption: "Masaya akong makita kayong mga blinks."
--with a report from MJ Felipe, ABS-CBN News