MANILA - The goal was to get their hands on the precious autographs of Korean pop group Blackpink, and in the process of doing so, fans of the group spent tens of thousands of pesos on products they don't really need just so they can be part of the leaderboard.
Two fans of the popular K-pop group, who both requested anonymity, shared to ABS-CBN News what they had to go through just to be part of Online retailer Shopee Philippines' "top 40 spenders" who will get autographs from Jisoo, Lisa, Jennie and Rose.
Hoping to maintain their place in the top 40, both "Tina" and "Belle" spent a total of P105,000 on products sold on Shopee Philippines.
Tina said she bought four new mobile phone units just so she can maintain her place in the top 40.
Belle said Shopee would post updates of who are included in the "top 40 spenders" every other day, and as of Wednesday, the person in the 40th spot spent almost P80,000.
Both of them thought they're part of the top 40 and would go home with the girls' signatures.
But both of them received bad news on the day of the event.
Belle said she got a ticket for the event, but she was supposedly not part of the top 40, which means she wouldn't be getting the autographs.
She went to the venue early to complain, and that's when she learned there were others who had the same case as her.
"We were feeling so scammed and all that na parang nawala 'yung worth ng money namin," she said.
She added the company's staff tried to resolve the issue but she just gave up and accepted the ticket given to her.
Tina, who also failed to be part of the top 40 based on Shopee's latest leaderboard, decided not to attend the meet-and-greet as a form of protest for what she said is unfair treatment by Shopee.
A friend also told her that the 40th person on the leaderboard spent P109,000, which is more than what she spent.
"So Shopee seemed to have fixed it, but only the top 40. They said na the 40th person spent almost 109k. Mas mataas sa akin na 105k lang," she tweeted.
"And yes, my decision was final. HINDI AKO PUPUNTA. Shopee gave me so much stress and anxiety and I cant be there neglecting those stuff. Iniisip ko nalang muna, hindi pa ito ang tamang panahon to meet them personally," she added.
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."