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DTI investigating Shopee, Blackpink meet-and-greet mess

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is now looking into the meet-and-greet mess involving online retailer Shopee and South Korean girl group Blackpink, its top official said Friday.

“Yes, DTI is investigating,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said in a text message.

"Shoppee was called to report to DTI and the consumers complainants," Lopez added.

#Shopeescam trended on Twitter after fans claimed spending huge amounts of money for pass cards to meet members of the girl group only to be denied of the tickets on the day of the event, June 6, at Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.

Shopee has since apologized for the incident.

The Cabinet official said the DTI probe will determine who was at fault and responsible for the problems that hounded the meet-and-greet event between fans and the South Korean girl group.

“It depends kung kaninong promo—from the band or from Shopee?” Lopez said, when asked who should be deemed liable for the incident.

The company at fault must also refund the customers affected, he said. “And if violations of rules are found, penalty for the company doing the promo is P300,000,” he added.

"Aggrieved party must also be compensated and it was reported that Shopee is now talking to each aggrieved  party for compensation and rectification. They should have a program to settle all complaints. We will watch this closely," Lopez said.

The Trade chief encouraged the fans to file formal complaints.

“Asking also those with complaints to file their complaints to the consumer protection desk,” Lopez said.

System error

Preliminary findings showed that the meet-and-greet problem resulted from Shopee's system error, according to the Trade chief.

There were also 119 aggrieved parties out of 1,000 guests for the event.

"The 119 were not supposed to be given tickets as they were after the May 25 deadline to receive tickets.  So the 119 inadvertently bumped off, they're supposed to get tickets but didn't get tickets to get in," Lopez said.

Not a scam

"Shopee is now calling out to each aggrieved party and being invited for settlement.  Offhand, it doesn't look like a scam," he said.

"Shopee is immediately compensating and giving full refund of expenses incurred by the affected 119," he added.—VDS/LDF, GMA News