Blackpink in PH | #ShopeeScam?

Yesterday night, Filipino Blinks (Blackpink fans) took to Twitter their rage and disappointment after online retailer Shopee misled fans who were all eager and excited to meet popular Korean girl group Blackpink. Based on the available information from fans themselves online, they received notifications from Shopee informing them that they won tickets for the much-anticipated event. But moments later, the notifications went missing, and the administrators told them there was an error with their system. Shopee tried to make up for it by offering one-thousand pesos worth of gift certificates, but the fans would have none of it, most especially the top spenders. Now, the company is under serious crisis, and we all know it would really take a while for them to recover (or not? we'll see). Here are a few things that I think went wrong.

Lack of Coordination

It all started with the push notifications, the notifications that sparked the hopes of many, before crushing them. With the update saying there was a “system error” and that the customers received the wrong information, there clearly was a lack of coordination among the responsible departments in Shopee. The tickets were awarded to a lot of individuals mindlessly, as if without screening, double checking, or verification. It would have been a successful event, but unfortunately, the opposite happened. One blunder changed everything in an instant, and we all definitely can learn from this. Weak Mechanics

Originally, to qualify for the tickets, one is supposed to be among Shopee’s top 568 spenders. Then, if you’re lucky enough to be in the top 40, you could get autographs from each of Blackpink’s members. The mechanics were already made known to the participants, and they followed it, but there were reports that Shopee changed them on the last day of the promotion. As a result, some were disqualified. They, of course, got even madder. To add, according to a top spender under the username @lallalisaa_m on Twitter, who was removed from the top winners, while they were still able to push through with the autograph signing due to their persistence, organizers were annoyed at them for voicing their concerns. Instead of getting “posters” for the signing, they were given bond papers instead. *facepalm*

Photo from @lallalisaa_m

Flames were fanned

Two posts made mention of Shopee employees calling some of the fans “uto uto” for trusting they would really get the Black tickets. When a customer is upset, the most foolish thing to do is to show no empathy to the person or worse, make fun of the situation. Remember, we’re not only talking about customers here; these are real fans emotionally invested in the girl group. Some flew from far places that required plane rides, some spent their savings, and some begged for other people’s help, just for the tiny bit of chance they would qualify for the meet and greet. But what have they gotten from all the efforts? Nothing. If the staff didn’t understand where the customers’ disappointments were coming from, they should have at least communicated with them in an apologetic manner.

From left to right: Lisa, Jisoo, Jennie, and Rose. Photo from Shopee.ph

A Public Relations Disaster

It is during these times that one wouldn’t want to support the “bad publicity is still publicity” aphorism. When you have a strong competitor working just as hard to dominate the same market that you are working on, the last thing you want to do is clean up a large mess that was preventable in the first place. Not only will it cost you time, energy, and stress, but also consumer trust and sales.

There’s still a lot to this issue that’s interesting to discuss, but I don’t want to keep this post too long, so we’ll just cut it here.

Final thoughts:

I hope the fans get the justice that they deserve. Money doesn't grow on trees. We don’t really know how far others went to collect the huge amounts needed to see their idols. If we, netizens, feel bad already just by hearing the news, imagine the intensity of emotions if we were in their shoes. So, that would be all, I guess. I wish their Public Relations team all the best in handling this major crisis. May they truly understand the sentiments of the fans and seek to rebuild their relationship with them. If I’m not mistaken, it is, by far, the biggest blunder in the local e-commerce industry.

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