DTI files raps vs online retailer over K-pop fiasco

Department of Trade and Industry

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) filed a complaint against online marketplace Shopee Philippines for altering the mechanics of its meet-and-greet event with K-pop girl group Blackpink without securing approval from the agency.

The number of complaints grew against the online shopping platform for its fiasco to deliver the promised meet-and-greet increased to 148 from just 10 last week, the DTI is also making an evaluation to regulate if such activities are legitimate.

DTI Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau director Ronnel Abrenica stated over phone, “We filed a formal complaint against Shopee for violation of the change of promo mechanics without prior approval of DTI this week.”

As the case would be under adjudication, he stated both the DTI and Shopee would have the chance to present their side and evidence.

The DTI had gotten complaints from upset Shopee customers who were assured they would be able to participate in the meet-and-greet event with Blackpink but were left with nothing.

Shopee’s promo swore to give 568 shoppers who spend the most amount on the online shopping platform a pass to attend the meet-and-greet with Blackpink last June 6 at the Samsung Hall in SM Aura in Taguig.

To get a pass for the event, a shopper should have spent a minimum of P4,000 for the period covering May 11 to 25. Then to be counted in the shopper’s total accumulated expenditure, the proof of purchase must be received and completed by June 1.

Abrenica stated the promo mechanics approved by the DTI has June 1 as the last day for submission of proof of purchase.

He said some shoppers claimed, however, that Shopee changed the deadline for submission of proof of purchase to May 25.

Shopee is likely to face a maximum penalty of P300,000 if the firm violated the implementing rules of the Consumer Act on sales promotion by altering the mechanics without informing DTI.

Around 116 shoppers were notified by Shopee they qualified for the meet-and-greet event, but was later removed from the list due to a glitch in the online retailer’s system that showed there were other shoppers who made higher amount of purchases on the site and should be declared as winners.

Having a number of complaints acquired by the DTI against Shopee in relation to the Blackpink meet-and-greet now at 148, Abrenica said the agency is evaluating and cross-checking each with Shopee.

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