Gig organiser, cashless payment company clash over refunds

Guns N' Roses performed at Changi Exhibition Centre on Feb 25.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

Sandpiper Digital Payments Asia, the company behind the cashless payment system at the Guns N' Roses show at Changi Exhibition Centre on Feb 25, has accused concert organisers LAMC of holding up refunds for unused credits.

In a statement to the press, Sandpiper says LAMC has refused to accept its proposal to refund concertgoers via a Web-based portal.

Sandpiper adds that LAMC "has refused to accept the portal, without offering any alternative solutions, and delaying refunds indefinitely. The organiser has wrongfully and contrary to the Service Agreement refused to process the refunds and wishes to push the liability and responsibility of processing the refunds to Sandpiper Digital Payments Asia".

Read also: Guns N' Roses concert: Cashless payment a gripe

LAMC director Ross Knudson refutes this in a reply to The Straits Times.

He says: "It is not true that we refuse to give the refunds. The money is still being held by Sandpiper as a trustee. We stand ready to make the refunds on receipt of full and accurate data from Sandpiper on concertgoers' receipts and payments. So far, the data is not full and complete. Our position is that Sandpiper has the obligation to effect and process the correct refunds to the concertgoers. This is a view it does not totally share."

Many of the 50,000 concertgoers had complained about long queues during the event for food, drinks and transport as well as issues with the RFID wristbands used for cashless purchases of food and drinks.

A day after the concert, LAMC pledged to refund the unspent RFID credits and urged customers to keep their RFID wristbands.

Guns N' Roses shine in Singapore

  • Frontman Axl Rose, guitarist Slash and bassist Duff McKagan, tore through a scorching set in Guns N' Roses' first-ever gig in Singapore at the Changi Exhibition Centre on Saturday night (Feb 25).
  • The setlist was classic GNR - the bulk of them came from the iconic 1987 debut Appetite For Destruction and 1991 double release Use Your Illusion I and II, as well as a smattering of covers.
  • All the GNR trademarks were on full display during the two hour and 45 minute set - Rose's screeching wail and hip-swaying moves, Slash's top hat and slithering solos and McKagan's low slung bass.
  • There was plenty of singalong opportunities for originals such as epic ballads November Rain and Estranged and red-blooded rockers like Paradise City and Welcome To The Jungle.
  • Rose's vocals and the guitars sound buried and could do with more punch.
  • But the band's solid showmanship and choice setlist made up for the less-than-stellar sound.
  • Axl Rose performing in Singapore.
  • Bassist Duff McKagan.
  • Axl Rose called Singapore "Changi" during the performance.
  • Fans at the Guns N' Roses concert.

Concertgoers who topped up their iGO eWallets up to 48 hours before the concert could either have their unused credits refunded to their credit cards, or use these in future events using the iGo eWallet system.

Those who exchanged their tickets for RFID wristbands and topped them up with cash at the venue on the day of the concert are still waiting for details on how they can get refunds for their unused credits.

In Sandpiper's statement, its director James Kane says: "It is absolutely ridiculous that, at this point, LAMC does not want to resolve this issue. Sandpiper Digital Payments Asia has already communicated to its iGo eWallet holders that their balances are being processed, while LAMC refuses to return the funds rightfully belonging to their customers."

Read also: No Appetite for Dysfunction? Expect Guns N' Roses gig credit refund options by Wednesday

Mr Knudson says: "We are forced to resort to alternative means to process the refunds. If necessary, we will take legal action against them. We are sorry that some concertgoers have this aggravation on the RFID refunds. Had we not used Sandpiper's services, this would not have happened."

Sandpiper had earlier said it had raised concerns with LAMC that there were not enough queues and staff at each gate to facilitate the large crowds.

LAMC later countered that there were inadequate scanners to manage the expected 50,000 concertgoers and that many scanners ran out of charge with no back-ups provided by Sandpiper.

This article was first published on Mar 10, 2017.
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