Jun 07, 2013

    6 months for Amuro gig tickets refund is too long, say fans

    TICKET holders of Japanese singer Namie Amuro's cancelled April 26 concert are up in arms over the long wait of six months for refunds.

    Concert organiser Midas Promotions announced on Wednesday on its Facebook page that it will offer "full refunds" of ticket costs starting from Oct 26.

    Already disappointed over the cancellation of what was to be Amuro's first concert here, fans also had to deal with the frustration of delayed refunds for their tickets, ranging between $138 and $288.

    Disgruntled ticket holders have even taken to setting up a Facebook group to demand refunds.

    Ms Minty Pan, 22, a tertiary student who bought a $168 ticket, said: "Getting a refund three months after the concert is the maximum (period for me), and now they are dragging it out to six months."

    Ms Joreen Hung, 29, who is a member of Amuro's unofficial fan club here, said: "When other concerts get cancelled, I hear they get their refunds within days. Why is it that for Amuro, it takes so long (to get a refund)?"

    The fan club had bought about 100 tickets in the most expensive category, in hopes of its members seeing their idol up close.


    The main reason for the delay in ticket refunds is due to a legal dispute between Midas and Japanese show organiser On The Line (OTL).

    According to My Paper's report on April 26, the Tokyo-based promotion company had claimed that the cancellation of the show here was due to late payment from Midas.

    However, Midas had explained that the delay in the second payment was because both sides were exploring options, such as switching venues, due to slow ticket sales.

    Mr Seah Seng Choon, executive director of the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case), feels that the timeline for the refund is "too long" and that it should be done "as soon as possible".

    "The promoter should give a clear explanation to all ticket holders as to the cause of the delay," added Mr Seah, who revealed that Case had received five complaints between April 1 and yesterday.

    Ticket holders that My Paper spoke to said that they should not have to bear the brunt of the organisers' internal row, to which Mr Seah agrees.

    He said: "Consumers should not be involved in the dispute between the concert promoter and the organiser."

    Fans felt that Midas' poor communication with them and finger-pointing has caused the local concert promoter to lose its credibility.

    Mr Peter Leong, 34, a business analyst from Kuala Lumpur, said: "It is very unprofessional of Midas to have the fans suffer for their loss... They even asked the fans to chase the Japanese side for the refund."

    Mr Leong, who forked out $380 in hotel and transport costs for the trip here, was referring to a post by the administrator on Midas' Facebook page on May 14, stating that fans can contact OTL directly to ask about the refund. A contact number and e-mail address for OTL were also given.

    Mr Leong is not the only overseas fan who has suffered inconvenience. Some 30 fans flew down from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan over that April weekend, said Ms Hung.

    She said that the last-minute cancellation made it hard for the fans to back out of their flights and accommodation reservations.

    The refund offer comes a little too late for a few frustrated fans that have taken to filing claims with the Small Claims Tribunal.

    My Paper understands that two mediation sessions between ticket holders and Midas were held last Saturday and on Tuesday.

    One ticket holder, who wanted to be known only as Ms Lee and is in her 20s, filed a claim on May 23 for two tickets costing $168 each.

    For Ms Pan, it's a case of once bitten, twice shy: "The next time I buy a concert ticket, I'll do some research to check if the concert promoter has a bad record."

    Midas could not be reached for comments by press time.