Guns N' Roses concert debacle: Show organiser LAMC, payment service provider Sandpiper disagree on refund process

American rock band Guns N' Roses' at its first show in Singapore on Feb 25.
American rock band Guns N' Roses' at its first show in Singapore on Feb 25.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

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 that LAMC has refused to accept its proposal to refund concert-goers via a web-based portal.

Sandpiper further claims 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".

LAMC Productions 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 concert goers. This is a view they do not totally share."

Many of the 50,000 concertgoers had complained about long queues during the event for food, drinks and transportation, 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.

Concertgoers who topped up their iGO eWallets up to 48 hours before the concert could either have their unused credits refunded back to their credit cards, or to use in future events using the iGo eWallets 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 adds: "It is absolutely ridiculous that at this point LAMC does not want to resolve this issue. Sandpiper Digital Payments Asia has already communicated to our iGo eWallet holders that their balances are being processed, while LAMC refuses to return the funds rightfully belonging to their customers."

Mr Knudson addds: "We are forced to resort to alternative means to process the refunds. If necessary, we will take legal action against them."

Sandpiper had earlier said that it had raised concerns with concert organiser LAMC Productions that there were not enough queue lines 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.

Both companies are now consulting their legal advisors.