Concert-goers get apology after payment system 'rip-off'

The company behind a payment system used at Saturday night's Marlon Williams concert has apologised after concert-goers claimed it was a "rip-off".

AWOP is a payment system that lets people load money onto EFTPOS-like cards to use at stalls in festivals and concert settings.

But Auckland concert-goers were left frustrated on Saturday night when they were made to pay $3 to purchase an AWOP card before topping it up with their desired amount.

Refunds were available for any money not used at the venue, either by lining up at one of the various stalls, or by completing a set of online instructions on the back of the card.

Twitter user Dean Nimbly said the cards were a "complete scam".

"They exist solely to profit off the fact that most people won't bother to get their unused balance refunded."

AWOP sent out an email to customers apologising for the lack of information about the cards.

"We understand this was a big change and as a gesture of our apology we will refund your $3 top up fee with your refund."

Other Twitter users said they missed out on parts of the show because of queues to top up the AWOP card.

"I was in line for dumplings when 'Anchor Me' played at the Marlon Williams gig last night," said Tess Nicholls, who missed out on seeing support act Don McGlashan perform one of his biggest hits. "What the f is wrong with Paywave?"

Others noted that on top of the card fee, there was also a bank fee of around 60c to top it up.

The AWOP system was created around a decade ago to reduce the amount of physical cash being used at events.

This time, however, AWOP admitted it should have let people know about the cards and payments before the concert date.

They are allowing people to claim a full refund, including the $3 card fee. Instructions to claim this are on the back of the AWOP card.


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