Amid Shopee backlash, Toni Gonzaga says she’s ‘grateful’ to netizens for making them trend

Images: Shopee PH / Celestine Gonzaga
Images: Shopee PH / Celestine Gonzaga

While netizens and online sellers continue to call for boycotts of Shopee following the e-commerce brand’ announcement that Toni Gonzaga would be its new endorser, the singer-actress seemed unaffected by the controversy at yesterday’s launch.

ICYMI, Shopee started topping the Twitter trends list in the Philippines yesterday after the company teased that Gonzaga would soon be their new brand ambassador.

Netizens slammed the e-commerce brand for picking the singer-actress, calling her an “enabler” after she left her home network, ABS-CBN, and campaigned for then-former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos in the May presidential election

Users also called out the shopping platform for signing Gonzaga the same week they announced a mass layoff of its employees in the Philippines. 

Shopee’s main competitor in the Philippines, Lazada, has also been trending as Twitter users called on consumers to switch brands.

READ: Sho-pissed: Buyers call for mass uninstall, deletion of Shopee after brand teases Toni Gonzaga as new endorser

Seeing the brewing PR crisis, Shopee apparently ran a belated survey asking for respondents to “answer a few questions about celebrities or influencers” after the backlash. 

But Gonzaga, for her part, seemed unfazed about coming under fire and even thanked the internet for all of the attention,

“We are grateful because we [have been] trending since yesterday and today. We are grateful to our netizens for the mentions, the engagements. We are grateful for them because they are also one of the reasons why we are here where we are today,” Gonzaga said at the launch.

That did nothing to quell the ire of Twitter users who said they were deleting Shopee’s app and moving to Lazada, with both e-commerce platforms continuing to top Philippine Twitter trends today.

Many online sellers, including a number of K-Pop merchandise shops, announced they would no longer use Shopee as an online storefront.

Some shops also called attention to what they believed were unfair practices by the e-commerce giant against sellers. For example, a Twitter account named MedtechsForGoodGovernance, which claims to be a seller on the platform, alleged that sellers are the lowest priority for Shopee.

“If the customer does not accept an item they bought for whatever reason, even if they say, ‘I have no money so I’ll just cancel,’ Shopee automatically accepts that without question. You can report the buyer but nothing will happen,” the user alleged.

“Their deductions also keep on getting higher. They deduct from the free shipping to cashback, and they also get commission fees. They just raised their fees.” 

“Even if the customer lies about a product they received and says it’s defective, Shopee immediately approves their return requests no matter what explanations you give. So don’t say they’re the most considerate and caring company because they exploit their first line of clients,” they added.

Another user said the platform “was digging its own grave” through a host of issues including increased transaction fees on sellers, the inability for sellers to choose their preferred couriers, stingy vouchers, repeated delays with its in-house courier, ShopeeXpress, among others.

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