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VC3 online payments for Carnival credited to ‘Murry Heights H’

VC3 online payments for Carnival credited to ‘Murry Heights H’

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Customers of the Vincentian Cultural Connection Channel (VC3) who used the business’s online streaming option that was available for Vincy Mas 2016 have noted that their credit card statements reflect a payment to ‘Murry Heights H’ and not VC3 as expected.

But while the invoice is baffling to customers, chief executive officer (CEO) of the Carnival Development Corporation (CDC) Ashford Wood said on Thursday that there is nothing sinister about the transaction.

According to one online streaming customer, on July 2, the night of the National Ragga Soca and Power Soca competition finals, she went to VC3’s website, www.vc3tv.com, entered her credit card information and was able to view the show through a live stream.{{more}}

The customer, who resides in the United States, related that a few days later, after receiving her credit card statement, she noticed that she was billed EC$55, not by VC3, but by an entity named ‘Murry Heights H’.

Investigations by SEARCHLIGHT reveal that ‘Murry Heights H’ refers to the Murray Heights Hotel at McKies Hill, Kingstown.

VC3 was registered as the business name for a television broadcasting entity on December 20, 2012 by the National Lotteries Authority (NLA). The entity is located at the Victoria Park, which is presently managed by the NLA. The owner of the Murray Heights Hotel, Murray Bullock, is the chair of the NLA, while VC3 is managed by Bullock’s son, Rohan.

But while the transaction raised eyebrows of some customers, CDC CEO Wood sought to clarify the issue on Thursday, during an interview at his Victoria Park office.

According to Wood, the CDC promised live streams to the diaspora of all their shows for Vincy Mas 2016, but was unable to stream the first show, Miss SVG, which was held on Saturday, May 28.

Wood said that after the technical issues were sorted out, the CDC could not get their merchant account set up with the Bank of St Vincent and the Grenadines (BOSVG) in time for Vincy Mas, so they approached the Murray Heights Hotel for assistance, asking them to use their credit card/debit card system to facilitate payments for the live streaming of the shows.

“We had a problem with establishing the merchant account at the Bank of St Vincent and the Grenadines (BOSVG), which would have allowed us to collect the funds directly. The merchant account was not set up in time for Vincy Mas and we involved the Murray Heights Hotel to process the payments for us,” explained Wood, who stressed that the CDC saw it as very important to have the diaspora able to view the various CDC shows.

“We approached the hotel to act as our collection agency. We had full control over the process as the request for the streaming came to us first and when we knew that the payment had gone through, we released the access code,” said Wood.

The CEO stressed that they are in the process of retrieving the money from the hotel.

“We have been able to reconcile all the payments, but we still not have sorted out our own merchant account, but that will be sorted out by the end of this month,” said Wood.

When VC3 was contacted, manager Rohan Bullock was not in office and employees there refused to give out his mobile number.

However, manager of the Murray Heights Hotel Murray Bullock explained that he did the CDC and VC3 a favour by facilitating the payment for the live streaming.

“We agreed to collect the money because they did not have the merchant account. A lot of people in the diaspora would have been disappointed if they were not able to see the shows,” said Bullock on Thursday.

He added that there was no charge by the Murray Heights Hotel to VC3 or the CDC for collecting the payments and they are currently in the process of transferring the monies generated by the streaming, something that would be completed by the end of this week.

“There is nothing to hide,” stressed Bullock.(LC)

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