I am fuming mad right now. I've shopped online since I was 15 and have always loved the convenience of having things delivered to you, right at your doorstep. It was a great alternative to having to visit retail shops personally, squeezing with the crowd and all. But not once have I had such a terrible experience.
So I was introduced to Shopee sometime last year. I'd heard raving reviews about it, like how the things there were super cheap and whatnot. Everything was good initially, lots of promo codes, vouchers to use, etc. But this platform has grown and expanded so much that I think they're starting to get cocky. They don't even care about the interests of their buyers anymore. I have submitted countless feedbacks, genuinely trusting that sth would be done but nope. They probably think it's enough implementing penalty/demerit points on irresponsible sellers, but c'mon. The bulk of these sellers don't fucking care. A few negative reviews or a few screwed up orders will not affect these sellers. A couple of penalty points will not bring down their online shop. All they have to do is fulfill a certain number of orders; it won't matter if they screw up the rest 'cos they'll be getting five-star reviews for the bulk of the orders they've fulfilled, anyway. If you're lucky, you'll be one of the fortunate buyers who'll get his/her item(s) delivered without any glitch. But if you're one of the unfortunate buyers, then well. Too bad for you.
This is what happened:
During the Shopee IT sale which was held in conjunction with the IT fair at Suntec, I purchased an Armaggeddon AK-333SFX backlit keyboard which was on offer at $19.90. It was so pretty, the black one, and I purchased it without second thought. Besides, I'd already seen the physical product at retail shops so there was nothing much to consider. The seller had offered an additional promo code and hence the total amount was $17.91. There was the option of black and white, and I chose black (I'd done my research and I already knew I wanted the black one). Payment was made promptly and seller proceeded to prepare and ship out my parcel.
The item was received and I saw the words "AK-333 white" written on the packaging. That was when I felt sth was amiss. Opened up the package and sure enough, I'd received the white one. I immediately snapped a photo of the package and contacted the seller, telling him/her that I'd received the wrong colour and would like the seller's advise on how to proceed from here. I then went to check out some of the reviews for this particular seller, and saw that one buyer had actually rated 3 stars because the seller was slow in his responses. I also noticed that the seller's response rate was 19% which was extremely low.
In order to not have the payment released within 24 hours (Shopee usually releases the payment to seller 24 hours after the parcel has been marked as delivered if you don't acknowledge receipt in the app itself), I quickly clicked on the return/refund option in the app, again attaching the image of my received order as well as a brief explanation that I had received the wrong colour and would like to exchange. Shopee then dropped me an automatic e-mail stating that I had to return the item within 3 days. Afraid that the seller would not get back to me in time (within 3 days), I dropped an e-mail to Shopee's support team. The following screenshots are self-explanatory:
I gave up replying after the last e-mail because this Mairak, whoever she was, just did not get my point. She blatantly ignored my request to speak to someone else, and totally took my words out of context, insisting that Shopee protects their buyers and basically just repeating everything that's already available on their FAQ. My point is simple - that Shopee sellers exploit the loophole and the platform cannot (or rather, do not) do anything about it. Sure, we could request for a refund, but the process would be long and troublesome. Mairak, however, claims that it's not troublesome because the pick up service is free. Well if that's the case, why the fuck do I need to remain and wait at wherever I am for 3 hours; why won't the pick up service come to me at my exact location, wherever I am at that point when they contact me, to pick up the item. I mean that is extremely demanding and unreasonable of me and I DO NOT expect that. But you DO NOT tell me that it is of no trouble to me at all when you're just sitting there at your desk replying to my god damned e-mail without even going through anything that I'm going through.
Note: Anyway, the said seller of the keyboard which I bought still has not gotten back to me despite having come online several times since my first text. Not even a single word of apology even after I had made AND subsequently withdrawn my return/refund request. It is as if he/she is completely oblivious, or perhaps even blind, to my messages.
Well played, @armaggeddon888 / Armaggeddon / Leapfrog / Leapfroglobal.
In case you didn't read through the screenshots, this is a detailed explanation of how Shopee sellers exploit the system's loophole:
1) Seller lists an item for sale, be it limited time sale, or promotion, or whatever
- The price is a lot cheaper, say 50% cheaper (after all it's a promo, right)
2) Buyer can choose from two colours - violet and white
- Seller knows that white is not popular
- Seller lists available stock of 10 for both violet and white, even though seller may not have that many stocks available for the promo/available at all
- Buyers snap up the deal, and violet is sold out, but not white
3) Promo ends and seller prepares the parcels for mailing
- Seller knows that he/she does not have that many stock for violet but did not indicate accurately as seller obviously wants/wanted too desperately to profit
- Lucky buyers can receive the violet coloured product, while the rest of the orders are inaccurately fulfilled; seller mails out the white ones to the few unlucky buyers who ordered violet instead
- Seller crosses fingers and hopes that buyers would accept the wrong colour OR would find it too troublesome to return the item
- Seller profits
- In the event that buyer requests for return/refund, seller doesn't lose out at all since seller still receives the white product back, and returns the amount paid to buyer
4) Seller gets penalised by Shopee when a refund request is created
- Yup, but a few penalties/demerit points wouldn't hurt the seller as most of the orders have been fulfilled accurately and seller would receive positive ratings/reviews for majority of the orders anyway
The frustration is so fucking real because it's not the first time that this has happened. I have had sellers challenge me to lodge a dispute with Shopee because they simply do not care. The entire dispute resolution took a month or so, and then I had to wait even more for the refund to be processed. I left a one star review for that particular seller (and while doing so, noted that there were at least 1 out of 5 negative reviews), but as far as I know, that seller is still operating as usual as an irresponsible seller, which is really unfair to the sincere buyers out there.
Plus, don't even get me started on the number of counterfeits sold on Shopee. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it illegal to sell counterfeits in Singapore? Shopee has a reporting system where you can submit your feedback or report counterfeit items. I have submitted COUNTLESS feedbacks and reports, but nope, nothing has been done. Even though majority of the buyers themselves had left reviews on the item listing that they had received counterfeits. Anyway, such sellers are so intelligent - they'll contact you, get you to return the item to them, refund you the money, then ask you to amend your review. Most people would do that 'cos they wouldn't wanna keep/use a counterfeit item instead, right? And so these sellers go scot-free, and they can continue targeting innocent, unaware buyers.
Oh, and let's not forget about sellers who leave unfair ratings and reviews on buyers. I received a 2-star review because I rated that particular item 2-stars as it was very obviously a counterfeit item. But in what way did I deserve that 2-star review as a buyer? For making payment promptly? For making the purchase as hassle free and convenient as possible? I did not even contact the seller to enquire on the available colours/shades etc - I did my own research and made payment as soon as the order went through. And that damned seller still had the nerve to advertise the products as authentic. I'm no anti-counterfeit pro, but that fucking product was NOWHERE near authentic.
I'm so pissed off with Shopee and the way they handle matters that I'm ready to boycott them. Like for real, this time. I don't deny that their prices are very competitive, but I'd rather pay a little more than to have to go through this every single time.
Seriously, my review on Shopee? Do not even bother. It's probably the worst online shopping platform/app ever. No wonder they say pay peanuts get monkeys. I paid peanuts and I didn't even get monkeys, just a whole load of bullshit.