For those who love online shopping, you must be familiar with the anticipation of waiting for your parcel to arrive.
Now, imagine the horror and anger when the item you purchased never comes.
This man thought he was getting a good deal when he saw a suitcase going for $6.60 during a Lazada flash sale.
However, he received a phone case instead.
68-year-old Mr Yan (transliterated from Mandarin) recounted the ordeal to Shin Min Daily News.
He said he ordered four suitcases during Lazada’s 15th-of-the-month flash deal.
Specifically, he ordered two 24-inch suitcases, each going for $6.60.
His wife was also enticed by the deal, paying $9.60 for a 24-inch suitcase that supposedly included a free 20-inch suitcase.
In total, the couple spent $22.80 on four suitcases.
Or at least, they expected to receive suitcases in the mail.
Their excitement immediately turned into disappointment when they received three phone cases instead.
64-year-old Mrs Yan told Shin Min Daily News that when the couple received the phone cases, she struggled to remember when she bought them.
It was only after checking her app that she realised that the phone cases were meant to fulfil the suitcase order.
When Mr Yan called Lazada to report the issue, he was told that the delivery was wrong and that the suitcases would arrive in five to seven days.
However, he received a notification the next day requesting him to complete a form to process the refund.
Mr Yan said he had shared this “good deal” with the president of his company, who had bought a 24-inch suitcase from the same seller.
Unfortunately, he received a phone case, too.
He got the same reply Mr Yan received from Lazada when he reported the incident.
Mr Yan said, “This isn’t about the money we lost but about the time we wasted and the loss of trust in Lazada.
“When I saw the good deal, I bought it without thinking twice because I trusted Lazada. Refunds cannot compensate for this loss, and there will always be new victims.”
Considering Switching to Other Online Shopping Platforms
Mr Yan said that his family often used Lazada as their go-to online shopping platform because of the excellent delivery service.
He explained that whenever items he bought needed to be returned or exchanged, a Lazada delivery person would come to his house to retrieve the goods.
He revealed that Mrs Yan spends at least $200 monthly shopping on Lazada.
Furthermore, 70% of the family’s items, including clothes, medicine and beauty products, are purchased from the online shopping platform.
He added, “I will be travelling to Taiwan in January, so we ordered four suitcases in one go.”
Mrs Yan recounted another similar incident that caused her to lose faith in Lazada.
Two months ago, she bought 200 ml of a beauty product for $23.
However, the actual item she received was only a sample with less than 5 ml.
Lazada replied to Mr Yan on 10 October, saying that the seller’s product name was misleading and violated the platform’s regulations.
It added that the seller had been fined and that Mr Yan would receive a full refund within 28 days.
It said, “We apologise for the inconvenience. We take feedback seriously and will avoid the same situation repeating in future.”
Shin Min Daily News noted that searching the seller’s name on the platform currently gives no results.
Unfortunately, Mr Yan’s story isn’t uncommon.
Sometimes, things are too good to be true.
On 22 October 2022, Shin Min Daily News reported that a man, 55-year-old Mr Zhang, wanted to get his wife a new phone.
He took advantage of Lazada’s monthly sale and thought he managed to secure a Samsung phone for only $447.
To his horror, he received a black straw instead.
In May 2022, a woman ordered a stepladder on Shopee but received a piece of cardboard.
Similarly, in February 2022, another person received three pieces of cardboard after purchasing disinfecting spray guns through Lazada.
How to Avoid Bogus Sellers
According to an advisory by the Singapore Police Force (SPF), scammers may use flash deals and similar online shopping events to pose as bogus sellers.
These scammers will entice people with cheap deals but become uncontactable and do not deliver the purchased items after payment.
Thus, they have advised the public to be wary of deals that seem too good to be true.
Furthermore, people should only purchase from authorised sellers or reputable sources.
In addition, the public should avoid making upfront payments to bank accounts that belong to unknown individuals.
To keep themselves safe, buyers can opt for buyer protection and use built-in payment options within online shopping platforms instead.
Members of the public can also verify a seller’s profile on online shopping platforms through customer reviews and ratings.