Online shopping experiences. Which websites are safe to buy and which aren’t?
Recently there are more and more tricks to make consumers buy products from them and more and more in listings sellers use EU warehouse stock as a trick to make more sales. There are increasing number of cases where products advertised to be sold from EU warehouse actually arrive from China. That type of advertisement is false advertisement and its misleading consumers and they should be protected from that by websites that host those listings and also by banks and paying companies.
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We noticed a while ago that there are more and more products on ebay.co.uk that are being delivered from China. It is not hard to spot it since delivery time is much longer so we stopped using eBay, but eBay isn’t the only one. We are bringing you one of many stories of customers being mislead and end up with headache.
Customer from our story saw eScooter on banggood.com sold from a EU warehouse with shipping time only 7 days and for a quite attractive price. The offer was great with quick delivery. Can’t be better. He placed the order, paid with PayPal and waited. After 7 days the eScooter hadn’t arrived. He found out that the eScooter was out of stock in the EU warehouse so he needed to wait a bit longer. Well that’s OK, a bit more waiting but at least he got great deal. After an additional 8 days the eScooter finally arrived. But after only 4 km on the road that same day the eScooter stopped working. He contacted us and we told him to go directly to the seller. Even though we can fix it, the eScooter is new and it must be fixed under warranty by the seller. Today, 26 days later he contacted us again and here is the story.
When bargain turns into nightmare
He got back to the seller, banggood.com support and PayPal and they all seem to turned back to him. The seller offered instructions on how to check what could be wrong and those instructions included opening the eScooter and reconnecting the motor. Anyone who doesn’t know about electronics shouldn’t be doing DIY repairs no matter what. 18650 cells if shortened or damaged can be quite dangerous. Sellers should ensure properly service for their products and not ask buyers to do DIY repairs. If any seller can’t provide service then a refund should be issued or the seller banned from selling. In Ireland it is illegal for someone to service their electric shower as they are not a qualified electrician but it is legal to encourage people to do DIY repairs on eScooters.
Fix it yourself or send it to China within 30 days on your expense.
Since the buyer refused to bring to danger himself by opening a faulty product, the seller asked for the product to be shipped to China. That shipping costs €497.82 by TNT Economy and takes 8 – 9 Days. The eScooter was purchased for €629 and this is their trick. They know how expensive it is and know most people won’t bother to ship back to China. In one of the replies from PayPal there is mentioned sellers agreement to give full refund after product is shipped back to China and deadline is 30 days, yeah, 30 days now during this crisis when all deliveries are delayed and even AliExpress extended buyers protection to 90 days and it’s impossible to ship it to china unless you ship it express. The Chinese seller knows that and PayPal agreed to that offer on their side. This isn’t first case we heard. There is similar case with eScooter listed on AliExpress to be sold from Poland and when it arrived faulty seller requested product to be shipped to China in order for customer to get refund. This case was sorted out on higher level after over 2 months of buyer fighting for his rights. There is also another AliExpress case that we are bringing soon. Seems sellers figured out that most buyers if they need to return products to china will just give up but if product is listed as sold from EU warehouse with fast shipping and no tax it will increase sales since most buyers don’t want to wait forever for their product to be delivered. So quite easy way to increase sales and reduce returns. recipe for doing great business with minimum loss.
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This case is quite clear for us and can in some way maybe be considered almost as a scam but it seems it’s not to banggood.com support or PayPal.
Here are all mistakes seller made:
1 product location advertised wrongly
2 delivery time advertised wrongly
3 sold low quality or faulty product
4 didn’t provide UK return address
There is more than 1 reason for a refund to the customer but both Banggood and PayPal refuse to protect the consumer here. We did send an email to both Banggood and PayPal to ask them how are buyers protected with them and we are waiting for their response. As soon as they get back to us we will update their response but we will also contact other online shops to ask them how do they protect buyers from false advertisement and update their response.
09.06.2020. PayPal responded quickest on our Twitter with response time of 2 hours asking for an email connected with the account to do an investigation.
10.06.2020. Banggood Global that was tagged in same post announcing this article replied 16 hours after our post asking for order number to assist us. case might be sorted out fair way for customer after all.
We still didn’t receive any response to our emails directed to the media department of both companies.
11:06.2020. Banggood customer service replied to our email and are looking for more details. We informed them about all details and EU laws.
14 day cooling off periodsource: europa.eu
In the EU you have the right to return purchases made online or through other types of distance selling, such as by phone, mail order or from a door-to-door salesperson, within 14 days for a full refund. You can do so for any reason – even if you simply changed your mind.
Some traders may not charge you for returning your goods. However, they should tell you in advance (before you order) if you will have to pay if you decide to return your order. If they don’t tell you that you must pay for your return, the trader will have to pay for it. You don’t have to pay any other charges that you were not informed of.
Under EU law, within the legal guarantee period of two years, defective products must be repaired or replaced without any cost to the consumer. This includes any shipping costs. So, the seller should cover all shipping costs (the cost of you sending the faulty item to the them and the trader returning the repaired item to you).
Will PayPal protect me?
We are just discussing this case with PayPal. Seller did offer full refund after receiving item in China and PayPal does offer to cover return costs but there is €30 cap per item. Problem here is that by EU law seller must cover shipping costs and seller is providing only option to ship product to China and not EU (Netherlands) where product is bough/advertised and it’s not mentioning issuing refund for shipping.
Is there a cap on the refunds offered by the PayPal Refunded Returns service?source: PayPal
Yes. There is a cap of €30 per Refund request.
If You return several copies of the same item at once, that will be considered as a single return which will be subject to the refund cap of €30.
Banggood DOA policy
Banggood DOA policy covers you for 7 days where EU law says clearily: “If your goods break within the first 6 months, it is assumed that the problem existed when you received the goods, unless the trader can prove otherwise. Therefore, you have the right to have the goods repaired or replaced free of charge, or if this turns out to be too difficult or costly, you may be offered a price reduction (on your original purchase) or your money back.” There is also 14 days cooling off period and law says: “In the EU you have the right to return purchases made online or through other types of distance selling, such as by phone, mail order or from a door-to-door salesperson, within 14 days for a full refund. You can do so for any reason – even if you simply changed your mind.”
7 Days DOA Product Guaranteesource: bnggood.com
If one or more of the items you received are damaged, different or not working, you will be protected by this guarantee.
Below please find its procedure:
1.Within 7 days of receiving the product, contact us with a photo or video showing the issue and whether you want a refund or replacement;
2.We will review your claim and contact you if we need more information
3.If approved, we will arrange a refund or a replacement of the defective product, and you may be asked to return it. We will be responsible for paying the return shipping fees.
Is it shopping online safe?
Shopping online should be safe and you should be protected by EU law but there will always be chancers. Read description before you buy any product online and take screenshots of listing and description so you have evidence in case needed or just shop local. Online sales services can be full of scams and false advertisements and you just never know what you’ll get. They have enough turnover anyway and if they can’t protect you from scams and false advertisement then they don’t deserve your money anyway. We removed PayPal from our webshop and it’s not available until this case is resolved in fair way. Seller should provide proper repair option without DIY repairs or give full refund. If seller demands shipping then seller needs to cover that shipping. We sure won’t support a service that doesn’t take care of their customers. If you want to get that online bargain then keep track of shipping. If your delivery is one day late ask for your money back. If the buyer in this story did that then he wouldn’t have a headache now and we wouldn’t be writing this article at all. So far safest buying seems to be at amazon. In case of faulty product you get refund straight away or as soon as post office receives parcel and shipping is free if it’s sellers fault. No other websites and services offer this so far. if you’re still not sure of your rights here you can find out more quickly and easy.
Next time you have problems with shopping products and need help contact seller, website you bought your product on, bank or finacial company you used to pay for product, Competition and Consumer Protection Commission – ccpc.ie and European Consumer Centre (ECC) Ireland – eccireland.ie. If you have story you want to share please contact us and we will be happy to write about it. We are here for you.