SINGAPORE — For many online shoppers, it is always a delightful moment to see their favourite items arrive at their doorstep, but it was a different story for a 37-year-old Singaporean buyer.
Mr Yu, who bought an iPhone14 Pro Max(256GB) via the online shopping platform Shopee last month, had shock turned to anger when he received a parcel filled with four air-inflated plastic bags and a wooden block, instead of the purchased iPhone.
Sharing his unpleasant experience with Chinese media Shin Min Daily, Mr Yu said he would usually shop at Apple’s authorised retailers directly.
But as the product was sold out in many places, and Shopee offered a S$8 voucher and cash back, Mr Yu decided to place an order with a seller on the online shopping platform.
Mr Yu checked the seller’s ratings and reviews and only paid S$1,961 for the iPhone 14 when he was satisfied with what he has seen.
The seller arranged to deliver the phone to Mr Yu’s residence on 31 December last year.
He remembered at the time, the dispatcher quickly took a photo of the parcel that was delivereed and left his house.
“When I opened the box, there were only four inflatable plastic bags and a square wooden block inside, there was no mobile phone at all.”
He immediately contacted Shopee’s customer service and was told to request for refund.
However, Mr Yu said his request was rejected.
Shopee cited the reason for the rejection as the parcel being already delivered to the address indicated in the order, and the payment has been released to the seller.
Box appeared to have been torn, police report made for suspected thievery
After carefully inspecting the box, he noticed that the tapes on the box appeared to have been torn and pasted back.
He also made a police report as he suspected his phone was stolen in the process of delivery.
Mr Yu argued that Shopee should provide better protection for their customers since the platform claimed that they would pay back double if the item received is not as advertised.
He said the seller is also responsible for ensuring the reliability of the courier services. Buyers should not bear the damage cost if the item was lost during transit.
A good practice that buyers can adopt, especially when receiving valuable items, is to video down the parcel opening process so it is non-disputable on the condition of the item received.
Shopee apologised, promised a full refund
Unsatisfied with Shopee’s explanation, Mr Yu said he would buy from the authorised dealer next time when purchasing valuable items online.
Shopee has since apologised to Mr Yu and promised to arrange for a full refund.
Shopee said that the company takes the incident seriously and is conducting “thorough internal investigations” into the matter to prevent such incidents from occurring again.