How often do we check review websites like Trustpilot before buying anything online. It’s something we should all do. it should be instinct, it should be taught in schools.
Sometimes, idiots like me, just don’t think about it. I was seduced by a really professional looking website which I thought was from an American company. I always check out reviews before buying from any company for the first time, but no, not me I thought this stuff looks great, and if it’s not I will just send it back. Had I even glanced at Trustpilot I would have ran a mile, they scored 97% one star reviews. This is as reassuring as buying an unseen used car on Ebay from a seller with a 65% or less satisfaction rating.
It is no reassurance to find 650 other idiots had made the same mistake as me, going onto www.damensein.com without checking them out. They are one of around 120 websites run by Chinese company, ChicV International Holdings Ltd. Many of these websites have been suspended by authorities throughout the World, but they have around 90 currently running and 20 ready to launch as others are taken down. The truer number of idiots like me is closer to 80,000.
ChicV’s MO is:
Make very cheap copies of designer clothes they find on the Internet, present great websites with a promise of easy returns and refunds, and, in many cases, imply they are UK or US based.
They send out very poorly made, undersized clothes using the cheapest quality material and when angry customers demand refunds, they disclose that they have to be returned to China, and warning them how costly this is and may incur extra duty fees. To help, they jump in with an offer that starts at 15% gradually rising to 50% if persistent.
They state in their terms that the customer is responsible for the cost of returning the goods. Well guys, you can insist that all returns should include a box of Cadbury’s Cream Eggs, it doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.
The Consumer Rights Act 2015 makes it an implied term of the contract that goods be as described, of satisfactory quality and fit for purpose.
Any returns policy that says you have to cover the cost of returning items must only relate to the situation where you change your mind about the item ordered and not where there is a problem with the item.
I think in the UK, Europe and America we have a false sense of security that most websites are honest and, anyway, we have the law on our side. When we come across crooks like these guys and they tell us by clicking the BUY NOW button we have agreed to all there terms, we are not prepared for it.
How can this be acceptable in 2020?
These websites are predominantly advertised through Google, who promise to look into your complaint but are desperate not to lose this type of income. Just look at the illegal items for sale on Google and ask yourself would commercial radio or television carry adverts for Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2019 licence key for £9.99. Who polices Google?
While on the subject of Google put the words “Paypal ChicV” in that search engine and you will find more than 100 posts on Paypal’s own Discussion Forum, some running up to 42 pages on Paypal’s appalling behaviour in dealing with refunds to these criminals, making every attempt to wangle out of refunds for ChicV sales.
The ChicV site, floryday.com reviews webpage actually warns:
“Dear Trustpilot users, Trustpilot has been notified that this business has offered refunds conditional on the removal of negative reviews on Trustpilot. This behavior contravenes our guidelines as it might have a misleading impact on the TrustScore and consumers. The integrity of our community is something we take very seriously. We’ll therefore continue our efforts to safeguard the integrity of the platform, and we’ll inform our users when we uncover attempts of misuse.”
I have never come across that before. This site also looks heavily doctored with regular postings up to 10 five star reviews in a row where the reviewer has only ever written one review and nothing else in the last year.
Maybe this is why the clothes are so poorly made, the staff are exhausted translating fake 5* reviews into English.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE – ALWAYS CHECK THE REVIEWS BEFORE BUYING ANYTHING – AND IF YOU SEE A SERIES OF 5* AND 4* FOLLOWING BAD ONES, DECIDE CAREFULLY WHETHER TO BELIEVE THEM OR NOT, ESPECIALLY IF THIS IS THE FIRST REVIEW SOMEONE HAS LEFT. A FAKE TRUSTPILOT ACCOUNT CAN BE SET UP IN LESS THAN 60 SECONDS.