*DISCLAIMER: This post is in no way defamatory to Groupon Singapore, every penned thought is wholly from my experience as an affected consumer and the after sales service I was subject to.
If you are from Singapore, and you love buying makeup or stuff off groupon, you probably want to read this.
Recently in April I came across this Groupon deal offering Benefit’s Little Love Potions set at $39.90. Boy was I elated. I’ve been a regular shopper on Groupon and things were always rosy.. until now.
Here’s the deal, nothing fishy except the superbly inflated retail price which we all know is just a marketing strategy. I thought, hey this is a nice opportunity to stock up on some of the travel sized Benefit items which I love. And so, I placed an order and pretty much anticipated the day the parcel would arrive.
Eventually the parcel did arrive, but upon opening the polymailer bag, below was the tirade of emotions that washed over me.
Awesome, lets open this package and check out the goodies.
Hmm, the box looks cruddy. Maybe it’s due to shipping. – continues unwrapping
Why is there this strong, artificial fragrance? I don’t recall my benefit stuff having this smell
Why is the packaging of the individual tubes looking so shoddy? Stickers askew, scratches on WattsUp
Let’s open the items and take a peek, just to be sure.
Right, I’ve been sold a box of fake cosmetics from Groupon. How fantastic.
And so I’ll let the photos speak for themselves. Every single item had the same issue – bad text, off-coloured tubes, nauseating floral fragrance, but I’ll be showing just those with superbly apparent, screaming “I’M A FAKE” products.
IT’S POTENT – there’s no way I’m going to put this cream of unknown origin on my eyes. Print job was shoddy, text was all faded and blurry. Cream smells of artificial rose-ish fragrance
WATTS UP! – Yea, really whats up? Why is the fake tube all scratched up? It’s a no brainer that this screams fake. A fresh box definitely would not tolerate having this QC failed product being circulated.
I took this out for a look, and compared it to my authentic Benefit Watts Up. The difference was as clear as night and day. The real deal has a flat bullet, and the branding monogram is crisp and sharp. The counterfeit, well it sported a lipstick bullet and the branding was a hot mess. The real thing clicked shut securely while the fake was barely able to keep itself together.
BAD GAL LASH mascara – I have the miniature of It’s Real, hence the different coloured tubes. That aside, after scrutinising the fine text, I found a new US state called San Frabcisco. WOW REALLY? How disappointing can the fake set get.
Other things included:
1. Hoola powder not sitting in its tray, sticker pixellated and askew
2. All other items – Benetint, high beam, stay don’t stray all sported lousy printing and questionable contents
I was incensed. So mad, so angry. I called up Groupon’s helpline, no one answered. I took to facebook to suss out what’s on their page. Lo and behold, it seemed that other consumers were taking their purchase woes onto their comments section. I left my disgruntled comment, and called the helpline a couple more times. Mind you, this was on the day I received the parcel, and that was in end April 2015.
Finally I got through the line. I nicely told the operator that I’ve been sold fake goods and I wanted a refund.
I’m not the kind of customer to kick a fuss, it’s not the customer helpdesk’s fault anyway, and they’re the ones helping you expedite your case. So be polite.
The helpdesk told me they would look into it and give me a response within 7 – 10 working days. I emailed them photos of the cruddy stuff and re-iterated I wanted a refund, no credits. (not that I will ever buy stuff from Groupon again, this experience broke the deal)
So 7 to 10 working days, during that period of time I had to call up the helpdesk 4 times to expedite my case and each time I got the same template response. “We are looking into it and will get back within 7 to 10 working days.” I was starting to get annoyed, I was getting the impression that “hey this happens all the time, we’ll look into your case.. eventually.” I made one more call, and told them if I didn’t get a response from the first time they told me “7 to 10 working days”, I would bring this to social media and CASE (consumer rights association).
Eventually someone emailed me and told me to bring the product to their customer service center and have my refund processed.
I asked them: “So.. I was sold counterfeits and now I have to make the effort to spend more to go down to your location and have my rightful refund processed. Isn’t there a return service?” I was answered with a “No.” – wow, awesome. Just awesome.
First I receive fake makeup, then now I have to go to them at my expense to return the item. What could I do then? If I didn’t go to their service center I will never get my refund. So without a choice, I went. Had the item returned, had a service ticket issued and until now I am still waiting for my money to return to me.
I had to email their service desk again to check on the status of my refund, and as of yesterday someone replied and advised me to wait 7 working days for the cash to be credited to the method of payment I used. This is akin to a new waiting period from the 2 weeks I’ve been waiting for nothing since the day the item was returned.
I’d have to be a saint to have so much patience for such impeccably slow and inconsistent customer service. I do not deny I am utterly disgusted, annoyed and displeased with the way my refund was handled. The whole incident has spanned for 2 months just to get my $39 back.
Groupon, please get your act together and have some basic urgency and respect for your “Groupies”. If you really want to grow, minimally evaluate these partner merchants of yours and make sure they are selling quality products and not trying to fleece people for a quick buck.
In my honest opinion, I doubt all those people who bought this set realise they got fakes. I happened to know because I have Benefit items. I told their staff in all ethics they should have suspended that deal until the investigation was over. But who would care right? The deal went on and now it’s “SOLD OUT” – So I can safely say 107 people have been fleeced by a dishonest Groupon partner merchant.
Today is day 2 of the 7 working days for my money to be refunded. We’ll see if I eventually get my money back. Else, it’s one final call to groupon and a trip to the police station.
Have you also encountered the same situation as me? What did you do? Share with me in the comments below 🙂
UPDATE: I finally received my refund to my credit card. Though I am thankful that I did get my refund, as opposed to others who claim they didn’t get a single cent, this experience has thoroughly marred my impression and confidence in shopping with Groupon. Alas, I am going to unsubscribe from their emails.. today.