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AliExpress and PCGS Order Failure Dispute Procedure Update


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Back on 6th October 2021, I posted photos of an empty package I received from AliExpress seller PCGS:

 

The saga may be be interest to other TSF members who might be thinking of buying anything via AliExpress, so here goes:

I did go through the Contact Hermes online procedure, but the best result I could get from it was to contact the seller.

I then tackled the AliExpress online dispute procedure, which I was not impressed by. It could be much easier and better.

The total order from this seller was for 13 items with a total value, including 13 shipping charges, was £27.78 according to AliExpress, although I have not double-checked this.

I completed the dispute form for the first of the 13 items, but also stated that there were no coins received, and that the problem related to all 13 items on the order. Both AliExpress and PCGS seem to have ignored this.

My intended "Comments" were:

"Order Number 8138204832271794

Invoice No. : UK20210909054917 Invoice Date : 2021-09-09

I received a package on 6th October, Hermes tracking number H00S0A0018849515, but the package was empty, the contents lost or stolen. The end of the package had torn open. It should have been packed better, with tape over both ends. I ordered 13 items from you, but cannot tell whether all 13 were supposed to be in the same package. I would like a replacement.

I can supply photos of package if wanted."

But the AliExpress comments box would not accept the number of characters, so I edited it down to:

"Order Number 8138204832271794 Invoice No. : UK20210909054917 Invoice Date : 2021-09-09 I received a package on 6th October, Hermes tracking number H00S0A0018849515, but the package was empty, the contents lost or stolen.Evidence already provided, see https://www.aliexpress.com/snapshot/0.html?spm=a2g0s.9042647.6.2.7d0e4c4dZVU4xh&orderId=8138204832281794&productId=33036426004"

I did upload photos of the package.

The form allows 2 options for proposed resolutions. These are:

"Refund Only"

or
 "Return Goods".

There was no option to request replacement, which seems to be a totally dumb omission by the AliExpress process and form designer.

Further on, there was also another multiple choice set of 3 options, one of which was:

"No tracking information"

I did not take a screenshot of the 3 options at the time, which I regret. I do not recall the other 2, but I selected the one which I considered to be the least inaccurate. This was actually a subset of options, the previous batch of options included something about delivery or shipping problems, but again I do not recall the options, and cannot reproduce them without opening a new dispute, which I cannot do as I have no outstanding orders. I may place another order later, with a different seller, so that I can get screenshots at each stage. As these option were presented as images, it was not possible to copy and paste them as text, otherwise I would have done so.

For the first item disputed, I have had numerous messages, one of which says:

"Seller made a new proposal
Proposal:
Refund GBP ÔŅ° 0.00
Comments:
UG173304840YP Delivered (23 Days)"

and...

"AliExpress' Judgment
No tracking information    Invalid
(AliExpress' Judgement Details)"

The details screen says:

"Thank you for contacting AliExpress. I am sorry to hear that you are not satisfied with your order 8138204832271794.

Problems with the order    Judgement from AE    Invalid Reason
No tracking information    Invalid    If you did not get the package, please provide shipping company's missing parcel documents within valid time. If you have received the goods but not in good condition/ shortage, you are suggested go to 'Dispute Detail' -- Check 'Dispute Reason-- Click 'Update Reason' to update your reason for filing a dispute.

Package Information
Seller's Shipping Method    UG173304840YP    Delivered
Solutions:
  Option 1: Please continue to wait for 3 days

Response time: 3 days

Please provide evidence as requested. Please kindly note that if no response or no valid evidence provided before the deadline, AliExpress would release full payment to the seller or refund the money as per seller's suggestion and close the dispute.

Note: You can resolve the issue by clicking 'Add a New Proposal', 'Accept' (to accept the seller or AliExpress' proposal), 'Upload Evidence' or 'Edit' (to modify comments on the proposal)."

Despite trawling though pages, I could not find an option " 'Dispute Detail' -- Check 'Dispute Reason-- Click 'Update Reason'"

I get the distinct impression that AliExpress' Dispute Resolution Service is even worse that ebay's is often reported to be.

I could find no e-mail address for ALiExpress on its site, but this seems to be common with big companies, as I guess they do not want to receive any, so try to shoehorn everyone through an automated and brain-dead online system.

I did send a "reply" to the latest progress e-mail from them, but I suspect it goes to a void recipient e-mail address where anything incoming goes straight into the bin. Some sites and systems issue a warning that it is a "No Reply" e-mail, but not AliExpress. I fully expected to get a "bounced" response, but this has not happened yet.

I understand that their may be some "language barrier" elements to all this, but as AliExpress hosts about 23 multi-language sites, that it does employ teams of English speakers, so should be able to do better.

My experience is that the bigger the company, the harder it is to communicate with them, and the stronger defensive barriers they create to prevent customers being able to do so.

A few AliExpress statistics:

AliExpress had 150+ million buyers as of December 2020.
Alibaba (BABA) Singles Day’s volume for merchandise was $74.1 billion in 2020.

And it seems to be second only to Amazon.

It looked very much like I needed to open a separate dispute for each of the other 12 items on the order, which I did recently, copying and pasting in the same text I had used for the first one, and uploading the same empty package photograph for each one. This was frustrating and annoying.

Today, I decided to leave feedback for the order, but that is, unsurpringly, not possible without also rating each of the 13 items for accuracy of product description. 

In typical "Catch-22" style, this is not strictly possible as I have not received the items, so am unable to make an informed comparison. When selecting 1-Star (the lowest available), an AliExpress message says:

"We're so sorry for your unpleasant experience. Please tell us what happened so that we can improve."

(Text input box allows 1,000 characters max)

I pasted the following 13 times, one for each item:

"I received an empty package via Hermes on 6th October 2021. One end was torn and open. The 13 items it should have contained may have been stolen in transit, but it is more likely they become lost because of insecure packaging. It should have had strong tape over both ends.

AliExpress Dispute System only give choice of "Return Goods" (Impossible because not received) "or "Refund Only". I informed AliExpress and seller I would prefer a replacement, but both have ignored this.

I have had to file a separate dispute for all 13 items,

As I have received no goods, I cannot properly give a rating for the product description accuracy.

Ali will not let me complete feedback without selecting a star rating for the items."

I also uploaded an address redacted photo of the empty package 13 times.

 

Apart from discovering the AliExpress's dispute resolution service is deeply flawed, I also think there is another small lesson here for me, and anyone else thinking of ordering via ALiExpress:

Avoid ordering multiple items from the same seller at one time. It will not save on shipping cost as each item is charged separately.

If the package goes missing, you may have a total loss.

It is better to order one or two items at a time, then wait either until they get shipped, or until they arrive.

This will help minimise any loss.

I hope this is of some help to the TSF Community.

 

P.S. After I completed the feedback, I saw this:

430484588_AliExpressPCGSManageFeedback2.thumb.jpg.756025b3cf069a2de948a6787a01ef39.jpg

2. Feedback will be published when both you and the seller have left feedback, or at the end of the 30 days.

So, if the seller fails to leave feedback, he get another 30 days grace...

... or 30 days to think of something negative to say about the customer.

I think I remember hearing about feedback blackmail on ebay!

 

Edited by LawrenceChard
uploaded correct image with comments, took 3 attempts to delete incorrect image

Chards

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Sorry to hear this @LawrenceChard Sounds like a right panto just in time for xmas! I would says its ali baba and the 40 thieves and yourve been robbed mate.

On a more serious note Im very dubious about suppliers Ive never heard of and some of the ones I do know like ebay i would also avoid. Some of the reputational rating websites are also a work of fiction. Id rather nail my testicles to the table than chance it. I'm of the belief the experience would be less painful. 

Central bankers are politicians disguised as economists or bankers. They‚Äôre either incompetent or liars. So, either way, you‚Äôre never going to get a valid answer.‚ÄĚ - Peter Schiff

Sound money is not a guarantee of a free society, but a free society is impossible without sound money. We are currently a society enslaved by debt.
 
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I once managed to get partial refund from them using their dispute process, but that was a situation of delayed delivery despite using shipping with guaranteed delivery time. I agree their forms and buttons intended to be used in that process are far from user friendly. But I definitely managed to somehow update my reasons for dispute because they rejected my claim at first, too.

It was however easy for me to document my issue, because it was obvious¬†from the tracking information. Your situation is more difficult. Luckily they sell only fake coins over there so hopefully no big deal if they get lost¬†‚ėļÔłŹ

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I did receive a satisfactory response from them on my very first order. The item was faulty and  I was able to upload photos showing this. They accepted the claim.

As you say, the only option was a refund. This didn't really help me much as, because this was my first order, I had received a special discount and my actual refund was consequently fairly small.

If I had wanted to re-order, I wouldn't have received the discount. so a poor experience all round.

Profile picture with thanks to Carl Vernon

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1 hour ago, sovereignsteve said:

I did receive a satisfactory response from them on my very first order. The item was faulty and  I was able to upload photos showing this. They accepted the claim.

As you say, the only option was a refund. This didn't really help me much as, because this was my first order, I had received a special discount and my actual refund was consequently fairly small.

If I had wanted to re-order, I wouldn't have received the discount. so a poor experience all round.

I hope you left suitable feedback!

Chards

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I used to buy quite a lot of items from Aliexpress from almost 10 years ago up until I too got scammed for about $35 2 or3 years ago; a tracking number showed the item as delivered, but it was not - so I phoned Royal Mail to complain.

The unusually helpful Royal Mail employee explained a Google maps based system commonly used scam, whereby a post code very close, but not exactly right was used - that apparently usually gets a signature as (pre covid, when signatures were actually taken) many people just signed to get a well padded parcel in hand, often empty and regardless of the name not even being theirs. 

None the less, I lost my complaint, despite the signature being nothing like mine, so have never bought there again.

As a side note however, during the last decade, as Chinese wealth has grown, there are many Chinese owned businesses who now have the liquidity to ship goods in bulk and store in rented UK 'warehouses' (I use that term loosely) as I have a Chinese tenant.

Also, for completion, Aliexpress is the international version of Taobao, the internal Chinese equivalent of ebay, but much cheaper - both being Alibaba subsidiary companies - I have never had such issues on the B2B based Alibaba.com itself. 

So, now those same items on Aliexpress can very often therefore now be found on ebay, and the sale price premium over Aliexpress is minimal, or, in cases, none at all; I suspect they pay very little duty as I now better know the true local costs within China from said tenant and it's literally $ cents per piece.

As said, I have never gone back (to Aliexpress) on a point of principal, but the UK is but one tiny market, Russia for example now buys far more than the instant gratification now so prevalent in the UK - that maybe driven by Amazon 'next day' ??

Edited by Coverte
nest day = next day!!

A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they will never sit in.

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