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16469 posts

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#233504 18-Apr-2018 18:30
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I purchased a travel case for a specific model of radio controlled quad from a store on aliexpress. It was around the $50 mark which wasn't that expensive, but it also wasn't cheap. However when it arrived, and I put the equipment in the bag, I noticed that a lot of the equipment stuck up out of the foam by up to 50%, including the controller, and propellers. So it didn't protect all around it and the props could spin. Yet in their product photos, all the equipment fitted snugly down into the foam, so the top of the equipment was flush with the top of the foam. The product shots were of the exact model of quad and controller, and the case was advertised for this exact model as well. It appears the case that was used to take the photo was a lot deeper than the case they sent me, so the foam was deeper. However it also appears that the photo they used may have been photoshopped, so the interior of the case was photoshopped into the outer-shell of the case. I contacted the seller, and they wanted me to take photos from above to compare with their photos. I basically proved that their photos were wrong and misleading, but they didn't apologise or admit to that. The case also had a dent on the outside and one of the zips were at an angle when it should have been straight, even though the photo they used showed it all to be straight and good quality. So essentially the product delivered didn't match the descriptions photo. All they said they would offer me was $3 refund. Their english also isn't good, so ctheir communciation isn't good or easy to understand. I said I didn't want the case as it didn't provide as much protection as advertised, and I would need to buy another that has better protection, as there are others that provide full protection. They said the case will still protect it fine, so they totally missed the point. I opened up a refund and return in the aliepxress system, but the seller said I would need to return at my cost. I said I wanted them to pay for shipping it back, as the cost would likely be significant from NZ, and it was 100% their fault as the product images didn't match the product. But they refused saying that they only pay for shipping if the manufacturing defects are significant.

 

If this was a NZ company, they could be had for misleading photos, but I am not sure if Aliexpress cares that much about that, and it seems to be impossible to actually contact Aliexpress directly about the problem with the misleading product photos. I asked for an email address via their message system, but the person said they could be fired if they gave it out! Their live message system only allows you to type in about 50 characters at a time.  I have opened up a dispute, but I suspect that that will side with the seller, as it is quite a large long standing seller, and it doesn't say anywhere that sellers have to pay for return shipping in the case of misleading product information .  It doesn't seem that Aliexpresses buyer protection is very good, if buyers have to pay for return shipping, due to the high costs to ship back into China.   Is it better for me to do a chargeback with my credit card company if I don't get anywhere with Aliexpress? Has anyone come across this sort of problem before and have any tips? Luckily it is not a big amount, so the most I will lose is $50, as I will have to buy a new replacement case no matter what.


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2174 posts

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  #1998824 18-Apr-2018 18:36
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What were the advertised physical dimensions and how do they compare with the actual physical dimensions?

 

If the physical dimensions are correctly stated you would not normally get an satisfaction. You can't usually rely on the apparent dimensions in an image/photo which is why they usually say on most sites that they are for illustrative purposes only.

 

(edited to remove mistype)




16469 posts

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  #1998836 18-Apr-2018 18:44
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Hammerer:

 

What were the advertised physical dimensions and how do they compare with the actual physical dimensions?

 

If the physical dimensions are correctly stated I you would not normally get an satisfaction. You can't usually rely on the apparent dimensions in an image/photo which is why they usually say on most sites that they are for illustrative purposes only.

 

 

 

 

The physical dimensions of the outside of the case were about the same as the item delivered. So that part was correct.  But their photos showed all equipment sitting flush. Even if I did measure my controller, vs the measurements of the outer casing, I couldn't know who far the foam comes up to in the case. But it is also not something you would expect to check if it is made for a particular device, and the photos of the exact equipment, shows it all sitting flush. I could understand it if it was for generic equipment, and the photo showing  as dummy items such as a generic brand of quad. But this was sold for a particular model.  This one also doesn't mention anything abut the photos only being for illustrative purposes either.


 
 
 
 


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  #1998904 18-Apr-2018 19:22
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if you gave gone through the "open dispute " and you are still not happy then you can appeal. but you need to go through the open dispute first and not just contact the seller.

 

 

 

https://helppage.aliexpress.com/buyercenter/questionList.htm?spm=a2g19.helppage_na4sf.0.0.p3KRXW&searchKey=&viewKey=1&page=1&categoryIds=9205387&banner=0





Common sense is not as common as you think.




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  #1998934 18-Apr-2018 19:55
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The seller actually  opened up a dispute ticket for it a few days ago, because in the return shipping field where it asks for the courier ticket to send it back, I asked for them to send me a courier ticket. But I don't really understand why the seller isn't acknowledging the problem, and would take it to the dispute stage. I am guessing that have had disputes before, if they are a shop that has been trading for years, so maybe they think having misleading photos is okay and permitted?  As there are no standards for the dispute process and it comes down to Ali Expresses own staffs discretion, I don't hold out too much hope. Kind of wish they accepted paypal, which is independent and  appears to have more protection for buyers. Guess all I can do is wait.


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  #1998951 18-Apr-2018 20:16
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I had a dispute where an item was described as Waterproof / Weatherproof.

 

It wasn't. Produced the evidence of the supposed IP rating etc,

 

and AliExpress sided with the seller - who gave no evidence in their defense.

 

Then the seller changed future listings to "Indoor weatherproof / waterproof"!

 

Never noticed "indoor weather" being anything other than dry, apart from a shower or

 

flood / hurricane tearing the house apart!

 

So I'm not surprised if you don't get anywhere!




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  #1998958 18-Apr-2018 20:29
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That does concern me. Also as english isn't their first language they may not understand what the problem actually is,  and they have different standards and consumer law over there. So I wouldn't be surprised if they side with the seller, even though in NZ, it is illegal to mislead customers. I will ask my credit card company if they are able to do a charge back if it ends badly.


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  #1998977 18-Apr-2018 21:09
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AliExpress is a bit Wild West. It is very much caveat emptor. You get cheap stuff, but there's no guarantee of quality.

 

Every product does have a "Seller Guarantees" tab. A typical "Return Policy" is ":

 

 

If the product you receive is not as described or low quality, the seller promises that you may return it before order completion (when you click ‘Confirm Order Received’ or exceed confirmation timeframe) and receive a full refund. The return shipping fee will be paid by you. Or, you can choose to keep the product and agree the refund amount directly with the seller.

 

 

What does it say on the page for your product? If you've agreed to those terms, then that's what the terms are. NB that once you 'Confirm Order Received', you're screwed from this point of view. But you don't have to agree to their paltry $3 first offer. You can hold out for a decent refund. I think that some vendors deliberately drag out any dispute to the limit, including "misunderstanding" what you say, in the hope that you'll get sick of it and give up. So patience is a necessary aspect.

 

Vendors do seem to be sensitive to negative feedback, so make sure you hit them with that. And don't remove it until you've got your refund, no matter what they say.

 

 


 
 
 
 




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  #1998980 18-Apr-2018 21:15
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Looking at the auction it does say something similar. It says 'Returns accepted if product not as described, buyer pays return shipping fee; or keep the product & agree refund with seller.'

 

IMO that is an unfair clause, and it essentially looks like they don't even have to send you a product that even closely resembles the product in the photo. They know that shipping it back will likely exceed the price of the item so buyers will likely just give up. So essentially no protection for the customer. There is also no penalty for the seller for misleading, as the maximum they have to pay out for a misleading product is a refund. They haven't offered anymore either.

 

But my dispute with them is the fact that the advert was misleading, and the product wasn't able to be used in the way it was displayed in the photo. At least in NZ , it is illegal to mislead consumers like this. Normally a NZ company would say sorry, we see what you mean, we made a mistake, and we will fix it. The seller in China has just said, you can still use it, now go away.  Maybe it is partly a cultural thing with the way they do business in China and they are more ruthless over there, but they need to learn that that is not the way you treat customers.

 

It was also partly damaged, but they don't seem to consider a dent bad enough to warrant replacement.

 

Thanks for the advice about feedback. I can't seem to leave any feedback on the product. Maybe that is why they opened the dispute, as I said I was going to post feedback of the problem. There is no feedback option, only 'dispute in progress'.


634 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #1998984 18-Apr-2018 21:43
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I have had one dispute where the product wasn't as supplied. I requested a refund and provided photos as evidence and Aliexpress gave me a refund.




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  #1998985 18-Apr-2018 21:44
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That's good to know. Did you have to send it back? I don't think the process the Aliexpress uses allows you to request a full refund, without also submitting it as a return.

 

 


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  #1998987 18-Apr-2018 21:47
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I now apply a maximum dollar amount for things I buy off AliEpress, around NZ$20. I previously purchased a Lenovo phone from AliEpress which didn't work on arrival. Despite the exorbitant price of couriering the item back to China (thanks NZ Post) the item failed to arrive at the designated place and so turnedup again on my doorstep. So I then had a crap phone and a big courier bill.

 

My advice is to use AliExpress for the cheap stuff only and to take anything portrayed with a large pinch of salt. Sorry as this doesn't get you anywhere with this case but you might accept it as a lesson as did I. AliExpress is very much buyer beware.




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  #1998988 18-Apr-2018 21:52
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Basil12:

 

I now apply a maximum dollar amount for things I buy off AliEpress, around NZ$20. I previously purchased a Lenovo phone from AliEpress which didn't work on arrival. Despite the exorbitant price of couriering the item back to China (thanks NZ Post) the item failed to arrive at the designated place and so turnedup again on my doorstep. So I then had a crap phone and a big courier bill.

 

My advice is to use AliExpress for the cheap stuff only and to take anything portrayed with a large pinch of salt. Sorry as this doesn't get you anywhere with this case but you might accept it as a lesson as did I. AliExpress is very much buyer beware.

 

 

 

 

Yeah, I wouldn't pay any more than $50, and I didn't think there would be any risk with something as basic as a case. I have used it a fair bit in the past, and it has been good up until now. It is  just this one bad seller who uses misleading photos that  ruins it for me. Hopefully common sense prevails when the Aliexpress staff view it, and can see that the photos they have used are misleading. A lot of stuff on Amazon is sold by Ali Express sellers too, and a lot of the stuff is good quality,  but I guess at least Amazon provide an extra level of protection.


809 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #1998992 18-Apr-2018 22:10
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I have found that a a lot of sellers will use the same photo as everyone else for a lot of items. 


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  #1999035 19-Apr-2018 06:09
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mattwnz:

That's good to know. Did you have to send it back? I don't think the process the Aliexpress uses allows you to request a full refund, without also submitting it as a return.


 



Full refund, kept the wrong item.

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  #1999042 19-Apr-2018 07:03
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mattwnz:

 

Looking at the auction it does say something similar. It says 'Returns accepted if product not as described, buyer pays return shipping fee; or keep the product & agree refund with seller.'

 

IMO that is an unfair clause, and it essentially looks like they don't even have to send you a product that even closely resembles the product in the photo. They know that shipping it back will likely exceed the price of the item so buyers will likely just give up. So essentially no protection for the customer. There is also no penalty for the seller for misleading, as the maximum they have to pay out for a misleading product is a refund. They haven't offered anymore either.

 

 

Right. But it is what it is. You ordered the item on these terms. If you think it's too big a risk, don't buy from vendors with this return policy.

 

 

But my dispute with them is the fact that the advert was misleading, and the product wasn't able to be used in the way it was displayed in the photo. At least in NZ , it is illegal to mislead consumers like this. Normally a NZ company would say sorry, we see what you mean, we made a mistake, and we will fix it. The seller in China has just said, you can still use it, now go away.  Maybe it is partly a cultural thing with the way they do business in China and they are more ruthless over there, but they need to learn that that is not the way you treat customers.

 

 

You're not buying stuff in NZ. You're buying stuff in China. Chinese rules (if any) apply. Part of the reason that NZ prices are much higher than Chinese is that they have to comply with NZ law. By all means, you should go through the dispute process and insist that you get a satisfactory refund.

 

FWIW, here's my advice on buying from AliExpress:

 

  • There is no *guarantee* of quality, no matter what is written in the product description
  • Avoid shops that sell a huge range (electronics, shoes, clothes, gadgets, USB cables) of stuff. They're usually just drop-shippers with no idea what they're selling.
  • Some AliExpress shops buy items that failed a test, repair them, then on-sell. I think some sell brand-new untested items on the basis that they'll just refund the few that the customer complains about.
  • There are many fly-by-night shops that pop up, sell junk briefly, then close down. Look for shops with a long history (years) and lots of orders, and good feedback (> 90%).
  • Don't just sort by lowest price. Many shops put some other item as an option in a selection list (e.g. an ammeter in a list of lasers) to appear to be much cheaper. On principle, I don't buy stuff from these sellers.
  • Read very carefully what's being sold. I've been caught a couple of times where what's in the detailed description is quite different from what's in the title.
  • Do ask the vendor for clarification. If they can't clarify, they probably don't know what they're selling. That might be OK for shoes, but not for lasers.
  • If it's not completely clear in the description, ask for written instructions in your own language *before* buying.
  • Shipping times vary a lot. Where it's "Free Shipping", it will be a lot slower than paid-for shipping, even if the shipping cost is only a few cents.
  • If you're dealing with a reputable store, the description will probably be true. But some corner-cutting may not be obvious (e.g. a 10W laser shipped with a 5W power supply).
  • It's probably better to buy a whole item rather than buying parts to build it yourself. Make sure all the parts are up to spec (e.g. a 10W laser shipped with a 5W power supply).
  • I'd say that buying off eBay or whatever is probably worse than direct from AliExpress, because you don't know what rules the middleman is following. OTOH, you may get some kind of legal protection about merchantability and quality.
  • Check that the plug they're supplying matches your mains type. Any mains adapter included will probably be low quality.
  • Things containing batteries are difficult and slow to ship. Buy batteries in your own country.
  • Sale prices and discounts and so on are meaningless; just look at the final price.

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