Contributed by Joy Anne Mauricio, Batangas City
After two weeks of struggle with the customer support, I finally got my refund. But my terrible experience will not let me change the title of this article so people will be informed not to use that store credit.
Lazada is the biggest online shopping store in the Philippines and while it is gaining more popularity, is also starting to steal people’s money by making customers suffer until they give-up.
Shopping through Lazada is safe, but if you want to make sure no one can steal your hard earned money, continue reading.
I started using Lazada two years ago and I placed my first order on January 2, 2016. Since then, I accumulated a total of 37 orders with two return/refunds.
The first return order happened last year and since the fund was deposited directly to my Paypal account, I have had no problem at all.
My problem started when I purchased a Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) on the first week of March, 2018. The product was not working at all so I was forced to return it within 3 days. I received a confirmation from Lazada after 2 days that they received the product, and another confirmation after 3 days that the product was indeed defective.
I was given the choices to either accept a store credit, or a total refund to my Paypal account. Since I plan to use the money to buy another similar product, I chose store credit. This is where my nightmare had started.
Lazada Store Credit
Since I chose to receive the Lazada store credit, I was provided with a voucher with the same amount I spent on that defective UPS (₱1,690). The voucher was available to spend anytime within Lazada.
Instead of buying another UPS, I decided to use the fund on several products and I purchased a digital blood pressure monitor for ₱627. In short, I still have ₱1,063 inside my account.
After three days, I decided to spend the remaining fund but when I entered the voucher code, I received an error that says the voucher was already redeemed. See image below (click to maximize).
I contacted the chat support and told them what happened and here’s what I learned.
- Lazada vouchers can be used within one year from the date it was issued.
- Lazada voucher can only be used once regardless of the amount. This means I should have spend the whole amount in just one order regardless of the number of products.
- I had to contact support in order to reactivate the voucher so I can spend the remaining ₱1,063 (which until now is frozen)
This is where my struggle started. It sounds easy to solve but the process is extremely exhausting.
The first agent (a week ago) told me to wait for an email because she already escalated the issue to their payment/finance department for my refund. I received nothing.
Two days later, I contacted chat support and talked to a different agent. Another frustrating thing here was, I had to repeat myself from the very beginning explaining all about my problem because I believe they don’t have a record like ticketing system, where an agent just pull-up a reference number and everything about the customer’s problem pops-up. In this case, they don’t have. After a struggling 20 minutes, I received the same promise. All of those conversation with the first agent was deemed useless.
Two days later, nothing happened. No email received and the voucher inside my account is still sitting there, saying it hasn’t been spent (but of course I couldn’t spend it due to error).
Weekend had passed and I’m still waiting. Finally on Monday, I received an email telling me that the refund has been processed and that, I should receive a separate email with details on how to proceed. I never receive an email and the status of the voucher inside my Lazada account is still the same (click image to maximize).
For the fifth time as I remember, I contacted chat support and again, I had to explain myself again and again like an idiot because their recording sucks. The agent told me the same promise – to wait for 1 to 2 business days.
After more than two weeks of struggle with Lazada’s worst customer service system, I decided to share this experience so everyone who uses Lazada will be warned.
Some Important Points I Want to Say
- I don’t have personal problem with their support agents because they are just doing their job. The problem is with the support system and not with the agents. Lazada should start using a ticket system so both the agent and the customer will have no difficulty if the customer’s issue is properly documented. A copy of transcript sent to my email would not help if the next agent keeps asking me because they don’t have a reference number on that problem. Ticket system where both the agent and the customer can update is highly suggested.
- Lazada should have a clear instruction on how to use their voucher. There is no information that the voucher should be used only once and that is the exact reason why I am into this shit right now.
- There is certainly a technical problem on Lazada website like a bug or something. As I mentioned above, I already spent part of my voucher but it still says the voucher is still unspent – but it is invalid when I tried to use. Those agents I spoke before never mentioned this to their technical department.
- Lazada’s customer service system (not the agents but the system), is worse than PLDT/Smart. If you encountered any problem with PLDT/Smart before, don’t wish to have problem with Lazada.
- The last agent told me that I can reply to an email with chat transcript anytime I want to follow-up my problem, but there is no instruction to that generic email that I can do so. Replying to a generic email address that the company is using as an outgoing email address will only result to deaf ears.
I have never had any customer support problem in the last couple of years after I ditched Globe, PLDT, & Sun Cellular as my ISP providers, but this is a new challenge.
Lazada is a reputable company but you don’t wish to have problem with them, especially if when your hard-earned money is involved.
Yes, I still want to use Lazada, but I will never ask for any store credit again. If you don’t want to experience similar problem, never use Lazada’s store credit.
I cannot express how frustrated I am right now so I only write this article to at least ease my disappointments. I don’t know if they ever process that refund but whatever happens, again, I will never use any store credit again.
Is Lazada a scam company? No, but beware, you may end up losing some of your money if you are not careful.
Hope this will serve as a lesson for everyone as well.
——- Joy Anne Mauricio, Batangas City