I had very high hopes with my first ever Zalora transaction, as I am no stranger to online shopping. I was one of the pioneer stores in multiply, when online shopping system is still shaky and was still a baby. I would like to think I helped mold what it is that consumers enjoy nowadays in the form of Lazada, Zalora, or even the smaller entrepreneurs using Instagram and Facebook.
I have always had no problems the other online sellers, be it the individual sellers, or from the bigger ones like Lazada. I have never been scammed, my orders were always on time if not early, and the items are always properly packed and beyond expectations.
So when I ordered the Happy Skin Limited Edition I am a Preview Girl Moisturizing Lippie Set, that is only available in Zalora, I had high expectations. Zalora has been around a long time now; I figured they would have had the delivery process down to a tee.
Delivery time is not a concern, my items were delivered 2 days after I ordered, which is actually a bit earlier than the estimated date of delivery. So when I heard Zalora Couriers are knocking on my door, I was elated. My makeup was here! I was even excited to share the unopened package to my officemates! It was a limited edition, newly released make up after all. And being almost all girls in my team, they were excited to unpack with me.
I opened the boxes and there it was, my lippie set looking pristine and glorious, ready for usage. But before I can open the tubes, my officemate asked if she can see the box. The container of the lippies is nicely crafted, so I handed it to her without hesitation. She asked me then if she can look at the colors of the lippies, and I told her to go ahead.
Then there was an “aww” sound. I turned around to see my officemate frowning at the sight; she was so disappointed to see that the lipstick, in its original packaging, just opened is broken. And I am too. My first instinct was to take a picture and call Zalora. To have the package returned and exchanged. I am in no way going to accept a broken lipstick that I paid for.
The conversation with Zalora was a bit confusing to me, they asked me to take a picture of the lipstick and then respond to an email that they will send me 10 minutes after the call. They asked for my email address and my details. We hanged up and I waited. 30 minutes passed and no email. I decided I cannot wait any longer. I want something done now. I emailed customer service and then gave them a call afterwards to make sure that they get the message.
After engaging my second customer service rep of the day, I asked her what the process will be. If I had to send the package back through the return slip and through their partner couriers, or do I wait for their advice. Maricar of Zalora then told me, that usually for these items, they no longer require the return of the item, I assumed it was for hygienic purposes, and that they let the customers keep the defective item. She then said that she will process the request for the exchange of the items, wait for an email update, and then we hang up.
I received an email acknowledging the request to exchange my broken lipstick and shortly afterward received acknowledgement that my Items for exchange have been received by Zalora. No mention that they will have my defective package picked up the next day. So my assumption was, they are letting me keep the defective item.
Come Friday, I get a call on my mobile, from an unknown number. I picked up and it was a Zalora courier, asking me for the package that I am returning. Without any notice, there they were. I did not bring the package with me at work, so I immediately called Zalora and asked them if the item were actually going to be picked up, or if I will be allowed to keep the defective item as Maricar initially informed me. The third CSR I spoke to, EJ, told me that he will confirm, and give me a call.
After a few hours I received a call for EJ, he did not acknowledge my question about the package and immediately delivered a spiel, that the pickup of the defective Item has been successfully booked for Monday. Alrighty then!
I am not angry that I will have to return the items, but I am disappointed that issues and concerns are not properly acknowledged and addressed by the Zalora Representatives, when I call; they seem unaware of the processes and will have to email or call me back, and when they finally do, it is not to completely answer my questions. I am disappointed that my first experience with Zalora is extremely painful and discouraging, that I might end up not going through their channel ever again.
Today, my Happy Skin I am a Preview Girl Lippie set is for pick up, I have not received any notice from Zalora confirming that their representative will definitely be coming by today. I just know this, because I talked to a representative last Friday saying so. Once this Lippie is picked up, their terms indicate that there is around 7 days of review of the items, before they can conclude whether my item should be replaced or not, the person I talked to on Friday, did not give me a clear idea on whether this courier will have a replacement for me already or if I need to wait that 7 days, even though I have provided them with a clear picture that the item they delivered was indeed broken and defective. Now as a customer, all these unsurety is discerning. As a consumer, I expected that my products will be available for my consumption the first time around.
Zalora has to streamline its quality control, they have to educate their CSRs in handling customer concerns, and they have to make sure that their consumers are happy, or at least well informed. Compared to the other online shopping websites that I have used over and over, Zalora is at the bottom of my list right now, and that is probably why this will be my first and my last purchase from them. It is too bad though, because they offer such flexibility and discounts that may be hard to resist. But the hassle they subjected me too does not outweigh their rewards.