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Saturday, January 2

Take That China!

Cringeworthy as it is to level a comment at a whole country, in much the way as Donald Trump's repeated terming of COVID 19 as the China Virus causes my butt to clench, I think it's fair to say that there's a prevalent trap when dealing with Chinese drop shipping companies.

In this case a particular company was advertising a Harry Potter themed book-sized model, that could be added to a book shelf and would provide a lit-up Diagon Alley model in its belly. Quite a delightful present for the Harry Potter fans around the family.

Now, I'm not one for supporting J K Rowling these days. Her ill-thought-out stance on trans rights are just another reminder of her dreadful wordplay and inability to summarise. Her books turn children into frightful bores around a relatively dull set of stories... but I'm in the minority on that opinion in the family, so it's best to go with the flow.

What arrived from the $90 purchase of the above bookshelf inserts was a weird flat-packed instructionless thing that bore no resemblance to the advert on Facebook. Note: adverts on Facebook are largely scams.

Having been thoroughly disappointed with the purchase, we tried to return it. This is where the interesting discussion started.

Their first offer was for $15 to keep the item. I declined it.

Their second offer was for $40 to keep the item. They would only potentially provide a full refund if I shipped the item back to China.

I pointed out to them that they had shipped it to me from the UK (it had a UK address on the original parcel) so I would return it to a UK address of their choice for a full refund. Shipping to China is quite pricey (though it must be cheap to ship from China to here, given the volume of stuff that comes this way).

I escalated the case to PayPal who sided with the Chinese company in terms of shipping to China.

So I shipped the items to China. It can be done. It cost around £20, but it was the principal of the thing more than anything else, and I think I would still be up on the deal.

Weeks passed.

Eventually, today, I got notification that PayPal would be refunding me. As far as I could tell, there must have been some argy bargy between PayPal and the company over the refund itself, as there were several days of the date of the latest message changing, but no messages to me.

The point?

Well, don't buy anything of value from China without a decent refund policy...

... and ads on Facebook are shit...

... and shipping to China costs, but can be done.


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