Monday, August 22, 2011

Letter from a Reader: Disappointing Online Voucher Deal

Image courtesy of www.tickettechnologies.co.uk

Dear Fashion Pulis,

I am newbie in your throng of readers but this does not make me enjoy your articles less. Even if I am a considerably new follower, it has been already a habit of mine to check your website regularly for the juiciest blind items. In this way I have also seen how powerful your website is in informing netizens things that they should avoid. In this light, I have come to write about an annoying experience.

I have never been really a fan of those voucher sites but I sometimes check on them in case I see a deal that might be useful for me. In this particular deal site, I saw a deal that offers half the price for ink cartridge refills. I had doubts before purchasing a voucher but I eventually gave in since I am a student and printer inks are very important for me since I do nonstop paper work for school. I checked out the terms and conditions of the deal site first before purchasing to see if they have some policies on refunds because ever since this voucher trend became popular, I have been hearing and reading about false advertisements, bad deals, etc. It was clearly stated in their FAQs that refunds could be done if they find the voucher not useful to them and there would be no any problems with regards to that. That gave me a sense of security just in case I would not be able to get the said deal stated in their advertisement so I ended up purchasing one voucher.

When I ran out of ink, I planned to use the said voucher to refill my cartridges. I asked my mom who was going to the same vicinity of the refilling shop to drop by the shop to have the cartridges refilled. However, I wanted to make sure so my mom would not be embarrassed using the cartridges so I gave the shop a call first. I called to inform them that someone will have cartridges refilled using a certain voucher. To my surprise, the person who answered the call was totally clueless about it and he did not even seem to know the concept of vouchers. I even reiterated about the promo and he sounded even more confused and told me that he was not informed about something about the deal. I asked if there is another person I could talk to and he told me that he is they only one there. I got very disappointed and just asked my mom to have the cartridges refilled in another refilling shop (different from the one in the deal website).

Due to this, I immediately went back to the website and looked for the refund procedures. I immediately emailed their customer support and told them about what happened. I was asking for a voucher cancellation. I got a response 3 days after and they apologized and clarified that it is not their fault and they should not be blamed for it. I understand that there was a problem of miscommunication or non coordination with the merchant and did not think for a second that the deal company was at fault. They immediately cancelled my voucher but did not mention anything about the refund. I was even the one to ask about my refund when it should be an SOP that they would issue the refund upon cancellation of the voucher! An agent responded and assured me that a refund will be given as soon as possible.

I paid them through PayPal so I also requested a refund through PayPal. After a few days, I got a response from the deal website's PayPal account declining my refund request with an arguing message which stated: "did you actually call the numbers on the voucher? Because they are very well aware of the promo." This shocked me because this is not the way you should be responding to a client! Moreover, I stated very clearly that I already did my part as a customer yet they said they are not aware of the promo. It was so disappointing to get such argumentative message when the client is already the one on the losing end. I responded and said that my voucher has already been cancelled even if they check my account so they should issue a refund. I also emailed their customer support citing the reply I got from their PayPal account and all I got was a message saying that I was CC'd in the email sent to the person in charge of refunds. It has been more than a week and I still do not see a payment reversal in my PayPal account.

The amount in question is just 200 pesos. 200 pesos won't make me poor or rich but in principle, I believe that they should return my money since they already cancelled my voucher. I would have accepted it if they refused to cancelled my voucher but that is not the case. Not have I only been cheated on but I also felt that I was scammed since I haven't gotten the refund that I was assured of. This deal website also has poor coordination and they just communicate to each other through email. Seriously? Do they have such large corporation with different departments that they are so busy that they could only communicate with each other through emails? Moreover, they have rude personnel who would not recognize what the client has to say and would even argue. Disappointing! I would understand if I used my debit card or credit card in paying and refund would somehow take time. Refunds in PayPal are the easiest because all they have to do is to reverse the payment and it would go back to me. I already made their lives easier by requesting a refund so they would just click YES to my request but they argued to a client just for 200 pesos.

My advise to people who want to try deal websites, call the merchant first to confirm before purchasing or else this might just happen to you!

Thanks FP for taking your time in reading this.

Yours truly,
Clar Bear

37 comments:

  1. Hello FP. Can we filter the letters from readers as I notice the senders are getting silly by the day. Perhaps we can direct them to DTI instead. It's not even related to fashion. Lol. My tip to peeps who go for online voucher/certificate purchases is that be wary that there is a risk and that if the discount seems too good to be true, it's 'coz it probably is. At the end of the day we all get our money's worth. I don't wish to sound rude and seem like I discriminate based on social status or financial capability. I do however discriminate towards level of common sense, or lack of as evident with letter senders such as these. No need to post this if you deem inappropriate, just giving my two cents as a long time reader and co-writer. Thanks.

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  2. Why every time someone is selling you something ang galing galing nila magbenta pero pag nakabili kana & may problem hindi mo na sila makausap.

    I also hate supermarket cashiers, sometimes when they give back your change it's always kulang & they don't even bother to tell you about it. Naisip ko lang minsan pag ang customer kaya kulang pambayad,papayag sila?

    Joj

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  3. Hey aug.22 3.23am
    This can be useful din naman. I urge the readers to post in this comments section which group coupons site they have used that are ok or not ok. And I hope the letter sender disclose which site this is in the comments section kahit clues lang. Para din matapos na itong issue with group coupons.
    Personally, I've tried purchasing from DG a voucher for photobooth rental and it's ok naman no problems at all.

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  4. I would agree with the letter sender. It's more than the 200 pesos, it's how the situation was handled. No one can just say, "ganyan na talaga yan", kaya nga hindi umuunlad ang bansa natin because we are too nice to let things like this happen. If people would just stop shrugging matters like this as if it were a regular occurrence those SOBs would shape up and provide us the service they promise and we deserve. Ganun rin kasi mentality nila, they don't care if you're just one little customer, marami pa raw iba magugulang nila.

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  5. At first i thought why FP was posting complaint letters when his blog was about fashion, then i saw what was written under his title, aside from fashion there was ... Events and more and clearly this complaint falls under MORE. So letter's like these fall under more.

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  6. i find these expose very useful. keep them coming. chismis is not all that we need.

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  7. Clar Bear, it's very unfortunate that it happened. I just hope that we learn something about your incident.

    To anon, August 22, 2011 3:49 AM,
    FP does not allow full disclosure on his site, maybe you can create a blog site of your own, where we can fully identify these perpetrators and perhaps link your site to DTI.

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  8. Hi FP, I love reading your letters from readers because they contain useful information to fellow customers. Though since this is more of a complaint and how establishments have fallen below quality standards when doing business, these should not be flagged as BI's instead naming these establishments so they can get their act together! (just like the SM / Cadbury chocolate incident). In a world where corporations are only after profits and falling short on customer service and quality control, the internet (like your site) is a very powerful tool to get the message across, both to the establishment in question and potential customers.

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  9. What deal site is this? I think this letter sender is a bit different from the siomai one. Here, I sort of empathize with the letter sender. It seems her feeling of being scammed is justified.

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  10. I think feedbacks like this is very helpful especially to those who are a fan of group buying sites like me. We don't really know the real deal until we purchase and experience this by ourselves. It was unfortunate for Clar Bear to have encountered this incident.

    So far, i can attest that i had good deals from the vouchers i got from the groupon sites. My practice is before i purchase, i call or text the contact numbers from the deal i am interested in. My peg is that when they respond immediately and i am satisfied with their answer related to the deal then i might consider buying. Professionalism with the client is first and foremost whenever i want to buy a deal so i check them out first so that there will be a slim chance for regrets.

    Thanks for sharing this FP!

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  11. I'm glad FP posts these kinds of stuff besides the usual showbiz/fashion chismis. These are good warnings and feedbacks that are important to the readers who are consumers themselves. Aling voucher website ba ito?

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  12. @MGG

    FP is already filtering the posts of this blog and I think kaya nya pinost to for the awareness of other readers as well. Just imagine kung ikaw yung naloko, worse yung about the IPL sa legs na naburn, nakakainis diba? konting sympathy lang. makikita mo naman yung title nung topic so kung ayaw mo magbasa, you can skip the post naman, no need for this kind of reaction.

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  13. She should try to get in touch with PayPal so that PayPal can take action on the account.

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  14. Hi FP! Although I agree that your blog is not the proper venue for these types of complaints, I am still grateful to have read them kasi I myself have availed of discount vouchers. And while I have not yet encountered anything unpleasant , at least I have been forewarned. : )

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  15. To MGG,

    para akin at malamang sa iba na din, hindi po ito useless bagkus ay malaking tulong ito para sa amin lalo na sa mga bagong nagbabalak pumasok sa mga ganitong promo.. sabi mo hindi mo dinidescriminate ang kapobrehan namin pero mas masakit isipin na pinagtatawanan at nilalait mo ang kainosentehan namin.

    ang purpose ng letter sender ay magbigay ng babala para sa iba at hindi ang magreklamo at alam nyang ang mga readers ng fp ay ang mga netizens na parating nasa cyber world na cyang siguradong makakabasa/makakatakbo sa mga coupons na yan. kaya ibig sabihin ay nasa mas proper venue cya imbes na sa DTI

    just my half cent

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  16. I've been hearing lots of vouchers being sold on these different discount sites that are not being honored. So best to stay away from them even if it looks so good. Or call the outlet first and ask if this deal exists.

    As for the writer, dont use refills. Eventually masisira lang yun printer mo. I had a bad experience with that before and my printer just conked out! Mas napamahal pa ako. 200 isnt worth your anger and frustration. Sana original nalang binili mo wala pang hassle. Its expensive yes pero ganon talaga you pay for your service. I got an HP printer, 390 lang yun ink. Parang plug (and maybe i should get paid) pero maybe you can look into that. At least you're sure of the quality.

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  17. Say NO to fakes?! Buy original ink. Hehehe

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  18. ano bah?! 200 pesos lang naman pala e! what did you expect???

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  19. to MGG, why don't we just let FP post whatever he wants to? it's his blog and if he deems this important then let him. if you don't want to read these types of complaint letters then skip the post and just come back to his blog when it interests you. i honestly think we don't have the right to tell him what & what not to post. and as in everything, FP cannot always please everyone. and others still appreciate letters that can be helpful such as these. but IT'S STILL HIS BLOG SO LEAVE HIM BE.

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  20. Hi Clar Bar.
    It's possible that the money is already with the site that's why Paypal can't do anything. Actually, they can't touch the money of an individual's account without the explicit orders baka mapagbintangan sila ng kung ano.

    If I were you I would keep calling that group buying site. They should have given you time frame kung kelan mo makukuha pera mo. Sila binayaran mo so sila dapat mag soli ng pera mo. Check DTI as well, baka hindi naman registered yan at kung registered, sumbong mo. Hehehe.

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  21. Experienced the same thing for a different deal. I bought a number of vouchers for peeling. Tried to call the merchant and it's so hard to get a schedule! When I was finally able to call, the service was not worth all the trouble.

    So I emailed the voucher company asking for a refund for the vouchers I bought. It took them almost 3 weeks to tell me that the merchant did not approve my request. 3 weeks?! The manner of how they replied to me is the most annoying part. There is complete lack of sensitivity. I don't check their website anymore. They have the worst customer service! Thats E.

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  22. FP, i know this is not related to the issue but instead of emailing you, i would rather ask it here. Maybe your readers have the answer.

    Everytime I do my grocery at SM, the cashier always asked for my advantage card & swiped it BEFORE entering the items I purchased.

    Is there no difference if the cashier swipe the advantage card before or after the items purchased were registered?

    I once asked the cashier & she said, it's their SOP but in a way, didn't really answer my fear.

    FP or other readers here (techie enough) maybe can give a definitive answer. thanks

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  23. Right to cancel: Once we send you the Voucher, you may cancel the transaction at any time within 5 working days from the day after the day that you receive the Voucher (where a working day is any day that is not a Saturday, Sunday or Philippines public holiday). If you do want to cancel, you must do so by sending us an email to tell us you are cancelling to: support@metrodeal.com - always provided of course that you have not yet redeemed the Voucher.

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  24. i think the name of the groupon site is on the clue... i remember i saw an ink refill promo in their website a month ago ata... hmmmmmmMD:

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  25. I'm having problems with some of the groupon sites as well where their own staff was not very cooperative just like the merchant they featured. I don't want to rule out all groupon sites entirely as I had some good deals with them like DG and CCP.

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  26. @MCG

    Perhaps, deadma ka lang. well, darating din ang time mo sa sinasabi mong level of common sense.

    dear, it was clearly stated, student siya. at ikaw, sing level ba ng thinking mo ngayon ang thinking mo noong student ka? if you'll answer yes, please, be the president of the Philippines.

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  27. To Aug.22, 2011 9.39am

    I'm not the complainant naman so i'm not inclined to exert effort and put up a blog just for this. And I'm not saying full disclosure cos I know FP does't allow that. Sabi ko nga kahit clues lang e, pwedeng initials pwedeng ibang paraan, creative naman ang mga FP readers e. Para lang sana may purpose din yung pag post ng letter dito. If we won't find out what site this is the warning will be useless. So Clar Bear, i hope you can provide clues.

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  28. gosh, tandaan naten, WALANG MANLOLOKO KUNG WALANG MAGPAPALOKO.

    unang una, wag bumili sa mga online stores, lumabas ng bahay, i-enjoy ang kapaligiran, mag-lakad lakad for better health, hindi yung aasa ka sa online na hindi mo kilala kung sino nagpapatakbo ng mga yan, had you bought it in a "real store" and dealt with real people, di sana napadali ang lahat...

    minsan kasi iniisip na naten yung convenience kuno na dala ng technology w.o thinking yung repercussions...ikaw na din nagsabi na 200 lang naman yan...so shut up na. isipin mo na lang nawalan ka ng 200 nung nahulog yan sa kanal habang naglalakad ka...

    i believe ang moral of the story here is not to trust online stores too much. tama na ang complaints na ganito my goshes...isipin nyo na lang na ang Pilipinas e hindi pa as advanced as the US or other first world countries to be in this voucher voucher thingy or mga online stuff na yan...

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  29. This is very useful tip for people using those bulk buying sites.

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  30. Same thing sa US. Nadala na ko. I am not buying another groupon deal or anything similar. I bought several groupon deals. Once I bought the groupon, it's so hard to redeem it because you need an appointment. They don't answer the phone right away so I had to call several times for several days. And once I got a hold of them, it's always fully booked past the expiration date. So my 3 groupon deals that I bought for approximately $600 went to waste. And it's non-refundable. Never again. Beware of these online deals.

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  31. May "clue" in one of the comments, I think.

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  32. I've nothing against online stores because I had good deals too before, but then again, sometimes the grass is greener on the other side. A little sympathy won't hurt, and yes, if you don't like whatever was posted here, you are most welcome to skip entries like this. I guess what FP wants to promote here is consumer awareness.

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  33. I cannot believe how people can be so condescending to this young reader! It is very evident that she is indeed young and she actually clarified that it is because of her 200 pesos--it is how the situation was approached by the groupon site. She is just sharing her experience to everyone here because as she mentioned, the groupon shiz is becoming a trend. Kahit ako matanda na ako, kahit 200 "lang", magagalit pa rin ako dahil hindi ko naman nakuha binayaran ko. Some people are too self-righteous here. I am sure if this also happened to the ones giving bad comments, you would not like it and you might even do worse.

    If you don't like this kind of write up, then skip it. Hindi yung magcocomment pa na parang ang laking katangahan ng ginawa nya. Many people are using groupon deal sites nowadays, FYI and this is good information.

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  34. If they act like this for P200, what more if you spent thousands of pesos for a deal. Baka mas mailap pa sila niyan.

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  35. i know what you mean sis! this has happened to me before! kainis! you can resend your letter here and just name the merchant! bongga! haha!
    http://problemvouchers.wordpress.com/

    ;;love;;
    Jesilia

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  36. Im working in a hotel and we frequently join the online discounted voucher, we treat our guest right and we do give our best service to the guest since word of mouth is very huge!

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  37. I happened to order on one of those voucher selling websites.It was the promo for Enchanted Kingdom.The site by the way is Ensogo.com.ph.My friend called me and informed me that there was a promo nga and so I was convinced to buy since one ticket would only cost me 300 instead of 500 and there was this count down saying 5hours remaining and the promo will end, so I ordered 6 tickets that night and paid over BPI the next day.The instructions were to take a photo of the receipt and email it to them and they will send the vouchers to me.So I did but the next day they replied and said that I should resize my photo. And so I resized it with a smaller one. Until now, I haven't received any reply regarding my order. I don't know what happened. Thanks to this article I'm reminded of my that incident. I will surely follow up tomorrow. Hopefully they give me my vouchers because I paid for it!

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