Although I have long been a regular consumer of web-related products (domain names, hosting, etc.) and other services sold online for more than a decade now, I am not a user of e-commerce stores based in the Philippines. Too many stories of online sellers misrepresenting their products to the point of actually defrauding their customers. I got discouraged.
The COVID-19 lockdown forced me to try buying grocery items through the Philippine portal of an international e-commerce company called the Lazada Group. Then I experienced one of the horror stories of online shopping that you usually stumble upon on the Internet via social media sites.
So I ordered a Nescafé Creamy White 3-in-1 Instant Coffee pack of 30 sachets, priced at ₱177.73, close to just $4 USD. (I meant to buy it for my wife who wants creamier instant coffee. Yeah, I just had to put that in for friends who know that I prefer black coffee.) The supplier branded itself as a “Nestlé Official Distributor” under the LazMall (Lazada Mall) category.
After waiting for a month (a month!) for that particular item to arrive, imagine my shock and anger when I opened the package to reveal a single sachet. Yes, just one sachet! Not 30! No wonder the packaging felt so strangely light!
Filed a complaint online at Lazada, but I was totally ignored. To this day. Then I found out from the messages left on the site that I wasn’t the only one defrauded by the seller. Obviously, what they did to me was not a mistake.
It was their modus operandi.
These unscrupulous people are giving Nestlé Philippines and Lazada a bad name. And apparently, based on the comments at that particular product page, this ugly practice has been going on for quite a while now. What are the authorities doing about this? Maybe no one has filed a formal complaint yet?
Don’t worry, deceitful sellers. You can shove my measly $4 down your throats. I wish the wicked group behind this nefarious scheme choke on whatever grub their ill-gotten cash bought and collectively die slow and excruciating deaths.