Parcel from China not what I ordered

Has anyone else come across this scam yet? You order an item from a website on Facebook such as a makeup trolley and pay through PayPal and a package eventually arrives but it is not what you ordered but rather a cheap 99p watch instead of a £40 trolley? The company in China provide tracking and the code matches what did land in your post but it does not match your purchased item in anyway shape or form physically. The company won't refund and PayPal won't do anything unless you pay to send back an item you did not order all the way to China at your own expense not far from what you paid out initially?
No idea what to do now. Have tried resiver for the post office complaints etc but to no avail.
Has anyone experienced this or resolved effectively? 


  • thriftwizard
    thriftwizard Forumite Posts: 4,538
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    A couple of years ago I ordered a quilt from a Facebook ad for DD2 for a Christmas present; it had black cats sitting on steps silhouetted against a twilight sky, and looked stunning. What turned up was a cheap copy of a quilt; kaleidoscoped purple butterflies printed onto a polyester fabric with a vague stab at quilting - about 4 wavy lines in huge stitches, already coming undone - with cheap batting that was already working through the plain polyester backing. I've since realised that the original picture was ripped from an old McCalls pattern for a quilted wall-hanging, and what I received bore no resemblance to it, or to a real quilt, whatsoever. I tried complaining but never even received a reply; I didn't know then that your bank can sometimes help you get your money back (which did work when I paid for a greenhouse last March & still hadn't received anything in August) so might have tried them, but I doubt they'd have any clout in China.

    I should have known that there was no way they could churn out something decent for that price, though it wasn't so cheap that it would have aroused my suspicions. I still have the horrible thing; it makes a very colourful windscreen protector for my van...
    Angie - GC Oct 23 £101.66/£500 : 2023 Fashion on the Ration Challenge: 54/66: (Money's just a substitute for time & talent...)
  • homerdog
    homerdog Forumite Posts: 107
    Tenth Anniversary 10 Posts
    My son ordered some jigsaw puzzles which were to be Christmas presents last year, when the parcel arrived around 6 weeks later it contained 3 really poor quality jigsaw puzzle with awful quality pictures which in no way resembled his original order. Also the packaging was totally unsuitable and they were badly damaged. The seller didn't want to know and said as he'd made a complaint he should wait to hear from their complaints department, which he never did, then he contacted paypal who weren't much help, even requesting my son should get an affidavit regarding the order and condition of it. In the end he contacted the credit card company as although he used paypal he'd gone through the credit card co, they refunded the money straight away and were looking into his claim, this was back in November and they said they anticipated it would be sorted by end of January, he's heard nothing from them since. My son has now said he'd never order from anywhere he didn't know again. 
  • Pollycat
    Pollycat Forumite Posts: 34,025
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Savvy Shopper!
    Probably better in Consumer Rights.
    There are threads there that start 'I ordered xxx through Facebook...'

    There is a MSE article on the main board about buying goods from China.

    You have few consumer rights, so don't spend more than you're happy to lose

    Let's be straight – buying online from China is a relatively new and untested concept, so don't spend more than you can afford to lose.

    If you buy online from a seller in the UK, the Consumer Contracts Regulations mean you can cancel the order within 14 days of arrival for any reason (apart from perishable or personalised goods). You've then 14 days to send it back. So you've the comfort of knowing you can return it regardless of the reason. See our Consumer Rights guide for more.

    This is in stark contrast to buying from China, where you've often no legal right to return an item, even if faulty. Many of the sites listed here have their own buyer protection policies (as described in the top sites section above), but these are not the law.

    Even if sellers let you return orders, the postage costs are often so high that it's not worth it.

  • maxsteam
    maxsteam Forumite Posts: 718
    500 Posts First Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic
    It's worth giving the PayPal disputes process a try. Also, if you funded your PayPal account with a credit card, you can contact your card issuer and, if you wanted to be awkward about this, you could refuse to pay (it will be a stressful process, but you are within your rights to do this). You should make it clear that you are expecting the seller to pay the return postage.

    The alternative is to put it down to experience. IMHO China is great for shopping for small, low value items but not so good for anything expensive.
  • purpleivy
    purpleivy Forumite Posts: 3,546
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    I ordered 2 pairs of sandals from what appeared to be an Ecco site, when they arrived they were vaguely similar but iery poor crude quality.  I got nowhere with the vendor and eventually claimed from my credit card, although to do this I had to prove I had returned the items, which cost nearly £20. I printed all the stuff from the purchase and had to write a letter outlining what happened. I got my money back, but not the shipping fees. Was about £110
    [SIZE=-1]"Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad"[/SIZE]
    Trying not to waste food!:j
    ETA Philosophy is wondering whether a Bloody Mary counts as a Smoothie
  • Pollycat
    Pollycat Forumite Posts: 34,025
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Savvy Shopper!
    It's always best to check out a company that you've never ordered from before.
    Websites that 'appear to be' the original site can usually be spotted quickly. I've seen a few scam Dr Marten websites that have fooled people. When UGGs were all the rage, there were lots of fake websites.

    The 'About us' page is something I check out, many Chinese websites have poor grammar.
    And never Google a company and automatically click on the top link.
    A lot of companies pay Google to appear at the top of search lists. These will have Ad at the front of the search result.
    Legitimate companies may also have Ad at the front of search results, obviously they have paid Google for the top spot.

    In these cases, there is usually a link immediately below to the same website without Ad.

    To be 100% sure, I always select the link without Ad.

    And I'm always very careful when Googling something that is provided by the government - passports, driving licences etc. There are many companies that provide the same thing that you can get for free or cheaper than they charge.

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