Monday, February 13, 2012

An UGGly Situation

Our daughter, an avid online shopper, learned the hard way—right along with us—that there are unscrupulous vendors on the World Wide Web. And today I seek to avenge our experience by outing this company for its illegal and fraudulent practices.

www.cheapuggbootsforwomen.com . . . you are SO BUSTED!

A pair of Classic Tall (Genuine) UGG boots costs $200. Eager to own a pair, our 14-year-old’s  $20 per week allowance made this expensive fashion statement out-of-reach. She thought she was being clever—a “good” shopper—by searching online for a more affordable pair. Cheapuggbootsforwomen.com offered a pair she wanted “on sale” for 50% off.  To her credit, she planned to perform a host of chores and tasks to work off the debt, and I ordered the boots for her on this promise.

"Baked Clay": The boot we ordered
We ordered the Classic Tall UGG boot in “Baked Clay.”  The total charge, according to the email order confirmation, with shipping was $106.99.

Two weeks later, what we ordered was not what arrived in a soft box wrapped in plastic with a return address printed with Chinese characters. Instead of anything resembling the color “Baked Clay,” what we received can only be described as Puke Pink. The description on the box didn’t even read, “Baked Clay.” It read, “Brick Red,” a color option not even featured on the website.

As anyone would do, particularly with a company that advertises “100% satisfaction guaranteed,” I contacted customer service to obtain the return/exchange procedure. This is the first (verbatim) response I received:


Dear Customer,

We are really sorry for the trouble. What a shock! There must be something wrong. We never get this kind of customer complain. Could you do me a favor and send me the pictures of the product which you received. Thank you so much.

Best Wishes 
Angela


"Brick Red," the boot we received

I sent photos of the pink boots, and the box label reading “Brick Red.” Twenty-four hours later I received this:


Dear customer
Thank you for your email. I have checked it for you. The shoes of this style is this colour.
about the"shipping&return"policy on our website:If you ship the item back you need to pay the shipping fees which is very expensive and you just get 50% refund.Then you lose so much money and get nothing finally.It is not a good choice for you.Could you keep it or sell it to your friend,then when you re-order from us,we give you  discount?wait for your reply
Best wishes
Angela


I’m using the copy/paste function so, dear readers, you may get the full effect of the correspondence. Certainly, I was not pleased with this response. It didn’t come close to guaranteeing my 100% satisfaction with the transaction. Considering the suggested high price of shipping back to China, I stood to be far less than 50% satisfied. “Then you lose so much money and get nothing finally.” Really?


Smelling a scam, yet still willing to give “Angela” the benefit of the doubt, I thought perhaps “she” failed to translate properly and missed the part that I ordered “Baked Clay” rather than “Brick Red.” So I tried again. Five hours later I received this:


Dear customer
The style of your order is that one.
If you exchange for it, we also send the shoes which you received  to you and you need to pay the 30% processing fee and expensive shipping fee. so could you keep them? if you reorder from us, we will give you a big discount.
Best wishes
Angela


At this point, even though the letter makes little sense, I get it. I’m not going to be satisfied. I therefore contacted my feral financial advisor, Nina, who I trust has my back on all things financial and specifically credit card related. She put me in touch with the disputes department of our credit card company, where we spoke to a woman named “Love” (not kidding). Love advised me to request the return address of the company in order to attempt to return the product I didn’t order. (The shipping label was in Chinese and there was no paperwork or return/exchange form included with the package).

I made several attempts via email, each time requesting the return address in English. And each attempt failed:

Dear customer
If you ship back, you need to pay for the expensive shipping fee and just get 50% refund, do you accept it?
wait for your reply
Best wishes
Angela

***
Dear customer
It't not a good choice to you. could you keep them or sell to others, give your friends ?then reorder from us, we can give you a big discount.
Best wishes
Angela

***
Dear Customer
Thank  you for your reply. could you keep them? we can process 5% refund to you. wait for you reply
Best wishes
Angela

***
Dear customer
If you ship back, you need to pay for the expensive shipping fee and just get 50% refund, you will lost much and get nothing, could you keep them or give your friends? we can refund you 10%.
wait for your reply
Best wishes
Angela


Clearly, Angela had no intention of providing the return address. So, we returned to Love, our advisor in credit card disputes. While on the phone with Love, Nina and I learned something else about these pink boots. Surprise, surprise, they aren’t even genuine UGGS.

That’s right. In addition to being a Fuggly shade of pink, they’re also FAKES. Flippin’ FUggly fakes.

We discovered this when Love advised us to check the UggAustralia.com website where there’s a boot-load of material dedicated to exposing the practice of counterfeit products passing themselves off as genuine. It’s as simple as keying in the name of the retailer in a search function to determine whether or not they are authorized UGG dealers. Of course, www.cheapuggbootsforwomen.com AND the company that actually billed my credit card, (for a higher figure than the $106.99 printed on my original invoice) www.salenow-online.com, are NOT authorized dealers. The site suggests these companies may retail counterfeit Ugg products.


Turns out there’s far more than a boot-load of material on the Internet—articles, YouTube videos, etc.—instructing consumers on how to determine whether or not an Ugg boot is counterfeit.

We definitely have a pair of pink fakes.

Although I was tempted, I didn’t respond to “Angela’s” final request for me to keep the fake pink boots. Instead, I reported the companies she represents and their illegal practices to the Ugg Australia counterfeit department, and notified several anti-counterfeit organizations and government agencies listed on the Ugg Australia website. My credit card company has all the necessary paperwork to dispute the charge.

Meanwhile, I’ve been advised to hold onto the pink boots until we hopefully attain the goal of receiving a postage-paid mailing label so I can return them—not keep them or “give my friends.” The charge(s) on my credit card (for the boots and for the credit card company’s surprise international shipping charge) are currently being held.


Many thanks to Nina for helping me stomp out this unfortunate event and for helping us learn a valuable lesson. We now understand that counterfeiting is rampant and illegal. According to Ugg Australia, “It has a significant impact on the global economy, removing tens of thousands of jobs and costing the economy an estimated $600 billion of legitimate revenue a year. The International Trade Commission concluded that U.S companies have lost close to 1 million jobs domestically due to Chinese counterfeits.”

Ultimate message to all: Beware of UGG boots for sale or discounted, or cheap UGG boots advertised on Ebay or anywhere other than Uggaustralia.com or reputable registered/authorized dealers. Don’t make the same mistake we made. If you do, I 100% guarantee, you’ll kick yourself.

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3 comments:

Pebbles said...

Ugg how obnoxious!

Anonymous said...

hey I got the same terrible experience. and the different was I bought A&F product instead of UGG. I bought two A&F shirts from the website "abercrombiesingapore.com" and they lied to me many times for one of them failed to deliver and the emails back and forth for nearly two months still didn't get any solution but only could suggest 90% refund!!! it pissed me off badly and I finally can't take this anymore and wrote emails to A&F US top management and from A&F reply,they found out its not-authorized by A&F .....can't believe they plagiarized the website so badly ....I am still fighting with them...

Anonymous said...

Did you happen to get an address? I am currently dealing with them!