Monday, March 18, 2013

Brandsfever: Online Store and Customer Service Review

Two years ago, when group-buying sites and members-only discount stores started opening in Manila, I have published a blog and compiled them all here. After two years (I think the link needs updating), I stayed loyal with my favorites - and one of them is Brandsfever. 



Purchases from Brandsferver


My first transaction with Brandsfever was hassle-free. I ordered online, paid through credit card and the item arrived at home. You can read the rest of the story of the first transaction here. Then, I ordered two more stuff.

Monroe Andy Warhol Frame



The second one was also processed smoothly. This time though, instead of getting the package at home, I received a claim card from the post office. Why did the service/delivery changed? I have no idea. I was just thinking that I need to pay taxes. Luckily, when my dad claimed the package, he was only asked to pay Php40 for the storage fee.

Click Read More to know how the third transaction went...




The third transaction was when I started having headaches. They are not actually because of the site, but because of the post office. As usual the item came all the way from Singapore. The standard shipping fee is Php350.



I sent my dad to claim the item in the post office and because the amount totals to around Php3,000 (around $72), their tax computation says I need to pay Php1,800 total custom taxes. I was surprised and furious.


How did the post office team come up with such computation?! Here's the computation that they gave us:

Customs Duty
+ Value Added Tax
+ Customs Doc Stamps (fixed at Php250)
+ Import Processing Fees (fixed at Php250)
+ BIR Stamp Tax
_______________________________
= Total x 12% (eVat Rate)


The question is, how did they come up with the customs duty taxes? (I did a little research and I am hoping to  post a different review about post office and how to compute for taxes, I want to focus first on the Brandsfever site).

I was thinking, I could just let go of the item, but how can I let go of something as chic as this?


So, we paid the taxes and settled. I got my precious package usually wrapped in gray plastic wrapper. So am I happy with my purchases? Does Brandsfever  sell authentic brands?


I think the site does. My recent purchase - from Gody Bags, is something that I am not familiar of. But the designs of the bags really caught my attention (think Hepburn, New York, cutesy prints), plus the mark down prices (original bag at Php6,000 and the sale price is Php1,600 plus) is something that you should not miss. So my friend and I bought one each. Same design. It is like a friendship bag. LOL.

Why did I dislike it? The bag is comparable to the ones sold in flea markets. The local brands even look more durable compared to what I receive. I cannot imagine the original price is around Php6,000 ($150 USD).


If I am only paying for Audrey Hepburn's print, I could have just started a printing press business with that money.


This is not to say that all items/brands in Brandsfever are fake, not good quality, etc. I am sure when they posted sale events for other brands (mostly LongChamp, D&G, etc..) they are authentic brands and you will get authentic items.

I always do research of the items' regular prices before making a purchase, and Brandsfever is declaring the right prices (not doubling the price and giving 50% discount - the usual scam).

SERVICE

I am not very happy with the service though. The delivery time, I can be patient and understandable; but for email support, I expect more - especially I use to provide email support and I know the competencies one should have in order to provide a good service.

How the story started?

I ordered something online as a gift, and I sent a note to declare the value as zero. I sent the note on January 22nd. 


I received a response on February 6. That is 11 business days from the day I sent the email. That is too long a time to conduct investigation, track the progress of my request, and even provide resolution.


The worse thing is, they were not able to provide assistance to my request. What makes me more disappointed? I sent my request January 22nd, and they dispatched the item on January 28th - they still had time to make adjustment and communicate to the correct contact. 


I felt my ears getting hotter, so I clicked the Reply button and typed the below:


I was expecting a Root Cause Analysis and explanation why the request was not granted provided I sent it days before they even delivered the item. You wouldn't believe the response I received:



The reply was sent after a week (February 13th). Did she/he answer my question about what happened before the delivery of item? No. Am I asking about the status of the parcel? No. First Email Resolution - Failed.

Can you feel my frustration?

I no longer want to compose a mad letter. So I let the days passed and responded on February 25th. I just wrote a short line and pasted my previous inquiry.


I hate sending frustrated emails. I know it would not resolve the issue. But I am that frustrated. I hate escalations and I hate doing it.

I received a response on March 11th. Again, 10 business days after the last note I sent.  The response that I received just references to the delivery of the item.


Ok, I gave up. I no longer need explanation. Sometimes I think, am I just sending a note to a machine? 

I am frustrated.

Lessons for those who are working in a customer service oriented industry - please do listen to your customers. Know the real concern. Sending a reply doesn't mean resolution. Go deeper and analyze. 

I would be ashamed if I find out Brandsfever's customer support is housed here in Manila. We are the BPO capital of the world - and we should know better. 

Anyway, I have just sent a feedback and answered a survey (which earned me $10 Singapore credit - Thank you!)

I hope Brandsfever will improve the service, and that the site will have selection to choose if the item will be sent as gift (so they can take out the price and probably wrap the item in nice shiny wrappers!). 

At the end of the day, I still love Brandsfever, and I am still waiting for new exciting discounts from the site. (especially now they offer free shipping for orders worth Php2,500!). 



Have you shopped at Brandsfever? How's your experience? 



Want to be a member? Go, register here - http://www.brandsfever.ph/invite/greatdeals



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If you are reading this post somewhere, it is originally written by Ruth and published in www.ruthilicious.blogspot.com.








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I used to pull espresso shots and now work with people who travel the world.

I love rock stars, flirty skirts and margarita.

I am a wandering wonderer and the world is my ramp!

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