"What I Bought Vs. What I Got" Exposing Online Shop Fraud!
Hello, my name is Sarah Peak and I am the creator of What I Bought Vs. What I Got or WIBWIG for short. This podcast will discuss how WIBWIG got started, talk about the ins and outs of the FB page itself, go over some tips and tricks for spotting scams, walk through what to do if you find you've been cheated by one of these sites, and we will marvel at Facebook's continuing roll in supporting the scam industry.
But first, a little backstory: In 2018, I bought a pair of boots for my birthday in mid-October. They were the most delicious boots I had ever seen (which may account for my failure to do any research on the website where I had made my purchase), and I think it took me all of 3 seconds to hand over my hard-earned dough to a never heard of seller called Elegchic, who sent me a confirmation email and, shortly after, a shipping notice with a tracking number.
I checked the tracking daily, anxiously anticipating the glorious smell of my new “genuine leather”, knee-high, high-fashion high-heeled footwear. I could barely contain my excitement as I waited…and waited…and waited some more.
At last the day came when tracking confirmed that my newest prized possessions had been delivered to my front door. There was only one problem (at that point), there was no package at my front door, or anywhere else. Fearing a front porch hijacking of my latest obsession, I emailed Elegchic and told them the package had not arrived. Their response was puzzling: “We apologize, but your order has been delayed! Please accept a 20% discount and please wait until the item you ordered is back in stock, we will notify you when your item is dispatched.”
Uh, heh? Where was the package I had been tracking for a month? A little odd, but okay… I had no choice but to wait. So I did.
A couple weeks later I was notified that my package had shipped 15 days before (Yay?) and that it would be at least another 15 to 20 days before it would arrive. THIS WAS MADDENING!!! HOW IS A GIRL SUPPOSED TO LIVE THROUGH A SHOE NIGHTMARE LIKE THIS?!? (Overly dramatic, I know, but did you see the boots?!?)
Mid-December, two full months after I had placed my order, my boots had finally come home to roost! Oh, happy da….. Wait. Whaaat the fork?!?
The boots were reeking, plastic garbage that were at least 3 sizes too big and looked NOTHING like the photo on Elegchic’s website. Long story short, an email war ensued, PayPal was notified, and I was told I would have to pay to send them back to China if I wanted a refund (shipping that would have a $45 price tag). PayPal sided with Elegchic and I was shoes-out-of-luck as my bank had a 45 day window to report fraudulent activity. A deadline I had missed by the vendor's design.
Needless to say, the boots went directly into the (outside) bin, and I vengefully made plans to take down the entire scamming industry by launching a Facebook page dedicated to fighting these unscrupulous vendors in far away lands.
Thus, What I Bought vs. What I Got was born, and what a ride it has been. In spite of an interestingly steep learning curve, a surprising push-back from the FB population (confirmation bias is a real thing), my having to develop the proper diplomacy for the task (and a thick skin), and Facebook refusing to help, and, often times, punishing us for trying to assist those who have been scammed, WIBWIG has become immensely popular, ballooning to over 16,000 members in less than two years. The page has earned the trust of thousands, and I intend to keep it that way, no matter what Facebook does or doesn't do.
After two years it has become clear that Facebook has ZERO interest in helping fight the scam sites they are actually PAID to advertise for. And, after several trips to Facebook jail for reporting scams, the hasty removal of one of my posts for copyright infringement (for using a photo from a scam site ON Facebook), followed by the threat of the WIBWIG page being removed all together, I've decided to pack up and take this show on the road. Hopefully, an actual website will be immune to FB's lack of moral principles.
. . . Oh yeah, the boots were actually from FreeBird by Steven
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Sarah A. Peak
November 27, 2020
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Next Week continues here with "How to Spot an Online Shopping Scam When You See One " Part One