It brings me immense displeasure in reaching out to you. Had I not reached a point where I am left without any other options, I would not have brought this to your attention. But the sheer audacity, dubious nature, unfair practices of an Instagram store owner has left me with no alternative but to raise the issue.
Selling Under False Pretence
A few days ago, I started following a thrift store named https://www.instagram.com/
I have ordered in a similar manner from several thrift store owners who are usually responsible small business operators. Given my support for such businesses and my history of having been a responsible consumer who clears the payments early to keep the transaction seamless, I proceeded with trust in the above-mentioned thrift store owner.
A few days later, 15th June, I received a package at around 12:00 PM . I sanitized the package and placed it in a corner. There was no reasonable way it or its contents could have incurred any material damage. Later that day, I opened the package with great anticipation, only to see that the delivered pair of jeans had a broken zip. It was not a dysfunctional zipper. It was a broken zip of the type you would witness on discarded goods in a physical retail store.
Skewed and Self-Serving Refund Cancellation Policies
I immediately texted the owner on the same Instagram account I had interacted with earlier. She asked me to give her an unboxing video. No consumer in her right minds would make an unboxing video, unless she is a vlogger with a motive to do so or has some preconceived awareness that the package will have issues. I told the store owner that I do not have an unboxing video. She relentlessly asked me to give her an unboxing video stating that she will need it to make a case with her ‘dealer’. So, I immediately shot a video clearly highlighting the broken zip and sent it to her. To which her only response was that her dealer had rejected the return request.
My entire interaction before, during, and after the transaction was with this individual. The dealer was never a part of the conversation. So rather than taking the responsibility of the jeans herself she is putting it on the dealer. When she saw that I am persistently asking for a return, she removed me from her list of followers.I firmly believe that she did so to stop me from reaching out to other followers of her page.
I asked her to come through with her modus operandi and share a packaging video of the same product she had shipped. If she expects her customers to make a video as soon as they receive the product, she must be consistent with her practices and make videos while packaging the products. She responded by shifting the blame on me and called me a scammer. Her logic kept getting more inconsistent with every progression in the conversation. She failed to realize why would a scammer pay her in full, and then ask for a refund, if all she wants to do is take advantage of her product somehow.
I also tried to call her several times that evening to clear things on the number I had earlier made the payment. Instead of pressing further, I asked her why was she not responding to my the phone number. She stated that the number did not belong to her and was indeed of a friend who happens to run the store with her. She then gave me the link to some unrelated private Instagram account and asked me to reach out to this individual. I remembered seeing one Ms. Rxxxxa Bxxxxxe liking all her posts and remembered her name from the Paytm notification and the packaging details.
So, everything including the payment notification, the sender’s address, the name of the thrift store’s ( thrift_ritz_closet) have the common denominator ‘Rxxxxa’ in but the store is run by this alleged friend and Ms. Rxxxa Bxxxxxxe. I am reasonably confident that Ms. Rxxxxa Bose operates the store and is hiding her identity to save herself from the liability to accept the returns or interacting with the customer.
Irreverence for the Law
I resorted to the very last argument I could have made – that I will take the necessary legal recourse if Ms. Rxxxxxa Bxxxxe did not accept the refund. To this, the said individual’s only response was that it would not affect her in any way and that I can do whatever I want. I discovered that the product image did not have the zip clearly visible. In fact, most product images on her thrift store have a Chinese model, and not her. This is unconventional to thrift store practices where the store owner establishes credibility by putting her images wearing the product. This tells me, that Ms. Rxxxxa Bxxxxe was already aware of the damage and wanted to get rid of the product.
Thrift store owners are often forthcoming about damaged products and add a disclaimer to the product description highlighting the same. Since Ms. Bxxxxe did not do that either, it tells me that she had no intention to accept that the product was damaged but was aware of its condition.
Why Should You Care About This Matter?
I have been a law-abiding citizen contributing to the economy by supporting small, medium, and large businesses for a long time now. While the sum of ?1120 might seem miniscule to many, it comes from my hard-earned money as an independent woman and nothing gives the right to an unlawful individual to attack it wither her vicious schemes. Despite being on the right side of the transaction for my entire history as a consumer, I have been cheated of my rights and berated for demanding what is lawfully mine in this instance.
I have spare time to write this so, you take some action against small business owners of such kind who are not regulated at all and operate according to their own will and exploit customers for their own benefit.
I request you to put an end to this practice run by Ms. Rxxxa Bxxxxe and other frauds like her, who do not respect consumer rights and have no regards for the law. To summarize, Ms. Rxxxxxa Bxxxxe and her thrift store have:
1. Sold a product under false pretence.
2. Run an identity fraud to defer the issues with the said product.
3. Zero regards for consumer rights and law. (Ghosting after selling a faulty product and calling a prepaid customer as a scam to blame her mistake on the customer )
At this point, I am seeking a refund for the product and can return the product in the condition I received it. If necessary, I can provide you with all the screenshots from my interaction with Ms. Rxxxxa Bxxxxe prior to the purchase, Paytm’s confirmation notification, video of the broken zip, and other evidence necessary to establish the facts.
I look forward to hear from you and hereby place my faith in the system.