My horrible customer service experience with VMV Hypoallergenics

Disclaimers before this post:
1. I love VMV Hypoallergenics‘ products. Theirs is the only sunblock I use. They produce the only makeup I can use. Love their hair conditioner and moisturizing milk lotion too. So I’m writing this because while their products are fantastic and worth every peso, bad customer service can happen anywhere.

2. This has been settled. They apologized and gave me a certificate for a free facial BUT STILL. This experience needs to be told so that there’s a record of this event. Hopefully it doesn’t happen ever again.

The situation:
Late December 2013, I placed two separate orders in VMV Hypoallergenics Philippines’ online store. I placed two orders because the 2nd item I ordered (Armada Face and Body Shield 60 sunblock) wasn’t available the first time around. My first order of the Armada Sport 70 sunblock arrived in January 2014 but the Shield 60 did not. I called the VMV office and after their CS agent checked, found out that 1) both orders were accidentally tagged with the same shipping number, resulting in my second order being classified as “shipped” even though it was not, and 2) the Shield 60 was already out of stock again. Okay, no problem with that. Slip-ups happen occasionally. I asked for a refund for the Shield 60 since I’d changed my mind and wanted to get the Face Cover 30 instead. Here comes the shitty part.

VMV refund

As you can see in the email notification, VMV’s customer service unit recorded my request for refund on January 8. The email said the refund would take 2-4 weeks, although the agent on the phone said that it would actually take 4-6 weeks. She said this was an issue with their payment gateway. Okay, fine. Well, not exactly fine since it meant waiting for 4-6 weeks to get my refund but what can you do, right?

Come February 3, I still hadn’t received the refund. I call VMV’s customer service again. Their agent said that they’d prioritize it.

I call again on February 14 to follow up. The agent apologized, said she’d call me back within the day. She never did.

Come February 18, I was royally pissed already. I called VMV again to follow up. Their agent was useless, didn’t give me a straight answer as to why I hadn’t received it yet. I post and tweet pissed-off messages on the official VMV Hypoallergenics Philippines Facebook page and Twitter. These posts get me very apologetic replies within a few hours. The same agent says that the refund request was submitted to their payment gateway last February 14 (HUWAW, February 14 lang?!) and that I should get the refund by next week. She also offered me a coupon for 25% off and a free yacht bag as an apology.

By February 28, I still hadn’t received the refund!!! I called BPI to check if they’d received the refund request. The BPI agent said that she couldn’t check the status from where she was. She could only see if it had been reflected in my account and no, I hadn’t received it yet. Cue ANOTHER angry Facebook post. They replied via Facebook, said that BPI said that there’s usually a 5-7 day wait then a charge slip is issued to authorize the charge reversal. By my count, if they’d submitted the refund request by February 18, then the 7-working day deadline was February 27. Adrianne, the head of the web team for VMV, called me to apologize again and said that if BPI still has not reflected the refund by next week, then she’ll submit a request to her superiors to authorize a cash refund instead. She also said that VMV was offering me a certificate for a free facial for the hassle and apologized again (Adrianne sounded sincere and I like her more than the previous CS agent I talked to).

I finally got my refund on March 6 after two freaking months. Texted Adrianne to tell her that I got the refund. She called, said that she was glad that I got the refund and that the offer for the free facial was still open. I accepted it (heck, I went through all that trouble so why not accept it?) and the certificate arrived in the mail last March 8.

vmv certificate1

Moral of the story? Keep following up with companies. Seriously. It pains me that this happened with VMV Hypoallergenics, a company whose products I actually love (perhaps I shall post a nice story about their awesomesauce skincare products when I get the time). I placed orders after after the second one and they all arrived complete and on time, so it looks like this fiasco was a very unusual occurrence. Hopefully it stays that way.

15 Replies to “My horrible customer service experience with VMV Hypoallergenics”

  1. I can totally emphatize with you as I have also experience almost the same unfortunate experience with their website. And right at this very moment, I am now experiencing an even heightened and huge disappointment with VMV Hypoallergenics. I have scouted almost their entire boutiques in Metro Manila and can’t seem to fine one that has an available stocks of their Skin Savvy 60. While they already replied to my messages after I aired mine on their Facebook and Instagram, all I’m getting is their sorry which is not what I need. And just like you, while I like their products and it helped a lot in managing my acne, I’m now starting to switch to other brand. This goes as well to other colleagues and friends that I endorsed this brand to. Now their getting back at me because they too can’t find an available item. 🙁

    1. Well, I don’t think the Customer Service unit can do anything if the item really is out of stock in Metro Manila. But did they promise to inform you as soon as the product was back in stock?

  2. I understand that it is not the Customer Service Team’s fault. The issue here is how VMV can afford to let their products be out of stocks for almost 2 months now. I was informed about the quality issue thing and that it is expected to be on stocks probably 2 months from now. That’s 4 grueling months.

  3. I wish I saw this post before ordering at their site. I placed an order late January 2015 and my order still hasn’t arrived yet. I tried sending them emails, messages, and even tweets but I got no response. Their customer service is terrible. I want to ask for a refund too but no one is responding to any of my messages. I’m so disappointed. I will never order again.

  4. Do you have their contact # that I can call? I ordered last Monday on their website and received an order confirmation via email the same day. But, ever since I haven’t heard from them. No tracking # or anything. Its almost been almost a week and I have not received a single update from them. I also tried to send them a message on Facebook but they did not reply to any of it.

  5. Unfortunately, I cannot find their contact # anywhere on their site.

    BTW, I finally got my order on Monday and they gave me a coupon worth 500 pesos which I can use on my next purchase (hopefully a better experience than the previous one).

  6. I wish I saw this post earlier. I ordered from their online shop recently and the order arrived after 20days (supposed to be 7 days) and the package looked like someone had thrown it around. Plus, the free minis (which was the only reason I ordered online) weren’t there. I followed up with them about 4 or 5 times and they couldn’t provide an update on shipping except that it was already shipped out and they kept blaming the courier. It was very upsetting. ? There wasn’t a contact number for VMV Ph so all comms (except for one agent call which had no call back number) were via FB.

    You would think after two years (from when this post was made) that they would have improved their customer service. But they haven’t. I love VMV products but they probably shouldn’t have ventured into a direct online seller shop just yet.

    1. Oh no! When I ordered two years ago, the order was fulfilled by VMV themselves (it shipped from their Makati office). Their shop is now managed by Takatak, though I’m not sure if that just means that the storefront (order taking, etc) is managed by Takatak but it’s still VMV who packs the orders.

      1. Yeah, it looked like it still is VMV who packs the orders. It was in a small VMV paper bag then the courier plastic bag – I kind of expected them to be bubble wrapped like how BeautyMnl or Sephora or Zalora (or any online shop) does it, but they weren’t. Customer service reps were from Takatack and they introduce themselves as being from Takatak (not VMV). The courier was JamExpress (not FexEx as they indicate in the site when you pay for shipping). Oh well, charged to experience! Sooo much better shopping in-store . Will go back to that – they have a buy 2 take 1 promo in megamall right now too! ?

  7. Wow this has been going on for years! I placed an order on Nov 8, 2016 and when I had not received the item after 8 days I emailed and messaged them to complain and follow up. I was buying upon the recommendation of a mom friend as I needed a product to relieve my baby’s eczema. Lo and behold the eczema is gone but the product has not arrived. I finally received my order on November 23,2016. It seems that they only remembered to process my order after I raised the issue. According to the email reply, there was a technical problem that caused the delay. Of course my credit card was charged the moment I placed the order. They included a giveaway canvas bag in my order which looked like it was handcarried as it came in a paper bag that was not sealed.

    1. They’re really bad with online shopping 🙁 If you live near one of their branches, you should just visit the branch instead of buying online. I haven’t bought anything online from them since my incident happened.

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