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.
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.
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.
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.