2 months' wait and no goods in sight, Mdada's livestream customers complain
A long wait of two months and no sign of goods purchased — that's what happened to at least one customer of livestreaming account Mdada, a company owned by local celebrities Pornsak, Addy Lee and Michelle Chia.
A woman by the surname Huang, 43, contacted Shin Min Daily News stating that she had yet to receive the items she had purchased through the livestream after close to two months.
Mdada's recent shows have been streamed by a team from Europe, where Addy and others have been streaming live from branded goods stores there.
Huang, who's in sales, said that she had purchased a branded wallet for $535 as well as an item of clothing for $128 during one of the shows on Oct 31.
After paying and waiting in vain for her package to arrive from Europe, she contacted the company earlier this month.
"At first they said the shipment has been delayed, but they later mentioned it was possible the purchase of the items had not been completed at the shop. They added that they would make it up to me by repurchasing the items."
Huang added that as they couldn't give her a reply the next day as to whether the items were successfully repurchased, she decided to request for a refund.
The amount that Huang paid for the wallet was successfully refunded after 11 days, but Huang said that the status of the other item is still unclear.
"One moment, they told me the goods were still awaiting customs clearance, the next moment they said there was a problem with the logistics," said a confused Huang.
Another buyer told Shin Min that she bought a pair of shoes that cost $108 through the livestream on Oct 23, but has also yet to receive her item.
She said the shoes were meant as a Christmas gift, but she can only hope that it arrives soon. The customer added that she had requested for a refund previously, but was rejected.
Considering making a police report
Huang said she is considering making a police report as well as lodging a complaint with the Consumers' Association if she doesn't receive her item soon.
She shared with the Chinese evening daily that she had trusted Mdada as it is a company helmed by well-known celebrities, but "the service has been disappointing".
Addy Lee, one of Mdada's co-founders, addressed the issue in a livestream from Europe on Thursday evening (Dec 30).
"I really cannot please everybody, if people want to complain, I can't do anything," shared Addy, sharing that his trip to Europe has "not been profitable" and in fact "we have suffered losses, but it's okay".
Addy detailed how for many purchases so far, he had to absorb the GST "because I forgot about it", and he "didn't tag on the 12 per cent admin fee which customers may not know about".
"We just aimed to hit the viewership numbers on the platform," said Addy. "It's to build our reputation and also to give our followers a glimpse of the fashion trend [in Europe]."
He explained that the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated not just the logistical problems but travel issues as well — "even I'm stuck here and can't go home," stated Addy.
Addy stressed that "if we promised, we will deliver", adding that it is the company's policy that no refunds will be given. He added that "for items found with defects, we would even compensate customers from our own pockets".
Addy shared how they had refunded customers for food items such as cheese purchased because the goods had been stuck in customs for two weeks.
"Even though the cheese company said the cheeses wouldn't spoil, but we didn't dare to deliver them to customers," said Addy.
Mdada's CEO Pornsak, who went on the show as well, extended his apologies to those affected by the delays.
"For our Europe trip, I think we haven't handled the logistics very well and for that, I apologise," said the former TV host.
Pornsak also assured customers that they have created a dedicated team who are "working 24 hours behind the scenes" to handle the logistical issues.
He stated that the company's livestreams in Europe have been halted temporarily for proper stock-taking to be done and to expedite the deliveries. "It's only right that we are accountable after taking your money," said Pornsak, urging customers not to worry. "Even if we haven't provided daily updates, I hope you all can trust us."
Describing how dealing with delivery partners in Europe has been a learning experience, Pornsak added: "We're not trying to make excuses, but we'll strive to do better next time. For our negligence, we hope to get your understanding and forgiveness."
Addy shared that goods from their first stop in Germany "have not arrived yet", but if they don't arrive by Feb 15, they would proceed to refund customers.
"For those items from Italy, except for pre-orders, they should arrive by end of January," said Addy, maintaining that the expected delivery time for goods from Mdada is within 40 days.
Addressing the challenges of the business which has been up and running for about a year, the celebrity hairstylist added that the company has been the target of scammers as well. One 'customer' in particular sent across a payment receipt that had been doctored, leading to losses of more than $100,000.
"Thankfully we managed to track the person and requested for the items to be sent back, but we are also considering making a police report," said Addy.