Facebook, are you listening?
If you advertise on Facebook, you might want to consider reading this too.
At first glance, Facebook is an advertiser’s dream. The data Facebook has on its users gives them an unprecedented edge in delivering ads to the most ripe buyers—often people who have recently searched for similar items.
As a buyer, those ads never bothered me—or the fact I knew I was being targeted by the data I had fed Facebook over the years. I figured it simply helped me find items I was already looking for.
I erroneously assumed I had a level of protection—because of all those comments from satisfied cusomers, right? If buyers said the product sucked, I could pass. Right?
Okay, here is my story.
I found an item on Facebook I thought would be terrific for our motor home. It was a magnetized shelf that went on the refrigerator. According to all the comments (and there were lots of them), it worked great.
Actually, that part was correct. When I finally received the shelf—almost a month later—it did have amazing magnetic power. However, it was MUCH smaller than the product description of the item I had purchased.
According to the ad, the shelf I was purchasing was five-inches deep. The one I received, was only two-inches deep. The item I purchased was advertised to hold a roll of paper towels—the rack I received was far too narrow to hold a roll of paper towels. In fact, it was not just smaller than the item I ordered, it was a completely different shelf.
When I complained through their Facebook store, I was told they would send me my refund—after I paid to have the item shipped back to CHINA. I then requested they send me a paid shipping label for the return. After all, other companies do that. Plus, why should I pay to return an item I never ordered? The item they sent me was clearly NOT what I had ordered. It would be like ordering cowboy boots, but they send slippers. Sure, they both go on your feet, but they are two different items.
They never responded to my request for a postage paid shipping label. I filed a complaint on PayPal, and the best they could do was a token refund.
However, what irritated me most, when I returned to the Facebook page I had purchased the item https://www.facebook.com/LazyShack-Shopping-360012698045641/ all those positive comments I had read when I had first seen the item—gone. All of them.
And now, there were posted reviews—negative reviews that had come in AFTER I had made my purchased. They all reported the same thing. Basically, a bait and switch. The company behind the Lazy Shack Facebook page, according to my PayPal receipt, is Zola Technology Limited.
I also found a SECOND Facebook shop for this company:
I reported what I consider consumer fraud to Facebook, but the stores remain on Facebook. Not sure if Facebook is still accepting their ads. Since I reported Lazy Shack, I suspect they will stop targeting me for the ads. Unfortunately, I have been unable to find ANY contact information for consumer complains regarding Facebook ads, aside from a form to fill out and submit.
So what have I learned? If I find something really neat through a Facebook ad, I will go to Amazon and see if I can find the product. That shelf I wanted, it is on Amazon Prime, so they would have paid my shipping. And I know with Amazon, they stand behind their products. At least, that has been my experience.
I am sad to discover Facebook is obviously an unsafe place to buy from vendors. I am still curious as to what happened to all those positive comments I had initially read. They had misled me…and they were the reason I made my purchase.
I will never again buy directly from a Facebook link. And if I was a relatively unknown vendor, wanting to find buyers, I would advertise my Amazon page. I would not take a potential customer to my company page, for fear of losing a skeptical buyer, like me.
***UPDATE I am thrilled to report PayPal sided in my favor and refunded my money. YAY PayPal!