On December 31, 2019 I purchased a massage gun advertised on Instagram. The advertisement showed a 2 year warranty which is on the printed receipt. Within 90 days of receipt the item broke so I contacted the merchant only to find they wanted me to return the product to CHINA which included me paying for shipping which would have cost 128% of the purchase price. Naturally no one in their right mind would pay MORE than the cost of the purchase to return it for a refund.
Both PayPal and the merchant have gone to great lengths to hide the fact that the merchant is in Shenzen, China, not in the United States as one would expect with an advertisement on a U.S. medium. On my credit card statement the charge is shown as "ONLINETECH4029357733", within my PayPal account the merchant is shown as "Hudsow Co., Ltd" and I was instructed to return the item to "Zarake Company" in Shenzen, China.
I contacted the seller numerous times and took the item to the post office to mail to China, only to find the regular box and even with a flat fee priority mail box the cost of shipping would be $77 - all to return an item costing $59.99.
I communicated the lack of fiscal feasibility to return the item and received a response of "what do you want us to do?" I was very reasonable asking they either: 1) refund my money, 2) set up third party warranty service providers in the U.S. as do thousands of companies, or 3) allow me to open the massage gun to see if I could diagnose the problem and have them send me the part(s) needed to fix the problem. I even took a picture of a warranty company that had wrapped its van with advertising to show them exactly that warranty service companies do exist. Instead of honoring their warranty the Chinese company wanted to negotiate, first offering $5, then $17, both of which I rejected as I wanted a full refund or a fixed product as that was what was promised vis a vis their warranty.
After numerous failed attempts with OnlineTech4029357733 aka Hudsow Co., Ltd. aka Zarake Company I contacted PayPal since the payment had been channeled through them. PayPal was actually WORSE than the mainland Chinese company because they wouldn't even answer their phone and their website wouldn't allow me to file a dispute. After many tries I sent a message and got a response that allowed me to file a dispute. I was told by PayPal they couldn't do anything because the product had been "delivered". I repeated my complaint at least 5 more times through their messaging system, always with a different person responding, always resulting in PayPal saying they can do nothing.
Clearly PayPal prefers to support mainland Chinese companies that RIP OFF US consumers.
Also be VERY VERY AWARE of advertisements on Instagram. The purchase was made on Instragram. I also purchased facemasks on Instagram on 3/28/2020 with an advertisement that said they would ship within 24 hours. I investigated the advertiser (StarTech) who showed an address in a condominium in Miami, Florida. I know e-commerce has a lot of drop shipping so I ordered. The next morning I received double email and double text confirmations of my order which made me afraid the company was not reliable. I tried to contact them by phone and email with no answer on the phone and the first email rejected which made me even more concerned. Eventually I was able to contact them, but they refused to allow me to cancel the order despite it being within 24 hours and still on a weekend.
After my concerns I requested to cancel the order the day after it was made, which was a Sunday. The company (StarTech) responded the item had already shipped and would not allow me to cancel. 4 or 5 days later they gave me a US Postal tracking code which did not even show up in the USPS system until April 10th - with no information other than "awaiting receipt in LaPuente, California". Now ask yourself, why would a product being shipped from Miami still be waiting delivery in California two weeks after being "shipped" when the final destination was Houston, Texas????
Five weeks later the product was shown to be delivered (May 4th), but was NOT delivered. Remember this is after a promise of shipment by March 29th or 30th! Clearly this is a second case of a mainland Chinese company fabricating lies to US consumers and refusing to do business in a honorable manner. In this case the charge was through my credit card company and with my reams of communication they reversed the charge.
BEWARE when buying on Instagram which is owned by Facebook. Chinese companies are stealing from American consumers and the American companies of PayPal and Instagram are supporting these dishonest companies to put money in their own pockets.