S'pore man, 37, buys S$1,961 iPhone from Shopee, gets 4 air-inflated plastic bags & wooden block

Bought a phone, got a piece of wood and air.

Winnie Li | January 11, 2023, 06:09 PM

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A 37-year-old Singaporean man bought an iPhone via Shopee and received a parcel filled with four air-inflated plastic bags and a wooden cube.

He then went to make a police report.

What happened

The buyer, whose last name is Yu, spoke to Shin Min Daily News and explained that he would typically purchase products directly from Apple's authorised retailers.

However, he decided to order the iPhone from Shopee this time as the online shopping platform offered a S$8 voucher and cash back.

The mobile phone was also sold out in many places.

After checking the seller's ratings and reviews, which appeared decent, Yu placed an order for an iPhone 14 Pro Max (256GB) worth S$1,961.

Day of delivery

On Dec. 31, 2022, the delivery date arranged by the seller, Yu said the delivery driver quickly dropped off the parcel, took a picture and left the scene.

When Yu opened the carton box immediately afterwards, he realised there were only four air-inflated plastic bags inside the parcel, together with a wooden cube.

His phone was nowhere to be found.

Request for refund rejected

Yu subsequently contacted Shopee's customer service, and put in a request for a refund as per the officer's advice.

However, Yu's request was reportedly rejected by Shopee.

The platform cited the reason that the parcel had already been "delivered to the address indicated in the order" and that "the payment released to the seller".

Image via Shin Min Daily News' Facebook

Called police due to suspected theft, unsatisfied with Shopee

After carefully examining the box, Yu noticed that the tapes appeared to have been torn before someone pasted back on.

He suspected that someone might have stolen the phone during the delivery and decided to file a police report.

"As a platform that claims to pay back double if the item received was not as advertised, Shopee should have provided its customers with stronger guarantees," shared Yu.

He also said he believes that sellers should also ensure that the courier services they use are reliable.

In the event the item was lost during transit, the buyer should not bear the damages.

He also told Shin Min that he would be reverting back to purchasing valuable items from the merchants' authorised stores.

Shopee's response

Speaking to Mothership, Shopee shared that the incident has since been resolved:

“We are in contact with the affected Shopee user, and have apologised to him for this distressing experience. We have also processed a full refund which he opted for over a replacement phone."

The platform will also be "conducting thorough internal investigations into the matter to prevent such incidents from occurring again".

Top images via Shin Min Daily News and Shopee's Facebook page