The DON’Ts of ecommerce customer service

My post today is about my appalling experience with, a not so small or unknown ecommerce site.

So some months ago I saw an ad on Facebook of a good looking hoodie. This is an actual photo of the piece of clothing. I naively thought I deal with a US company.

Hoodie product pic

What I found weird was the low price but very good looks so I bought it. During checkout it said delivery takes up to 30 days but I thought these guys are shipping through some super cheap channel and this justifies the price.

What arrived about 30 days later was a hoodie that barely looked like the one above, was of very poor quality and the worst part – it came in the wrong size. Actually the size was L (according to the marking on the textile) but the actual one felt like S. I could not even try it without stretching and risking to tear it apart. I put a picture of the hoodie over a size L of a tight polo sweater.

Original Hoodie

So I asked the support people at Gearbest to refund me as I want to send back the hoodie. And it turned out to be a nightmare.

Message 1

Their first reply was relatively swift.

Reply 1

But it did not seem very fair, right? They messed up my order and I have to pay shipping which in this case comes at the price of the hoodie. Or I get 2 USD refund which can be seen as a joke but not taken seriously.

Then followed my a bit angry answer (ups).

Message 2

And then followed no reply. For about 1 month.

Reply 2

Now you take a look at the 2 pics and tell me if there is a “little difference”? And as said it does not even fit me so the “little differences” add up quite un-nicely. 🙂

Anyway I answered the guys that this is unacceptable and do not expect an answer for them. One thing is sure – such poor customer experience contrasts very stark with other e-commerce businesses like Amazon, Zappos etc.. And it is just not acceptable.

Talk to you soon!

Update: Here is the answer from Gearbest.

reply 3

And here is the conversion chart, pay attention to the 2 sizes difference between the chinese manufacturer and rest of the world. I cannot recall having this table when I ordered too. 🙂

gearbest size differences

Support Sleeping Beauty on IndieGoGo. A tracking device made 100% in Berlin.

Sleeping Beauty is a compact security device built by Berlin-based Jacob Lipps and team which protects and tracks your valuable possessions, using a cellular network to triangulate its position. Get it now from its crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo which already runs.

Here is a short story about Sleeping Beauty. If she’s left undisturbed she sleeps, but if you move her, she wakes up. And when Sleeping Beauty wakes up she’ll tell you exactly where she is via a push-notification on your smartphone app.

That means that Sleeping Beauty can keep an eye on those things that should stay put – like that classic Ferrari in your garage, or your front door while you’re away. Or she can help you recall those irritating details in life – like where you last parked your car or left your handbag. Whenever Sleeping Beauty moves she’ll report exactly where she is, otherwise, with up to 2 years of battery life, she’ll just snooze on and on and on…

The real beauty of Sleeping Beauty is that it can track almost any object anywhere in the world where there’s cellular network coverage. GSM and GPS provide the best reception: even in closed rooms or in subways Sleeping Beauty can send and receive data.

What you can do with Sleeping Beauty is up to you?

  • My very own yuppy Porsche is giving me separation anxiety. When Sleeping Beauty’s on duty, my mind’s at rest.


  • Alone in the wilderness with everything I own in one backpack. Just in case it should go hiking on its own, Sleeping Beauty’s keeping watch.


  • All my stuff’s in a container being shipped to Europe. Or was that Mongolia? No – Honduras.  Sleeping Beauty can keep track of exactly where it’s gone.


  • Any other use case, you name it.

Give a boost to Jacob and team and secure your device at IndieGoGo.

Have a great week!


How to build global companies, fast? Talking about Blitzscaling.

Just watched a great video and want to share it with you. Reid Hoffman gave an interview for Bloomberg which for me is an insightful sneak peak into global growth strategies and challenges of tech giants like AirBNB and Uber. Take the time to watch the 5 min snippet, it is totally worth it.

Update (March 2019): the Bloomberg link is dead so I put a new video on the same topic with Satya Nadella from Youtube.

If you like the video you can watch the full sessions on Youtube.

Credit goes to Fred Wilson for sharing.

P.S. Just curious whether Blitzscaling could be related to another Blitz reference from few years ago. This will probably stay unanswered.

Is Berlin next?

people-eiffel-tower-lights-nightYesterday, we talked quite long with a couple of friends about the terror attacks in Paris. Unexpected, shocking and probably not the last ones.

The events will certainly influence everyday life of the people of Paris. Unlike the previous attack, the rage was not against a satirical magazine publishing cartoons about Islam (among many others). This time the attack was against ordinary people – young, old, football fans, Parisians, tourists. It just emphasizes the nature of total terror – no logical pattern so nobody can feel safe.

The most discussed part was whether Germany will be next. If we look back, we had the Madrid train bombings (2004), London attacks (2005) and this year  Paris twice. It is scary to say but not so many big capitals missing from the list, with one notable exception.

There are many arguments whether we should be worried or not. Some say the German intelligence  is better prepared than the French one, others that Germany does not fight ISIS (as far as I know not true) so we should feel safe. The fact is there are many Germans fighting for ISIS – the press talks about hundreds if not thousands. So the risk of some coming back and moving the fight into Europe does not look so remote.

I cannot judge any of the positions but the fact is that terrorist attacks become everyday news and this is not the Europe I know from the past.

So the big question is: what comes next?

P.S. This post is rather atypical for me and has little to do with tech. But if you still insist on a tech connection watch the financial markets tomorrow. Markets response will definitely hit on the investment climate.