iHerb.com Online Shopping Experience

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

 UPDATES on 5th Apr 2014: It's a miracle because the box arrive at my door step!!I was jumping with joy!! God must have hear all our hard prayer!! God bless me!!Feeling very happy and excited now!!

Honestly I didn’t want to write this post if I have a choice… It was half pass midnight when I was drafting this post and I am so tired after my long day at work… But I have to share with you my terrible experience shopping with www.iherb.com.

Before I moved on, I would like to make this clear. This post is solely to share with you my experience with iherb and I’m not telling you not to buy from iherb anymore. It’s up to you to decide whether you love to continue buying from them. However, before you make decision to buy from iherb, take a moment and read about my online purchase experience with them.

p/s: This will be a long post! so sit tight….


So I came into iherb after seeing my friend posting about her Real Technique Brush purchase from iherb. So I really love to buy those beautiful brush…. I message my friend and ask her how it work and how long it take to ship to Malaysia.. She told me she got her parcel within a month via the global priority mail so i thought that’s fine and I’m good with it. So, I gather a few friend to join in the spree to get the free global priority mail. I placed my order and opt for global priority mail and waited patiently for my parcel. About 2 months passed and I start to question why hasn’t my parcel arrived? So I emailed I herb and yes their response was pretty fast, good job so far.
Then my nightmare begin….

I admit it’s my fault for not reading the term & condition before placing order. However, as a first time buyer at iherb I just never thought my parcel will lost… Furthermore my friend got her parcel within a month… So I didn’t do any research and proceed to purchase since my friend don’t have any problem with them. So when I first email to iherb, they could not trace the parcel at all as this is without tracking option. Even though this Global Priority Mail (GPM) shipping method is free for my case but in normal time it cost around USD 4 flat rate.

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So, I have check actually there is a tracking code but it wasn’t really informational. It only show the status of the parcel until the point it left USA and that’s it.

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So, I have a friend who work in courier line and based on what he told me, the shipment usually transfer to a few point in different country before it reach to the destination country and will be pass to local post office. So, when I call up local DHL they could not provide any info. All they can provide is the same info I got from the GPM tracking website. So, I think only DHL GPM can help me, I write them a email but never gotten a reply. I decided to email iherb to check if they could check with DHL GPM because they are the shipper and should have the direct person to who handle their account. The email chain response were really long and to cut it short I put in the last email reply from them.

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They have different person handling same email thus the different correspondent in the email. As a conclusion, they will only provide refund if the parcel is sent back to their warehouse. In fact almost every reply email from them were stressing that no refund will be provided unless parcel is returned to them.

At that point i still did not gave up and try Google for solution… I found many people from other country who purchase item from iherb face the similar problem.

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There’s one time I even read that people who opt for DHL express still did not receive their parcel. However, I forget to save the link and now I couldn’t find it again…Nevermind..

I continue to think of way to trace my parcel and I thought why not call DHL GPM but my local number is not allowed to dial USA toll free no. I found a web where I can call to USA phone no via internet for free.. You can use this web GetHuman.com if you wish to call any USA number for free.

I was so happy that someone pick up the call after super long waiting time…So I enquire using my tracking number and without hesitation, DHL staff confirmed that my parcel is lost. They inform they could provide compensation if the sender file them a complaint for lost shipment. At that moment I feel finally god is helping me…..

BUT iherb never bother to file a complaint. I call up iherb and inform them that DHL GPM will be able to pay them compensation for lost parcel. All they have to do is file a complaint… The iherb staff (Yolanda) promise to take a look into this and will write back to me in email… Well it’s 2months already and I never gotten any email from iherb.

So I eventually have given up to trace my parcel and to write them email anymore…I think it’s just my luck as most my other Malaysian friend did not encounter this when buying from iherb. Lesson learned…. sob sob…Let me tell you some of the tips and things to consider before buying online!!!

Tips for future Online Purchases
  1. Only buy from trusted online website. If you are first time buyer read up their Terms & Condition and Google for review from other buyer.
  2. Opt for shipping with tracking so you can track your parcel. In iherb case, you can opt for DHL express or USPS. However, take note on custom tax that might incurred. Read up what item is taxable and to what amount to avoid paying more that what you buying.
  3. Take your own risk if you decided to make online purchases. So you are prepared to accept the worst case scenario then you will not be too sad over it. This not only solely apply to iherb but to all online shop. If you are lucky, your parcel arrived safely or the online shop provide refund even though parcel is not returned back to them (some online shop do full refund for lost parcel). If you are unlucky, your parcel is lost and without tracking you can basically say goodbye to your hard earn money. Even if with tracking there is still possibility of lost and as far as i know refund claim is extremely long and it will require sender to file the complain. If the sender (or in this case the online shop) chose not to handle or file the complain I think you still need to say goodbye to your money! *** this is what I know and I maybe wrong about refund for shipment with tracking. That’s for the shipping part and if you are really bad luck the item you received may not be the similar as what you see in picture or item come damaged and seller refused to refund or send an replacement. So yes it’s a risk you have to take.
What I don’t like about iherb

No doubt their prices are really low and they sell many item that we cannot get in Malaysia. Unfortunately, going through such experience, I would rather buying offline than burnt all my money. Here is some of the thing I think iherb should at least take effort to do and it will be really helpful to me.
  1. Since iherb is the sender, I think it’s really appropriate for them to contact DHL GPM to check on the shipment rather than we the buyer living far away with different time zone to contact DHL GPM.
  2. iherb should file a complaint of lost shipment to DHL GPM so that they get compensation and can use it to refund to us… Honestly, partial refund is better than non..
  3. iherb should offer other shipping method that is more effective than the DHL GPM (or DHL should offer make some improvement and corrective action on this) since DHL GPM it is not effective in delivering the item to the destination (based on the review I read in Google though not everyone but the numbers of lost parcel is quite a lot).  As a buyer, we pay for the service and in some cases for the shipping but when parcel is lost we don’t get our item or any refund and that is really disappointing. I don't mind my item arrive a little late but LOST is not acceptable for me.. 
  4. iherb should be of more helpful instead of keep on stressing their no refund policy for lost parcel using DHL GPM. So if you found this term in the policy of the online shop try not to opt for that shipping option or if that's the only option I suggest you not to buy from that shop as you will never know if your parcel will ever arrive on your doorstep. It's a lose lose game for buyer I'd say with such policy!!
Lastly, like i mention earlier you decide for yourself whether you want to buy from iherb in future. I might be just a few in the world that is unlucky to encounter this experience or maybe there is more people experiencing the similar thing, I am not sure about that…but I  have friend who never encounter this before…. Remember is a RISK you take when you purchase online. For me I certainly won’t put my money at risk, i will stick to my trusted online store or the best are still buying offline………….

p/s: sorry for such a long post… and to Iqa, Shasha and Kay who is joining in this spree I am really sorry to got you all into this. Let’s hope we get big bonuses in coming year or win TOTO ya to get back some of our money… hahaha

Have a great day and I wish if you purchase anything online your parcel will arrived smoothly!! Time for me to get some sleep….

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