It’s going to be difficult for me not to go into a full-on rant here, but I will try…
This is all about my experience trying to get a refund through AliExpress.
You can tell from my opening sentence, that it probably hasn’t gone well.
Anyway, first I will describe the AliExpress refund process and what they tell you to do.
Then, I shall describe the reality that I experienced.
Let’s get started.
AliExpress Refund Process: The Promised Path
At first glance, the refund process on AliExpress appears straightforward and reassuring.
The video above is just 1 minute, and 28 seconds long. A testament to the simplicity of the procedure right?
(Just take a look at the comments section to see the amount of annoyed customers looking for a refund.)
According to the platform’s guidelines, it is very easy.
Buyers are eligible for a refund if they apply within 15 days of receiving their order.
This applies if the item received is significantly different from its description, arrives damaged, or fails to arrive within the designated delivery window.
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The AliExpress Refund Steps
- log in to AliExpress,
- Navigate to ‘My Orders‘,
- Click the “Open a Dispute” button beside the order in question
- Go through the online form to provide the reasons for your refund request and attach video or pictorial evidence
- Await approval
- Eventually, receive a refund within 3 to 20 business days.
AliExpress assures users that they’ll be kept informed throughout the process.
They make it sound like a walk in the park. Pass me the candy while I wait.
AliExpress Refunds: The Harsh Reality
Yet, for many of us who have traversed this path, the reality diverges sharply from the promised narrative.
Take my recent experience as an example.
A few months back, I eagerly ordered a camera from AliExpress, only to be met with disappointment and smack-your-head-against-the-wall frustration.
It became evident that the seller had never shipped the item.
After I raised the dispute, the seller extended the shipping period without notification.
This delay hindered my ability to open a dispute promptly, adding to my annoyance at the whole situation.
Upon finally initiating the refund process and stating the non-receipt of the item, I encountered, well, you can guess where this is leading…
AliExpress refused the refund!
Insert expletives of language and choice here.
The Seller’s Game: Insult to Injury (Or Plain Scam)
What ensued was a futile game of cat and mouse with the seller.
Promises of tracking information were made but never materialized, leaving me up the garden path.
Despite appealing the decision and presenting evidence, I found myself treated like a fool.
AliExpress sided with the seller’s unsubstantiated claims.
In it’s eyes, the package was sent.
So much for Buyer Protection!
I was left out of pocket by several hundred dollars, and no camera in sight.
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Here’s What YOU Should Do
So, what should you do if you end up in a similar situation and want to get a refund from AliExpress?
Well first, always opt to pay by credit card, leveraging the potential for a chargeback in the event of non-receipt.
Visa, Mastercard, or Amex offer avenues for recourse that bypass the platform’s flawed dispute resolution system.
Alternatively, consider utilizing PayPal, which boasts a robust 180-day protection period.
Disputes lodged through PayPal carry weight and offer a tangible means of reclaiming funds.
A world apart from the nonsense that is AliExpress Buyer’s Protection.
And for future reference, just shop elsewhere. There are so many other online e-commerce platforms.
Why not even help a local brick-and-mortar store instead?
At least that way, you know the item will make it to your door… You’ll be taking it home with you.
I’m a 25 year veteran of USPS. I’m retired now, but as the editor of Mailbox Master, I can’t quite remove myself from the carrier industry just yet. 🙂