This is just my personal story in dealing with this website (and UPS) and why I never will again.
On Feb 16th, I made a purchase from a website (aliexpress.com). When the package arrived, it had a large duty fee attached to it, so I decided to send it back. I initialed, gave the package back to the UPS driver and that was that. Little did I know, nor was I informed of how the process 'actually' works.
A few weeks had passed and I had yet to see my refund on Ali Express. I clicked the tracking on the UPS package, only to see that is was still being held at a warehouse.
I called UPS and asked why this was. They explained that if they were not able to get a hold of the original destination (sender) to clear the package for return, it would then be held at the warehouse and deemed abandoned. I asked why I was not informed of that process from the driver and was told "they don't know how it works". I also asked (UPS) if the package could be sent back to me and I would just pay the duty fee and get this whole thing over with. Short and sweet "We can't do that".
Ali Express had now refused my refund, stating that I had received my package and paid. Well, they got a few things right. It WAS paid for, but I was absolutely no longer in possession of the package. I was able to dispute this decision, however Ali Express said that I would not be able to receive my refund unless I provided sufficient proof that I did not have the package.
Using the only proof I had on hand to dispute this refund shenanigan, I sent in a copy of the original UPS packaging, some receipts UPS had sent for the "unpaid duty fee" and a copy of the conversation between the seller and I. Which basically was just a conversation between me, myself and I, as the seller seemed to be an expert in dodging questions or anything that may actually lead them into refunding a buyer.
What I provided to Ali Express
Original UPS Package
Conversation between Seller and I (this conversation not only had been provided the tracking number for the UPS package, but the phone number to UPS and also a “constant stream” of “YOU have to call them to have the package returned”).
Again, Ali Express had denied my refund saying I needed "proof", basically asking for written proof from UPS (even though numerous times I have provided the tracking number to this package AT UPS). Now, before I go any further into this story, I want to say that I had had 2 packages arrive on that day (both from Ali Express) and both were sent back. With even LESS information on hand about the returned package, Ali Express granted me the refund for (what we'll call) Package 1.
Okay back to "Package 2"…
This was now to the point of maddening. Side note here, I was also pretty fuming at the fact that UPS had the nerve to send out a receipt in the first place. Everyone here understands that I do not have the package, right?! Ahhh. Carrying on…
I called UPS once again and asked if they could please send me an email, or "anything" in regards to this, as the seller on Ali Express is refusing to co-operate not only with UPS by having that package released, but also ignoring the fact that I have stated they need to get in contact with UPS. I explained to UPS that without the evidence needed, Ali Express would not honor my refund. Plain and simple, UPS refused with a "No, sorry, I can't do that" and "This is between you and the seller on the website".
So let me get all this straight. UPS can see that the package is just sitting in limbo at their warehouse. They won't send it back so I can pay the duty and they refuse to help me out with some "proof" that they have it. You know what.. LOL. That's all you can really do at this point, because like…
Sure, I guess things in life could be worse than losing $82.08. But the fact that I provided Ali Express with what was available (UPS receipts, tracking number on package and a copy of the conversation between seller and I) and three calls to UPS "begging" for a little help here with the situation and no one seems to be able to do a thing, is just a tad insane.
From start to finish this whole process has now taken over 8 weeks. Ali Express has again refused the refund and I have exhausted my "dispute" opportunities. I'm out $82.08 and still have no package. If anyone is wondering, yes, I have contacted my bank to have this charge reversed. Tacking on another 90 days while they "investigate" the situation.
I gotta say, before I ordered from Ali Express, I had an iffy feeling, but went against gut instinct. I'm not saying that whole site is a scam. I mean, the package(s) DID arrive. It is the overall handling of the situation and refusal to accept "positive proof" of not having the package in my posession. Will I ever see that $82.08 again – Who the hell knows at this point. Good times.
So before I sign off, I want to say that there is even "more" to this story (in regards to Ali Express' "live chat" feature)…I may throw a YouTube video up with a small rant. Honestly, I have no idea who I'm more annoyed at, UPS or Ali Express…But this whole process has been a long, extended, migrainey joke.