Geek, Wish and Banggood – Scam alert!
When shopping electronics in our day and age, with our global economy, it’s super important that you can actually trust the companies involved. No matter if they reside in the US, Norway, France or in the far east – trust is a bond that is the basis of commerce.
One of the most read articles on this blog, and that should say something considering I have been blogging on a weekly basis for years now – is my post about the Assassins Creed hoodie scam. If you read the comments you will notice how many have fallen for this scam and that they keep changing name whenever they get too much heat. Thankfully my blog has pretty good coverage, so I have helped save a lot of people out of getting ripped off — which I consider my duty regardless of where you live.
I therefore feel its my duty to warn you about these online vendors as well, namely: Geek, Wish and Banggood. Because having used their services for the past year, they represent probably the worst experiences I have ever had when ordering goods abroad.
Geek and Wish
These two are actually one and the same. It doesn’t matter if you download the Wish app or the Geek app — it’s the same asian online mall, and where you get the impression that you are ordering from a single store (or at least someone who ensures a reasonable degree of responsibility), its actually hundreds of individual stores all cooked together into a single, massive catalog.
In short, asian retailers can register and get their goods included in the single webshop, but they can reside in completely different regions (even nations).
And the rating system that is supposed to protect you is a complete scam as well. I spent the better part of an afternoon looking up electronics, and I found the same comments with different names on completely different products. In some cases they havent even bothered to clean up the text, but had a review for bath-robes on super-nintendo compatible handheld consoles, bicycle lights on green laser products (and so on). So you essentially had a few hundred comments that were utterly fake, rotated and adapted to different products. Some comments were real ofcourse, but you dont exactly trust a store that you know includes fake feedback comments and ratings.
Sadly I noticed this after I had aleady ordered and paid.
As for getting what you actually ordered, well – I am still waiting for my two touch screens to use with my Raspberry PI. It’s now been almost two months since I first ordered, and my email’s to the shop is not even replied to. And the tracking ID for the packages I got in my order-confirmation email are invalid (I tried to use them and they dont work) — so this was me throwing money out the window.
When it comes to what you order and what you get, that is rarely the case. I ordered 2 handheld consoles which was advertised as being SNES and Mame compatible. Quad Core CPU, 1 gigabyte of ram and support for normal TF cards. What I got was a useless handheld that just barely supported Gameboy roms – and it struggled to even start them (!) The menu system was sluggish. So sluggish it was almost impossible to navigate the games that were built into the device. When trying to return this and launch a complaint, the store-salesman replied in chinese to everything. On purpuse, because when I first contacted them they replied in english. It was only when I brought up the complaint that they switched to chinese to brush me off. Basically he just did not care that what I received was not what I ordered. And he made no effort to clean up his mess. In other words: a scam.
When I contacted wish, that has a european contact number – rather than being helpful they just argued against what I had to say. It is by far the worst experience I have ever had with regards to online ordering.
This is another, similar concept as wish and geek. The sneaky part is that they have translated webpages that gives the impression that you are ordering from a local branch -or at least within the EU. But on closer examination it is yet another asian mall front. Stores can register and there is no system in place to kick stores out based on feedback – or give them negative feedback that actually sticks.
Here I paid with my credit card, yet they managed to send me a bill via a Norwegian invoice company. And just like wish and geek – they have no interest in your case, they just want to get rid of you.
I don’t base my warning on a single case. In all cases I have ordered multiple products, and I have also given each system a second chance. In which they all failed and was useless to me as a customer. As for customer service they exclusively took the store’s side (which is absurd when you have ordered a quad-core cpu based product, and you get something running of a cpu that couldn’t even control a dish-washer).
So you should stay away from these, because you will be ripped off one way or another.
Use AliExpress instead
The only asian store-front I have good experiences with is AliExpress. They have a real comment system in place, and they also have a working feedback system. If a store get’s to many negative responses they are actually kicked out. As such the emphasis is on positive feedback and being honest. A negative score is enough to lose hundreds of sales so naturally they work very hard to make sure things work.
When ordering via AliExpress I have never once gotten something else, I have always gotten exactly what I ordered – and there is also a refund system that will refund you should a store try to cheat you. In fact, money is held in escrow until the package has been tracked to your address and is marked as delivered.
You then have 14 days to demand a refund, in which you have to send the package back and give AliExpress the new tracking number. Once the package has been verified as delivered, you get your money back.
For components I suggest RC electronics. I just dont order that much from china any more because (and I am sad to say this) they have to many scams and you cant trust them. But when I order from asia, its via AliExpress. I have yet to have a bad experience there.