PRIMA BELLA BOUTIQUE – WORST BUYING EXPERIENCE. EVER. + Some good understanding of PayPal.

I haven’t blogged in a while :( Doing a masters degree really does your head in.
I’m only posting this because it aggravates me that there are people out there that probably get treated this way by sellers (particularly online stores). They make you feel guilty about returning an item that doesn’t look like the picture you sent, etc and after a PARTIAL refund they expect you to send the item back.. with no postage reimbursement. Well this happened in my case.

(WARNING: SCREENSHOTS HEAVY – you have been warned.)

The TLDR rundown (still really long): I bought a birthday dress online from Prima Bella Boutique. It did NOT look like what I paid for. I told them and opened a paypal dispute at the same time. (Different time zones – delayed replies). Seller is rude – personally attacks me in conversation (screenshots below). Only gives me a partial refund. Ok – accepted. Will not reimburse me for sending the item back. What. I refused to send the item back unless reimbursement provided. Blocks me from the page – just after I left negative feedback on The facebook page found here and this other merchantcircle review website for the store. I called paypal and they credited me with some postage money so I spent 93.75% of that money to send the item back that day (12th March/2014) – with signature on delivery instead of tracking. A couple days later the seller unblocks me temporarily to call me a ‘Dirty scammer’ and that the negative reviews have been pulled and PayPal will investigate me. I called paypal. I never had to send the item back with a partial refund – but oh well, I already had. I would NEVER wear that thing anyway. Paypal rep was super nice and understanding of my situation and explained to me that if a seller only gives you a partial refund, you are NOT obligated to send the item back at all. (That is the main point I wanted to get across to you.) This was never explained to me the first time I called paypal and if you’re a buyer or a seller you NEED to know this.

I’m a pretty level headed person and I hate being ripped off – who doesn’t?
I’m an experienced online shopper, yes something like an expensive dress should be tried on first – but I’m generally a good judge of size et al. – the only thing I will never be able to tell is what the item actually looks like (obviously). I also know that the pictures of the item do not always 100% reflect what is being sold in colour or design due to professional photography, etc blahblahblah – yes I know all that. But the design was seriously off and it was a >$250 USD dress (incl. shipping) – I should be getting something I expected or a slight variant from that. There was also no disclaimers about the possible variations.
Paypal registers me as a highly valued customer, that’s how much I shop online. In all my years of online shopping (>6) I have never had such a problem with a seller.
I stand by what I said to this seller, I was not rude – snarky at times yes but I restrained myself from stooping to her level and making personal attacks.

Here is the item that I expected to receive:

Image

Here Is what I got: (I didn’t take better pictures because I did not expect to write a blog post about this.)

Image

Close up of the neckline (selling point of the dress):

Without flash

what i got 4

With flash

what i got 2

This is their website post before my complaint:

prima bella boutique proof 1

And after:

prima bella boutique proof 2

Moving onto the story:

I have not edited any parts of what I said in or out, everything is there spelling errors and all.

I received the dress and got in contact with the seller and the conversation went like this:

birthday dress unprofessional upload

So here I made the mistake of accepting their partial refund offer. – please click on picture to enlarge to read. The paypal claim bit has also been added

*EDITED: I will leave what I posted initially and add closer screen shots for everyone to see:

Edited close up screen shots:

birthday dress unprofessional 2 birthday dress unprofessional 3 birthday dress unprofessional 4

Initial screenshot uploaded:

birthday dress unprofessional upload2

Like I said before, as soon as paypal credited me with money to post the item back to the seller I went out and posted it.
I got that last message this morning. I called Paypal and the rep told me that I was not in the wrong and I was not obligated to send the item back since I only got a partial refund. I told her that paypal sent me money to send it back so I did and she said that even then, even though I was credited, I was not obligated to send it back. The dress is something I would never wear (not because I like exposing myself to everyone) but because it was just a horrible dress with the design change overall. I’m a little annoyed that the previous paypal representative I spoke to did not tell me about the no obligation stuff but whatever. I lost >$50 over this entire ordeal – I spent $50 on nothing.

But yeah – don’t feel bad for returning something you did not pay for. Contact paypal if you have any concerns like this – ask for a second opinion/call for a different rep if you aren’t sure.

If you are considering buying a dress from this store, I would NOT recommend it. It is a waste of time and energy and money.

I know I’ll never make this mistake again and no one should have to put up with this crap.

Anyway, it’s dress shopping time.

Signing off`

Rayne.

/edit, if you can see the comment I approved on my wordpress, she (the seller) sent the same thing to me via facebook here: birthday dress unprofessional 5

Let me address the Copyright thing first:

In reply to #3: Under both U.S. and Australian ‘fair use’ and ‘fair dealing’ respectively, content such as screenshots for the right purpose are exempt:

The exception is based on the assumption
that copyright owners ordinarily expect to
have their works subjected to criticism and
review for the purposes of providing
potential consumers with information about
the works.

I was also ‘reporting news’:

Policy basis derived from the public interest
in promoting the free flow of knowledge,
ideas and information, evident in the case
law.

I was also giving ‘professional advice’

This exception was implemented for the
purposes of facilitating the administration of
justice, with the interest of assisting people
to understand their legal rights and
obligations.

I did all of the above in my post. This is legal and does not impose on copyright. (These quotes were taken directly out of a file on the Australian Copyright Council page. )

Addressing #4: If you look closely on my paypal screenshots, there is no real transaction information only the seller’s name which can be found on her Prima Bella website – and her full name can be found on crowdfunder found here. (Granted, I did delete her last name when I uploaded enlarged versions of the screenshots taken – but I have left the original upload intact if it needs investigating). Therefore there is no information that would lead to the seller’s account getting hacked. Her name has been published on many different websites as the owner of Prima Bella Boutique and having her name on this wordpress blog will not increase her risk of being hacked. If she wanted to overcome this one extra step to concealing her identity then she could have used an alias.

The other part of that is I have NOT provided a “false rendition of the conversation”. I have provided my point of view as well as screenshots of the facebook conversation. Even if I did let my feelings flow in my post on wordpress (which I am allowed and it is not against the law to do so) The conversation is there so whoever may be reading this can be the judge. Some people may even choose to side with the seller – fine. But to others who can relate to the ordeal I had to go through as a buyer then I have just provided information to them as to what to expect when dealing with this seller.

Now back to the boring #1: I did not leave out what you claimed about the blue dress – it is all there in the screenshot of our conversation on facebook. (Both prior and after editing of this blog)

birthday dress unprofessional 7

Here are the three dress necklines you are so desperately trying to get across. I would still argue that the neckline does not look like that of the pictures of the model. There is still a sweetheart neckline shape – whereas the item you provided and the picture shows basically no sweetheart neckline. Besides, if you did not have a picture of the adjusted dress then why did you not upload your own sooner? It took you until after my complaint to upload the changes – so I am fully within my rights to say what I have said; The item I received is not as pictured. I won’t go into this further – I have made enough complaints about this earlier on.
The reader can decide.

Last but not least #2:

According to paypal, shipping IS refundable even though the post office has the money. Why should the buyer pay for shipping on an item they did not purchase? Like I said before, I have spoken to paypal reps who have said that buyers are only obligated to send an item back when the seller has provided a FULL refund (including the shipping) which this seller did not do. As previously mentioned, I sent the dress back with paypal’s understanding help and have lost money overall because of it.

If you have anything to refute please continue to comment.

Also, just in case you did not know,  if you continue to block me on facebook then unblock me to send comments I will post them here. Thanks

Signing off` for the second time here.

Rayne.

/edit again – twice in one day!
I HAVE A QUESTION FOR THE SELLER! Did you take photos from the SCALA USA WEBSITE, make a knockoff of the dress under the P.R.I.M.A Glitz brand and sell it? Is THAT not copyright infringement? 

Scala USA: http://www.scalausa.com/p-2033-47523-platinum.aspx
The exact style of the dress: Scala Style 47523 PLATINUM

Also, New York dresses sells the REAL Scala dress: for a much cheaper price than what I paid for it. http://www.newyorkdress.com/Scala/47523.html

/more to beat myself up with for not being more thorough with my research.

Please reply soon ‘Truth Be Told’ commenter on my wordpress! xx

/edit: I have emailed Scala in regards to whether or not they buy or design their own dresses and privately label it. I have also asked if the dress (Style 47523 Platinum) they sell have a modified sweetheart neckline.

/edit: WordPress said they received a DCMA but found my blog post within the guidelines of copyright and will not delete this blog post (at the current time).

I also received this following message to moderate – I have edited my real name out.

birthday dress unprofessional 9

Wow. Just. Wow. I’m sorry, you have implied I am this Rose Smith character but I am not.
And I do not deserve such a racist remark.

I don’t even like chicken feet.

 /edit: I bought a new actual Scala dress and the neckline is gorgeous! The range that Scala has “privately labelled” all have the same dress design (neckline and shape), only the material/pattern differs. This is the neckline I was expecting when I made the purchase from Prima Bella:

1622468_10152030267648450_222319265_o

 

The link to the dress I purchased on the Scala website is here. Because I am in Australia, I purchased it from an authorised reseller: GASP JEANS. To my understanding, they order their dresses in from New York Dresses – the link is here. It just worked out cheaper buying it from GASP – with free express postage and a discount. I’ll post a photo of me in it after my event. The neckline really makes a big difference. I am so in love with this dress.

/edit: Here’s an update!

It was an amazing party, surrounded by good friends!

Here is a photo of what the dress looked like when I was trying it on:

1070033_10152030276053450_573986022_n
Action shot with the other birthday girl/bffl <3
We were throwing decks of cards towards the end of the night!
This is what we wore that night.

10013506_10152132915888271_1001847983618977854_n

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8 comments
  1. Truth Be Told said:

    #1 you fail to mention that the new neckline was shown on the blue dress previous to your purchase.
    #2 Shipping is not refundable b/c the post office has that money and that is money you paid for their service not the sellers.
    #3 Most importantly you are displaying 3 copyrighted photos from the website myprimabella(.)com picture numbers 1, 5, and 6. Please notice on the bottom of the website Copyright © 2014 Prima Bella Boutique. Remove these pictures immediately as they infringe on Prima Bella’s copyright and I have reported this issue to wordpress.

    #4 Besides showing a false rendition of a conversation you also are displaying private information about the seller such as personal name and Paypal transaction info which could open them up for hacking and other issues. You and your website host will receive a cease and desist letter if this information is not removed immediately.

    • xrayne said:

      My reply to you is in my blog post. Thanks

  2. Truth Be Told said:

    Scala is but another private label that buys the same dresses. Notice we don’t carry all the same dresses just the ones they get from the same supplier. It’s called private labeling.

    • xrayne said:

      I will contact Scala and ask them. Thanks

  3. Daisy said:

    Having a view from a third side, I don’t think what the boutique have done is right, in fact, it is tremendously OFFENSIVE and that is not good costumer service! They are ruining their own reputation by saying those kinds of stuff, first of all, when you get a claim, what you act is to be very patient. Wow, just wow, my blood was boiling, I am a online-shopper also and I really have to watch out for this. This is why I don’t really shop from boutiques here in US, God knows what is gonna happen. Not even mention the other big names, sometimes they have very unbelievable and unreasonable representatives that put me down, while I talk to them in very polite and patient manner !

    • xrayne said:

      Haha thank you for reading and being able to relate. Lets just hope no one has to go through this ordeal.

  4. You Wish said:

    I see you are still trying to leave fake reviews online pretending to be other ppl. Obsess much on me? Don’t worry darlin I also have a personal blog where I control the content as you do. I will be putting YOU and the real story on blast as soon as I am not so busy with my very successful season and happy local customers. Good luck with your fake masters degree when whoever hires you finds out u are an Internet scammer and extortionist. Plus it is sad you have to make up fake comments on your own blog to answer. This is the very last comment you will be getting no matter what you post. So continue to obsess my dear. Hugs and kisses.

    • xrayne said:

      Excuse me, I have moved on with my life, I have not bothered leaving any reviews as you will just delete them and that would just be wasting my time. I am not pretending to be another person to comment on my blog. That was someone who read my post and offered their perspective.

      My blog post is about creating awareness as an online shopping consumer. You have specified the intent of your blog post is to slander me, making my life more difficult in terms of employment in the future after I have graduated. That is defamation and it is against the law in both Australia and USA.
      Your allegations that I am a “scammer and extortionist” are baseless as I have done nothing wrong. I did not gain any property from this experience as I sent the item back with the financial support of paypal – I made an overall loss. Your DCMA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) complaint was unsuccessful as both WordPress and presumably the DCMA party reviewing my post found I was within the guidelines.

      The fact that you are compulsively checking my blog post for updates is obsessive. This blog post resurges as you continually comment, first using your primabella email account as “Truth Be Told”, then as roseypeach leaving an offensive racist remark and now this youwish account.
      I am glad your local store is doing well, your local customers can see and try on the dress they’ll be purchasing but if you are trying to expand online then you should be trying to accommodate that clientele.

      This blog post was my experience with this seller and her store as an online consumer.

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