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BUYERS: Never purchase anything on Alibaba unless you use a credit card. That way, you can file a chargeback with your credit card company and avoid the dispute resolution team, if needs be.
ALIBABA FRAUD - WHO, HOW, and WHY:
Alibaba seems to be a breeding ground for fraud, committed by its own employees. As a customer, you can directly contact the company only through CSAs in an online chat or by phone. The CSAs are nice and helpful staff but have no power and are very limited in what they can do. If you have an issue, it can get escalated, but only to the "Higher Team." That higher team is essentially the supervisors or managers of the very dispute handlers processing the disputes. So if a dispute handler (who usually is the pawn of the higher team in the fraud game) is defrauding you, you can only complain right back to the source of the fraud. You cannot in any way message, talk to, or contact anybody directly that is not a CSA, and CSAs cannot put you in contact with anyone at the entire company besides the higher team. The only possible way to possibly get in contact with someone else is by sending a message to Investor Relations or Media Relations.
Also, CSAs have told me that dispute handlers are assigned cases at random. So, to get multiple cases with the same agent is either a real coincidence or the higher team is picking the cases and giving them to particular dispute handlers.
So you read reviews of how a buyer submits evidence and the seller submits nothing and the buyer mysteriously loses. In many cases, this is probably because the dispute handler on the case or, more likely, a higher team member, is receiving bribes from or has a relationship of some kind with that particular seller. And, the handler subsequently rejects all the cases irrespective of the evidence, just like in our case. So, how do sellers know dispute handlers or higher team members? Possibly many ways, but for one, you can request a phone call with the handler/higher team during a dispute, both buyers and sellers. How can the largest company in China be set up like this? Fraud City.
OUR ATTEMPTS AT CONTACTING ALIBABA:
- NUMBER OF TIMES WE CONTACTED MEDIA RELATIONS AND NO RESPONSE: 4
- NUMBER OF TIMES WE CONTACTED INVESTOR RELATIONS AND NO RESPONSE: 4
- WE CALLED ALIBABA USA AND LEFT A MESSAGE. NO CALLBACK.
- AFTER THIS WAS POSTED, CUSTOMER SERVICE REP, CASSIE C, MESSAGED US ON 9/17 SAYING THEY WOULD INVESTIGATE. WE SENT 5 FOLLOW-UP MESSAGES. SHE READS THEM BUT NO RESPONSE YET.
- ON 9/17, WE MESSAGED 2 VPs, A LEGAL EXPERT, AND ASSISTANT TO CEO VIA LINKEDIN. NO RESPONSE
- WE EMAILED TWO INDEPENDENT BOARD MEMBERS. NO RESPONSE.
ZHANGJIAGANG SIMBORMACHINERY'S ELABORATE FRAUD SCHEME:
- Simbormachinery posts pictures of Jinrong Machinery (a reputable manufacturer) all over its Alibaba webpage and customer quotations. Simbormachinery then takes potential customers on a factory tour of Jinrong Machinery lasting up to 2 or more hours and tells them he works there as an independent salesperson and asserts the machine will be made there.
- Throughout the order process, Simbormachinery puts Jinrong Machinery's address all over all documents and even instructs customers to ship container samples to such address. A 14-year Jinrong employee confirmed Jinrong has never had anyone from Simbormachinery work there and has never heard of the company.
- Simbormachinery takes the customer's order to a small shop with incompetent engineers to manufacture the machine. Simbormachinery withholds information from customers before final payment and shipping about how the machine causes jars to shatter and Simbormachinery lies to conceal that every piece of product packaging is materially damaged during production. Simbormachinery also lies to conceal the true nature of why jars shatter during production.
- Simbormachinery ships 1.6-ton machines in super thin two-ply wood, only moderately stronger than cardboard.
- Based on a preponderance of evidence, Simbormachinery colludes with and possibly pays bribes to Alibaba's dispute team to rule in Simbormachinery's favor, even if it means violating Alibaba's trade rules many times over.
- Simbormachinery sabotages customers, if necessary. Simbormachinery does not turn control of customers' machines over to customers. Simbormachinery keeps control of the software for the machines they sell and thus customers cannot edit or adjust production settings. Moreover, Simbormachinery puts no back-up program files locally on the machines it sends to customers. The machines operate based on instructions they receive via an IP address that was manually entered by Simbormachinery on the machine's control panel. Simbormachinery lies that they have no knowledge of said IP address, which is entered into fill-in boxes under "Specify an IP Address" on the control panel and must be manually entered. This gives Simbormachinery the ability to manipulate the machine remotely, if necessary. If a defective products dispute is filed with Alibaba, Simbormachinery disables critical components of the machine so that customers cannot make a video of how the machine is defective while the dispute is ongoing. Instead, Simbormachinery tells the customer to check the installation, the power, the alarm files, etc. However, in our case, everything was totally set up and functioned. Mysteriously, a few days later, two critical components of the machine inexplicably ceased to turn on.
How is it possible that Alibaba colludes with such an egregious fraudster? What does that say about Alibaba? Does fraud cover-up come standard with gold supplier membership or does one need to pay a premium ;) for these services? Is this really happening? As the saying goes, the proof is in the pudding, so we'll share with you the few bowls and then some of what we were served up.
OUR ALIBABA EXPERIENCE:
We have had the unfortunate experience of being defrauded of $50,000 by supplier, Zhangjiagang Simbormachinery (a 9-YEAR GOLD SUPPLIER), and then an even further misfortune as it appears that Zhangjiagang Simbormachinery conspired with Alibaba employees in an attempt to deny us a fair dispute process.
Dispute cases (for purchases that have problems, like defective machines, late shipment, etc.) are randomly assigned to dispute handlers. Yet somehow we got the same handler on 3 CONSECUTIVE disputes with Zhangjiagang Simbormachinery. So, we implore Alibaba to investigate the dispute handler, Sara, and the higher team to root out the employees actively defrauding buyers from their legitimate claims. The following is evidence of Sara's and the higher team's inappropriate actions on our order, Order number 3 Three 0 Two 7 Seven 2 Six 5 Zero 1 Zero 2 Four 4 Six 6 Zero:
• SARA DISTORTED FACTS TO DENY US A VALID TRADE ASSURANCE CLAIM. In the first dispute, Sara initially rejected our claim for our machine that was shipped by Simbormachinery 1.5 months later than the date specified on the contract. It should have shipped 50 days after March 25, (June 1) when it actually was shipped on July 16. Sara claimed, "About the transportation time, it is not within trade assurance protection. In international trade, we say ETA because nobody could control the shipping time. So it is not within the protection range as well." Sara responded as if the item was delayed while in shipment when it was clear in our complaint that it was shipped late. This is a violation of Alibaba's Trade Assurance policy.
• SARA REFUSED TO ESCALATE A FRAUD CASE BY DISTORTING FACTS AGAIN. We tried to escalate the case to fraud once we discovered we were fraud victims, requesting a refund because we were sent a totally defective machine that we were lied to and deceived about in order to get us to place an order. Sara claimed that "change of complaint can't be received after receipt of goods." Her basis for this decision was Section 28, which states an item cannot be returned for being delivered late if the customer officially receives the item. For this reason, she said the case could not be escalated to fraud. Thus, she again tried to distort facts that we wanted to return the machine because it was shipped late, not because it was a fraudulent transaction and the machine was defective as we clearly stated. Also, two Help Center agents both told us to escalate the case, a strange contradiction. It seems Sara didn't want the case transferred to another dispute handler. This is a violation of trade dispute rules.
• SARA DEFENDED FRAUDULENT SELLER AND CONDESCENDED TO FRAUD VICTIM. When we disclosed the painful details of how we were defrauded by Zhangjiagang Simbormachinery, Sara's response was, "You seems very angry with the seller… But we asked the seller to keep in touch with you. If you have any problems, you could turn to the seller for help and communication in a friendly way. They are professional." How patronizing and offensive that we should turn to the company who lied, deceived, and was defrauding us out of $50,000 by sending us a machine they knew was totally defective. Also, nowhere in Sara's dispute messages prior to this message does Sara ask the seller to keep in touch with us, which means Sara had been engaging in conversations with the seller outside of the dispute. Who knows what else they discussed? This is also interesting because we later requested a phone call with the dispute team and we were totally ignored.
• SARA TRIED TO CLOSE A FRAUD CASE FOR ERRONEOUS REASONS. In the second dispute, Sara denied our fraud claim on its face claiming it was a shipping issue and said the claim would be closed in two days without reference to any facts in our claim. Our claim had no relation to any shipping issue.
• SARA STATED THAT FRAUD WAS NOT A VALID REASON FOR A REFUND. Sara later said that we could not get a refund for fraud even if we had a contract that was violated and that the seller could only be docked one Alibaba point. By saying this, she was basically asserting that ALIBABA IS IN THE BUSINESS OF HIDING CRIMINAL FRAUD by separating fraud into two parts: 1) deceit, lies, and misrepresentation, and 2) damages, which we clearly stated existed in the previous message. These must be looked at together, because together they constitute a crime.
• SARA OSTENSIBLY TRIED TO INDUCE BUYER TO CLOSE CASE TO PREVENT FUTURE CASES FROM BEING OPENED AND THE BUYER FROM WRITING A REVIEW. Sara kept saying she would close the case if no further evidence was presented. No further evidence was presented and she kept writing messages responding to nobody. It seems she was hoping that I would cancel the dispute and try to open another one or write a review, which can't be done if a buyer cancels a dispute 30 days after item is officially received.
• WE REQUESTED A CALL FROM THE "HIGHER TEAM" REGARDING OUR CASE AND WE GOT NO CALL. Customers can put in a request through CSA's to have the higher team call them and they should call. They also never responded to any of our 5 or so escalated inquires. They should write email responses regarding your inquiries.
• THE "HIGHER TEAM" IS ON THE SAME TEAM AS SARA AND DISPUTE HANDLERS. I had a CSA escalate my fraudulent findings about Sara to the higher team. The case was escalated and I confirmed it the next day with a CSA, but it was the first time I didn't get an email confirmation about the escalation that the higher team normally sends out after an escalation. The next day Sara shows up on my third dispute with a similar line of rejection despite the facts. This clearly establishes a fraud link between the higher team and Sara.
• WE ESCALATED A CHANGE OF DISPUTE HANDLER REQUEST TO THE HIGHER TEAM AFTER THEY RECEIVED OUR LIST OF SARA'S SHADY ACTIVITY MENTIONED ABOVE AND IT WAS TOTALLY IGNORED. This is further evidence that the higher team and some dispute handlers are essentially on the same team conspiring to defraud. Buyers should be able to do this according to many Help Center CSAs we talked to, but when we tried nothing happened.
• SARA VIOLATED TRADE DISPUTE POLICY. In the third dispute for defective products, Sara rejected the dispute because she claimed it was after the 30-day period. The Help Center insisted I was still under trade assurance and that Sara was just making a mistake and that I should contact the higher group. At that time, I already knew the higher group and Sara were colluding, so we felt so helpless. Also, Section 18 of Alibaba's dispute rules allows time extension if fraud is suspected. In case Alibaba didn't already know about the seller's fraud scheme, they sure did after we filed disputes. But apparently, the fraud case we had presented was not compelling enough for Sara and the higher team to constitute a suspicion of fraud and, thus, Sara immediately closed our case.
It's quite apparent that Sara, who somehow landed on three consecutive dispute cases, was out to defraud us like the dispute team has done to many before, and it appears there was collusion with the seller.
What's telling was Simbormachinery's response when we discovered the fraud and that our machine was defective. We asked the seller to "1) kindly cancel the order, refund us our money, and take your machine back or 2) we will expose your con game to Alibaba and to all people who see your Alibaba review... you conned us into buying from you, and your machine and everything related to your business is bad and we will likely get a refund anyway." Simbormachinery responded: "We are waiting feedback from Alibaba." We were in utter disbelief. Apparently, the 9-year gold supplier knew something we didn't.
- Alibaba, you need to root out the corrupt dispute handlers, like Sara, and higher group members who are defrauding buyers.
- Zhangjiagang Simbormachinery's 1) dispute history and 2) negative review history or lack thereof need to be reviewed for collusion. It seems unlikely that a fraudster who sells materially defective machines has no negative reviews in 9 years.
“Alibaba's Dispute Team Likely Conspires With Sellers to Defraud Buyers”
• Previous review
We have had the unfortunate experience of being defrauded by seller, Zhangjiagang Simbormachinery, and then an even further misfortune as it appears clear that Zhangjiagang Simbormachinery conspired with Alibaba employee(s) in an attempt to deny us a fair dispute process.
By default, dispute cases (for purchases that have problems, like defective machine, late shipment, etc.) are randomly assigned to agents. The agents are the customer-facing employees. We got the same agent on 3 CONSECUTIVE disputes with Zhangjiagang Simbormachinery. Above the agents is the dispute team, they have the ability to divert dispute cases to agents. So, there are one or more members of the dispute team who keep giving our dispute cases to Sara, who denies our claims no matter what they are. Why would the Alibaba dispute team do this? I would guess it is because they are receiving bribes from Sellers who don't want to lose a dispute. So, we implore Alibaba to investigate the mediator, Sara, and the dispute department to root out the employees actively defrauding buyers from their legitimate claims. The following are evidence of Sara's inappropriate actions:
• In the first of two disputes, Sara initially rejected our claim for the shipment that was sent by the Seller 1.5 months later than the date on the contract, that it should have shipped 50 days after March 25, (June 1) when it actually was shipped on July 16. Sara claimed, "About the transportation time, it is not within trade assurance protection. In international trade, we say ETA because nobody could control the shipping time. So it is not within the protection range as well." She attempted to distort facts to deny the claim.
• We tried to escalate the case to fraud once we discovered we were fraud victims. Sara claimed that "change of complaint can't be received after receipt of goods" when two Help Center agents both told us to escalate the case, a strange contradiction. It seems Sara didn't want the case transferred to another person.
• When we disclosed the painful details of how we were defrauded by Zhangjiagang Simbormachinery, Sara's response was, "You seems very angry with the seller… But we asked the seller to keep in touch with you. If you have any problems, you could turn to the seller for help and communication in a friendly way. They are professional." How patronizing and offensive that we should turn to the company who lied, deceived, and was defrauding us out of $50,000 by sending us a machine they knew was totally defective.
• In the second of two disputes, Sara denied our fraud claim on its face claiming it was a shipping issue and said the claim would be closed in two days without reference to any facts in the case. Our claim had no relation to any shipping issue.
• Sara later said that we could not get a refund for fraud and that the seller could only be docked one Alibaba point. By saying this she was claiming that Alibaba is essentially in the business of hiding criminal fraud by separating fraud into two parts: 1) deceit, lies, and misrepresentation, and 2) damages, which we clearly stated existed in the previous message. WOW! These must be considered together, because together they constitute a crime.
• Lastly, Sara kept saying she would close the case if no further evidence was presented. No further evidence was presented and she kept writing messages responding to nobody. It seems she was hoping that I would cancel the dispute and try to open another one or write a review, which can't be done if a buyer cancels a dispute.
It's quite apparent that Sara was not an objective mediator that somehow landed on three consecutive disputes. It seems obvious that this was not by accident and that the dispute team put her on the cases.
-Alibbaba, you need to root out the corrupt employees on the dispute team and Sara and other agents defrauding buyers.
• We request that Zhangjiagang Simbormachinery's 1) dispute history and 2) negative reviews be reviewed for possible collusion like what happened with our company.
I will take this post down once the matter is addressed appropriately.