My experience with LivingSocial Malaysia

Another discerning consumer post brought to you by the resident bitchy consumer who won’t take shitty services lying down.

Now, everybody loves a good deal. I am no exception. Which explains why I frequently check out group buying sites such as Groupon or LivingSocial in search of any promotions or offers.

One of the most common things I purchase is food deals – because I love eating and trying out new places. A month ago, I purchased a deal on LivingSocial to Capricciosa.

Last week, when I called up Capricciosa to make a reservation, I found that the contact number given has been terminated. A search on the website shows that even the entire branch’s information has been removed. The Facebook page listed on the website is of another person’s profile and has nothing whatsoever to do with Capricciosa. I even made a few calls to some other branches listed in the website but was faced with a busy dial tone every time.

And so on Sunday, I emailed LivingSocial asking for help and for a refund since I obviously could no longer use a voucher for a restaurant that simply doesn’t exist anymore. I should also mention that the customer service section is not easy to find; for your convenience, the direct link is here and you’ll have to select the correct country in the drop down list at top left of the page. After sending in the email, an automated response then told me that it would take 2 working days for a representative to respond, which was fair enough, and so I waited patiently.

By Tuesday late afternoon, I still hadn’t received a smidgen of news from LivingSocial, which prompted me to send another email to them following up on this matter. This resulted in an email over an hour later which read as follows:

Hi Cherrie,

Thanks for contacting us!

We have already escalate this matter to our respective department and merchant as well and we are waiting for the feedback from the merchant.

We shall get back to you once get the updates.Kindly seek understanding & patience in this matter.Have A Nice Day .Thank you.

I have preserved all the spelling and grammar mistakes as it is.

The email obviously is another one of those condescending replies which clarifies nothing and does nothing for the customer. So, I emailed them back immediately asking for an exact time frame of when this will be resolved. Frankly, at this point I’ve already had my doubts about their customer support as it took them 2 emails and 2 days to give me a half-assed response. Surely enough, no reply. On Wednesday, I sent yet another email stating that I am still awaiting a response.

They replied on Thursday:

Hi Cherrie,

Thanks for following up with us.

Please provide us with the unutilised Voucher Number, in order for us to proceed with the refund.Thank you.

Again, there were no detailed information on how and when the refund will be done. In my experience, they will usually stick some credit in your account and call it a day. And said credit (with an expiry date, no less) can only be used to purchase some other deals from their website. So I made it clear to them (in yet another email sent on Thursday itself) that I do not want a refund in terms of credit and would like money back via telegraphic transfer as that was how I paid for the vouchers in the first place. I should say that it comes as no surprise that there isn’t a reply from them yet again. I even posted on their LivingSocial Facebook page but my message mysteriously did not show up at all.

On Friday, I finally couldn’t take it anymore and called up their hotline (03-2297 3388, to spare you the trouble of sifting through their ridiculous website) in an effort to resolve this once and for all. A customer service representative named Thinesh picked up the call and I proceeded to provide my case reference number for him to look up my issue. A short while later, he responded with “Oh, Cherrie.” and then nothing. Which customer service representative greets their customers like this?! Well, apparently LivingSocial Malaysia’s.

According to Thinesh, Shirley, their Customer Advocate, is the one in charge of handling my case. However, when I requested to speak to Shirley directly, he claims that she is on the phone and thus is unable to speak to me. His advice? Wait for an email from them. Right. And I am Bruce Lee. No way, Jose.

At my repeated insistence to have the issue resolved right there and then on the phone and refusal to yet again wait for another email from them, he then put me on hold and came back a short while later telling me that they will need my bank details in order to process the monetary refund for me (see what I said about them usually sticking useless credits in your account and calling it a day? If I hadn’t call, they’d probably close the case after “refunding” me with their credits), all the while still refusing to let me speak to Shirley.

Left with no choice, I had to get Thinesh to confirm everything once more with me despite the fact that he claimed Shirley would be the one in charge of handling my case. And then he ended the call with a quick and curt “Thank you, bye”. To say that I was absolutely incensed at this point would probably be an understatement. I have never, ever, dealt with a customer service representative who would end a call with a rude and curt “Thank you, bye”. It is bad enough that he was bordering on sullen the whole time while he was on the phone with me; to have ended the call so rudely is just the final nail in the coffin.

So now, I’ve sent them an email with all the necessary information and am waiting (im)patiently to see if they really would be processing the refund within 14 working days as promised. I also added in the below paragraph in my email to them (which of course, they didn’t reply to).

I am absolutely appalled and while I am pretty sure this complaint would fall on deaf ears, this is a last ditch attempt to get LivingSocial to buck up as I have also known quite a few people who have had bad experiences with LivingSocial and have since boycotted this company. While I understand that it is sometimes unavoidable to encounter merchants that are less than stellar, it is the deal company’s responsibility to make sure their customers are kept up to date and satisfied as ultimately, it is LivingSocial that the customer did business with. A tip for you? Look to Groupon and see how THEY treat unhappy customers. That will maybe teach you a thing or two about basic customer service and support.

I think it’s safe to say that LivingSocial is one company I’d be happy to never EVER deal with ever again.

Note: After the whole fiasco on Friday, I checked my LivingSocial account and true enough, there’s LivingSocial credit placed in my account on Friday itself. Which I specifically stated that I do not want. How nice of them.

16 thoughts on “My experience with LivingSocial Malaysia

  1. At least u got a credit back. If you used the voucher, they won’t bothered. Have you heard of any who went to consumer association to complaint & win their case?

    • It sure took them a majorly long time to even give me back what was originally mine! In LivingSocial’s case, I haven’t heard of anyone going to consumer association. I did hear of people going to consumer court to sue and got their money back on online transactions. However, that is a really lengthy process that you really need to persevere in.

      • Mind to share your story? I figured the more people know about how this company chooses to operate & treat its customers, the better it is for everyone who is/was dealing/thinking of dealing with them.

        • Recently LivingSocial Malaysia had a deal of buying one unit of iPad Air for RM1. The advertisement said that the deal will be available ANY day, ANY time of the current week, meaning last week. No specific time given and we need to hunt for it. I managed to search and buy the deal. Payment was done, I got the receipt and even had the order confirmation from LivingSocial Malaysia together with the order number. To my surprise, they called me hours later saying it was technical error and decided to cancel my order and refund me RM1. But the same deal came out 4 hours later again. I demanded for an explanation and they read me the terms that favours them only. The terms stated if there is a termination or changes in the deal, and if the deal is bought before the termination notice, they will honour it. I kept asking for a valid reason and they said error in product description. How technical error is the same as product description? I read both deals and description exactly the same. One of the staffs asked me, what was my intention of going through all this, like everyone is free? Is it for the iPad? I replied yes, cause it is my right. Then, he did this sarcastic laugh and said now he understands the whole situation that I went through all this just for an iPad and pity me. I was like WTH! Such remark. I dont want the refund and they insisted to refund me RM1. I think you know refund took a long process, but mine, less than 24 hours. Out of sudden, one of them emailed me saying want to give me RM100 as LivingSocial credit but I refused. Again, they credited RM100 to my account, in less than 24 hours also. This is the clever part, regardless you want or not, they refund you and compensate without discussing or anything. Then no reply from them anymore. To me, the act is just like to hand-off the whole issue and they took the brilliant step to refund and compensate me first before I go to tribunal. So in tribunal, they can mention they also refund and compensate me. Anyway, I am still going to tribunal because if this is right, it means all merchants can put up a great advertisement promising this that, but in the end, they can say technical error and give you RM100 to hand-off you.
          Most probably I will lose the case but I am still trying as to uphold my right as a customer.

          • In my experience, the tribunal usually orders refunds to be made if the consumer wins the case. In your case, I supposed it’s on the deception side and not on the monetary side. It’d be wise to look up some advice or consumer laws on the Internet to see if there’s anything that can help you fight your case.
            And wow, I can see that their staff is as unprofessional as ever! Did you manage to get his name? Whenever I deal with customer service the first thing I ask is for their name so if anything happens at least I have a specific person to hold accountable for..
            If you have proof (screen shots?) that the first and second deals are identical, perhaps it might strengthen your case? In our cases, we’re nobody consumers, not one of the big shots who have a lot of influence or a big voice so they probably couldn’t care less about us. The one thing we can do is to spread the words far and wide on the internet and hope it will catch others’ attention!

  2. i have all the evidences… i collected a total of 11 evidences against them. i know my chances are low but at least i noe i try to fight for my rights. yes, exactly… they have the whole legal teams helping them, we are only a lone ranger. the one who called me if not mistaken, is not small potato in the company… but if not mistaken is the director of operation, which makes me even more surprise with such attitude.
    Carmen: you can try to file too. you can go to the ttpm website, and file an enquiry before filing an official complaint.

    • Just an advice, usually tribunal will take very long to deal with cases so you’ll just have to persevere and keep following up! Last time my mother had her case resolved and money refunded after 2 years plus. And that is with constant follow ups.
      I certainly hope you win this and more people are aware of this sorry excuse of a company. You should post your story on forums such as lowyat to spread the awareness!

  3. Totally agree! LivingSocial is the worst ever online experience I ever had! The customer service not answering your questions instead giving you the ‘robot’ scripts. Worst, they sell imitate products though they stated that it is that particular brand. I requested for refund, they said their posting did not state it’s Original thus it’s not Original. WTF, right?!
    After failed in tribunal case, they agree to refund me after received the items back. Sent it back and they did not even care to give a courtesy call instead I need to followed up till they replied with a statement: Company policy of bank in refund takes up to 21 days. *face palm*
    Hearing held on 9 July 14 and I’m requesting to extend the hearing date after 22 July since they mention that I will get my refund by 22 July.

  4. Agree with you. First deal with livingsocial already got problem.

    Advertised deliver within 3 days. Wait until 12 days, still pending delivery.

    Send email to livingsocial, no reply at all.

    Complain thru livingsocial website. Got auto reply email only.

    Call their number, the customer service agent not friendly at all.

    First call, ask to wait 3 working days. Second call, ask to wait for another 3 working days.

    Want to speak to supervisor or manager. So happen all went to whole day meeting. Want to speak to the agent who spoken to me on first call. She on MC today. Ask for supervisor email or contact number. Cannot provide to you.

    After reading all the comment here, i think i better ask for refund. Credit better than forever waiting for item.

    • Hmm, though if you ask for credit back then you’d have to purchase something else from them again in the future. I told myself I’d never ever deal with them ever again. Shit company with shit service. The few ringgit savings is not worth all my trouble.

      Why are they still in operations is the big question here.

    • Insists on cash refund instead of stupid deal bucks or whatsoever term they call it.
      I have the letter awarded by tribunal and refund must be made within 14days from the award. So, I’m waiting for the refund still as they stated that I will get it in my account latest by22 July.

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