Scammed by Zapals / Shopping Square / Apusexpress

I mention the 3 names because they're all the same organisation if you look into it (ABN search, ASIC records etc).

On 6 March 2018 I buy a phone from them. $640. It's Sydney to Sydney so should be a few days. Yesterday 22/3 it still hasn't arrived, but the odd thing is the tracking number apusexpress gave me still doesn't show any info - the status was still 'item has not been scanned' 2 weeks after he supposedly shipped it. So I started a paypal claim on that basis.

Today Paypal sided with the seller. Their reasoning was apusexpress gave them a tracking number and that's all they need. Lol. So I call AusPost and ask them about this tracking number - here's where it gets interesting. AusPost customer service rep finds out that a) this tracking no. was for a parcel delivered in 2017 and b) aint even to my address. I call paypal telling them this - they want an AusPost letterhead with name and number of the CSR who's making the statement - graciously the AusPost staff helped me by sending me an email.

Email proof from AusPost: https://imgur.com/PAbteP4

I uploaded this email to paypal after convincing them to re-open the case. Awaiting paypal's backoffice to come to the right decision, hopefully.

Anyway while I wait I'll be filing a chargeback with my bank, and if I have time later this week, maybe fill out a Statement of Claim at my local court, because (profanity) so much Zapals, Shopping Square and Apusexpress for trying to scam me.

What's interesting actually is how they operate. Seems like they would give you an old tracking number and in case anything goes wrong, paypal just needs to see the tracking number was successfully delivered - they will just take the seller's word about where and to whom it was addressed.

Related Stores

Shopping Square
Shopping Square
Zapals
Zapals

Comments

  • why paypal don't cover express post tracking then

  • Are you saying that you have contacted Apusexpress and they have flat out denied your claim and have considered the phone as delivered?

    • Yes absolutely. And they were rude af too. I left a negative, and they whinged to ebay and got it removed. I asked ebay why would they remove my negative, and they said word for word "the previous agent removed it for them because they asked, as a one time courtesy". WTF

  • Sydney to sydney?

    Never had a problem with shopping square or zapals you sure they had the stock to start of with?

    • Yes, of course. Otherwise the ebay listing would show 'sold out' instead of '2 available' or whatever. Anyway that's not the issue here - they knowingly gave paypal a fake tracking number in order to prevent paypal claims.

  • zapal is shoppingsquare? wow didnt know before.
    and i thought apus is reputable company they have (or had?) brick store at Sydney eastern suburb, correct? at kensington or something

    • They just have a PO Box in Silverwater, no locations, no phone numbers. I guess with these volume sellers, you'd be 99% fine but on the offchance something happens, just know they are already 2 steps ahead and will win the paypal claim because they're dodgy af. And they'll get your negative removed too. I gotta admit I admire their business efficiency.

      • Can you leave ZAPALS out of it please. I don't think they have anything to do with Shopping Square / Apusexpress.

        https://www.zapals.com/about-us/

        QANDIES LIMITED
        Address:2.27 Romer House Lewisham High Street, London, England, SE13 6EE

        "Zapals.com is an internationally renowned, global shopping website operated by the Zapals Corporation Limited Company.

        Our offices are located in Australia, Hong Kong and Mainland China and our aim is to deliver one of the largest, most innovative online department stores in the world."

        I am not so sure that the listing "https://www.cylex-australia.com/company/zapals-online-shopping-australia-23727365.html" is relevent.

        And what will you do with this LinkedIn listing:

        https://www.linkedin.com/search/results/people/?facetCurrent...

        • Huh? Go to Shoppingsquare.com.au and right at the bottom it says "Copyright © 2018 ShoppingSquare.com.au All Rights Reserved. ShoppingSquare.com.au a Zapals Company"

        • @SirFlibbled:
          The inconsistancy is this : "Apus Corporation Pty Ltd is a 100% Australian Owned Business" this is incompatible with the above.
          Also ShoppingSquare says it started on eBay 2004, with website launch in 2007, while Zapals began in 2009. (I read it somewhere).

        • @marcozmitch: Inconsistent in their messaging doesn't mean Zapals isn't the owner just that they have multiple corporations doing various things and have managed to confuse the public. As for Shoppingsquare predating Zapals, I believe the former bought out the latter.

  • Heads up.. if you loose the paypal appeal
    and charge back via your bank
    Paypal will close you account permanently

    • Didn't know that, thanks. That's a bit petty of them lol. So… I can't think of any actual repercussions of this - all I need to do is make a new account.

      • If the detect you previously had an account that was closed by them
        They will close it too. Eventually you will run out of bank accounts I assume lol.

        • Then I'll be fine.

          I have 8+3+11 bank accounts. Lol just counted. I make a habit of never closing bank accounts - comes in real handy for many reasons over the unforeseeable future.

    • No that's incorrect. I lodged Chargeback and they refused and my account closed was not closed.

      Took it to FOS and they decided to refund over $750 as courtesy (BS). But the point is my account is still active.

      • Cool, good to know. Saves me from having to fill out another form. Stupid paypal.

      • My friend has the exact opposite. The day he charged it back his account was closed. When he asked why he was told issuing charge backs is against their tos.

        Also saw an account closed due to a FOS complaint too.

        • Wtf, that is ridiculous. I’ve heard of paypal doing dodgy shit like this. Surely the FOS (now AFCA) can penalise them for doing this? Pretty sure retaliatory action like closing accounts / sacking employees is illegal!

  • Zapals website lists an address in the UK:
    BUMPERR LTD
    Address: 71-75, Shelton Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9JQ, UNITED KINGDOM

    I have bought plenty of things from Apus and shopping square without issues.
    Maybe the shipping number was a typo? That would explain why their customer service would think it was delivered ok, and how PayPal initially sided with them.

    I don't think they deliberately set up a large internet business with the aim of defrauding you.
    You might have got better service by talking to them instead of just starting PayPal claims. From their point of view, it looks like you got your phone and are trying to get a refund, unless they look into it deeper.

    • A UK address doesn't mean much - anyone can purchase a CBD mailbox address anywhere in the world.

      I've been in contact with the seller since the beginning - they dont have a different tracking number to give me - the fake one was it. The claim was after their removal of my negative. The negative was after their unwillingness to cooperate / look into it further.

    • BUMPERR LTD

      bumperr ltd is incorporated in the uk. ms lingling wu is the company's director on record and a chinese national.
      https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/10073856/filing-h...

      https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/10073856/filing-h...

      bumperr ltd sole shareholder is prime rich technology limited cr# 2420111 and incorporated in hk. their particulars can be viewed for a fee.
      https://www.icris.cr.gov.hk/csci/

      ss on the other hand is stated as an australian owned entity.
      http://www.shoppingsquare.com.au/about.php

      Apus Corporation Pty Ltd is a 100% Australian Owned Business

      • Maybe APUS registered the zapals name in Australia. Local businesses do that sometimes to make it harder for foreign businesses to encroach locally. That might explain what the OP found about the post box in Silverwater.

        • it's been while since we've been in silverwater. it's one of those hubs where online retailers setup shops/warehouse.

        • @whooah1979:
          Huh!

          ShoppingSquare.COM.AU
          A division of Zapals Tech Corporation Pty Ltd (ABN: 50 617 844 149)
          Postal Address: P.O. Box 342, Smithfield West, NSW 2164, Australia.
          Warehouse Address (NO public Access): 38 Hallstorm Pl., Wetherill Park, NSW 2164, Australia.
          Email: [email protected]
          Join ShoppingSquare.com.au Affiliate Programe

          From http://www.shoppingsquare.com.au/about.php

        • @mskeggs: Cool let me join the party since we're posting public record searches. AUDA whois returns this:

          Domain Name shoppingsquare.com.au
          Last Modified 30-Mar-2017 00:07:29 UTC
          Status ok
          Registrar Name NetRegistry
          Registrant Apus Corporation Pty Ltd
          Eligibility Type Company
          Eligibility ID ABN 11109351877
          Registrant Contact ID CHDA1074
          Registrant Contact Name Danilo Chan
          Registrant Contact Email [email protected]
          Tech Contact ID C0573762-AR
          Tech Contact Name Dominic Main
          Tech Contact Email [email protected]
          Name Server vick.ns.cloudflare.com
          Name Server mona.ns.cloudflare.com
          DNSSEC unsigned

          So fck you Danny give me my money back.

        • @echelon6:
          Just to explain what whoah1979 and I were skeptical, APUS was a local computer store, and have been operating since the early 2000s. They are well known and have been the subject of many deals over the years. That is why I was surprised you believed they were associated with Zapals, who are an international company, not a local computer store.
          But presumably they sold their operations sometime in 2017 to Zapals, which might explain why the rep is no longer active, and maybe why the service has worsened.

  • I bought off the zapals website about 6 months ago, haven't received my item yet. Not as bad as your situation though, they only got $4 out of me. I keep on getting rebuffed every time I ask where is my item. They won't even think about giving me a refund. Only going to buy online through ebay now. At least they have a guarantee for stuff I don't get. Keeps the Chinese sellers honest as that is the only items I don't seem to get on occasion.

    • How did you go raising a dispute with Paypal?

      • I paid via credit card, so I could've done a chargeback but decided its not worth the time or effort.

        I just paid $4 for training and experience in online shopping.
        If you look at it that way its money well spent. lol

        However if I was in the same situation as the OP with $640 at stake I would be fighting tooth and nail to get it sorted.

        If any resolution with paypal is impossible, then the only remaining avenue is a chargeback.

  • they would give you an old tracking number and in case anything goes wrong, paypal just needs to see the tracking number

    Yes this is exactly how it works, I've done it before with dodgy buyers who buy some cheap stuff off me with no registered post. I know they've got it because I put it in their mailbox LOL

    • Shopping square has 75(!) pages of deals on here, going back to 2008.
      It seems wildly more likely to me that there has been a mix up rather than they spent a decade growing their business in order to defraud the OP with an old tracking number.
      I have seen other people say their customer service can be lacking, and that seems more likely than a scam. Hence my suggestion to try and sort it out with them.

    • Lmao I once shipped something myself personally and was worried about the same thing since I wouldn't have any proof of shipping. Now I know… I think I'll call it pulling an apus

  • Congrats to the OP for the effort and sharing findings, well done.

  • +1 vote

    I too very highly doubt they built up their business over the years, or purchased the business from Danilo Chan, just to scam you - your purchase is not worth their entire business reputation. I've purchased plenty of things from them and had no problems at all.

    …that said, it looks like their reputation isn't worth much to them!

    • Of course they didn't build a business to scam one person or even several people, it's much more profitable running a good business. What I'm complaining about is they've basically decided to not give a shit about my lost order and instead go full dont-care on my transaction. They've tried to make me go away, but that just motivated me more. I don't want them to get away with it, I want them to foot the bill of refunding my lost order. It's their cost of doing business, not mine.

      • I was responding to the title of your post, i.e. "Scammed by Zapals / Shopping Square / Apusexpress". You then stated they were trying to scam you, which certainly sounds like you're calling them scammers.

        There's a difference between a scammer and a company with poor customer service. It really looks like they're the latter rather than the former.

        In any case you definitely shouldn't let them get away with it, so good luck with the quest!

  • I wouldn't count on paypal, previously I lodged a claim with them and they just closed my account. Best bet is to get a chargeback from your credit card.

  • Zapals and their affliates have active reps here so you wonder why they arent acting to fix this issues up. I wonder…

  • An update - paypal refused my appeal. I don't think they even read the auspost email - they just repeated themselves "seller provided valid tracking info" - NO you stupid (mod: removed) that's precisely what they didn't do!

    Anyway very motivated from this - FOS complaint lodged. Chargeback application already lodged late last week. Will be pursuing this to the very end. To me, this has now become an academic exercise - I am genuinely curious what a consumer is capable of, and how this will end.

  • I work closely with eBay; this may sound negative but the fact is when you are a high seller, you get a special agent that handles your affairs, that includes getting negative feedbacks removed (revised) without question due to the personal service.

    An example: http://stores.ebay.com.au/handyimports

    Notice that the neutral feedback has been left as it doesn't affect the feedback score, but overall for a business with 51,500 feedback there is not a single negative in 12 months.

    Than you take a look at this interesting data: Revised Feedback: 121

    That is 121 negative feedback removals, in 12 months…

  • Thanks for sharing this; I have always had my suspicions about Shopping square, but shocked to learn common ownership with Zapals; most of the stuff bought from Zapals have arrived; but for most of the items, the quality is appaling; the most common item being the USB recharge cables; two have stopped working and one is starting to fall apart with minimal usage; if the items are not being delivered, it will be better margins for the supplier; its a good thing the items are low cost

    • I've ordered plenty of items from ShoppingSquare over the years and haven't had any problems with any of them. Xiaomi power banks, lots of cheap HDMI cables, two Mavic Pros, a phone, memory cards, etc. They all arrived and they all worked.

      Were the USB cables you ordered generic cheap ones? You'll find that regardless of where you order them from, cheap usb cables are all awful.

  • Purchased stuff like Xiaomi powerbanks from them in the past and everything seemed fine. But, just recently got stung hard by these lot. Similar situation to OP, however bought a phone that's over $1k, still trying to get a refund. Thanks OP for the forewarning about the PayPal resolution process.

    • Yes the lesson I've learned is to not waste time with paypal (start the paypal claim anyway, it takes a minute) and concurrently start a chargeback case with the bank. I've managed to get my $600 back from NAB by way of chargeback against paypal who then is forced to take it from the seller. At least the bank actually looks into the evidence and takes effort to understand the situation, instead of stupid paypal's offshore monkeys who just stupidly follow an algorithm: "if tracking number present, side with seller".

  • eBay accepting false tracking numbers and eBay removing negative feedback from some sellers…major dent to eBay's credibility.
    I stumbled on this because I was searching for any other peoples experiences with false tracking numbers with ebay purchases. Interesting.

    • Lol: “ebay’s credibility”. they are already synonymous with dodgy purchase jokes in every sitcom. All the info here is interesting though. I only buy anything over $100 on ebay if it is from a legit aussie retailer’s ebay store who also has a bricks and mortar store that I can chase up with any issues

  • I will never shop with any of these lot again. scammed me too.

  • Topic: ShoppingSquare.com.au
    To my Fellow Australians Online Shoppers.
    For those of you who love to shop online, here is some information and Facts about a company called
    ShoppingSquare, which is owned by Zapals in the U.K. ( If you can believe that!)
    The company’s website ( www.shoppingsquare.com.au) leads you to believe this is based in Australian because of the .au domain. They even go further by adding a little Australian Flag with the slogan, Australian owned and operated!! (see image below) – NOT TRUE ! THEY ARE BASED IN HONG KONG CHINA, AND THEIR TIME FOR DELIVERIES LITERALLY DOES TAKE A SLOW BOAT FROM CHINA (see complaints in links below). The Claims they make about the Awards they have received, for Best Online Shopping Site are SELF PROCLAIMED! I have Cowered the Web and can’t find any reference to their AWARD CLAIMS!

    The only company information I can find to contact them is a customer support e-mail and there is no other details, except for the fact that there are numerous sites on the web full of complaints about them ( see links below)
    https://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/online-shopping/online-gro...
    https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/13432
    https://www.productreview.com.au/p/shopping-square.html
    https://www.productreview.com.au/p/shopping-square/4.html
    First things first, I am writing this because I am sick and tired of foreign online companies ripping off the Australian Public!
    I first purchased an item from them in 2009 ( thinking it was an Australian company ), the order was dispatched the same day item was purchased and too about 2-3 weeks to arrive!. ( weird I though since I thought it would be coming from an Australian location). Imagine my SURPRISE when the item turned up with postage showing it had come from China!.
    Then I had forgotten about them, and got an e-mail news letter from them in 2017, and saw something interesting, so I thought I give them another try, (this time knowing full well that they are in China and would have to wait some weeks for the item to arrive!, but no problem I was happy to wait as I was in no rush for it anyway). Once again, item was dispatched the same day as the order, and turned up from China 2-3 weeks later.
    Now this is where this letter comes in;
    I received and e-mail ( 19-11-2018 ) about a special on some FitBit generic type Watches for $9.95 plus free shipping.
    So I decided to give it a go for that price and ordered one on the 16-11-2018, then decided to order another on the 18-11-2018! Both orders were dispatched on 22-11-2018. Prior to that I did send then an e-mail three days later asking why the items had still not been dispatched? And received a reply via their Customer Support in their Ticket Request ( that is their way of you following up through their website). A feeble and weak excuse, about dispatch taking 3-10 days to dispatch!!, and 2-4weeks for delivery via HK Post! Considering these were going to be stocking stuffers for Christmas, I thought before placing the orders that 4 weeks prior to Christmas would be sufficient time , knowing where it was coming from right?, WRONG!
    Clearly ShoppingSquare have declined since 2017 in their Dispatching and Postage / Delivery of their products. To make it even WORSE, with the thousands of complaints, they seem OBLIVIOUS to their ware housing operation, distribution and delivery services! SO WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO DEAL WITH SUCH A COMPANY? From my personal point of view, I WILL NOT DEAL WITH THEM EVER AGAIN and I WILL MAKE IT MY MISSION TO LET EVERYONE AWARE OF THEM!! OR RATHER BEWARE OF THEM!
    The back and forth with customer support has gone on now for three weeks with little or no further information to where these items are and when they will arrive.
    Just for your information, I have ordered other products from other sites from China, via e-bay the same day and was told the same thing 4-6 weeks delivery ( no problem because these were items I was not in a hurray for). These items actually turned up 15 days after I ordered them and was free postage as well via HK Post! So what is Shopping Squares Problem?? Well your guess is as good as mine!
    All the online companies both on and off shore, irrespective if your postage is free or you have paid for it, provide a tracking number, or even some sort of tracking so you can see where and what your order is doing! Shopping Square DON NOT PROVIDE THIS!!!
    Now you may be thinking I’m winging about this, well yes I am, but I am not alone! There is literally THOUSANDS of Complaint about this very issue about Shopping Square , online, I have attached three sites here, and that’s just the tip of the Iceberg!!
    This is not about the time it takes or the cost of the item! THIS IS ABOUT DECIEVING THE AUSTRALIAN SHOPPING PBULIC INTO BELIEVING THIS COMPANY IS BASED IN AUSTRALIA!.
    This brings me to what I have done, and am going to do!
    1. I have sent an e-mail to Zapals with a copy of the customer support Ticket for them to reply if the every will. I have expressed my disgust, and will use Social Media and Main Stream Media to get the Word out!
    2. I will contact the ACCC, and make them AWARE of the False, misleading, and deceptive promotion and advertising on their Website , that this is Australian owned and Operated , and have numerous award!. This is ILLEAGL and I’m not a lawyer, but that is the LAW in this Country!
    3. I will contact the AFP ( Australian Federal Police) internet Fraud squad and furnish them with the same information.
    4. I will also be posting this on all the above listed site, plus, FaceBook, Youtube, Twitter, and sending this to ALL AUSTRALIAN MEDIA COUNSUMER OUTLETS!

    NOW here are some tips for those of you who want to follow up on your complaints!

    First, send your complaint to them, but DO NOT EXPECT A COHERENT REPLY, why you ask?
    Because the complaint is put through a Translation Matrix, which translates English to Cantonese or Mandarin, so the message literally gets “ LOST IN TRANSLATION”, and the reply is equally as bizarre. Hence why your questions are never fully explained or RESOLVED!

    Secondly, send a copy of all your e-mails to the parent company Zapals. ([email protected]), this is the only contact that I can find for them, and there is no phone cont for them!. In your e-mail attention it to Senior Management !.

    Thirdly, then get on to your social media, Consumer Media and contact the relevant Authorities in Australia and let them know what has happened to you ! Please feel free to use any and all of this letter to do so!
    Finally, some words of WISDOM;
    As the old saying goes, “ IF IT’S TOO GOOD TO BE TURE, THAN, IT PROBABLY ISN’T ”!.
    Don not trust them, even if you Pay for Postage, your order will still be ON A SLOW BOAT FROM CHINA, so don’t hold your Breath!
    I recommend you BUY from an Australian home based company that says item will be sent from Australia, WHY, for a number of reasons.
    1. You will have more success with customer complaints, refunds and returns.

    1. Before you purchase anything online, NO MATTER WHO THE COMPANY IS, do the following, in whatever search engine you use – type in the search bar – Complaints for _____________ , and fill in the name of the company, and watch what pops up. I wish I had done this with ShoppingSquare before I placed my order!

    2. Postage will be Cheaper in the long run if you need to return the product or to get it replaced under warranty! Think about what it would cost you to send your item back to China, especially if it is big, bulky and heavy ! It could cost you more than the cost of what you originally purchased!

    3. If the Price is too good to pass up (as I thought!). DO PASS ON IT FROM Shopping Square, because the AGGRAVATION,STRESS, TIME, FUSTRATION, ENERGY, not to mention WAITING FOR YOUR PRODUCT! IS NOT WORTH THE PRICE YOUR PAYING!

    4. So visit reputable sites like, Kogan, Dick Smith, Amazon and a whole host of other Australian based companies (some are Australian owned, some aren’t, but they Dispatch from Australia). It is well worth the EXTRA PRICE AND COST, to save your SANITY! And if it’s not available in Australia then these companies will let you know before your put in your Credit Card Details!

    So buy Australian, and STOP CHINA from increasing our Trade Deficit and keep our MONEY ON SHORE and NOT OFFSHORE!

    I hope that I have been able to shed some light on Shopping Square, and other similar sites.
    I will keep updating the correspondence ( if any from Zapals and ShoppingSqure), so you can see for yourselves what the outcome is!
    So in the mean time, Merry Christmas and A Happy Shopping New Year to you All.

  • Did you ever get the money back?