Search This Blog

Monday, January 12, 2015

My Nightmare with Victorian Disco Cosmetics

I've resisted posting this for a while because I've been so angry, I couldn't make a coherent post. Now I think I've finally calmed down enough to write a coherent post.
So I ordered from VDC and my experience was...well. Terrible. 

I did check the indie brand experiences forum, and there were many, many bad reviews about how the owner, Ashley, just doesn't adhere to her TAT. I thought, "Ok, people get overwhelmed. It's understandable. She seems so nice so I should order from her to add more good reviews & swatches so people know that she's not so bad!"


Here's a summary of my experience.

Date of Order: June 2

Messages Sent:

  • Email: July 5 - Got told there was a tornado

UPDATE Jan 15, 2015: Since this post went up, I had 2 people message me stating that they/their relatives live in Ashley's area and there has NOT been any tornados since 2013. I'm kind of amazed at what lies she dare tell and how she got away with it without anyone calling her out. I guess it's such a big, easy to disprove lie, that I bought it at face value.
  • Facebook: Aug 6 - Got told it'll be sent shortly

  • Email: Aug 12, 2014 - No reply
  • Email: Aug 14, 2014 - No reply

  • PM: Aug 2014 - Got told I'll be receiving the notification in 5 days
  • PM: Aug 2014, about a 2 weeks? later - Got told I should be getting the shipping notification soon

  • PM: Sep 2014 - Finally got the shipping notification

  • VD PM-ed me: (Sep, 2 weeks later ) to check on the order, haven't received it yet. She offered to resend it but I didn't get any shipping notification for over 19 days. I finally gave up and requested a refund...which led to my next problems.

Refund Requested: 

October. Took her 2 weeks to refund me and when she did, she picked the commercial payment option so I ended up getting charged the Paypal fees:

At that time, I was a Paypal noob and assumed that that's how Paypal works. Only after sending & receiving more payments on Paypal, I realized that the refund option is only when someone sends a commercial payment and makes the other party be responsible for the Paypal fees. I confronted her publicly and she acted dumb about it.

I find it hard to believe her excuse because the same thing happened before to another person:

UPDATE: As per that person's request, I've removed her username. She previously PM-ed her experience to me, but there were details that revealed her identity, so as per her request, I've removed it.

Maybe I'm being harsh, but there are so many excuses by now, I don't believe anything she says anymore. 

And I'm not the only one with this bad experience. You can find many, many threads with so many people complaining about not receiving their orders from as far back as early 2014 or 2013:

She always seems so nice but there's always all sorts of excuse for not sending out her orders, whether it's illness, flooding, or a cross country move...oh and of course, USPS losing the packages. I understand being overwhelmed, but as a business owner, if you haven't sent out goods people paid for already, DON'T HAVE MORE SALES. 

That's my big problem with her. Even though people have been waiting for their orders since Jan 2014, she continued to have sales in April, May, July and even hosted a Black Friday sale even after claiming she's going to close down her store.

I also found it suspicious that despite claiming USPS lost my package several times before, she only managed to produce 1 tracking number. Seeing so many people getting the same "USPS lost the package" excuse makes it very suspicious too. I have a hard time believing that one business owner is so cursed when it comes to USPS. Other indies have also experienced USPS losing tons of their orders, but they managed to resolve it fast and it doesn't happen month after month.

Ashley keeps claiming that the problems are recent and one off, but guess what? It's been happening since 2012, and she only fixes it when you call her out publicly.

So yes. I firmly believe Victorian Disco is a scam and I strongly encourage people NOT to try this brand at all.

If you have a terrible experience with Victorian Disco Cosmetics and would like your experience added to this blog, feel free to message me.


UPDATE Jan 15, 2015: Since I posted this another thread popped up:

Other people have also messaged me their experiences and I'll add them as I receive permission to publish them.

UPDATE Jan 16, 2015: Another thread popped up on reddit and the gist of it is that the OP is insisting that complaints about VDC are turning into a witch hunt and there are people who say that:

1. VDC issues are old and therefore should not be brought up again

2. Issues should be resolved privately with the owner.

To that, I'll counter that:

1. Legitimate complaints with many documented evidence is not a "witch hunt". That term is thrown around too much.

2. There are people new to the indie scene who may not be aware of the past issues. Many of the VDC threads often have OPs who are completely surprised that what happened to them has happened before since they're so sure their experience is unique/one off. I think it's really low to not warn people from experiencing the same experience you did.

3. There are people who keep believing that Ashley has turned over a new leaf or past incidents were just bad luck/a one of thing. That's why they will disregard the brand experiences forum or previous VDC threads that are full of complaints. I was one of them, as you can see from the screenshot of how I ordered from Ashley posted above.

So yes, they will post when they're upset to discover that the same issues that popped up months ago popped up again, despite Ashley's assurances that they were just massive bad luck. They should be allowed to do so.

4. Every single one of Ashley's excuses can be legitimate. Only after reading the many, many threads with many, many similar experience from so many users over 2 years, we can see a pattern.

5. Usually, customers have exhausted every other option and posting publicly is their only option. For example, something amazing happened from the latest thread:

So to everyone insisting complaints should be silenced, I'm going to strongly disagree with you

UPDATE Jan 20, 2015: Looks like her issues isn't limited to VDC, she also has problems sending out swap goods that she sold on /r/indiemakeupandmore. Here's another person who only got her issue resolved after calling Ashley out publicly:

Screenshot taken on Jan 20, 2015

Ashley claims that people are harassing her friends and family. If you're doing that, please don't. It turns her into the victim of this entire mess she created.

UPDATE Jan 21, 2014:

So sorry, I have to make a correction to my previous update. So Ashley posted this in response to that thread:

Just to make sure it's not a typo, she repeated again that she sent it out 5 days ago since Jan 20:

 So she sent them 6 days ago now. Ok....but here's what the tracking information said as of today, Jan 21:

Looks like she still haven't turned a new leaf and is still lying. As bad as this entire mess is, I have to appreciate the irony of someone lying in their apology for lying.

You can read screenshots of the various attempts to contact VDC here.