Days ago, one of my readers e-mailed me and left a comment about her strange experience with Aliexpress.com, from which she believes that the site is a fraud. As she claimed, her order was cancelled the next day and she received a message from the Aliexpress Order Verification Team, requiring her to provide the following information:
- A copy of the business license or ID card
- A photocopy of the front-side of the card
- A copy of the card bank statement
She has tried to contact the Aliexpress service people to question the reasons for requiring the private information. Unfortunately she fails to reach anyone from the site.
Here is my reply to her comment regarding the issue left at my blog:
Hi XXX (name omitted to protect our reader’s private information),
As a third-party review site, we like you don’t exactly know why Aliexpress.com had asked you for the private information you mentioned about. From our own personal experience, we guess your order might have been detected as “abnormal” and they might be doing so to confirm on the ownership of the card and in order to avoid credit card fraud.
My husband has encountered similar situations with Paypal and a hosting service provider, both of which are based in the United States. His accounts were detected as “abnormal” and the companies asked him to provide the same information in order to unlock his accounts. Out of trust in the world renowned companies, he submitted the required information and got his accounts unlocked finally.
I understand that when you do not trust an international shopping site, it is very necessary to use extreme caution. Besides, I agree with you that the site should provide a way for users who have doubts for the requirement to ask questions and to confirm on the safety. Unfortunately Aliexpress.com gives users a really bad experience in this respect. If any Aliexpress people can see this comment, tell the customer service department to improve the service!
However, as a Chinese who has the ambition to introduce to the world the best China-based online shopping websites, I don’t agree that the site is a fraud. My reasons:
- Aliexpress is the most famous international transaction website for small and medium-sized businesses in China, especially among the Chinese suppliers;
- The site does belong to Alibaba.com, the world top e-commerce website;
- I personally have some honest and hard-working friends and old colleagues currently working for the site. I don’t believe people with such integrity would join a fraud site, which may destroy their career prospect.
I know Aliexpress has many negative or bad reviews, which can be found everywhere on the internet. As a person having worked for a site similar to Aliexpress.com, it is nothing strange to me. If you want to shop with a Chinese site with less negative reviews, you are encouraged to choose the online suppliers like Lightinthebox.com or Dinodirect.com instead of an online transaction platform like Aliexpress.com. The former type of shopping sites is responsible for everything related to a transaction, from pre-sales service to after-sales service. And they themselves verify the quality of the products as they have their own warehouses. Once a dispute occurs, they are able to solve your problem in a much more efficient way. Different from such sites, Aliexpress.com has to side with either seller or buyer when a dispute happens. As a result the other side is always unhappy, you know.
Thank you for trusting us by emailing us and leaving comments here about your story with Aliexpress.com. It is my shame that I can’t answer your questions. Anyway, now I am very concerned about the case and will do some research on this topic to uncover the facts in case more readers are bothered by the same situation.