How I got duped by an online clothing store I found on Instagram.
Yup. It happened. I got duped by one of those hip clothing stores you find on Instagram.
You know what I'm talking about. Their account is flooded with super cute dresses adorned by gorgeous, perfectly tanned models frolicking on the beach or hanging out in their private bungalo in Bora Bora.
Usually I'm pretty good when it comes to avoiding these sites. I search their website to see where their offices are located, I look for the use of broken English in product descriptions (if they are stating they are located in the U.S.), and read over the companies social media accounts for poor ratings.
Screenshot of the website & what I thought I was purchasing.
I stumbled upon a website called Adel Paris that popped up on my Instagram feed as an ad. A picture of this beautiful blush romper adorned in sequin embilishments that I just HAD to have. We are traveling to Disney World for my 30th birthday this coming May, and I figured it would be the PERFECT outfit to wear to dinner at Cinderella's Royal Table inside Magic Kingdom. (Yes -- you literally eat dinner in Cinderella's Castle.)
I searched their Instagram page for negative comments and couldn't find any. I saw that Adel Paris actually commented back to some users in perfect English with lots of enthusiasm and exclamation points. They even commented to one user that their offices were located in the United States. Sweet!
Screenshot of the reviews on the romper I ordered.
I logged into their website and purchased the romper which was on sale for $37.99. I plugged in the information for my JetBlue Mastercard and waited to see if it would be rejected. In the past, I found if I was purchasing from a company that is overseas my card would reject and I would immediately get a phone call from my credit card company for possible fraud. I held my breath and - boop! - I got a message saying my order was successfully placed.
I patiently waited for my shipping notification email. When I opened it, I got a sinking feeling in my stomach. The tracking number that popped up said it was being shipped from China. I waited another 21 business days for my package to arrive.
What I got....
What I got....
What I got....
What I got in the mail was HORRENDOUS! It was very cheeply made. Little kids Halloween costumes from Wal-Mart are of higher quality than what I got. Glitter fell off the garment and ended up all over my floor. The color of the fabric wasn't even the same! Was I crazy? Didn't I read on their website that people commented that the pink color was so much prettier in person? Mine is the color of dirty dish water! I immediately wrote them an email asking for my money back.
24 hours went by -- no response.
I wrote on their Instagram page that I had been scammed and wanted my money back. My comment was promptly deleted and they proceeded to block me.
I went to their Facebook page and commented on every post I could, warning other buyers not to order from this site (by the way, they have 95k likes on Facebook. Huge following!) This comment lingered for about a day before it was also deleted.
I then started getting messages from other people who have shopped at Adel Paris and had the same experience I did. No one ended up getting their money back and inevitably were blocked on all social media sights. Oh, how wonderful...
I have since reported this company to FTC for fraud. I am researching more ways to get this companies ads off of Instagram and Facebook but have had no luck. Unless you are reporting an account for harassment or hate speech, both Facebook and Instagram won't even review your requests to have these pages taken down. Shame on you, social media sites, for not making it possible to report fraudulent companies who are stealing people's money!
So that's why I have turned to my brand new blog and decided this needed to be my first blogpost. I want to warn as many people as I possibly can about this website. We work way too hard for our money to spend $37.99 on a dollar store quality garment.
On 2/11/2018 I contacted the website Hello Molly letting them know that Adel Paris is using their images on their site and using them as their own. Hello Molly assured me that Adel Paris doe not have ANY permission to use their images and they are not affiliated.
Adel Paris also changed their Instagram handle to @shop.adelparis to @store.adelparis