I was foolish enough to believe the dozens of positive reviews which Viaddress has, and chose them as a forwarding service for some purchases I made last month.
1. When I received the bill for the items to be shipped from the US to Malaysia, I noticed that the dimensions they had quoted of a bag I ordered far exceeded its original description, so on July 14th, I sent them a message via their 'live chat' (which isn't very 'live' since they always reply two days later, if at all), asking why their description of the bag was so large. (Shipment costs are based on dimensional weight, so larger things are more expensive to ship, regardless of how light they are).
2. I received an email from one Jason Haas, Shipping Manager, on July 16th, explaining that the measurements they quoted were based on the box the items were shipped in, which was 22 x 19 x 10 inches.
3. I then paid the shipping costs based on the measurements they gave, thinking that they would be using the same box to deliver.
4. When I received my parcel via Fedex on Aug 2 (Malaysian time), guess what, the box in which my items were shipped measured only 18 x 12 x 3 inches, much smaller than the dimensions which Viaddress had quoted me. Why, therefore, was I charged for delivery in a much larger box?
5. I sent Jason Haas an email that same day, asking him why I had been charged based on the larger box, if the items had in actual fact been packed in a smaller box. Note that they had charged me based on a total dimensional weight of 39 lbs, while the 18x12x 3box would only add up to 5lbs, which would reduce the shipping costs considerably.
6. This is an extract of my email:
Dear Jason, My package has arrived via FedEx and I see that I was charged for shipping based on the box the items were shipped in from the vendors (based on what you wrote in your email dated July 16, which is 22 x 19 x 10) and not the dimensions of the box which Viaddress used (based on the box itself, which is the FedEx 'Large Box' measuring: 18 x 12 x 3).
Is this a normal thing? For customers to be billed not on the box Viaddress uses to ship the things to us, but instead based on the box in which Viaddress receives the things?
I'm a bit confused. If I'm requesting for items to be delivered from Viaddress to me, shouldn't I be charged based on the onward delivery from Viaddress to myself, since shipping from both amazon.com and ebags.com were already free?
Could I get an explanation on how the system works? Viaddress appears to have many happy customers but I would be grateful if you could get back to me soon and be clear on how your shipping charges are based, because it appears that I need not have paid you so much for shipping.
7. There was no email from Jason Haas and honestly speaking I'm not sure if he even exists.
8. Finally on Aug 4 (Malaysian time), I receive an email from one 'Kelly Snow', Account Manager, whose brief email read: 'Hello,
Sometimes we will have to change the box in which your item was originally packaged because of a safety issue.'
9. So much for customer service! There was no attempt at all by 'Kelly Snow' or anyone from Viaddress to reply to my questions or to even explain why I was conned into paying for shipping based on a box which they DIDN'T use.
10. A few minutes after receiving that email, I sent another one asking why, if the box had to be changed, was I charged based on the measurements of the original box, and not the box in which my things were eventually shipped.
11. I expect they will only reply to this in two days' time as is their normal practice.