We, sisters, do this very crazy obsessive thing where we buy one little thing and then, buy an entire complementary outfit around it i.e a lipstick colour, an accessory. So, this time, for me, it were shoes.
I got these really beautiful Green Manolo Blahnik Satin Hangisi 100mm shoes at a really good discount (Bought it cuz SARAH JESSICA PARKER). To match them, I got a Farah Talib Aziz monochromatic emerald green dress and 2 weeks before Eid, I realized I didn’t have a nice shimmery green eyeshade to go with it (which I found out later on that I was wrong as I had Jaclyn Hill’s “Enchanted” and “Diva” shades from the first ever palette and if I had known earlier, I could’ve evaded this entire fiasco) and I knew exactly which company’s glitter I wanted to go for; PAT MCGRATH!!! I bought her mothership V last year so the mothership palettes weren’t new to me and mothership II had the perfect green shade I was looking for. Naturally, I went into my research/resourceful zone and I messaged every single makeup account I had ever heard about/followed/messaged in my entire social media life. There were around 15-20 accounts, Fb and insta. I got most of their replies in a day or 2 and all of them either, didn’t have it or tried to persuade me into buying another PM product they had in stock.
Until, this account (@Makeup Mistress = Girl/Girl 1/G1) my sister had sent me the link to, replied. They had it and could easily get it delivered to me in the week before Eid. I was over the moon. My entire Eid Day 2 attire was en pointe (unhealthy priorities anyone?). So, I asked for an easy paisa account I could send the money to as my bank account was completely empty and no palette is worth subjecting myself to the “what if I contract Covid while I’m at the bank?”. She gave it to me and I sent someone to send it RIGHT that second.
-Guy went to the store, said that money can’t be sent cuz the girl’s account has reached limit.
-Called the girl, girl denied crossing the limit. Told the guy to go try another store
-Still couldn’t send money cuz “exceeding limit”
-Called girl, she said try again tomorrow, I said okay.
Guy goes to the same store, store owner sends only 25K cuz girl has a limit of 25k per day and the rest can be sent tomorrow. Annoyed, I call the store keeper and yell at him that he could have told me this yesterday when we could’ve sent 25K then and send the rest of the money today. Called girl, told her, she said fine but I’ll only send the palette when I get the entire amount so the sooner you send the money, the sooner you get the palette.
Store owner says limit has exceeded but tells me that it’s not the daily limit that has been crossed but the monthly and tells me to tell the girl to go to her local easypaisa store and biometrically increase her limit. I call girl, again denial of having any limit on her account but she said she’d go and check. By evening, she says she has increased her limit and I should send the money. I send the guy to the same store and same store owner says LIMIT EXCEEDED. Now, this made me very annoyed, called girl and told her what the store owner said, she denied but said to just opt for a bank transfer the next day. I said fine.
In hindsight, I should’ve deduced this as a celestial sign as a no-go but was too mesmerized by PM’s Blitz Emerald green eyeshade and couldn’t see anything else clearly.
Guy sends money to her bank account and she says she’ll send my palette and it’ll reach me before Eid. YAY
2 Days Before Eid:
Leopard courier drops it off. I take the package from them which is wrapped in a plastic wrapping and feels lighter than it should but I don’t pay much heed to it and all excited, I open it up. First thing I see, NO BUBBLE WRAPPING!!! I think “hmmm pretty wreckless.”
I open PM’s box, the palette is shiny and clean and original AF. However, as soon as I open the palette to swatch all the shades and I see that A SHADE IS BROKEN and can you guess WHICH shade is broken? Blitz. Emerald. It had been broken into 4 large pieces. You know that viral Brahvi youtube video of a guy, from 2010, who sings “My heart is broken into million thousand pieces”? Yeah, well, MY HEART BROKE IN MILLION THOUSAND PIECES AND SOME OF THE PIECES WERE FLOATING ALL OVER THE PALETTE AND SOME HAD FALLEN OVER SHADES HERE AND SOME HAD FALLEN OVER SHADES THERE. Blitz Emerald, that was my heart.
The next thing I did, I messaged the account with the picture of the open palette with the broken shade. The account msged “ Oh no” and I get a call from an unknown number in the next second. I pick up, It’s the girl saying how could this happen and that she was very surprised and I said “ There. Was. No. bubble. Wrapping. That’s how.” She’s incredulous and insisting that she had it bubble wrapped and I say “No. there was no bubblewrap”. I was talking with all of my energy completely drained. That is how heartbroken and sad I was. She asked me about the packaging and I said that it was in a flimsy plastic bag and she said yeah that’s a flyover/hangar bag and it’s “supposedly” very safe and you don’t even need to bubblewrap fragile stuff cuz it is THAT safe and I said that it is still a palette and it should’ve been bubblewrapped, regardless, so then she gave me an excuse about how it was covid and bubblewrap wasn’t in stock. All in all, she was empathetic and polite and in the end she asked me what I wanted to do and she offered to give me a full refund if I send it back or I could keep the palette.
No way in hell was I just going to acquiesce and settle for the broken palette. I said “well, I was going to gift this palette to my sister so let me ask her (a lie).” I text S everything and she says send it back and I say I needed it for Eid and if I send it back, I won’t have a shimmery green shade for Eid and then she said marzi and I said fine and the girl calls me back and I tell her that I’ll keep the palette but I want a discount on it and she said that she actually bought it from another seller so she can only offer me a discount of Rs500. FIVE HUNDRED, YOU GUYS!!! For a 30K palette with one shade in pieces and another shade completely loose; VR Nectar.
I was like nooo, I’m going to send it back and request a complete refund and the girl says okay but I’m going to enter you in on a conference call with the seller who sold the palette to her in the first place (Let’s call her Girl 2, G2 who turns out, was actually G1’s cousin)
Prior To This Call:
The girl and I are very cordial. No yelling, no blame games, complete utter understanding. However, G2, on the other hand, was an entirely different story. Right off the bat, she was on the verge of being impertinent, giving curt replies and shirking all responsibilities and blaming it all on me. She completely denied the whole bubblewrap debacle saying that her helper most definitely had the palette bubblewrapped and I, adamantly, reiterated that there was no bubblewrap. The argument got so heated that I blatantly told them that how could they, as makeup sellers, NOT bubblewrap a palette and just send it in a flimsy plastic bag and then insinuate that I’m lying? Here, G1 interrupted to cool things down and said if you’re saying it wasn’t bubblewrapped then we believe you (I think they were doing the good cop bad cop bit with me) and then both of them gave this tedious explanation of how the flimsy plastic bag was actually a “flyover” and it was more safe etc etc. They told me to send the palette back after Eid cuz the delivery would be delayed anyway and G1, very curtly added “But if any other shade was broken, I’m not going to give you your full refund”. I could feel the heat coming out of my ears by now and I said “I’m going to bubblewrap it and send it in the exact same flyover plastic bag you said was so safe but if something happened to it in the way, I’m not taking responsibility for it”. To which G1 replied “ If you’re saying that, then how can you blame the broken shade on us. You, yourself, just said that you won’t take any responsibility for what happens during the transit” and I said “You. Didn’t. Bubblewrap. it. I’m going to bubblewrap it and do whatever is possible for me to keep it safeas you should have”. And here we emersed back into the bubblewrap argument and G1 again interrupted and said that I should just keep the palette and she’ll gift me a discount on my next purchase or send me a Huda Beauty obsession palette as consolation, in lieu of risking breaking another shade in the transit when I send it back. No way in hell was I acquiescing and I was hellbent on sending the palette back, even if I had to take full responsibility if it broke. We all agreed to me sending it back and I hung up while both of them were saying something.
A while later, G1 calls me and tries to persuade me to keep the palette and opt for the discount. I decline and say I’m sending it back no matter what.
Eid Day 1
My Eid Day 1 dress didn’t come (Extremely Incompetent of Ali Xeeshan) so that was the cherry on top of my disappointing bland Eid Sundae which I spent sending incessant messages to all of Ali Xeeshan’s social media accounts. Even sent Myra one. None of them replied back. Typical. So, wore the FTA dress and used Jaclyn’s palette for eye makeup because I didn’t want the girls to come up with any other excuse to reject the palette because after the conference call, I was emphatically sure that they were going to scrutinize even the trivialities to try to waive the refund. Also, my scruples wouldn’t have allowed me to use the palette when I was going to send it back afterwards. Basic Etiquettes
Eid Day 3 :
G1 calls to tell me to send palette today and I tell her that I can’t today, I’ll send tomorrow. Says okay. Calls me back after a while telling me how I MUST send it tomorrow as G1 has to return the palette too to another place and if it is any later, she won’t be able to avail the return policy and I’ll be stuck with the broken palette. I said fine. Here, my doubts were confirmed that they’re try everything just so they could pin it on me.
I call Leopard couriers, they dont pick up so I figure that they’re closed. I go to Tcs and they don’t have any bubblewrap and they show me a VERY unstable box in which they’ll send the palette in. Fuck no.
I go to M&P and the guy there is really nice and helpful but they don’t have bubblewrap either but he says he has something better and covers the palette all over with stiff, white, thick and sturdy Styrofoam and tapes it all over. Definitely better than any bubblewrap. I buy a cotton roll and keep it everywhere in the box in which the palette is to be sent and then the guy cut the box to the size of the palette and cotton bed so that there were no dead spaces and he taped the box all over and then he put in the fragile flyover/hangar plastic bag that the Gs sent it in. I don’t think there was anything humanly possible to secure it any further and the palette left for its most ephemeral stay at G2’s house.
I send the picture of the receipt to G1. G1 called me and said that M&P were the most unsecure delivery service in Pakistan and they always break the palette and I should’ve have taken her advice and just kept the palette. This was maybe 5-6th time she tried to convince me to keep the palette. I said NOPE I’m sending it back no matter what but my only concern is that when the palette reaches G2 safely, she might break a shade just to save the money and say that ‘hey, it broke in transit”. G1 said that she has been working with G2 for years and she would never do anything like that and that she is vey trustful. I said time will tell and we’ll see. Agay Allah khair karega.
Few Days Later :
G1 calls me and says that the palette just reached and I should check my imessages and I said “huh so the palette broke huh?” before I even opened her pictures. 3 of the shades were “splashed”, a word G1 used. But for me, it looked like something took a blunt object and crushed small areas of the shades.
ME : “Okay. So I think the green shade broke because it was loose like VR nectar and that’s how it broke but I don’t understand how these three shades would break and that too, like this?”
G1: “How would I know? It happened in transit”
Me: “I packed it as securely as humanly possible. I can’t comprehend the logistics of these three shades being crushed like this”
G1: “Look, there’s Azaan happening and I swear this is how the palette reached G2” Now, what could I have said to the Azaan swear? “You should’ve listened to me and kept the palette “
Me:“No, I was going to send it back no matter what. I didn’t want to have any regrets. It did cost me 30k”
G1: “Yes, you’re right. Look you’re really sweet and I don’t want for us to end in bad terms so I’m going to send you a makeup bag with this palette and few huda beauty lipsticks “
ME: “You don’t need to do that but fine but please ensure that you have the palette bubblewrapped this time”
Few Days Later :
The palette gets delivered with NO bubblewrapping, in the exact same box I sent in it in with the exact same cotton bed and the EXACT SAME Styrofoam and G2 didn’t even bother having it taped all over like I had. The Styrofoam wrapping was completely open and they didn’t even send it in the fragile flyover/hangar they so vehemently praised for being completely safe. Even after ALL THIS, ALL THE SHADES WERE INTACT. No splashing!!!!! So tell me this, I kept the palette between two Styrofoam taped all over, over a thick cotton bed and had the box cut to its size and then tapped all over and STILL got “splashing”. While this impertinent, wreckless, responsibility shirking, incompetent G2, sends it back loosely between the Styrofoam without the flyover plastic bag, without taping it and NOT A SINGLE SHADE IS HARMED?!?!?!?!?!
All I could deduce from this is that the most PROBABLE thing that could’ve happened is that the palette was deliberately harmed. Subjectively, they were never going to refund me. They’d take an unhappy customer overfinancial loss, even though they were at fault through and through. This all was done via a popular insta account owned by a popular MUA. It just completely saddens me how people absolutely jettison fundamental morality while doing business. If you can’t provide competent delivery or even decent customer service, for that matter, you shouldn’t scam people’s halal money just because you can’t afford the losses. Makes you lose faith from online shopping where you can’t even give a strange the benefit of the doubt.
G1 called me when the palette was delivered back to me but I wasn’t near my phone then and I never called her back and neither did she.
Credit where due
- G1 did get the palette delivered to me before Eid
-She was cordial and was showing concern and made sure all the communication between us was clear.
-P.s Day almost 40 and I STILL haven’t gotten the promised makeup bag/lipsticks.