My money, your money - The lost battle against the giant platforms

There are 10 replies in this Thread which has previously been viewed 335 times. The latest Post () was by Rice.

  • Platforms that connect people looking for a service/good and companies/individuals providing them can be great. However, since there are always more users than suppliers, these platforms tend to favor the customers.

    On AirBnB, a common practice is for a guest to make up an excuse to complain about a place AFTER checkout. Usually they make up something hard to prove, such as "there was no water/internet" or "the was a bad smell" or "I saw a spider in a corner". The platform reimburses their stay in full, leaving the unit's owner with utilities bills, cleaning fees, and property taxes to pay.

    On PayPal, a buyer can open a dispute to get a refund AFTER receiving a service/product.

    In both scenarios, the seller/provider/tenant can challenge the dispute and has to spend time documenting their reasons. But they know the chances of seeing the money/payment reinstated are slim. In part, because we know that they favor the customers, in part because they don't really have a full picture/knowledge of the issue, in part for the limited characters one can type to explain themselves.

    I have been looking for tenants outside of AirBnB for that very reason, but I am currently victim of a PayPal dispute from a client who received her documents and at the same time is challening me that the product was not as described. Since she bought digital products (a document and its apostille, from Argentina, with digital signatures and verifiable online), I delivered again the products through Paypal. She keeps disputing that they are not as promised. I don't know what is not as promised. Maybe she just changed her mind, or she genuinely doesn't understand what she had ordered and received. Either way, not only I have spent money to request these documents to the public offices that issue them, but I am now spending time to try to get paid. More time wasted and I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    I had a bad experience in the past on PayPal when I sold a brand new Gucci product to a person in Canada through eBay. They sent the payment through PayPal, I shipped the product oversea and after 40 days I saw the money disappear from my PayPal account. The reason? It seems that person used a stolen credit card. I got the short stick in the story, since the owner of the stolen credit card got their money, PayPal didn't lose any money, but I lost my product.

  • The same is happening on Mercadolibre where all transactions are overly skewed to the buyer and one tiny slip up by the seller gets punished heavily.

    Last April I advertised a clothes stand which is about 2m tall and clearly stated that it could not be shipped through ML.

    Someone bought it, I reiterated that it could not be wrapped up and shipped and so she cancelled. That took my reputation down to smelly brown.

    In around the same month last year I shipped a hard drive two days after the order was received, the 'delay' was only picked up last week and now my rep is in the red.

    There is zero contact with humans, it's all done by algorithms and I have no redress on the issue.

  • That sucks. It happened also to a lady who sells her plants (she really has a green thumb!). She advertised her plants on ML, but she didn't ship them. After two people bought and cancelled, her reputation went down the drain and nobody is buying from her on ML anymore. She has turned to Facebook Marketplace, although she is very scared because her husband and her were assaulted twice in their apartment in Avellaneda many years ago. They have since moved to Capital. When she moved the conversation from FB to whatsapp, she insinuated that I looked like a man in my whatsapp picture and it was a huge red flag. I was just wearing a baseball cap and had my hair tied in a ponytail. :facepalm: She proceeded to say that she is a grandma and isn't looking for trouble.

    I have been called many things, but a man... is a first!

    As a customer, I can see that for some items the shipping is not available (Solo retiro), but I am not sure how this should be set up when creating the ad.

  • TiendaNube is another big company in Argentina for creating your own sellers website which you control. It is quick to setup even if just one product, including payment processing. Without the foot traffic of ML which means you need to take some effort to drive buyers. This is the biggest and can be compared to Shopify in USA y Canada. There are a few other smaller ones in Argentina , though I do not remember at this moment.

  • I had no idea that kind of thing was going on with AirBnB customers. I've only ever stayed in one AirBnB and that was the same place twice in Olivos and he posted a review saying I was the best resident he'd ever had!

    Paypal are evil on all kinds of levels. I would never conduct a large transaction through it and would never leave a single penny in my account there.

  • Last afternoon I was looking for horseradish online, when google suggested a page of Rappi where they had it for $1650 from Disco (supermarket). Since there is no Disco within walking distance, I decided to order using the app. Proceeded to add also a Sriracha sauce (also not very common) which was about the same price vs. competitors on Mercadolibre that sold these items for around 6000 pesos/each.

    Then I threw in a couple more items to make the shipping charge worth it.

    Upon checkout, the app informed me that I could save $1329 if I subscribed to Rappi Pro for $2999/mo. It said that the membership will be paid back with just 3 orders.

    The truth is that they offer free unlimited shipping costs, but have also SERVICE COSTS for each order, so they still charge you something for each order. It is not like Amazon Prime where there is absolutely no other cost besides Prime membership.

    So, aiming at saving a hour of my time, I subscribed to Rappi Pro, placed the order and waited. Immediately after paying, the app told me that for 4 items out of 4 the stock was low and I should pick a replacement item or otherwise.

    Did I want a mayonnaise instead of horseradish sauce? No, I'd rather get a refund.

    Did I want a $4000 dental paste instead of the $2000 I had picked? No, I'd rather get a refund.

    Did I want a dog doy instead of a adhesive roll to remove pet hair? No, I'd rather get a refund.

    Did I want a ketchup sauce instead of the mildly spicy Sriracha? No, I'd rather get a refund.

    After 20' the app was showing the delivery guy at the Disco on Santa Fe. He didn't find a couple of items and the app asked me to instruct him on what to do. Well, I had already made my selection previously, and the app wasn't letting me do anything when I clicked on the prompt. All I could do was to accept an order of $4000 for half the items (I didn't understand which ones, as those marked as "unavailable" by the delivery guy were also those that would be ordered) for $1300 in delivery charges.

    At that point, I considered it was not worth the cost, as on top of the delivery charge I have to tip the delivery guy, so I would end up paying twice as much. I cancelled the order, but the Rappi Pro subscription ($2999) stayed.

    This is the second time that it happened. The same happened also in December, always with Rappi and with an order from Disco. This time, I decided to file a claim with the Consumer Defense office because fool me once...

    Basically, the plan is the following: they advertise an offer or another convenient price or hard to find item, so that you buy it through their app instead of going from store to store hoping to find it. When you place the order, you get prompted to buy their subscription to save on this order and on future orders.


    1) Once you have paid and placed the order, the so-conveniente items are not available anymore.

    2) Your order no longer makes sense / is convenient to you.

    3) You cancel the order and you get reimbursed for the items, but if you cancel the Rappi Pro subscription, you don't get a refund - it won't be renewed at the end of the month.

    4) The delivery guy has gone to the Disco for nothing.

    5) Disco didn't sell the other items because I cancelled the order

    6) I got charged $2999 for something I didn't get, eventually.

    Obviously, it is not the $2999 I am bothered about but the trick they played on me twice.

    At night, since I was still fuming and my husband was making fun of me for falling for this scam twice (he told me to not do the Rappi Pro subscription, but the difference was "just" $1000 on top of the standard charges for the order).

    I asked my husband to take me to the Disco on Santa Fe (which is open 24/7) and lo and behold, I found the horseradish (same price as advertised on Rappi), the Sriracha (same), the dental paste (found an even cheaper Colgate paste for $1115). The only item I wasn't able to find were the hair rolls, but I shopped even more because there were other in-store deals not advertised on the app.

    Pasta paradise and my favorite canned tomatoes (La Molisana) imported from Italy @ $1900 -35% (a can of 400 g)

    Local tomato sauce can't hold a stick to Italian tomato sauce.

    Other absurd prices that didn't made sense even with a 35% discount was marmalade.

    This wasn't even the most expensive marmalade. One was 13.500 pesos by La Masseuse.

  • Buying groceries can be a gamble in the best of circumstances. And shopping in Argentina certainly isn’t the best of circumstances right now. But throw in Rappi and it becomes a video game filled with crazy twists and turns. As I read your account, serafina , I was frustrated and angry on your behalf.

  • I am wondering how on earth delivery app calculate the delivery fees and how much actually goes to the person in charge of delivery (with their own vehicle).

    Tonight, I ordered ice cream and the suggested tip for the delivery boy was something really ridiculous, like $200 (20 cent of dollar).

    I usually give $0 through the app because I’d rather hand it in cash.

    I don’t know if this tip is on top of the delivery guy’s remuneration for his service, but if this is the number the app thinks their service is worth, I guess their are paid a pittance. I wonder if they can cover gas cost!

  • it could be interesting to ask a variety of delivery persons about this. They’d probably be glad to give you an earful.