OFF INTO THE WILD WET YONDER How does this...
Shopping Online Comes Under the Magnifying Glass
Shopping online can quickly become detrimental to your wallet. And on occasion, even your pride (by this I’m referring to family friend females who buy online knowing they are a size small only to discover once the package arrives they are, hold for it, a medium). But it appears there’s a new concern when buying online now as well… less-than-reputable online retailers with a wicked sense of humor.
“Ong,” from Selangor, Malaysia, ordered a penis enlarger online (at a cost of approximately US$140), but was less than impressed when the package he held in his hands contained only a magnifying glass and the instructions “Do not use in sunlight.”
Local authorities say that Ong is the third person in the region this year to report being duped online. While three cases is hardly cause for alarm, the key word here is “reported.” I imagine many similar instances are simply written off for lack of time or desire to follow up with, or perhaps even embarrassment.
Emerging markets are especially vulnerable to these types of Internet scams, as the online industry in these regions is still underdeveloped and insecure. The absence of larger companies like Amazon make it all too easy for smaller (and shady) online retailers to set up, operate, and set the watermark low for security and for corporate responsibility.
While stories like Ong’s don’t help online shopping’s relatively young reputation—especially when Malaysia’s national newspaper uses headlines such as “Big mistake buying online”—in all actuality, Malaysia has over the years been slowly developing its online shopping, with companies such as Japan’s Rakuten jumping into the market, and Germany’s Rocket Internet introducing the platforms Zalora and Lazada to the region. The market undoubtedly still needs time to mature and to grow (as do the buyers), but ideally sooner than later the bad get weeded out and the green begins to flourish.
H/T: The Star (Malaysia)