I recently attempted to purchase some LED lamps from a Shopify store or member called TheLiteCraft or just LiteCraft. They had advertised on Instagram, had a website, and a Facebook page which had posts that were at least a year old so I felt ok in the purchase. I placed a $40.00 order and as with most things ordered online you typically forget about it and then a week or so later it shows up or at least you get a confirmation email of your purchase. In this case however I got nothing. No purchase confirmation from them and no purchase confirmation from Shopify either. My money was definitely taken though. Within a month their Facebook page was deleted as were their website (see below) which lead me here to Shopify as that is who they were apparently using as a transaction service for payment.
So my big complaint here is that Shopify just took or processed my money and never sent any sort of confirmation of that nor was there any sort of alert that this shop / user had either deleted their account or closed their "store"and that my item was never sent.
I was in fact charged for the item and the only other information I got was via an app called "Shop" that tracks all your online shopping.. such as via eBay, Amazon, etc.. This purchase immediately showed up once purchased and even provided an order number and it immediately said it shipped (which I thought was odd), but no other information was ever provided. Meanwhile with other purchases I had made during the same month the shipping data updated regularly as the packages got closer and were delivered. With this purchase however nothing ever changed. It just said "shipped" and nothing else. No tracking information, location data, etc.. just nothing. And so after a few weeks of not seeing any updates via this app or my email I then emailed them twice in two weeks and never got a single reply. And again, their website and Facebook page quickly disappeared after that. The only crumb left was a link on their website's dead homepage that linked back to Shopify.
I realize Shopify is just a transaction service for sellers ..NOT BUYERS.. so apparently there is no support to be offered to buyers who have been scammed by any fly-by-night businesses that may use Shopify as a middleman to take your money but this is very concerning nonetheless even if I was to use Shopify as a seller myself. It simply needs to have some checks and balances in place to help buyers since this is the service actually performing the transaction and taking your money. They either need to be able to vett sellers and or alert buyers if a seller has ceased doing business and you yourself have a pending order. There should be information about seeking refunds if necessary as in this case it is very necessary. If it has been for a lot more I'd be out for blood. Shopify needs to have some sort of accountability in all this.
Regardless, this was very difficult to deal with as again, I never got any sort of confirmation email from the seller nor Shopify... yet my money was definitely taken by Shopify!!!!
My only recourse is with my own bank to perform a charge reversal as I paid by credit card via their checkout feature.. which again ...is obviously run through Shopify!!!!
Based on this event I will never use Shopify if I see that they are the transaction service for my purchase and I certainly wouldn't recommend them to online sellers.
Thanks for reaching out about this, I can empathize with and understand the situation that you're in.
To explain our role, Shopify is an ecommerce platform that some businesses use to run their online store. However much like a shopping mall, we don't run the businesses using our platform. In saying this, I want to stress that we absolutely do not condone any type of fraudulent activity on Shopify from our merchants. You can see our Acceptable Use Policy here for more information about this.
I'd like to thank you in reaching out to us in regards to this matter, and highly appreciate that you've taken the time out to do so! I'd also like to share these two resources that we have available for buyers within our Shopify Community Forum, feel free to take a look at them for further references:
Let me know how you get on with the information above. I'd be happy to help if you have any other questions.