Review of V4L
Keeping in accordance with Elendil's posting guidelines,(http://www.e-cigarette-forum.com/for...post-here.html) this review is only based on V4L's:
1. Shipping speed
2. Return policy
4. and the like.
from an objective and comparative point of view over 3 months time.
1. Shipping speed
More often than not, every order ships within 3 business days. V4L does not assist consumers equally on lost or delayed orders.
2. Return policy
V4L's return policy does not match what is on their website. While this can often make them a far more attractive, compassionate and understanding company, it also causes mixed messages. Instead of being addressed my recent experience has shown me V4L handles consumer confusion over verbal agreements(made because "we haven't updated our return policy yet") with compounded double-talk(mixed messages), avoidance, personal insults, etc. They seem to only keep their word if they feel like it and after they convince you to not pay attention to their to be updated 'policy'. iow, when you take them at their word about their policy not being inflexible, they use their verbal policy to delay doing anything until the warranty wears out, get all sympathetic about after the fact but, ultimately do not adequately follow through. They don't honor their 72hr wrong product policy when they make the mistake more than once, instead using 'bonuses' as replacements and defaming a person after killing the fun they say the bonuses are intended for, as an 'ungrateful' customer (again to keep things clean here) They push for thank-you's when you have a serious issue, rather than correct the problem. (see next).
CS in any business is there to field complaints. During the 1st couple months the majority of any email to their team was related to website problems when ordering and they handled those e-mails very well.
My major concern was that I didn't get the kit I ordered. During that process, one of the best CS reps left V4L. The new rep, instead of shipping the kit as ordered, items in the kit were individually replaced with bonus cartos. However, 3 months later, non-functional part after non-functional part, not all items were replaced. I was told I was being 'silly' to 'petty' (to keep the language clean here) to even care about color choices. From that point forward, any problem I had was reduced to how much trouble they went to to replace the kit, which again, they didn't completely do but, as if they did.
I was told by the company owner/investor it was, in his opinion, 'weird' that I purchased only 1 kit, showing enormous confidence in V4L's products that are promoted with a longer lifespan, given a written personal promise w/ his cell # that he would discuss this and a DOA product purchased & less than a month old, that he did not follow through on because he was in meetings. No further attempt was made by him to follow through and there was no response to a direct e-mail by myself to him about this either.
CS has informed me they would extend an exception by fixing my first order, correcting the DOA new separately purchased product and correcting items their packing department shipped that I didn't order, with no notice to me that they were picking some things based on guesswork I'd like them when items ordered were out of stock. That verbal agreement changed to their blaming me, telling me (a 2+ pk/day smoker(I started vaping on a different PV before finding V4L) I didn't know how to vape and have no sense of taste instead of acknowledging a problem on their end, despite several similar complaints on their forum. The rep who made that agreement with me is the same rep who told me to not contact CS again.
I was justifiably upset and unjustifiably accused of a 3part pm being threatening. I expressed how much this hurt me, offered alternative ways to be in touch as a suggestion and went as far as offering to pay for all but s/h costs if they would honor their spoken 'absolutely we test all of our products on request!) I needed them to verbally explain the initial agreement as to what they are open to doing in cases where there are repeated and continuous errors and/or faulty merchandise - that they could help by testing the product first, and requested this be done more than once. It was ignored and therefore I was continually shipped mis-manufactured items. What I got was a hostile OT e-mail and no response at all from a second V4L staff-person.
My most recent order was lost in the mail and CS, instead of taking an interest to assist me, recanted more than 5 completely different excuses as to why they could not, fully aware I had no juice for over 10 days. Their email continued, again, back to my first order and the 'bonuses' (the trojan horse) of their put downs and avoidance. It went so far as CS dictating to me what I could and couldn't purchase as well as their request to not 'bother' them, so OT to a request for assistance over a lost package it is all review-worthy.
There is no way to delete your account - only change your cc info or email address. Your name and address is forever in their system.
CS reps have a very high turnover, which does not exude any or successful training of their staff as well as confuse reps when resolutions are delayed and are transferred to someone new who has no idea what standing agreements were put in place. Instead of quick resolutions, extended delays, etc. seem to push new reps over the edge; are overly stressful for them to deal with causing more delays. One rep, I was told was not yet trained to take a msg is presently in charge of all customer service - a week later. Fast learner.
V4L's shipping costs are much higher than the cost printed on the USPS label. They do not explain why.
V4L's packing department does not pack juice and batts separately so the batt (or other items) are not ruined if the juice leaks.
No one calls out individuals who don't pack correctly or CS reps who fail to keep their word.
My first 2 months with V4L was 3-5*****(5 on some items outside the scope of this forum) because I took them at the word.
The last month <1* because their CS depleted my stock of juice, left me needing a shovel from the verbal nonsense, etc., denied their own 'contact within 72hrs on wrong products' and no way to trust them.
My average rating based on this review, over 3 months and approx $450=$500 in, is a 2-3 and primarily based on outright negligent CS that shows no signs of improving.
This review in no way is or implies any rating about the V4L forum, itself or any of the consumers there. This is strictly based on actual events I've personally experienced and notice can and do occur for better or worse, directly from the V4L company, that has not done anything but go around the actual problem with a schoolyard bully attitude.
If the purpose of this forum to reach resolutions, it would take a miracle after all this nonsense.
Seems like there's been alot of unrest going here with some suppliers, I contacted one of the mods the other nite about this and asked several poignant questions about resolving disputes with the forum suppliers, the following is a partial quote;
" if any member is having unresolved issues with any registered supplier on the forum, they may contact our Supplier Complaint Officer, who will work to help get any issues resolved. His contact info can be found on our Contacts Page: Ecigarette Forum Contacts "
With that, I would highly suggest that anyone having issues, go to the link, print out the page and contact them asap, without documentation or information they cannot help.
Hope this helps! Vicki
While so far I have had no problem personally with V4L, I can see where you would be frustrated based on what you said. That being said as always there are 2 sides to every story. I will agree though that it does seem like V4L does go through CS people quite a bit. Not sure why that is.
I hope your issues get resolved with mutual satisfaction to you and the company
There are two sides to every 'story'. I think, jtcaseyjr, the problem lies in the fact that once they've let things build up and slide for so long, they choose to only listen to theirs and everything they've emailed seems to support that. They're already satisfied so aren't interested in a mutual resolve and again, have emailed as much and then some.
Originally Posted by jtcaseyjr
As far as the CS rep turnover rate, I think, their CS might, for the most part, be working between college semesters. It was rare but the rep that was truly devoted to vaping, had more life experience and CS came very natural to him.
Otherwise, it's simply a review of V4L based on my experience and observations of mostly their CS.
Thanks to both of you for your concern to reply to my review.
Last edited by WOW; 09-15-2010 at 11:19 PM.
UPDATED V4L Review
I want to thank V-Chick and JTC, Jr. for your feedback, as well as everyone who didn't pounce all over me for my initial review of V4L(it helped let my issues become resolvable and instead of wasting my time defending myself, it gave me the space I needed to learn how to deal with 'when everything seems wrong' things and I'm also sure helped V4L see where some things wrong with less stress, also)
I AM THRILLED TO POST HOW EACH AND EVERY POINT WAS, SINCE THIS POST, ADDRESSED BY V4L, FOR NOT ONLY MYSELF BUT, EVERY V4L CUSTOMER. (Less thrilling, but there's parts of my initial review that were a direct result of my needing to learn new things.
I'm very grateful for the opportunity to correct both to rebuild trust with V4L on my side and with hope others will learn from my experience. It's easy to doubt everything during an 'everything's wrong' time and I do extend not only my apologies to V4L but what I've learned from this. Heaven forbid anyone else crash lands like I did, they'll read this first and know how to prepare themselves better than I did. I also want to thank ECF for giving members a more 'private' or 'quiet' area where miracles can be hoped for and worked toward being open to for consumers and vendors. Elindil, this forum, if needed, works with your guidelines....thanks.
This is my detailed updated V4L review
My present rating for V4L has, in less than 14 days changed from <1* to 4-5*'s, with one replacement enroute.
I'm keeping the original layout and content and adding to it so others can see both the issues and the resolutions. Short of the order enroute containing only bubblewrap, I don't anticipate any further problems with V4L and unconditionally adding the extra *
Now for the UPDATE...
Thanks, ECF! This is a real turning point and I continue to extend my best wishes for ECF and V4L's ongoing success. I will not be escalating my complaint/review to any back-up ECF officers. Just a long way of saying V4L made some welcomed changes that are 4-5*'s commendable.
Originally Posted by WOW
Thank heaven and happy 'ing !!!!!!!!
Last edited by WOW; 09-28-2010 at 11:11 AM.
Reason: add, clarify, typos & just tired.
Their pre filled cartos are very hit and miss as are the batts and PT's. Poor quality control on their products. I used to order ALOT of stuff from them due to glowing reviews but quickly became dissapointed with the lack of consistancy of quality.
I just finished trying to correct a ton of typos and added some other thoughts (like that post gets any longer and it's going to need chapters!)
The juice is more economical. They also have new carts that are wrapped for sanitary return. They know, like every other vendor, there's variations but watch some YouTube vids (I think I watched 1 from every vendor that has one) V4L is the only one where the person in the vid doesn't end up hacking on the juice. It's high quality. Also, if your using a KR808 cart with a high output batt, the juice is going to burn fast and effect the taste same as if you vape on a 1/2 charged batt.
I was really heartbroken. It's hard for me to write off a company that tries so hard and makes various options available affordable. If you have a complaint visit their forum and look at the stickies. Talk to them. Let them know. This thread is not one for complaining after the exceptional efforts they made so rapidly to do what they do best - help people who want they're input smile. You've posted over there before. I'm trying to help so everyone can learn from my experience how to vape happy within these lengths they went to without one price hike on anything and more sales than ever.
No one had these features - It's not that easy to express the difference it makes to anyone not willing to try them. They're free and don't obligate you to purchase anything. You'll feel better just knowing it's not as bad you think - a LOT has changed - I'm astounded by how fast they did this. That is part of quality control. Otherwise, you're just bashing on a informational review for your use.
It's surreal how these things get turned back on me.
let me just say i dont like hassle and im thankful for your input because going in blindfolded is all you can do if reviews like this isnt done imo
Well, my short version is I'm a dedicated customer. Yes, a few (3) bad batts but good customer service and very generous comps. They're still my "go-to" store. Ummmmm , in fact I'm going there now. More shopping!
I used v4l when I started to vape (6 months ago) and I was very pleased with them. At the time, the liquid seemed awesome, the cartos would be hit and miss and the batteries were pretty reliable. Plus they usually have a 22-24% discount once a month. What I didn't like is that they really only sold 1 type of device. Later when I acquired an 510 with a drip tip, and some liquid from a good supplier, I stopped ordering from them. I never had a problem, but just found their selection weak, and their liquids, although good, are not the best that I have tried.
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