A Shanghai woman received the 3,000 yuan ($474) baby car seat Thursday that she ordered from Hong Kong after posting online about her experience trying to find out how the item disappeared during delivery.
The woman's story, which has been forwarded thousands of times on Sina Weibo since Tuesday, illustrates the runaround that some customers go through after ordering goods from overseas, which can inexplicably go missing in transit.
At the end of August, the woman, an expectant mother surnamed Ye, purchased several items from Eugene Baby, a store in Hong Kong, but she didn't receive anything by the estimated delivery date, according to a report in the Shanghai Evening Post.
She called the store and the delivery company, China Oriental Express (COE), which both told her that her delivery had been stopped at a customs checkpoint in Dongguan, Guangdong Province, according to the report.
A COE customer service representative, surnamed Liang, told Ye that her order was delayed because a customs official liked the car seat and took it for himself, according to a recording of the conversation that Ye posted on her microblog. Liang said that there was nothing COE could do and suggested that Ye negotiate compensation with the retailer.
On Wednesday, Lü Yongcai, a spokesperson with Dongguan customs, said that an internal investigation found that Ye's delivery passed through customs without delay, the Shanghai Evening Post reported.
Lü added that the customs office reserved the right to sue the delivery company for slander.
The same day, Ye received phone calls from both Eugene Baby and the Shenzhen-based COE, according to the Shanghai Evening Post.
Each company said they had found the car seat and would deliver it to her as soon as possible. Eugene Baby in particular asked her to drop her complaint.
Ye continued to demand answers on her microblog about the inexplicable disappearance and reappearance of her items.
The Global Times couldn't reach Ye or the retailer's parent company Thursday. COE refused to comment.
Importers said items often disappear without explanation after entering customs.
"This kind of thing happens almost every day," said an experienced freight forwarder surnamed Yao, who works for an international trade company in Shanghai.
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