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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Crystal Clear’s Bad Experience With Ebonyline.com

I know the title isn't clever, but I wasn’t looking to be witty. I just wanted to get my point across. If you are one of the two people who read this blog you know that I am a broke graduate student who lives in a predominately white rural town. Any way buying black hair products has become an impossible feat, so you can imagine my enthusiasm when I came upon www.ebonyline.com, a beauty supply web outlet that sells everything from the latest wigs, weaves and extensions, to hair conditioners and treatments, fragrances, skin care products, and accessories and for very reasonable prices. Having compared this site to several of their competitors I decided to give them a try because they had the lowest prices and the most reasonable shipping. So I purchased a wig on September 6th, 2008 for $37.92 from them and waited excitedly for it to arrive.

The wig came just a few days later and I rushed to open the package. Surprise! The wig didn’t look like the one on the model. It looked a lot shorter and the hair color was not exactly what I expected. No problem, I thought, I’ll just try it on and if it doesn’t fit or doesn't look nice on me I’ll send it back. I checked to make sure ebonyline had a return/exchange policy before I forked over 40 bux of my hard earned money. I was careful when removing the wig from the packaging, taking special care to leave all of the original tags on it. I then placed a wig cap on (over my freshly washed hair) and tried the wig on. Just as I suspected, the wig did not look right on me. No big, deal. It’s not ebonyline’s fault that the wig doesn’t suit me. I’ll just send it back for an exchange.

As the site suggested I sent an email to their return services. A short while later I receive the following response.

Hello Customer,

You may return the item(s) as long as it is in its’ original sellable condition. Also, all exchanges or returns must be received within 10 days from the authorization date. We will give you 80% refund on your return due to restocking fee. Please note that wigs and other beauty accessories (e.g. irons, ponytails, half-wigs, etc.) can only be returned for an exchange or store credit. You will be responsible for any extra fees that might be required to process an exchange. Please notify as us soon as you sent the item back to us. Our return address is:

5639 W. Howard St.
Niles, IL 60714

Please make sure you check our return policy before taking any action:


Thank you for your cooperation.

An 80% refund or store credit didn’t seem that bad. Sides it was better than completely wasting my money on a product that didn’t suit me. So I followed the instructions, put the wig back in it’s original packaging with all of it’s tags and off I shipped it for $4.80. Then I sent an email back to the customer service rep stating that the wig was on it’s way. I receive this email back:

Hello Customer,

Thank you for your inquiry.

We will be able to process an exchange for your return if the return was properly processed by our return policy. We will calculate the difference and make charge to your credit card account you used to place an order with.

Thank you for choosing Ebonyline.com

So far so good. I’m still a happy camper at this point. Then two weeks later I receive this email.

Hello Customer,

Thank you for your return.

Unfortunately, we cannot accept your return for S-ALBA. The hair has very strong odor coming out of it. As the result, we concluded that the product is not in original condition. We can send the wig back to your address if you are willing to be responsible for the shipping cost. Otherwise, we have no choice but to dispose the item. Please reply back to us with your decision.

Thank you for your cooperation,

WHAT THE HECK!!!!! STRONG ODOR!!!!. So in other words yall aint given me my exchange or store credit and I STINK!!!!! And to top it all off yall are allegedly going to throw the wig away if I don’t pay yall more money to get the wig back!!!! At this point I’m pissed because I’ve already spent $42.72 and I still have no product and no exchange, and now I have to pay more money for a product I’m quite unhappy with. Now maybe $42.72 is no big deal to the rest of the world, but to a BROKE graduate student living off of a stipend that would make a McDonalds employee cry, it’s a BIG deal. So I sent the following unfriendly email back to customer service:

Dear Sir,

I am not satisfied with the service I have received from your company. I have spent approximately $40 dollars (including what I spent to ship the wig back) and now you are telling me that I am out of a product and I don't even get my money back. That's bad business. Is there someone I can speak with about this matter? Is there a customer service number I can call? I assure you that when I sent the wig back there was NO odor coming from it. All I did was take the wig out of it's original package examine it and determined that it DID NOT look like the wig on the model. So I sent it back in the same condition I got it in. Now you are telling me that unless I pay you MORE money I am out of the product and I don't get a credit or even an exchange. I'm sorry, but that just doesn't suffice. It seems very convenient and very suspicious that you all would get the returned wig and then accuse me of ruining it so that you all don't have to reimburse me or give me a product. Who can I take this matter up with?

I receive this response a little while later:

Hello Customer,

Thank you for your reply.

I have already spoke to my manager regarding your return and she also came up with conclusion that we cannot accept your return. As we state on our website, the return product must be returned in original sellable condition. You may contact us by calling:


Please be aware that the refusal on the return package is the final decision. You must decide if you wish to receive the item back by being responsible for the shipping cost or dispose the item from our side. Please reply back to us with your decision on the order.

Thank you for your cooperation,

So basically I’m screwed and I have to hurry up and make a decision about whether or not I want this wig and make it fast before I’m out of even more money! So I sent the following email back:

Dear Sir,

Thank you for your quick reply.

Because it seems I have no real choice in the matter, please ship the wig back to me. I will pay for the shipping. Please know and please tell your superiors that I am very dissatisfied with the treatment I have received. This is the first time I have ordered from your company and because of my experience it will be my last.

INHO they could have at least given me something—a discount on my next purchase, a coupon because I’m a first time customer, an offer to ship the wig back for free, but no they did not! Instead they charged $7.93 to my debit card to send the “STANK” wig back. That brings my total to $50.65. Swell.

So what’s the moral of the story? I’m just suggesting that there are many online retailers out there for those of us who must buy hair products from off the internet, but that Crystal Clear CANNOT recommend www.ebonyline.com. Shop there at your own risk, but remember you were warned by this blog. If you still insist on shopping there don’t expect to return any of the products you purchase. I spose if you purchase earrings from them they will send you a note back saying that there’s an odor coming from those too!!!!! You’ve been warned. And please send this to anyone you know who shops for beauty products online.

UPDATE: Today I got the wig back from ebonyline.com and guess what? It DOES NOT stink! The only odor coming from this wig is that of the box it was shipped in. Most things smell a little like cardboard if you ship them in, I don't know, CARDBOARD. But the wig smells just fine. That suggests to me that the whole "odor thing" was a BS story they made up so they would not have to give me my much deserved exchange. Congratulations Ebonyline, you just lost a very good customer, and potentially many more depending on how many people read this blog.


Diamond said...

Oh while, that really sucks. I will add them along with hairsisters.com they still never gave me back me refund from the remaining balance from the other wig.

"L is for Loquacious" said...

Dang dawg...that sucks. So I wonder what party is responsible for oversight of internet purchases? Is that something you can contact the BBB about? It might be worth looking into, no?

So here @UT we have access to free legal services. Do y'all have that as well? Maybe it would be worthwhile to have one of those free lawyers draft a strongly worded letter which expresses your strong desire for a refund/exchange? Hmmm......

"L is for Loquacious" said...

And while I ordinarily wouldn't suggest getting buck about a wig, I WOULD get buck about poor customer service and questionable "gotcha" hustles.

Julyrose said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Samayra said...

I've been using them almost 7 years so far they are the best. Sorry to hear your bad experience. I bought almost 50 wigs from them I'm pretty sure I have returned at least 10. They accepted mine except 1 case (seems like they have a dog working for RMA, I used it for my birthday party). Yes, the did made me to pay for return.

Anonymous said...

omg Crystal sorry to hear about your wig story.

Anonymous said...

I have never purchased a wig from ebonyline, but I have purchased weaving hair from them, and used them for years without a problem so far. However, here is a tip, use a credit card, you have the information when the package arrived (usually UPS) then when you return make sure you get delivery confirmation (about .60) your credit company will ask you why. If your cc company sees that you are in the time frame, I might even take a picture of my return just in case, they will do a chargeback against the company. All they need is the tracking number from the delivery confirmation to see that the package made it back. I have had to do this with some companies and you get 100% of your money back.

Anonymous said...

You're probably over that experience with them as I see your post dated back from 2008, but I was looking for reviews about Ebonyline.com and ran across yours. I'm sorry that you had a bad experience with the company. What had me really floored is their audacity to make you pay to ship the wig back to your house and lying about odor coming from the wig.

I'm a first time customer who recently purchase a hair weave from Ebonyline. I usually go to BSS stores but they don't carry the specific style I'm looking for in my city. It is taking them FOREVER to ship it and I place the order over the weekend. What sucks the most is I live in the same state where the company resides. I will never order from that company again. They quick to take your money but offer in exchange a piss poor service.

Anonymous said...

I know this is late but ebony line is such a horrible hair company with bad service. I made an order to them and they failed to tell me that they had no more of the hair I ordered in stock. They kept telling me that my order should arrive on the delivery date. Of course when the date came and no package they said that they ran out of the hair and would ship out today. I quickly cancelled my order and its been almost a week now...and still no refund. I am so upset and will never do business with them, they are a fraud and scam company in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

First, thank you for your blog. I was just now in the process of ordering a wig from ebonyline.com for the first time, but because of your blog, I will not go through with it. The situation you describe was exactly what I was afraid of and in some way, the exact result I anticipated. I am living on a teacher's salary, and I sure don't have the money, time, or patience to deal with a company that rips people off and with unsatisfactory customer service.

Mz J. said...

I just ordered a wig from there on Dec. 10, 2012. I wish I had done more research.

However, I believe the saving grace is that they sent me an email that stated because it is my "first" order, I need to "email or fax" a copy of my ID and credit card both front and back sides for security in 3 days or the order will be cancelled. Yippee!

I have ordered on-line for more than 5 years, and I have NEVER had to send copy of my information ever on a FIRST time order.

This is my way out!

Thank GOD! If there is any trouble I will explore and exhaust every extent of the law to make thing right!

Anonymous said...

I wish I would I read the comments before I ordered from them on December 31st, 2012. They did not have my order in the top 2 color choices that I wanted, so they suggested a third color option over the phone, which I accepted. When my order came it was higher than the amount on the original bill, I asked for a refund of the difference, but they refused. I then asked to return the whole order, which of course they said sure minus 15% restocking fee.

Bottomline, do a search and read the reviews first. You don't have to experience bad customer service yourself, trust the experience of others and save your money.

Do not order from this company, because if you have a problem customer service will not help.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review. I was one minute from ordering from this company when I decided to do a quick search of reviews on them. I I got burned on another company in November) After I read your review, I hit the delete button so quick it would make your head spin.

Lisa dot com said...

I ordered 3 wigs from them, I had a shipping and a billing address. They mixed up the addresses using the street address of the billing and the city and zip of the shipping, of course no address existed and the parcel was shipped back to them. Do you know that they refused to give me a full refund, they treated it like it was a return. I never received the parcel. The post office sent it back to them and they charged me for the postal. The post office gave them a letter on my behalf too

Joy Hamilton said...

Omg! I'm sympathizin w u girl. But here my FB info...as well as my #414-502-4758 I'm Joy...owner of Crowning Glory Boutique. I am a proud wig wearer so I feel ur frustration Crystal! I assure u that I am ur supplier. I have become part I'd the natural hair movement so lately...wigs have been my best friends whilst my hair is growing...lol!
I look forward to hearing from u soon.

June Taylor said...

Thank God! I was Judy about to try them out, but you saved me, because a person like me would go ham about my money, it don't matter how much a person makes, it's customer service that they need help with, this was truly some foul sh*t!

Anonymous said...

Good Day everyone,

Just got off the phone with ebonyline service, this company is a ripoff.

I explained that my return was late, they state 2 months due to my mother coming out of surgery and I was there for her, not at home at this time.

I spent nearly $70, send package back with items for returns of other selection (cost over $7) and they said sorry we cannot accept returns or give you other selections in place of a refund.

I am now stuck with wigs that don't fit, wrong colors and no where to go for assistance.

I will not recommend this company to anyone else. I have dealt with another company in China on the web and they took back my returns and sent me replacements with no problems.

I pray this company has someone investigate them. It is unheard of for a refund in 7 days, without any retribution.


Crystal Clear said...

Thanks for your comment butterfly. I'm sorry about your experience. I wrote my review several years ago, I had hoped that Ebonyline had improved their customer service since then. I have never purchased another thing from them to this day. Be careful about where you spend money online. Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy some of the other blogs I've posted as well. God Bless.

Anonymous said...

This company is ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE! I tried to purchase 2 wigs online last week. I received an email message stating I needed to make a photo copy of my ID and credit card front and back. That made me very suspicious, so I decided to call the company. The rep at Ebonyline stated since I was a first time buyer, they needed that information. That was enough for me to know that this company was a scam! I promptly told her to CANCEL MY ORDER! Money was never taken out of my bank account, but I've been checking my bank account online like a hawk. Word to the wise: When a company online wants a copy of your ID and credit card front and back, RUN b/c they are scammers!!!!!

Crystal Clear said...

I am sorry about your experience. You were right not to send personal information to them. I've never heard of a company requiring photo copied information. Very wise to question this policy. Thank you for visiting my blog and I hope you will visit again and enjoy some of my recently published material.

Anonymous said...

I brought some hair from them and they wanyed a copy of my bank card and DL. So I decided to not do that a I wanted my money back. They had already charged my card and took the money off. They said in five days my money will be on my card. Well two weeks later and I'm still waiting. Thai have not have me my money back.

Anonymous said...

Hello Crystal Clear and other commenters on this blog, i am so relieved to have come about your blog by chance as i had been browsing Ebonyline.com for ages and was just about to part with my hard earned cash and purcase 2 wigs from them, so thanks ever so much for letting us all know about the dreadful customer service from this company.

Do you by any chance know of or can you recommend any shops or companies we can buy from and get good service.

Anonymous said...

Oh no!!! I'm getting scared! I just placed a $350+ order with them 2 days ago and am hoping the hair will arrive within the week as it has with other companies I have dealt with. Man! I sure hope I don't have any issues.

jill walsh said...

did you get your order ok just wondering thanks how was the shipping

Unknown said...
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Tamara Davis said...

Wow! I see now that I should have took a few moments to check out their reputation before placing my order! I am so disgusted with Ebonyline.com I ordered a piece from them on 2/27/2016 paid extra to get it in time for a special occasion...ok so I get the package and I'm super excited to open it...I rip it open and it was a #2.... Not my 1st choice(1b/30) not my second choice(1b) but a color I never asked for but oh it gets better... So I reach out not only does it take forever for Them to get back via email but they then act as if its my fault that they shipped the wrong color so even though the invoice clearly shows my options and they have a number 2 circled...still unapologetic they ask to see a picture of the invoice...REALLY DUDE? For real so you dont have a copy of your mistake how convenient...so to sum it up they just sent me a return label to send it back 2 days before i leave on my trip where i needed the piece... I guess #2 was a indication of what ebonyline is FULL OF SHIT...#2 describes them perfectly excuse me for the language but cmon smh please do not order from them

Kandee C said...

I have been ordering hair off line now for the past ten years and never have I any dissatisfaction until now. I order the magic lace 166 in 3T4_27_613. if you look at the wed site the hair looks color blended like a Beyonce type, however once I recieved the hait it was tri colored and 4 on top 27 in the mid and some whitish blonde that was not 613 and seperated. I called immedieatly never opening the package. I called and asked to have the MCL 156 in 3Tbrown for the exchange. not a problem said the return department. calling back a week later to see if they had recieved the hair because I had not heard anything the lady stated it had not been recieved and was very rude talking to me. I asked could I have the manager and she asked what for I stated I just have an issuse I would liike to address. She stated I am the manage and I said well maam it was impolite how addressed me and you should have questioned me instead of assuming. So guess what she flagged my unopened hair to be rejected because of a "strong oder" and here I am 3 months later still trying to get my hair..not even a refund just my hair. I have been getting the run around ever since May 19, 2016.

and this was my first experience with them.. never again