Perfume subscription service I’vre closes, amid police probe on unfulfilled orders and refunds, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Perfume subscription service I’vre closes, amid police probe on unfulfilled orders and refunds

The co-founder of an online luxury scent subscription service has said that the company has officially shuttered operations, even as police are investigating the company over complaints of wrong charges and unfulfilled orders.

Mr Christian Kwok, one of the two founders of I’vre, told The Straits Times on May 6 that the company’s last day of operations was April 9. He added that all existing orders and refunds had been fulfilled.

I’vre made the news in December 2023 after the police began probing the company following reports made by disgruntled customers who claimed they had been wrongly charged or never received their orders.

Mr Kwok said then that parts of the company had been acquired, and that I’vre was no longer accepting new orders after its clearance sale and was focused on fulfilling existing orders.

However, in an e-mail dated March 21, 2024 sent to its customers and seen by ST, I’vre said it was selling about 100 bottles of luxury perfumes at $75 each.

And despite Mr Kwok’s assurance on May 6 that all his company’s orders and refunds were fulfilled, some customers told ST they have yet to receive their money.

Ms Mu’Azah Almahdi said she is still waiting on a refund of about $185, after two perfume orders she made in December 2023 were cancelled.

The 42-year-old management executive added that I’vre said it did not have sufficient stock to fulfil her orders and promised to refund the payments within seven working days from the day the orders were cancelled.

After not hearing back from I’vre, she sought help from UOB for a chargeback and made a police report, seen by ST, on April 11.

The police confirmed that investigations are ongoing.

Another customer, who asked to remain anonymous, was allegedly overcharged about $70 in November 2023 for a perfume subscription which cost $30.95 monthly.

The 32-year-old, who is self-employed, said: “When I was overcharged, I tried to contact the I’vre customer service team via many avenues. However, they were unresponsive for the whole day, which worried me since they were holding onto my debit card details.”

The customer has also applied to cancel the debit card used in the transaction, and lodged a chargeback with the bank.

When asked about these cases, Mr Kwok on May 8 told ST: “From my understanding as of right now, all refunds has been processed on our end.”

Police told ST in December that they were investigating the service, and on May 8 said the probe is ongoing.

In his reply to ST’s queries on May 6, Mr Kwok cited internal issues within the company which made “the entire process... messy”. For instance, there was a lack of manpower to handle order fulfilment and customer inquiries.

“I do believe that the entire matter could have been handled better and I take full responsibility for it,” he said.

Since December 2023, several customers have taken to social media and online forums to express their dissatisfaction with I’vre.

Mr Kwok said that while he empathises with customers who have posted negative comments online about I’vre, he is disappointed by posts from netizens that allege “the company was made to scam customers”.

“Despite (this), we still had many of our customers who reached out and offered support towards the company, as well as asking if we could still provide our services to them, which... warmed our hearts,” he said.

Mr Kwok added that he was still proud that I’vre, which was “barely one year old”, had “accomplished so much”.

“While the chapter has ended for I’vre, I still sincerely believe in the product; even till today I am still using our atomisers.”

In response to ST’s queries, Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) president Melvin Yong said the consumer watchdog has received 28 complaints against I’vre as at May 8. He added that the complaints, filed since November 2023, were about I’vre overcharging for perfume subscriptions and unfulfilling orders.

policeSINGAPORE CRIMEConsumers Association of Singapore