Monday 21 May 2018

Minerals-Water Limited: How NOT To Treat Your Customers

Minerals-Water Limited
I've been blocked by a seller on eBay for simply enquiring as to why I had not received the replacement product they promised. Yes, you read that right - a seller trading as Minerals-Water Limited has blocked me on eBay for simply enquiring about a replacement product. What kind of seller treats its customers in this way!

Minerals-Water Limited (Update: Now trading as Clear Minerals Limited) is a UK company based in Purfleet, Essex who supply food additives, health and beauty, weight loss and detox products, sport supplements, water filtration systems, chemicals and packaging. As well as having a website (minerals-water,, they also have storefronts on eBay and Amazon where they sell their products.

Minerals-Water Limited Website

It all started late last year when I ordered 500ml bottles of pharmaceutical grade Propylene Glycol (PG) and Vegetable Glycerine/Glycol (VG) from Minerals-Water for doing my own e-liquid mixes. As a smoker for more than 30 years, I now use vaping as a substitute for smoking which I've been doing for the past two years since giving up the cigarettes.

When I received the two items a few days later, I noticed that the VG had a very short shelf-life of just 6 months compared to the PG which had a normal 12 months shelf-life. Having a 6-month shelf-life is very unusual as these products from other sellers usually have a shelf-life of 12-18 months. Having a long shelf-life on these products is very important as anyone who mixes their own e-liquids will tell you.

When I contacted Minerals-Water on eBay to ask why the VG had a short shelf-life, they blamed it on the supplier. I asked if the VG stock was old stock given the difference between the shelf-life of both products, but they assured me that it wasn't. It was agreed that before I do another purchase, I would send them a message to find out the shelf-life of their current stock. In their response, they offered me a replacement which I thought was very decent of them considering I never asked for one. Fast forward to 2018 and no replacement has been received.

With it being a low-cost item and with being unwell recently, I actually forgot about the replacement. It was only when I was going through some of my old emails at the beginning of the year that I remembered. Although it was a low-cost item, I decided to contact Minerals-Water on eBay anyway to enquire as to why no replacement had been received as they did promise one. You can guess their response! Apparently, they checked their archives and said a replacement was posted. When I pointed out to them that all items that I order online (and I do order a lot) are delivered successfully and could they possibly send another replacement as the first one had not been received, no response (or replacement) was received.

I actually discovered the blocking last month on eBay when I decided to do another purchase because my current stock of VG is running very low due to the previous supplied bottle now being out of date. When I tried to add an item from the Minerals-Water store to my basket, the following error message appeared: "This seller won't sell to buyers that do not meet their requirements". Given my suspicions that I may be blocked, I decided to contact eBay.

Minerals-Water Limited eBay Blocking

After being passed to a customer support manager, my suspicions were confirmed; I had indeed been blocked by Minerals-Water. This is where it gets really interesting from a buyers point of view. When speaking with the manager, my messages with the seller were viewed and it was agreed that I had done nothing wrong to warrant the blocking. However, eBay were limited on what they could do to resolve the issue. The only option open to them was to send Minerals-Water an email in the hope that they would remove the block. A few weeks later and the block has not been removed, hence the reason for this post.

During my conversation with the manager, it was discovered that eBay give full control to sellers on who they can block. While this may be fine when dealing with buyers who are abusive or frequently return items for no good reason, it doesn't protect the innocent buyer from being wrongfully blocked. Given that sellers are using the eBay system to sell their products, why would eBay have no control over the blocking system? This seems rather odd and quite frankly unacceptable from a buyer's point of view. What's stopping a seller from blocking you simply because you enquired about a replacement or refund? It happened to me! I did suggest to eBay that they should include information in the Terms and Conditions to protect the buyer from such actions. They said that they would but I'm not convinced that these changes will be made.

Given my experiences with this seller, my advice is simple: Be careful if you decide to do business with Minerals-Water on eBay (and Amazon), more so via their website where you will have less protection. Remember, if you're wrongfully blocked by this (or any other) seller, eBay are powerless in what they can do in removing the block. The same could also be true with Amazon. Whether you're a vaper or not, be warned if you're thinking of buying your VG, PG or any other time-sensitive products from this seller as the items you receive may have a short shelf-life. You may also not receive a replacement even though they may have promise you one. Given the way this seller treats its customers, I would recommend shopping elsewhere!

As some of you will know, it's very rare that I do a negative post on a business, but I feel it's justified given the unwarranted actions of this company. Although they're a top-rated seller and have an impressive positive feedback percentage on eBay, this means nothing if they're treating customers unfairly when it comes to product replacements. Making sales is one thing, but you must also provide good customer service; anything less is just not acceptable. I did send them an email prior to this post being published, but again they failed to respond. Maybe this post will grab their attention and force them to act - we can only hope! :)

Did you find this article helpful? Have you had any problems with this seller? Please let me know by leaving me your valued comments in the comments section below.

Related reviews:
Amazon Customer Services: The Worst By Far - Thinking of purchasing an Amazon product such as the Echo Dot for example, then think again. It could take weeks to get your issue resolved. Read more about my experience here.

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  1. Creative Designs27 May 2018 at 11:44

    Disgusting behaviour. This business does not deserve your custom.

  2. I'm a smoker of 35 years. I've thought about doing vapors, too. Thanks for the warning about this company. I'll make sure I don't try them out.

  3. Thanks for letting us know about this Derek. I'll share this info with my customers.


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