Hong Kong Hongyuan Cree Lighting Co., LTD sold defective LEDs and refuses to respond to any messages concerning their product. Likewise, AliExpress, the company which served as a clearinghouse for the transaction, is remaining silent despite requests for assistance.
|Inside a GU-10 LED Fixture|
In July I began a quest to convert all of the lighting in my house to LEDs. Most of the fixtures I have use halogen bulbs and are hooked to wirelessly controllable dimmers. So I began to investigate what would need to be done to switch to LEDs while keeping the same functionality. I first replaced my dimmer switches with ones which would work with LEDs and then began to look for LED bulbs.
I couldn't find many dimmable GU-10 LED bulbs on the shelves of stores here in the US, so I navigated to AliExpress.com to find a supplier from outside the US. The site had an abundance of suppliers providing every imaginable combination of brightness, color temperature, and form factor.
|Cree Inc. Logo|
Months prior to this, at the beginning of the year, I ordered ten 15W Cree branded GU-10 dimmable LEDs from the supplier ShenZhen Kinglong E-commerce Co., Ltd. on AliExpress.com. I replaced the halogens in one room of my house with these in order to evaluate them, and was overall very pleased with their performance. This led me to look for the same type of product for the remainder of my house.
|The wrong place to buy LEDs|
Unfortunately, this time around I wanted to order both warm white and cool white bulbs in a larger quantity, and the previous supplier didn't offer the exact combination I needed. I found that the vendor Hong Kong Hongyuan Cree Lighting Co., LTD was offering the products I needed.
|Product Description on AliExpress.com|
On the product page Hong Kong Hongyuan Cree Lighting Co., LTD describes the lights I ordered as lasting an average of 100,000 hours, being fully dimmable, and working between 85 - 265 volts. Of the 25 LEDs I ordered, 10 stopped working after less than 24 hours of usage.
|One dead LED|
As the LEDs continued to fail each day, I contacted Hong Kong Hongyuan Cree Lighting Co., LTD. and asked for replacement bulbs or a refund. After two days of no response, I began to look into my options for opening a dispute. However, because I had already confirmed that I received the product in an acceptable condition on the AliExpress website, I was no longer allowed to open a dispute. I contacted AliExpress directly, asking for assistance, but no one has responded.
|The AliExpress Logo|
This highlights a key problem with ordering from remote suppliers: they do not have any incentive to maintain good customer relationships. Marketplaces like AliExpress are supposedly able to mitigate this effect, but as you can see, when a situation extends beyond their automated system for dispute they exert no effort to provide assistance.
Here's my advice to anyone planning to order from AliExpress.com:
1. Don't buy from Hong Kong Hongyuan Cree Lighting Co., LTD.
2. Don't confirm you have received the product until the last possible moment.
3. Don't put your faith in companies on AliExpress doing the "right" thing.
4. Don't expect AliExpress to help if it falls outside of their automated system.
As for me, I definitely won't be buying from Hong Kong Hongyuan Cree Lighting Co., LTD again. I'll also remember that AliExpress should be approached with caution and without expectations of good customer service.