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Sunday, June 13, 2010

An Unbiased Review of VIAddress.com

VIAddress is a company which provides U.S. addresses to non-U.S. based individuals (like myself). They also provide package consolidation and forwarding services. What this basically means is that you could shop from sites which only ship within the U.S., and ship several items at once to your home country.

When I first visited their site, I was enticed by the good design and the stat tables which showed VIAddress's advantages over other similar services. I read several reviews and they all had high praise for the service. So I signed up for the service without hesitation (this is free) and bought several items from Amazon.com to be shipped to my new U.S. address.

It was only a few days later that I came across several reviews which listed VIAddress.com as a scam. I was a bit scared since I had already shipped two items their. Their were several complaints claiming that VIAddress employed people to write good reviews about them. It's a bit unethical but not that bad. So I waited to see what would happen to my packages.

My packages arrived at the warehouse in East Lexington Avenue, and after about 5 hours, they appeared on my VIAddress.com account page. The update process takes some time but it seems to be reducing (maybe they've hired more people??). One of the things to take note is that they take a very long time to answer e-mails. Sometimes weeks. 

The VIAddress warehouse as seen by Google maps

I've shipped two items there. Two more are on their way. I've used their concierge service. I've cancelled the concierge order and received a refund about 4 days later. The concierge order table does not get updated and their's no way to cancel the orders once they are placed (except by mailing them). Event after the orders are manually cancelled, there is no way to remove them from your personal page. So I would stay away from the concierge orders for now.

The Shipping Manager page which lists items in suite and pending items

Their shipping charges are reasonable. Only FedEx option is given when you try to ship something, although the FAQ mentions DHL and UPS. The charges are about $60 for a package which has a dimensional weight of 13 lbs. $100 for 25 lbs. (dimensional weight), which is a bit high but lower than MyUS.com.

All in all I'm pretty happy with the site's service so far. I hope they would provide more communication channels to customers (live chat is never on) to get real-time support on issues. Other than that, it's pretty good.

(I'll update this post with details about shipping procedure once my items are shipped out).