Remember the Mdada drama at the beginning of the year between the company’s co-founders, Pornsak Prajakwit, Michelle Chia and Addy Lee?
But it isn’t good.
The Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) has reported that Mdada is once again being inundated with complaints from frustrated customers who have been left high and dry with incomplete deliveries, defective or downright incorrect products, and refund delays that are longer than a Monday morning commute.
Case has received 44 complaints from customers about Mdada from 1 Jan 2022 to 30 Apr 2023.
Amongst these 44 reports, one was from Ms X.Y. Wu, a 53-year-old housewife who had ordered two bags on separate occasions from the Singapore-based company.
Ms Wu told The Straits Times that she had ordered the Pratesi Firenze bag for $399 on 20 Jan, and when it finally arrived last week, the white leather bag was adorned with grey splotches. This was not part of the design.
“It’s quite sad… the quality of what I received is really subpar,” Ms Wu said.
In February, Ms Wu also ordered the Buti Pelletterie bag for $749, but she has yet to receive it to this day.
High Volume of Orders… and Complaints
This isn’t the first time Mdada has been hit with complaints over customer service.
In early 2022, Huang, a 43-year-old woman, told Shin Min Daily News that she had failed to receive her orders from a Mdada livestream on 31 Oct 2021.
Despite shelling out a total of $535 and $128 for a branded wallet and a piece of clothing, Huang found herself stuck in a never-ending cycle of delays.
After contacting customer service in early December, she was met with the classic empty promise that her items were on their way – a statement that would put even the most patient of people to the test.
11 days later, she received a full refund for the wallet, but she was still unsure of the status of the item of clothing.
The Rise and Fall of Mdada
Mdada is a company that was established in September 2020 by a trio of Singaporean media personalities – Pornsak Prajakwit, Michelle Chia, and celebrity hairstylist Addy Lee.
The company sells a variety of products through Facebook live streams.
While the company had been on the rise, at one point even earning almost $4 million in revenue in a span of two months, some significant moments in the company’s lore made their journey more of a rollercoaster than an incline.
At the end of 2021, Lee admitted during a live stream in Europe that the company was suffering losses.
Mdada’s attempt to break into the European market had not gone as planned.
During a livestream on 30 Dec 2021, Lee disclosed that their predictions for Europe had resulted in significant financial losses. Furthermore, it was revealed that their customers had not been charged a 12% administration fee that the company had overlooked.
To make matters worse, their business had been plagued with logistical challenges, such as the non-delivery of goods to their European warehouses owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on travel and trade.
At the beginning of 2023, Pornsak announced his sudden departure from Mdada.
In a rather cryptic but seemingly innocuous Instagram post, Pornsak, the former CEO of Mdada, thanked the company for the good times and mentioned that he wished to pursue other ambitions, such as using his TCM license for the greater good.
You can view his complete statement here:
View this post on Instagram
However, beneath this statement was brewing conflict between him and the other co-founders.
Pornsak mentioned to AsiaOne in an interview that generational differences between him, Chia, and Lee are the reason behind the disagreements. The Thai-Chinese actor and host turned 41 this year, while Lee just turned 52 and Chia will be 48.
However, his ex-colleagues did not take too kindly to his comments.
He ignited the ire of Mdada, who responded with a detailed thesis-like Instagram post critiquing and expressing disappointment with Pornsak’s statements:
View this post on Instagram
The company was “surprised by the statements made by or attributed to Pornsak.” This is because Pornsak had apparently left the company on good terms, which is different from what had been implied in the interview with AsiaOne.
In addition, Mdada seemed unaware of the generation gap that Pornsak had referred to, calling the differences in age between the three “minor”.
They also tackled the issue of Pornsak’s insinuation that Mdada was unreliable in handling customers’ purchases and orders. Dismissing these claims as “wholly untrue and baseless”, they attributed the responsibility of operational duties to Pornsak himself.
Pornsak then responded to Mdada’s post to clarify his own comments. He told Zaobao that the generation gap he referred to was a matter of the difference in ideas and concepts instead of their actual ages.
He said that peers may have different solutions to problems because of their different experiences, and that Mdada had “misunderstood his statements.”
He also claimed that he did not leave Mdada due to the aforementioned complaint incidents, but he had left to pursue his personal development.
Addy Lee Bids Farewell to Mdada
On 1 Apr, Addy Lee also suddenly announced on Instagram that he had left Mdada on 17 Mar due to poor health. In February, Lee, who had assumed the CEO position after Pornsak’s departure, underwent surgery for a cervical fracture or dislocation.
He had another surgery in March, but didn’t state what for.
He mentioned that he had been to the hospital four times in a month and had undergone three surgeries. Doctors had advised him not to put strain on his body, especially while recovering.
In his Instagram post, he states that this is “not a goodbye, but a ‘see you later’.”
However, it is still unclear whether he has fully departed Mdada, or is just taking a hiatus to recover. Chia told The Straits Times that Lee has only taken a leave of absence, and the company eagerly anticipates his return soon.
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