This is a rant… thanks to the not-so-super people at

by Karisa

So, I do a lot of online shopping.  I like the convenience of it, not having to deal with shopping malls, queues and crowds, and being able to try on things on in the comfort of my own home.

I’ve used many times over the past few years, not always without issues (there have been a few delivery/pickup/order-related issues before), but overall not a bad online shopping experience.  Well that was until my most recent order…

I had been given two Superbalist gift vouchers for my birthday back in December (and before my rant continues – THANK YOU so much to my awesome friends and colleagues for those – you guys rock!) – the one was for R500 and the other R650.  I was super excited to spend them and browsed the site quite a bit before placing my order early Jan.  The order was quite a big one because I bought some items in two sizes as I wasn’t 100% of the size.  I’ve had an ongoing issue with the sizing charts and guidelines provided on the site and therefore buying 2 sizes allows me to try them both on & then send back the one that doesn’t fit.  Anyways, that said – here’s a breakdown of my order:

  • Cart Total:  R4160
  • Discount:  R390 (there were some items on sale)
  • Order Total:  R3770
  • Used two gift vouchers totaling:  R1150
  • Then paid the remaining R2620 on my credit card

Upon delivery, I tried everything on, kept quite a bit of stuff, but also requested a return for items that totaled R1685.06.  This means of my order total of R3770, I returned R1685.06 of stuff, but kept R2084.94 of stuff…  an amount well over the R1150 I had in vouchers.

When they processed my return however, they decided to take R1150 of that R1685.06 and put it back in my wallet and only R535.06 was paid back into my credit card.  This means that I now in essence have to spend those vouchers again & that they’re getting double the spend on the same set of vouchers.   Clever for them, but not so awesome for me, because now I’m forced to spend that money with them and only them.

They do state that gift cards can’t be refunded for cash (I get that).  If I had returned everything, refunding that R1150 into my wallet would have made complete sense, but in this instance I kept almost double the amount of the vouchers AND paid the remainder on my card which is my money – not theirs.

If they had come up with some counter logic where they said OK your return value was approx 50% of your original order value and therefore we have to pay 50% of the voucher value back into your wallet…  I still would have been irritated, but at least it kinda makes more sense than saying oh well, just because you returned some stuff and that value happened to be bigger than the voucher value, we have to assume that you didn’t end up spending your vouchers at all.  I’m sorry – but did they completely miss the part where I kept R2084.94 worth of stuff!?  And that R2084.94 is waaaaaay more than R1150!?

I dunno, but to me it just feels like super shady business practice and that they’re now just keeping my money ransom.  I really just want them to PAY BACK THE MONEY.  I paid the difference on MY card.  I spent well over the voucher amount & therefore I should get MY money back.

Superbalist now makes it onto my list of top 3 SA brands that I passionately hate.  Vodacom & Mango Airlines still beat them every so slightly, but rest assured that Superbalist now stands firm in my number 3 spot.

What are your thoughts?  Have you experienced something like this too?  What did you do about it?  Did you get your money back?  I just feel a bit helpless at the moment as they’re refusing to see my side of the story and they’re sticking to their generic “this is just our policy” response.  Trying to reason with them has simply fallen on deaf ears…  I spoke to two agents, one refund specialist (or manager of sorts) & it was escalated to their finance department.  Everyone gave me the same response.

Because of that, I guess this post is my way of saying:  Hey, this is not OK!  And hopefully it will create some awareness to prevent others from falling into the same black hole with

UPDATE as at 1 Feb

So, the respone from Superbalist ended up basically being a big fat sorry for you, you agreed to the T&Cs…  The two sections of the T&Cs that they referred me to are as follows:

Wherever you have used a Voucher to purchase a product that you later return for a refund in accordance with this Policy, we cannot refund you in cash for that portion of the purchase price which you paid using the Voucher, but we will credit your account.

I honestly don’t see how this clause relates to my situation.  Like I mentioned in my original post, had I returned everything I would never have expected cash back.  If they then paid the full R1150 back into my wallet, it would have made complete sense.  The key wording for me here is the “for that portion of the purchase price” part.  How exactly do they determine that none of the stuff I kept was “for that portion of the purchase price”.  Can they read minds?  See into another dimension perhaps?  The math to me is still very simple: R2084.94 is greater than R1150.  I kept my deal of the bargain and kept way over the portion of the purchase that was made with my 2 vouchers.

Because you used your wallet funds to its fullest extent (Before you proceed to checkout out with your cart), the rule with refunds is that we will refund the first payment applied onto the order at the greater value and the difference to the secondary payment method.

What they neglect to point out here is that this is kinda forced upon you.  You see, the first thing you’re asked at check out is whether you have any voucher codes.  So in this way they’re actually ensuring that the first payment method will always be voucher(s) which they then convert into wallet funds.  Credit card will always be your second payment method and therefore they always win.

So ja, Superbalist continues to wow for all the wrong reasons.  Just because something’s in your T&Cs doesn’t make it right from a principle perspective. Would an awesome brand not at least try to see where there may be a flaw in their logic?  It’s actually really unfortunate because their attitude has made it very clear (well to me at least) that they really don’t care about treating customer fairly at all.

Superbalist has now jumped to the number 1 spot on my SA brands I passionately hate list…



Monique Jan 26, 2018 - 10:56 am

That is very frustrating and unfair. They should definitely take in to account the total you kept.

I’ve had the opposite experience with Clicks. Granted it was a while ago so their policy might have changed since. Bought something & used a voucher, returned the item and they gave me the full price of the item back. Effectively giving me cash for the voucher!

Hope you get your money back!

Karisa Jan 26, 2018 - 11:09 am

Hey Monique! Thanks for the support 🙂 And high five to Clicks for that awesome customer experience. Clearly Superbalist can pick up some customer service tips from them.

Azraa Mohamed Jan 26, 2018 - 11:53 am

This is super unfair, I would understand if you returned everything they would give you the amount back in your wallet, but since you kept more than the voucher value it’s really dodgy.

I had a similar thing with The Body Shop where they didn’t want me to even exchange something because I used my loyalty points to pay. And said I could return the stuff but I would only be refunded or exchanged the value I actually paid, not the R200 in points. I kicked up a fuss obvs, and got it sorted eventually, and exchanged for the full value .

Karisa Jan 26, 2018 - 3:29 pm

Thanks Azraa 🙂 Glad you got The Body Shop item resolved. Just a pity that we always have to put up a fight before brands see the logic from a customer’s perspective

Al Jan 26, 2018 - 12:04 pm

Did they point out where in their policies this specific scenario is covered? And at which point you were asked to accept that policy?

If indeed your scenario is covered in a policy somewhere that you were asked to read (no one reads these things, I know), then I’d say as much as it doesn’t put the customer first, it’s not shady.

If however someone made a judgement call and are calling it policy, I’d say you have every right to be pissed.

Sucks none the less though, and as an obviously loyal customer you definitely deserve better treatment.

Im sure if they’d ignored the “policy” to accommodate your request it would have been better for them as a business in the long run, but SA companies can’t seem to factor in the value of retaining loyal clients…

Oh well, vote with your spend – it’s the only real power we have as consumers

Karisa Jan 26, 2018 - 3:27 pm

Hi Al 🙂 Thanks for your comment. They do have the following mention in the T&Cs:

Wherever you have used a Voucher to purchase a product that you later return for a refund in accordance with this Policy, we cannot refund you in cash for that portion of the purchase price which you paid using the Voucher, but we will credit your account.

From this statement – I fully agree that if I had returned everything, they obviously can’t give me the R1150 in cash. But my argument is still that I kept R2048.94 worth of stuff where the vouchers only totaled R1150. So how did they determine that none of the stuff I kept was used by the voucher amount? And therefore all of it has to be paid back into my online wallet? Their second argument is that the vouchers came off as the primary payment type and therefore their rule is that they then refund to the primary payment type first, but the thing is – they don’t give you an option to specify credit card first and then wallet/vouchers. So you’re always stuck in this loop.

The logic to me is still flawed & that’s what I want them to see… Either way – this has left me never wanting to support them again.

R Jan 26, 2018 - 2:22 pm

This is absolute BS.
The only time that I would get a refund with vouchers, is If I don’t have a receipt of purchase. And if there is a refund, usually the voucher comes off last (ie let’s say you wanted to return R2600 if the stuff, you get that in cash, then the rest is what you paid with vouchers)
That’s logical and ethical practice.
And a significant amount! I’m so sorry.
Remind me to never use Superbalist ?

Al Jan 26, 2018 - 3:44 pm

Thanks for the snippet..

Yep – that line looks like it’s there to stop people turning vouchers into cash using the returns process. That’s clearly not what you’re doing here.

They’ve made the wrong call in a situation that doesn’t quite fit the policy.

I’ve seen enough – consider me on team won’t shop there again 😉

Karisa Jan 26, 2018 - 3:55 pm

Yeah – completely doesn’t fit this situation, but they’re applying a blanket rule. Anyways – thanks so much for the support. I’m clearly not going to get my money back, so all I can do is highlight this as an issue to keep an eye out for. Guess from now on I’ll have to hit the shops old school style. 😉

Karisa Jan 26, 2018 - 3:51 pm

I know right… They’re now arguing with my via Twitter DM – still trying to defend their policy. But you know what, even if it’s in their fine print, it’s still not right.

Their two arguments now are that:

1) Wherever you have used a Voucher to purchase a product that you later return for a refund in accordance with this Policy, we cannot refund you in cash for that portion of the purchase price which you paid using the Voucher, but we will credit your account.

The problem with this statement is: how exactly do they determine that I haven’t used my voucher when the value of the items I’ve kept is more than the voucher?

2) Because you used your wallet funds to its fullest extent (Before you proceed to checkout out with your cart), the rule with refunds is that we will refund the first payment applied onto the order at the greater value and the difference to the secondary payment method.

The problem with this statement is that they don’t actually give you a choice to specify wallet/voucher payments as a second payment option. You enter your voucher codes before proceeding with credit card payment.

But ja – never using them again. Thanks so much for the support! xx

Julie Jan 27, 2018 - 12:12 pm

This makes me so sad because I loved shopping of Superbalist.. what would happen if you returned everything and therefore had to get the full refund (in your wallet and credit card) and then re-purchased what you wanted to keep using your wallet? And then paying the balance on your credit card. It would just mean you’d get back some of your original cash back (I think).

Karisa Jan 28, 2018 - 9:52 am

Knowing what I know, I would’ve tried that. The only catch is that the return process takes a few days, so you’d run the risk of your items selling out…

Vivella Jan 27, 2018 - 7:12 pm

This is so wrong, thanks for sharing and I will not be using Superbalist in future. I once returned an electrical item to Clicks after purchasing it with Standard Bank Ucount points – they were so gracious and friendly at Clicks and said it was no problem at all and credited me all my points back in full.

Karisa Jan 28, 2018 - 9:50 am

You see, now that’s great customer service. High five to Clicks 🙂

Yoemna Ely May 3, 2018 - 12:08 pm

hi Karissa

I experienced the same issue when i returned an item to Superbalist where they refunded only a portion of the amount that i paid. I agree lets boycott Superbalist….

Zara Sep 18, 2018 - 10:48 am

I bought a table and bookends using Mobicred to pay. The desk arrived damaged twice and instead of refunding to Mobicred the money is in the wallet. Since I haven’t got a human response yet and I don’t have a desk and I don’t want to shop there anymore, this is like stealing. Why call it a refund or offer refunds if you don’t issue them. Will see what they say. I feel your pain xxx

Karisa Sep 18, 2018 - 11:55 am

Aaargh, that’s so frustrating! Hope they at least respond… The worst part is that Spree (who I’ve never had an issue with) is now merging with Superbalist. So the monster will just be getting bigger as of 1 October 🙁

Bongz Nov 28, 2018 - 12:02 pm

Since Superbalist has merged with spree its even worse now. I have been trying to get my refund for two months now because I accidentally used a wrong reference-number. Their service consultants always send me same messages and that I should send them my banking details. I wouldn’t recommend anyone to purchase from Superbalist.

Karisa Nov 28, 2018 - 3:26 pm

Hi Bongz – sorry to hear, that sounds super frustrating. I’ve also heard lots of complaints that it’s become worse since the Spree merge. I actually used to be very happy with Spree, so was very sad when I heard about the merge. Let’s hope that they start listening to their customer’s feedback at some point.


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