Consumers have complained to the Better Business Bureau about Wish products that never arrived or were unrecognizable when they did. France, which was one of Wish’s largest markets, last fall ordered search engines and mobile app stores to remove the company from their online lists, citing the presence of dangerous devices and other products. Merchants on Wish faced lawsuits from companies like Peanuts Worldwide, which owns characters from the popular comic, for trademark and counterfeiting infringements.
Female shoppers complained that they were shown advertisements for products designed for male genitalia. Ads showing an animated penis appeared in apps appealing to kids, including a game called Crazy Cake Swap. Those ads were scrutinized by UK regulators, as well as ads promising unsubstantiated discounts of up to 98 percent on sneakers, as well as ads featuring the bare bottom of a baby and a woman in a corset with partially bare breasts.
“It’s a strategy more like spam than actually trying to hit a target market,” Mx says. said Grygil. (Wish said it tightened its ad controls, only promoting products from top-rated sellers, and filtering out inappropriate ads.)
Still, Wish, which is run by a parent company called ContextLogic, fared well early in the pandemic as stay-at-home mandates stifle competition from brick-and-mortar retailers. But last year, as shoppers went out and became less involved with Wish, digital advertising also became more expensive, prompting the company to cut its spending. (It said it planned to pick up the pace this summer.)
Internally, too, there was a lot of pressure built up at Wish for years.
Managers were constantly tossed around — like chess pieces, one employee said — resulting in high turnover among employees tired of the upheaval. Many employees complained that the company was not equipped to handle the orders that poured in early in the pandemic, and colleagues were burned out under the intense stress and long hours.
Workers said their colleagues were often ignored or had to wait after raising concerns about quality control issues, such as the lack of standardized product dimensions for merchants. Ads for weapons and other illegal products were often not removed, they said. Nor were there many misleading listings, such as one that appeared to offer a refrigerator for $1, but in fact sold the magnets shown in the photo of the unit.