Malaysian entrepreneur and popular foodie Khairul Aming has discovered faux versions of his chilli paste condiment, much to his dismay.
The “Sambal Nyet” seller, who has amassed 3 million followers on Instagram, has also filed a police report over the unauthorized reseller known only as “Masturaaliyah,” amid complaints from customers who said they received spoiled and inedible sambal. The woman has since apologized to him and the customers affected at the Sri Damansara police station.
“The fake, spoiled sambal was from me, not Khairul Aming,” the woman said in the public apology video posted by Khairul, 29.
“I would like to apologize to Khairul Aming and the customers who bought the fake sambal from me. I will not repeat this behavior again,” the guilty reseller added.
Her “Masturaaliyah” seller account was also removed from Shopee.
Buyers had purchased from the reseller through the Shopee e-commerce platform before the account was removed. The account said that the reseller was located in Shah Alam, Selangor. Khairul was alerted to the reseller through complaints from her customers.
“Some customers have complained about seeing bubbles in my sambal, but I noticed that something was not right with the packaging and appearance of the sambal they bought,” the Khairul wrote on Twitter yesterday. Many of them have also contacted Khairul directly, demanding refunds, he said.
After looking into the matter, Khairul found several inconsistencies between the fake sambal and his authentic version, including the bottle’s design. For example, the typeface looked different and there was a visible layer of black oil on top of the fake chilli, he said.
“This makes me so disgusted… I do not know what they put in this sambal but it smells like stinky fish oil and spoiled chilies. On top, there is a layer of black oil,” he wrote. The original “Sambal Nyet” sells out quickly. Khairul said that he usually rolls out a new batch of 4,000 bottles each day.
Among the complaints he highlighted was that the fake version was “tasteless and watery.” Some also grumbled about the reseller’s purported bad attitude, saying that they were accused of “trying to get free sambal,” among others.
Khairul is also mulling taking legal action over the matter, he said. He pleaded to the public to refrain from purchasing “Sambal Nyet” from unscrupulous resellers.
“I am frustrated because customers who buy from these resellers would ask me for a refund due to spoiled sambal, but when I ask for their order number, they would admit that they bought it from a reseller. Please do not buy from resellers, I am begging you,” he said.
Shopee did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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