Coupang has started to search for customers who have bought masks at an expensive price and refund the difference. Customers who purchased rocket-delivery (direct purchase) masks are eligible for the difference refund before the price freeze.
According to Coupang on Feb. 26, Coupang has been paying the difference to customers who purchased masks at an increased price since early this month and guiding them to related information. The difference will be paid as a "coupang cash" available in Coupang.
Here's the story. With the first confirmed COVID-9 case in Korea on Jan. 20, demand for masks began to surge. The price of masks in Coupang also rose as the price of masks at each online shopping mall soared at that time.
According to a review of Coupang's direct purchase mask, "I bought it yesterday at 17,350 won, but is it normal that it rose to 60,000 won in one day?" "It jumped from 27,000 won in the morning to 50,000 won in the evening. Have a conscience," and so on.
Generally, online shopping malls monitor and reflect the prices of their competitors' products to sell products at rock-bottom prices or similar levels. In the course of such price adjustments, the price of masks sold by Coupang also temporarily rose.
However, Coupang CEO Kim Bum-suk officially declared a freeze on the price of the mask through a letter to employees on Jan. 31. At that time, CEO Kim ordered freezing of mask prices, saying, "When customers are having a hard time, we should be the buttress of customers."
In the end, customers who purchased masks from Coupang between Jan. 20 and 30 paid a high price.
As a result, Coupang sent a message to its customers, saying, "Coupang has decided to freeze the prices of related products at present, and we ask for your understanding that the prices were misapplied due to market price fluctuations."
"We have been giving refunds to customers who purchased more than a frozen price since early this month," said a Coupang official. "We are returning the difference if we find customers who purchased more than a frozen price through our system."