I had been having issues with my camera for a while, after those 300 shots indicated on the battery pack, it would die on me. I had to miss out on other awesome photo ops or take pictures sparingly missing out the randomness I love capturing most. I start looking for an alternative and as you know me, I am always looking out for the best bargain. So one day those pop ads with a crazy discount pop on my screen and I decide to try it.
I find myself a replacement battery that would cost be KES 300 less than in the shops, ‘woohoo o/’, I add to my cart and see a selfie stick which was on offer yeah yeah I’m impulsive some times and I also add it to my cart.
The order was completed fairly fast and in three days I am told I can go collect my items. I try the selfie stick before I leave and I find out it is incompatible with my phone, but it can work with a Samsung and Sony, I return it and I get a refund. I am left wondering, why doesn’t the supplier ensure they list all the phones compatible with their product to save buyers the agony of returning it? Later when I get home, I try out the new replacement battery and it refuses to power up the camera, I charge it and the charging lights starts blinking, since I have heard of how Li-Ion batteries are prone to exploding I decide no taking chances.
The following day I return it to the Jumia guys, and I am asked whether I would like a refund or a replacement. I ask for a replacement. I am told it would take two days and I would be get a working replacement.
After three days I call the customer care guys and tell them of my predicament, they tell me the battery had not been logged as a returned item, but they had done so in the system, I needed to wait for a day and I would get my replacement.
This one early morning I receive a call from Jumia and as I was thinking “finally” the lady on the other side begins telling me how it is policy that batteries are not covered under the warranty and they cannot be returned. I tell her that is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard, because if I were buying in in say a supermarket I would have carried my camera and if it is not working I return, it wouldn’t be forced on me. She says she understands oh but this is policy, I am now getting angry but since I understand she is probably following “instructions from above and can’t make a decision on the matter” I ask to speak to someone who is in charge. She says she cannot do that but will talk to her boss and get back to me at the end of the day. The getting back never really happened.
I make several other calls actually around five and nothing much seemed to be happening. I completely change my mind from a replacement to a refund, I would find somewhere else to get the battery. I go to their offices and I was spoiling for a fight, I’d cause drama even if security has to be called no way I’m letting my money go, I mean I work darned hard, for it someone cannot used a technicality hidden in terms and conditions/ policy which are not even communicated to the buyer to take from you what is not rightfully theirs no?
The guy at the front desk tells me he has been waiting for feedback and goes to call someone from customer care who could help. This lady comes and asks what happened, I tell her and she tells me that they had returned the battery to the warehouse it had been tested and had been found to be faulty. I ask her then why the delays with my refund? Apparently I am told that the guys at the warehouse were claiming that the battery was deformed and not in its original state. But she had asked if when I returned it was okay and she was told it was so she would ask the finance guys to return my money. I would get it in the evening, she seems to have the questions I would have asked prepared and with ready answers. I leave with an assurance things would be ok, though still hesitant…
I did get my refund, not that evening though the following day.
Jumia needs to work on some areas to avoid run-ins with customers. Simple things like showing what product works with what. Ensuring that they have tested all their products before dispatch, I mean even cars are recalled for faulty brakes or airbags. You cannot pull a ‘goods once sold are not returnable’ and you are selling faulty products unless you want to be a con/ unethical business. If you do not want to open and test it yourself (unsealed products may raise another problem with customers) ensure you have a way customers can test the product in your presence before they carry it.
The customer care is pretty organized and give good lip service like a majority of customer cares around here. If what they say was what gets done without my physical presence being needed they would be even better.
Will I buy anything from Jumia? I had taken a leap of faith, after a couple of people telling me Jumia was not reliable. Now, I have my own experience and business being mostly about trust, I think Jumia has used up the quota of trust I had allocated it, especially since it was my first purchase…
Have you done any online transactions here in Kenya or elsewhere? How was your experience?