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Takealot / unethical behaviour/false advertising

Cape Town, South Africa
Contact information:

Takealot Order:8873208 complaint

I ordered a 1 tb harddrive from Takealot, as I was about to go travelling in Africa and wanted a strong backup system. The harddrive is the one below:

LaCie Rugged Mini Drive USB 3.0 - 1TB R 1223.00 - Sold by Computraders
The reason I chose Takealot over another company was because their shipping time was faster than any other company. Moreover, I planned to collect it from the Cape Town warehouse in order to speed things up even more.

I placed the order on: 2016-11-20 and, received confirmation from Takealot (below) that it would be ready for collection in 8 days, a fair amount of time in which to expect to pick up a harddrive.

Your order is being processed and you can expect your order to be available for collection by Monday, 28 November 2016.

However, despite tracking my order, it just said that the order was processing. I tried to contact Takealot for information yet received no answer whatsoever, or any word as to when the order would be shipped.
About to depart for a 3 month journey through Africa, I was starting to feel stressed, as this harddrive was essential for my backups and I couldn't leave without it.

On the 30th, 2 days after it was supposed to have arrived at the CT Warehouse, I went there to find out what was happening. I collected two other products that I'd ordered and that had arrived on time as expected, and spoke to a employee there who put me through to Take a lot customer service.

The gentleman on the phone told me that I should have been notified, but that the product was delayed by the suppliers and would likely arrive in three days. I was quite horrified, as I was meant to leave the following day. He was unable to confirm or to check with the supplier as to what the delay was, or if it would even arrive.

Now this is shocking to me as surely Takealot, by advertising a product on the website and guaranteeing a delivery, is promising that they can and will supply that product to their customer? I've used Takealot in the past and had no problems, so couldn't believe the service, or lack thereof, I was receiving. I then emailed takealot immediately, and received a response from Naashid Hassan, saying my query had been escalated and they would get back to me as soon as possible. However, no response was forthcoming, even after a follow up mail on the 1st of December.

I next received communication on the 4th of December, a full 7 days after its expected arrival at the Cape Town warehouse and a total of 15 days after my original order. More than 2 weeks had passed, and I still had no hardrive. By this point, I had entirely given up on takealot, but had made plans for someone else to collect it for me while I was travelling in Africa as I still wanted it - even though I'd ordered another hardrive and received it that SAME DAY.

This mail came from Yandiswa Busakwe and stated that they apologize for the delay and are still awaiting feedback and will revert soonest.

The next mail came 2 days later on the 6th of December from a Jamie Oliver, stating that the company is sorry that my item has been delayed and "we expect the item to arrive in our distribution centre within 2 - 3 working days. We will process and ship your order as soon as it arrives".

On the 8th December Yandiswa replied again: "Thank you for the proof of payment received" (note: it was received on the day of ordering, not sure what she is talking about here) . "Kindly be advised that your payment has been authorised and you will receive a delivery notification via sms as soon as your parcel reaches our warehouse. Please note the item is out of stock will do a follow up for the ETA of the item".

Next up was Timothy Smook just a few hours later, with some unsurprising news:

"Unfortunately we are unable to source the item you are looking for from that specific seller. Your refund is reflecting on your profile as a credit. (Please advise if you would like us to transfer the credit back to your original method of payment) Please accept our sincerest apologies if any inconvenience has been caused."

Now, does Takealot supply the items it advertises on its site or not? Surely it is false advertising, if they advertise an item and then do not provide it? And what about the fact that my money was sitting in their bank account for more than 2 weeks? Do I receive interest? Is a refund sufficient? What about the countless amount of time I spent following up on this order, at the warehouse, on the phone and via email? And the fact that they have reneged on their promise to supply a product that they advertise?

I think it's simply unethical to advertise a product you can't supply. And some sort of recompense should be made to the customer, or at the very least a proper apology. When I replied stating how unhappy I was with Takealot's service, I received no response.

Shoddy service, all the more so, because I love shopping online and I really had previously pleasant experiences with Takealot, thus my expectations were high.

Me
May 4, 2017

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