“Every Who Down in Whoville liked Christmas a lot.”
It is a special time for most South Africans. It’s a time where we all look back and reflect on the year, rejoice in the goodness of the festive season and give gifts to our loved ones and friends. It’s hard to deny that the retail industry plays a huge part in the festivities. You only need to look around at stores and their marketing to see just how big their influence is on the holiday. The idea is that the discount prices and the colourful banners would stimulate enough cheer for you to take out your wallet and spend some of your hard-earned money on their products and services.
Just one glance at online retailer Raru‘s site and you’ll get the gist of what I’m saying. Sadly, this is a complete misrepresentation of their actual service. Sit a little closer, I’ll tell you a tale of how Raru ruined Christmas.
On the 11th December, while window shopping online for possible gifts for my colleagues in JHB, I spotted Raru’s special on a Resident Evil Biohazard Collector’s Edition House. It looked awesome and it fit my budget perfectly, so I went ahead and ordered two. Upon signing out, I noted that this was a gift and should be labelled and treated as such. The item was scheduled for delivery on the 12th already, which seemed like rather efficient service.
“THE GRINCH GOT A WONDERFUL, AWFUL IDEA! “I know just what to do!” The Grinch laughed in his throat. And he made a quick Santy Claus hat and a coat.”
Then the problems started. Firstly, the shipping date moved a few days and the package only left on Wednesday, December 13. It arrived in JHB on Friday, December 15 but the courier company was unable to deliver due to an “address problem”. After contacting Raru, I received no response. I then continued to contact the courier company and they managed to deliver the package to my colleague.
However, upon opening the box, he realised that the wrong items were sent – as the invoice and the products didn’t match up. Instead of receiving two Resident Evil Biohazard Collector’s Edition Houses, he received a Limited Edition Xenoblade Chronicles 2 set.
“And he chuckled, and clucked, “What a great Grinchy trick!” “With this coat and this hat, I look just like Saint Nick!”
We immediately contacted Raru and the courier company to return the items. The courier company returned and explained that it wasn’t their fault and that Raru had mislabeled the boxes they had shipped off. On Monday the 18th December, I contacted Raru and expressed my disappointment. They replied the following morning:
I found it a little strange that they requested images of the product (perhaps they didn’t believe me?), but we went ahead and sent them pics of the wrong products anyway. However, there was now more confusion than ever. Even though the courier had already come to collect the package for returns, I received a mail from Raru asking me to request a return:
Then to make matters worse, I was told that the items were no longer available and that I would be getting a full refund instead. Also, they had no idea that the item was returned to the courier company and didn’t know which courier company collected the package either:
At this point, the matter remains unresolved. However, I’m almost certain that my friends won’t be receiving their Resident Evil Biohazard Collector’s Edition House at all and, if they do manage to locate the missing package, probably not in time for Christmas.
Of course, no service is without flaws. However, this isn’t the first time this has happened. Last year one of our writers experienced a similar situation when his girlfriend’s Christmas gift was delayed until January.
This is a sensitive time of the year. Retailers should be fully aware of this. Missing a Christmas deadline is unacceptable. Each and every item needs to be treated with the utmost care. Losing, misplacing, mislabelling and delaying gifts is not okay. I’ll need to find suitable alternative gifts for my friends. For all intense and purposes, my Christmas surprise gifts are ruined and there is only one retailer to blame. From now, I’ll be taking my business elsewhere. Raru, you have failed me.
“Then he growled, with his Grinch fingers nervously drumming, “I MUST find some way to stop Christmas from coming!”