It’s official. Lazada Philippines is in my shitlist. After that incident last October, they were at it again. Foolish me for using them again to buy. But hey, can’t blame me for gambling on online shopping convenience. Fighting for parking in malls every holiday season was enough to reconsider my options.
So I ordered several items – novelty and gag items to be used as gifts. I received 3 out of 4 items in a timely manner but the last big ticket item did not arrive. This was after I got both SMS and email notices that the item was already out for delivery to me. A week passed and the item never arrived. This, despite following up on the status several times during the week. Then, without warning, the item was just marked as closed and was scheduled for refund.
What I hate about that is that since I used a card to pay for the items, the reversal of charges usually take weeks for the bank to process. But the amount has already been charged to the account. So there I was, left with no item and no money until everything went through the motions.
Imagine if this happens in a physical store where you hand over your money then the clerk says, “I can’t give you the item. But wait two weeks, I’ll deposit it in your bank account.” If that isn’t thievery. At least in cases of double-swipe charges in physical stores, clerks are extra helpful to resolve the matter personally lest a customer runs amok at the store.
Too bad online customers can only run amok through rants.
I am a very tough critic but I can be fair. And, in the spirit of “constructive” criticism, here are some thoughts on things they can do to ease out of my shitlist.
Stop lying. There are just so many things that they lied to me about about. Let’s see… They claim set delivery dates but they don’t deliver. They promised to call me back for the status of the order. They never did. And there’s this claim about not retaining credit card information. They seem to do. I remember unchecking the option to keep payment information upon checkout (that mere feature alone means they can) but once the transaction finishes, check your account and your card details are actually stored. I deleted the card information and I got a confirmation message that oddly looks like an SQL. So it appears their just flags the entry and not delete it from their database. I am of the belief that they do get your credit card details and store them. Tsk. Tsk.
Secure their site. Lazada claims to use 128-bit SSL when processing your transactions. Maybe they do since, to process credit card payments, the site must adhere to PCI security standards. What worries me is that, while other sites readily use SSL when you access their URL (like type google.com on your browser and it will automatically load https://www.google.com), they don’t. That https means your on an SSL connection which encrypts data sent from your end. You have to manually pun in https://www.lazada.com.ph for it to use SSL but even if you do, a browser like Chrome will warn you that there are unsecure content that the page loads.
Bring their logistics to the 21st century. So for the most part, they use their own Lazada Express courier service. I seriously have no idea how they run their logistics division but it’s unlike established courier services like Air21 and LBC. At least those firms have tracking systems. Just enter the tracking number on their website and you’d know where your package is. When I called up to verify the status of my package, all they gave me was ambiguous, “It’s in our holding area.” And when asked for them to call their holding area about the status of my package, they told me they can’t since they only coordinate through email. What a load of bullshit. No way to call or can’t be bothered? Either way, their system should be more like LBC’s where we can track where our packages are exactly.
Offer price protection. I want to accuracy and honesty of prices but you can’t quite fault them entirely about that since it’s the merchants who input those. Plenty of shrewd merchants would bloat the original price so that their discounted price just matches the SRP. There should be legislation extending the price tag law to e-commerce settings. They should also offer price protection for those sudden price drops and changes they like to make. Savvy buyers should take note that a number of their “sales” aren’t exactly discounted items they’re just actually bloated prices marked down SRPs.
And these are just top of mind things, I am demanding from them. There are several other things I could point out like how indiscreet packages are (since the items are spelled out on the invoice so your delivery guy knows what you order) so don’t mistake ordering some of their adult products (NSFW), how they’re forcing that dumb HelloPay payment gateway, and how they claim that all products are authentic.