What you see is not always what you get. As someone who spends most of her time on the Internet I should know this. How do you explain the discrepancy in quality of products you see on the Internet and the delivered goods?
None of the added incentives of shopping has addressed the matter of poor quality goods sold on these portals. As much as I love to patronize our own people, the downside of this decision is visible when you receive some deliveries that make you unhappy and God help you, if you have not taken time to read the fine prints.
A few days ago, I got a package delivery of a plaid dress that looked absolutely beautiful in pictures – so much that I imagined the feel of the wool with which the dress was made. It looked like a high quality dress and I wasted no time in placing my order and even started boasting about a new dress I got and would show off soon. Then after more than a week of waiting, I received a call from a guy who claimed to be a dispatch rider with a delivery for me. I received the package, but as I attempted to open it, the dispatch man insisted I would have to pay him first. As soon as he collected the money, the guy disappeared with the speed of light as if he could sense what was about to happen.
Excitedly I opened the package and pulled out the dress I believed I would love, only to discover it was a very poorly made dress. The dress was made of nylon material and not wool as I suspected. It was very large and shapeless. It didn’t even come with the thin belt that it was worn with in the picture. It then dawned on me that this was one of those mass produced dresses from China and I paid a premium price, plus delivery… for this nonsense.
I was furious! The anger that rose inside me was the size of Mount Kilimanjaro. I felt like slapping that bitter taste out of the dispatch rider’s face for insisting that I pay before opening the package. I picked my phone and dialed the seller who was quick to inform me that the description already stated the dress was made of polyester. I yelled back in a feat of anger. This is not polyester at all… it was plain nylon! Nylon!
My screaming did nothing to this woman. She just carried on her conversation like my yelling was some kind of back ground noise. Then she said, anyway you agreed to a no return contract when you purchased the dress. This only infuriated me the more. NO RETURN! Then she said, “Let me advise you (as if I needed one of her anecdote of wisdom). Make sure you read the description of a product well next time before you make any purchase.” Before I could respond to that, I heard the dead tone on the other end of the phone. As if I wasn’t angry enough, having the rude seller drop the call on me was something else.
Though I held a package in my hands. The plastic bag gave me a strange feeling – one I cannot exactly describe. It was a mixture of betrayal and stupidity. I felt like I had been defrauded of my hard earned money. I was ashamed to realize how naïve I was to have believed I could get good product or service from our online mall.
The experience made me wonder how we expect our online businesses to grow? It will only take a while before experiences like this mar the reputation of the service being provided. Or how do we explain this? As much as it is important we grow and diversify our economy, no sustainable business can survive in “the more you look the less you see” environment.
Photo Credit: Foto.com.ng