We can call it e-commerce or online shopping, but one thing is certain – If we are going to pay for an item before we receive it, we want to be sure that, firstly, we are dealing with an honest company, and secondly, that the return/refund policy is good.
Either we like it or not, Jumia and Konga have made names for themselves as one of the giant e-commerce company in Nigeria, nay, Africa. But what are customers saying about them? No one wants to make an order for a silk skirt and lose money over a cotton skirt or order a size ten for two days but get delivery after 6days, or open your package with joy only to behold a different size. Funny enough, many customers have had to let go of their money only to rate curses on social media. Well, allow us to save you the trouble.
I know there are so many e-commerce or online shops in Nigeria, but we do not have the resources yet to review all of them (you can sponsor or invite us for others later, Lol). Anyways, after our mystery shopping, direct buying, investigations on their refund/return policies in theory and in reality, here is the truth:
Launched in 2012, with presence scattered over African countries, with awards to swell her shoulders, Jumia is the acclaimed colossus of online shopping in Nigeria. But is she?
Using Lagos as case in point, when you order, your delivery timeline is 1 business day for express delivery, and 2-3 business days for standard shipping, 14-15days for oversea shipping and 30-50 business days for economy shipping.
To return an item at Jumia Mall you have 15days to so do, and 7days to return at Marketplace. You can, however, schedule a pick up for Jumia’s agents to pick up the item from you within 1-3 business days.
When Jumia receives the item, it will take her 10 business working days to refund your money via voucher or bank transfer depending on your choice. If you paid for the item via a refund voucher, you can only receive a refund via a refund voucher. The refund of money is contingent on the product being eligible for return i.e not damaged, etc. But at least, Jumia appears to be taking responsibility.
This brand claims customer satisfaction and integrity on prices, hence the cliché ‘before you buy, check price on Konga’. The brand became even stronger when it made the bold move to merge with Yudala. For Konga, once the item meets the requirement for return, the usual, a 7day return window is opened to the purchaser. This seems a bit more relaxing. Once the purchaser’s claim is validated, a return waybill number is given. But then, here is Konga’s liability:
“Upon our confirmation of the receipt of the item by the Seller, Konga will assist only by notifying the Seller to resolve the matter as its sole responsibility without any further obligation on Konga.”
What about reality? The other day one of us walked into Konga, the Cherub Mall, Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lagos, and ordered for a battery for our Camera. First, we were told, it will take 2-3business day for the order to arrive. We waited as we were too lazy to travel to Ikeja, Lagos. Indeed, delivery came on the said date, but the package was wrapped and requires opening to confirm the size and test that it is working before payment. But our man was told, ‘No, you must pay first before you unwrap the package’. He insisted that that is against a fair policy, but his argument held no water. And upon unwrapping, he discovers that the size delivered was different and it doesn’t fit. He requested for his cash back, but Konga refused and said he must make a formal complain and wait for the refund period, excluding the weekend, cash or transfer notwithstanding.
Evaluation: The better Way
What you, Jumia, Konga and Sellers need to know is that when a market platform places an item with a price on their catalogue, never minding its refund/return policies, it is holding itself out as the seller liable to the purchaser’s claim. If it, however, discloses the principal, in this case, the seller, then it will bear no liability even as an agent, because the seller is disclosed. This is what is known in law as ‘an agent of a disclosed principal’.
You will notice that Jumia shoulders more liability:
But Konga discloses who the seller of an item is and has warned against personal liabilities. You will see in the picture below that the ‘Laptop Stand and Cooling Pad’ is ‘sold by Jupiter Plus Tech’. But others are sold by Konga, and they shouldn’t escape liability in those items. They probably need to update their return policy. In any case, while you are arguing and suing, damage in time and money spent happens.
Jumia or Konga?
From our survey, consumers need more from both brands. Jumia can learn a lot from Konga timelines, and Konga can learn a lot about responsibility from Jumia. However, sellers prefer Konga because it is more flexible for them.
So, Jumia or Konga? You chose.