How Lazada failed to ship my iPod in 73 days

Friday, August 31, 2012

For those of you who know me personally, you may already know I that bought an ipod nano (16GB, Graphite Color) from

Here's how the whole online shopping experience unfolded with Lazada, in chronological order.

1) Early June 2012 -  Lazada had a promotion by distributing a discount code via some blogs like Saraawak Bloggers- BLOG150, it promised a discount of RM150 if you had a minimum order amount of RM400. Imagine a discount as high as 37.5%, which is amazingly high for electronics products and you can bet Lazada loses for orders using this code. Anyway, this is a pretty common tactic for merchants to sell products at a loss to acquire customer base.

2) Given that my 1st order with Lazada (2x Kingston Thumbdrive with Cash On Delivery payment fulfilled by Yamato TaQbin) arrived in a timely manner, it motivated me to place another order for ipod nano with the said discount code! (hey, it works!). Some other famous tech blogger like liewcf also tested the lazada coupon out!

I am very impressed with the timely delivery by Lazada on my 1st order,
check out the happy Yamato TaQBin sales driver posing next to the jedi master! 

So I proceeded to make another order (first experience counts, positive first purchase experience always breeds more repeat orders), this time I checkout and paid with my credit card.

3) So I waited enthusiastically for my ipod to arrive - I started dreaming about how cool I will look listening to my favourite music with this tinny sexy device and I can have my fingers all over it... (confession: I am a PC guy and I wanna look cool)

4) 19th June 2012, just 3 days after my order, Lazada's customer service rep called me. I thought they were going to tell me that my ipod is no longer in stock. To my surprise, that's not what happened, instead, the rep told me that they only have 3 colours available for my ipod nano 16GB - Either Green, Pink or Graphite (Grey).

I found it a bit amusing since I did place an order for the Graphite (Grey) color. Somehow Lazada's cart system did not capture the color option details so I just said I wanted to go with Graphite color. He said ok, double confirmed on the details and told me they are shipping my ipod to me asap!

Then they followed up with an email (nice gesture). If you noticed, this was sent from a ticketing system (Zendesk). This means they are investing in a proper customer support system to better support and service the customer (since every customer request can be traced, tracked, and followed up upon). Such a system is a must have if you were going to serve a big customer base via email.

5) 2nd July 2012, I had not get my ipod yet. If you check Lazada FAQs, it normally takes only 4 to 7 business days for customers to receive their orders.

So I emailed Lazada asking "When will my order arrive?". They replied on the 3rd of July stating that they have ran out of stock! WHAT? Previously Lazada called me telling me they have existing stock, promising fast delivery, confirms the colors of my ipod and now they are telling me that same piece of thing I ordered has "ran out of stock" !?

This was my expression after the "bad news".

6) 4th of July 2012 (America Independence day) - Of course as a consumer, I am not happy. So this is my reply.

and this is Lazada's reply:

I really thought they somehow regret not fulfilling my order as promised and realize that it was a mistake feeding the customers with so much bullshit.

7) 17th July 2012 - so another month just passed by, my ipod was still no where in sight. Thus another email. At this point in time, I was still hopeful, since Lazada was working so hard to ship my ipod, we must give some credit where credit is due.

7) 1st August 2012 - nothing happened, I emailed, no one replied. I resent another on 3rd of August, no one replied too. (no screenshots for these 2 since they were just short email asking my order status). I patiently waited, and i finally received a reply on the 9th August (yes, still working hard).

8) 24th August 2012 - More than 2 months now. Stilll nothing had happened, so another email was sent.

I received a reply on the same day from Lazada acknowledging that the delay is indeed too long (conscience?) and Lazada was trying hard to "persuade" me to take refund.

my reply, on why I do not want a refund.

9) 27th August 201273 days later after my ipod order, Lazada supplied me my final puzzle - my ipod nano 16GB is officially an End of Life (EOL) product.

Funny isn't it? EOL is not a common terms for consumers. Apple still sell it, at that point of time, Lazada still happily sell it.

So I decided to SKYPE Uncle Steve.

You do know this one is a joke, don't you?

10) If some of you are wondering why I look like a vampire for the past 2 months, I think you already know the answer by now.

This shot was taken after learning that my ipod is already EOL (End of Life), 73 days later. RIP my dearest.

So this sums up my ipod purchase experience on Am I pissed? Not really, even though they screwed up my life for 2 months plus now (no music, no life, but luckily i got wowloud). Basically, I'm curious as to how far they will go in screwing up an order, and it's no secret they are notorious for not fulfilling customer orders.

These are just some of the post from the people i know...

luckily she bought 2 shampoos... else the bf would have dumped her

2 weeks over waiting for baby diapers... I scolded her for putting her baby ass at
buying diapers online at Lazada

If Lazada pull this stunt in US, UK, Australia, etc, i'm sure they would have drowned in lawyers letter by now. I think Lazada needs to start treating Malaysian Consumers with some respect and please don't assume we all are ignorant fools who doesn't even know how to use a pair of binocular (and our rights as  consumers)

But I think, most importantly, there are great lessons we can all learn (Both as consumers and as  eCommerce merchants) from this screw-up big time order experience. It has inspired me 2 of my upcoming posts, the temporary titles are:

"What Lazada can teach us about what NOT TO DO when it comes to selling online"

"What Lazada can teach consumers about buying things online."

Updated: 6th Sept 2012

There has been a new development since my Lazada's Ipod Shopping Experience post was published. I received a call from Lazada on the 5th of Sept, at 13.01. The lazada rep over the phone promised a prompt refund... and... they would give me my ipod as complimentary as a token for the screw up.

I updated this on my facebook status, as usual, there's always skeptic:

John was Lazada Top Ambassador until one of his order got screwed up big time... 

Just hours later, both Thomas Judge (Director of Global Venture Dev, Rocket Internet)and Anna (PR, Lazada) were here, they basically just dropped by to say hi and sincerely apologized for the bad experience I had. I'm humbled. They told me that they are fixing everything they could, beefing up supplier chains, building a bigger warehouse, actively removing products which they no longer carry stock etc.

Also, if you are wondering...  Nope, in the whole conversation, they never hinted, implied, nor asked me anything about removing or "touching up" this blogpost.

Before they leave, they handed over my ipod, and they invited me over to Lazada's office for some coffee and to share my feedback and suggestions. (Normally in Malaysia, only policeman will invite you (to police station) for some coffee...)

Yes John, EOL product did rise from the grave, as always, there's something "magical" about apple products... (PC Guys, still don't get it?)

So here's my long lost iPod. The phones are censored in respect of their privacy.

1) Lazada insisted my ipod nano is out of stock by their supplier and will proceed to refund my order (5 to 10 working days promised, but let's give it another 73 days shall we?)
2) I also placed an order for Philips Bluray DVD player (model BDP3200/98) and it arrived 30 days later. Due to having no stock, they replace it with another model BDP3300/98.
3) Until now I have yet to personally call lazada customer service phone line.