Kalahari battles to keep up with demand
The site also crashed on Black Friday, which follows the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States and marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season.
Irate Kalahari shoppers loaded numerous complaints on social networks and customer complaints websites such as HelloPeter about the delay in deliveries as well as not receiving money back from orders that had been cancelled.
Since the 28th of November, 276 complaints have been recorded on the HelloPeter website. At least 10 people complained on HelloPeter yesterday (10 December) while 30 complaints were recorded on the website on the 9 December
Kalahari is one of the most popular e-commerce sites in South Africa and 72.78% of people surveyed in the South African e-commerce report said they bought products from it.
There have also been reports of goods going missing, as one irate Twitter user tweeted about, or parcels arriving already opened.
Another customer found that the delivery date on the item – which they cited as being the main reason for shopping online – had changed after the order had been placed.
"I ordered two items, both in stock with an estimated delivery within 48 hours - estimated delivery 11 December. I proceeded with payment steps which also showed 11 December," said one user on HelloPeter about Kalahari, which was posted yesterday (9 December).
"However, the final order confirmation screen suddenly showed estimated delivery date as 23 December!" said the user. They went on to say that there was no warning as to why the date had changed, before the purchase was made.
Furthermore, customers claimed that customer service recommended that "from experience its best to cancel the order as it's unlikely to receive an order at the original advertised date, if it has changed."
Kalahari under strain
However, Kalahari has been quick to reply on social networks, trying to help their customers.
Kalahari marketing director Liz Hillcock, told BDLIve, that the site was under immense strain on Black Friday, and the week following it, but that it was now back up and working again.
"This is not unheard of when there is an overwhelming peak in concurrent traffic. Takealot experienced similar issues, as did Superbalist during the same week (and) other international retailers such as Best Buys," said Hillcock.
Hillcock also added that the staff at Kalahari are working hard to make sure everyone receives their orders.
The South African e-commerce report highlighted that most orders take between one to four days to be delivered, sometimes even stretching to 10 days depending on the product and where it is being shipped from.
It is, therefore, not so farfetched that Kalahari has been taking long with orders, due to normal delivery times, plus the large amount of customers to the site over this period.
Chris Labuschagne, CEO of FNB credit card said that people should order their online purchases well in advance as to give themselves adequate time to make returns if they are not happy, especially now that Christmas is only two weeks away.
At the time of publication Kalahari, Takealot, and the customer mentioned above had not replied to Justmoney's request for comment.