Shopping Discussion

Using pandemic as an excuse?

  • Last Updated:
  • Oct 15th, 2020 2:02 pm
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[OP]
Sr. Member
Jan 4, 2008
797 posts
367 upvotes
Mississauga

Using pandemic as an excuse?

Anyone else feel this way? Yes things are backed up and crazy, but I feel like many places are using the pandemic as an excuse as to the poor service right now.

Why is a website not working? Covid.

Why does it take days for customer service to respond to an email? Covid.

Why is shipping taking so long? Covid.

Yes, the pandemic has contributed to some problems, but theres many problems which have existed long before March. I feel companies are paying the price for not paying proper attention to certain areas of their business beforehand.

I've noticed how many Canadian retailers have had very poor ecommerce and customer service. The attention paid to their website was very poor, many never offer live chat CS, and their emails took days to respond back to. They never had a dedicated team to do any of these and its finally caught up to them. They shouldn't be blaming the virus, they should be blaming their own internal priorities.
Last edited by dxbender on Jun 11th, 2020 12:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
40 replies
Deal Addict
Jan 12, 2017
2615 posts
2934 upvotes
I don't mind longer shipping time but not being able to talk to CSR when I have problem with orders is what grinds my gears.
Just the other day, I called Old Navy to get update order on May 19th still in process. Waited 2 hours and just got fed up and hung up.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Mar 18, 2005
22706 posts
4329 upvotes
Niagara Falls
Dreamrider wrote: I don't mind longer shipping time but not being able to talk to CSR when I have problem with orders is what grinds my gears.
Just the other day, I called Old Navy to get update order on May 19th still in process. Waited 2 hours and just got fed up and hung up.
Question is, what's a reasonable amount of time to wait? I'm OK with my Prime orders not getting delivered in 2 days, I'm not OK with it taking a month +.
I'm OK if my curb side pickup isn't ready in 2 hours, I'm not OK when it takes 12+ days to get one box ready.

I had a package shipped from Toronto to Niagara Falls, it was labelled and shipped from Toronto in 1 day. It sat in St. Catharines UPS sorting facility for a further 5 days. That was no OK imo.
Deal Addict
Feb 16, 2018
1292 posts
1306 upvotes
dxbender wrote: Anyone else feel this way? Yes things are backed up and crazy, but I feel like many places are using the pandemic as an excuse as to the poor service right now.

Why is a website not working? Covid.

Why does it take days for customer service to respond to an email? Covid.

Why is shipping taking so long? Covid.

Yes, the pandemic has contributed to some problems, but theres many problems which have existed long before March. I feel companies are paying the price for not paying proper attention to certain areas of their business beforehand.

I've noticed how many Canadian retailers have had very poor ecommerce and customer service. The attention paid to their website was very poor, many never offer live chat CS, and their emails took days to respond back to. They never had a dedicated team to do any of these and its finally caught up to them. They shouldn't be blaming the virus, they should be blaming their own internal priorities.

As a business owner I completely disagree with you. Covid has causes so many headaches in our business that my stress level is to the max and it has nothing to do with finances and a lot of issues are beyond my control All those examples you listed are all pandemic related and should be easily understandable as to why there are issues with each example you gave. The virus is absolutely to blame.

Were businesses as a whole as efficient as they could be with online commerce? Not in general no. But they didn't need to be, the system that was in place worked just fine and eventually it would have transitioned over to be more efficient in time. I can't think of a single thing that I ordered online pre-covid that was a hassle to deal with unless there was a mistake made somewhere which was rare. Take Amazon for example, they had shipping delays of over a month a few months back for a lot of items are you saying their e-commerce was poor and inefficient?
Deal Addict
Nov 19, 2015
4776 posts
37260 upvotes
Waited 1 month from Rona.ca for a 4 pack paint rollers. Not acceptable at all. Maybe 2 weeks I could understand.
Deal Addict
Oct 3, 2013
2241 posts
3439 upvotes
West
Companies are always blaming things on external factors. I don't think I've ever had a phone call without a, "due to higher than normal call volume, wait times are longer than usual", in the last several years.

Fact of the matter is, companies are meant to be profitable. Hiring extra people to staff phones, e-mails, warehouses, costs money. With respect to COVID, it's just easier to lay people off, or keep the status quo, especially if revenue has declined.
Deal Addict
Oct 24, 2010
2179 posts
1989 upvotes
Ottawa
Dreamrider wrote: Just the other day, I called Old Navy to get update order on May 19th still in process. Waited 2 hours and just got fed up and hung up.
Just wait until it's shipped!

My Old Navy order took 8 days for them to process and create a label, then 12 days for UPS to pick up, and now it's taken 3 days to get from Concord to the Toronto UPS hub.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Nov 13, 2010
7396 posts
1568 upvotes
Scarborough
This is why I prefer to go to the open store and buy it in person. Not shopping online for me as all these complaint threads are proof that everyone using covid as excuse for shit service. But then, its hard to feel sympathy for people who keep taking shit thats given time and again and refuse to not order online
They keep ordeing so they deserve it as they already knew its bad but keep ordering
Sr. Member
Apr 4, 2017
582 posts
458 upvotes
HghSsociety wrote: As a business owner I completely disagree with you. Covid has causes so many headaches in our business that my stress level is to the max and it has nothing to do with finances and a lot of issues are beyond my control All those examples you listed are all pandemic related and should be easily understandable as to why there are issues with each example you gave. The virus is absolutely to blame.

Were businesses as a whole as efficient as they could be with online commerce? Not in general no. But they didn't need to be, the system that was in place worked just fine and eventually it would have transitioned over to be more efficient in time. I can't think of a single thing that I ordered online pre-covid that was a hassle to deal with unless there was a mistake made somewhere which was rare. Take Amazon for example, they had shipping delays of over a month a few months back for a lot of items are you saying their e-commerce was poor and inefficient?
The thing that really gets me is that stores such as SportChek and Suitsupply went ahead and ran big sales and promotions after COVID started, yet still uses COVID as an excuse when they can't deliver. Makes me wonder if they are trying to get some sales on hand for working capital/bank financing/other with no intention of actually delivering product.
Deal Addict
Dec 29, 2012
2323 posts
659 upvotes
In Hiding
I bought 6 items from Ardene website, I keep getting promotional emails but no status update on my order (2 weeks ago). Why market something if you can't deliver? I could have bought from somewhere else had I known but I can't cancel my order.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 1, 2001
1150 posts
464 upvotes
Toronto
dxbender wrote: Anyone else feel this way? Yes things are backed up and crazy, but I feel like many places are using the pandemic as an excuse as to the poor service right now.

Why is a website not working? Covid.

Why does it take days for customer service to respond to an email? Covid.

Why is shipping taking so long? Covid.

Yes, the pandemic has contributed to some problems, but theres many problems which have existed long before March. I feel companies are paying the price for not paying proper attention to certain areas of their business beforehand.

I've noticed how many Canadian retailers have had very poor ecommerce and customer service. The attention paid to their website was very poor, many never offer live chat CS, and their emails took days to respond back to. They never had a dedicated team to do any of these and its finally caught up to them. They shouldn't be blaming the virus, they should be blaming their own internal priorities.
*Cough* ikea
Member
Dec 4, 2017
421 posts
404 upvotes
Toronto
Definitely more patience is needed for any shopping adventures these days. I don't want to imagine the lining up outside in the winter before getting into a store.

I feel we are starting to get 'social conditioned' to accept the new normal.
Deal Addict
Jan 18, 2013
2900 posts
1556 upvotes
B.C.
Probably yes...

Unless they are actually genuinely following Physical Distancing requirements - which it seems most places aren't in my observations!
Deal Addict
May 1, 2018
1646 posts
1155 upvotes
Vancouver
My company has seen a massive influx of orders since March. Basically every day has been Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale numbers. While we may not be lagging behind on shipping on most cases, we are definitely struggling to keep up with customer email inquiries because of this. It's not because we have fewer people, it's because of the amount of orders that has come in. We hired more people to assist with answering emails but even then it takes awhile for them to be trained and work efficiently. I can tell you that FedEx is definitely experiencing heavy backlog. Some trucks arent even picking up shipments on time. So yes, it is Covid related.

Then again most of our customers are Americans hence the increase in sales so I cant say for Canadian companies
Deal Addict
Sep 13, 2007
4633 posts
5831 upvotes
GTA
Loblaws companies still refusing returns on merchandise, but apparently its stores and distribution centres have“settled into such a good rhythm” that Loblaws will return employee wages to pre-pandemic levels starting June 13

https://business.financialpost.com/news ... ne-workers
“With this stability and with economies reopening we have decided the time is right to transition out of our temporary pay premium” Loblaw president Sarah Davis told staff in her letter.

So things are stable enough to justify the pay cut for front line workers, and they're more than happy to sell you something, but screw you if you want to return.

This excuse/policy posted on website doesn't cut it.
To help limit contact, we won’t be accepting returns or exchanges, or bottle returns
They have no problem managing distancing when you pay them, it's only an issue when you want money back. Total BS!
Member
Feb 3, 2019
222 posts
151 upvotes
GTA
Kfox wrote: So things are stable enough to justify the pay cut for front line workers, and they're more than happy to sell you something, but screw you if you want to return.

This excuse/policy posted on website doesn't cut it.
To help limit contact, we won’t be accepting returns or exchanges, or bottle returns
They have no problem managing distancing when you pay them, it's only an issue when you want money back. Total BS!
This! I was surprised to see yesterday's email from Loblaws with that included but still not accepting returns...
Member
Feb 3, 2019
222 posts
151 upvotes
GTA
From my point of view, at this point, its just an excuse. It's been almost 3 months that companies have had to sort things out. If they haven't put the time/resources to fix things, that just means its not a priority for them. That is fine, but just dont give me the COVID excuse instead of saying what things actually are.

Thanks to rfd, I've been choosing to spend my money at retailers that have been able to adjust to the situation.
Deal Guru
Aug 14, 2007
11905 posts
2876 upvotes
Durham Region
pialshgiml87 wrote: From my point of view, at this point, its just an excuse. It's been almost 3 months that companies have had to sort things out. If they haven't put the time/resources to fix things, that just means its not a priority for them. That is fine, but just dont give me the COVID excuse instead of saying what things actually are.

Thanks to rfd, I've been choosing to spend my money at retailers that have been able to adjust to the situation.
Even better for me, I've been spending so much less since I know something will take forever to get.

The mail services should just hire a ton of people, I dont really buy the whole "oh we're too busy so your package will take 1 month to get if shipped within Canada" garbage.

They charge the same if not a higher rate but refuse to guarantee a delivery time... Ridiculous.
Member
Feb 3, 2019
222 posts
151 upvotes
GTA
XtremeModder wrote: They charge the same if not a higher rate but refuse to guarantee a delivery time... Ridiculous.
Yeah, I ship some items through Canada Post for my small business and they aren't guaranteeing any delivery times for packages but you still pay that premium price for "faster delivery"
Deal Addict
May 22, 2015
2368 posts
2529 upvotes
BC
XtremeModder wrote: Even better for me, I've been spending so much less since I know something will take forever to get.

The mail services should just hire a ton of people, I dont really buy the whole "oh we're too busy so your package will take 1 month to get if shipped within Canada" garbage.

They charge the same if not a higher rate but refuse to guarantee a delivery time... Ridiculous.
Carrier services aren't hamstrung by a lack of people but by a lack of space and options (no commercial airplanes carrying freight for instance). Hiring and training new staff isn't particularly easy right now, it's challenging in normal times when the government isn't paying people to sit at home at a similar wage than they would by actually finding a new job.

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