mums.sg team says sorry for delayed X'mas deliveries
Some customers were disappointed that their Christmas presents did not arrive on time.
But for local shopping website mums.sg co-founder Tristan Lo, it was an equally frustrating festive period.
Not only did he have to bear the brunt of irate customer complaints, he found himself packing overdue Lego sets into plastic bags at 3am on Christmas Day.
"All our staff, including the management, stayed till 3am to pack. My chief operating officer (COO) even spent the night in the office," he said.
After a short nap at home, they returned to the office at Pasir Panjang at 7am and continued packing the deliveries.
"We only went home at 3pm. My family had flown in from Australia, but I barely saw them at all on Christmas.
"But it was necessary because we had promised people their Christmas presents and we wanted to make sure all the orders went out," he said.
He said that all the orders that were slated to be delivered by the Christmas period have been dispatched.
On Friday, The New Paper reported that customers had posted about 170 comments on mums.sg's Facebook page saying they had not received their purchases.
Many were also unhappy that their e-mails had gone unanswered. There are several reasons for the delay.
mums.sg's other co-founder, TV presenter and DJ Jamie Yeo, 37, told TNP on Thursday that their Lego supplier had delivered the stocks a week late.
And Mr Lo, 32, said they had received 26,000 orders. Of those, 4,500 had to be delivered by Christmas Day.
In the same period last year, they had received only a fifth of that number of orders.
"While we were humbled to see so many customers choosing us, we did not plan for a buffer should our stocks arrive late.
"There's no use hiding our head in the sand about that," he said.
He said there were also issues with the deliveries.
"Some customers had the items delivered to their office, which was empty when our delivery crew arrived. Some were not around when the orders were sent to their homes," he said.
"For those who were home and did not receive their orders, we are asking our delivery companies for a full report."
Yesterday, some customers posted on mums.sg's Facebook page that they were still waiting for what they had ordered.
Mr Jimmy Cheang, 24, posted at 10am that he had yet to receive his two sets of Lego toys worth $300.
But at 2.30pm yesterday, Mr Cheang, who works in marketing, told TNP that he had received his toys. They are presents for his nieces, aged seven and 10.
"When the presents did not arrive on Christmas Eve, I rushed to town, battled the crowds and bought two other items from the same Lego series.
"Thankfully, I knew what I wanted to get, so I didn't have to spend very long searching. But (that meant) I also spent twice the amount on presents this year," he said.
When The New Paper visited the mums.sg office at about 3pm yesterday, Mr Lo and his staff were busy packing stacks of Lego sets into red plastic bags.
Mr Lo said they were rushing to complete the next batch of orders meant for the first week of January.
"We are really apologetic to those who did not get their Christmas presents on time. Every affected customer will be given a gift and store credit from us as a 'sorry'.
"But this has been a lesson. We are already hiring more and we have learnt we need to relate to customers better. This should not happen again," he said.
More are shopping online
Market research firm Euromonitor International estimates that Singapore consumers will spend more than $1 billion online this year, up from $960 million last year, reported MyPaper on Dec 17.
But this industry has not been without problems.
Last month, The New Paper reported that some customers who had ordered from China's top online marketplace Taobao had their deliveries delayed.
And when they went to the warehouse, owned by courier service Dragonlink, at MacPherson Industrial Complex, they found themselves having to dig among the boxes to locate their own items.
Users of SingPost's online shopping portal vPost were also left waiting for their items earlier this month, reported Channel NewsAsia.
This was a result of US online shops mixing up the orders and sending the purchases to the wrong warehouse for processing.
Online scams and credit card frauds have also been a concern for shoppers.
Last week, 17 people were investigated by the police for their suspected involvement in more than 70 online purchase scams, involving a total value of more than $134,000, reported The Straits Times Online.