Online shoppers furious after goods not delivered

This article is more than 12 months old

Some Singles' Day shoppers have seen joy turn to rage as courier services struggle to deliver their items on time in the face of a mountain of orders.

Start-up Roadbull has been struggling to handle what chief executive Alwin Liang called an "astronomical" number of products flooding into Singapore thanks to the Chinese sales event, "creating an industry-wide bottleneck and also affecting my operational capacity".

Singapore Post and logistics company Ninja Van also experienced a spike in deliveries.

Roadbull user, investment analyst Francois Chang, told The Straits Times that he ordered a board game from Taobao on Nov 11 and was supposed to receive it on Dec 7.

Mr Chang, 27, said he took leave on two separate days to receive the goods but was left disappointed both times. He even failed to get it when he went to the Roadbull warehouse, after taking another day off, to collect it himself.

Business owners have also suffered losses due to delayed or missing deliveries.

Mr Kenneth Chin, 24, who runs a gift supplying company, was supposed to deliver electrical items worth more than $800 to a customer on Wednesday. He ordered these goods directly from factories in China on Nov 22, and on Monday, received only one of his parcels.

He made 40 calls to several Roadbull numbers. When he went to its warehouse the next day, he was told his other parcel could not be found.

Roadbull's Mr Liang said delivery delays were due to "unforeseen circumstances like the weather or vehicle conditions", which he would work to resolve.

He said the company increased its driver capacity by about 30 per cent in the past week alone, and it has started Sunday deliveries too.


A spokesman for Ninja Van, which received a deluge of complaints online last month about slow deliveries, told The Straits Times it had cleared the "backlog" of orders by the end of that month.

Executive director of the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) Loy York Jiun said: "Consumers should always exercise caution for international online transactions...

"For online merchants located overseas, Case is only able to intervene if the business is located in countries Case has signed a memorandum of understanding with, for example, Malaysia or China."