21 October 2013

Hafiz Adewuyi

My Empathies, World Wondermom :’(

I was sitting –alone, doing nothing in particular– in a local fast-food –this evening –when your call came in. Your number was not stored on my phone; no. But, as soon as I heard your voice – even before you introduced yourself – I had somehow figured you were the one on the other end of the rope. You sounded as happy as you did the first time we spoke last week; your voice bore no warning of the bad news you were about to dispense to me.

I remember the exact sequence of events that led to our first encounter. I’d been less busy that Thursday evening, so I’d decided to scour the internet for the best deal on an android tablet I’ve been looking to procure. After a few clicks, I discovered that Dealdey had a deal for – the relatively new – Galaxy Tab 3.0 (White). It was alluring, but unfortunately, its price tag was way beyond my maximum budget for a tablet. I scolded myself for not taking advantage of the Galaxy Tab 2.0 deal which had come up just a few weeks back. Sober, but not resigned, I decided to see what the other big Nigerian e-commerce sites had in stock for me. Konga and Jumia did not prove very instrumental; with only one of them carrying the product, and at a higher price than that on Dealdey. I searched Google trader (Nigeria) and to be honest, I actually found listings that apparently matched my specs – both quality and price wise. However, with tell-tale signs that the platform had been invaded by igbo businessmen, I had to overlook all the offers on trader – for fear of being swindled. Tradestable also got my attention for a bit, and I must say they seem to be doing really well: their traffic rank. Unfortunately, similar trust issues as I had with Google trader prevented me from getting in touch with any Tradestable vendors of the product I was interested in.

Almost as I was going to give up and return to my never-ending work duties, the name Kaymu came up. I typed in their website address and waited for it to load. The first picture that caught my eye on the home page was almost too good to be true. The same Galaxy Tab 3.0 (White), which was purportedly on a great discount on Dealdey at 51000 NGN was listed on Kaymu at an unbelievable 37500 NGN. Now, Kaymu – like Trader and Tradestable – is also a listings site. However, it has – via deliberate strategy – been able to distinguish itself from the others in a way that makes me feel less wary of transacting through it. Kaymu has been able to inspire trust in me by letting me know – explicitly – that they give a hoot about my safety when doing business through their platform. 

I rushed to your listing’s individual page and on getting there, observed that you had sold a good number of the tablets; with a few left-in-stock. Your unusual username – “WorldWondermom” – also stuck. A few clicks and decisions down the road, and then my order was placed. I now anticipated your getting back to me on delivery details. You did that sooner than I could have expected, I must say. Before I could say my name, my phone was ringing. On seeing it was an unknown number, I knew it must be WorldWondermom calling to confirm the order. It was almost like your phone call was automated; the timeliness with which it came. 

I picked up the phone. Your voice was of a kind I like to hear on phone; one I attribute to an educated young lady. You spoke clearly and politely. You had called to confirm the order and also to arrange delivery with me. However foolish it was, I had asked you to confirm that the products you carried were original Samsung. Unexpectedly, you did just that. Thereafter, we agreed – after due deliberation – for you to deliver my new tab to me at work, next Wednesday. Deal sealed!

While in the kitchen this afternoon – putting a lunch together – I had wondered where people like you sourced electronics from so cheaply, you were able to resell them at unbeatable prices. I started to see every other trader as too greedy for gains and was thankful there were still good people like you in the world. There was no warning that very soon; I would learn that your offer was all too good to be true. I saw a vision of me holding my sleek 7-inch tab in two days’ time, feeling fly.

Back at the fast-food, as soon as I realized it was you on the phone, I had assumed you were calling to confirm that I still wanted the parcel delivered as earlier agreed. Nothing could have prepared me for what you had to say instead. There, in the same voice and tone as you did last Thursday – a baby crying in the background – you introduced yourself. Then you said it: “the tablets I have are not original Samsung”. You further explained that your listing on Kaymu was – at that time – a presale as you were still awaiting the products’ arrival from the supplier. Sadly, only on the arrival of your consignment did you realize that the damned suppliers had misled you on the brand/quality of the tablets. Being your sweet self, you called to let me know the real quality of what had been expected to soon be mine. You did not go the dubious way of transferring your mistake to your naïve customers. Did you give that option even as much as a thought?

On a final note in the phone call, you informed me that the price for the “fake” tablets is now N30000. Fortunately or not, I had strongly made up my mind to get a reliable (read popular brand) tablet; one with reliable support locally. If not, I would never even have placed that order on Kaymu; because I know very well where to get cheap (read china; which I assume is what the assholes sent you) tablets. I felt so sorry for you, that I couldn’t help but show my empathy with a “so sorry about that”.  I have been in your shoes before, even though at a much smaller scale than what I estimate you’re experiencing now. 

You have not totally lost, I believe. At least, you still have the tablets at hand and hopefully can sell them off to retrieve you capital in good enough time. My sincere prayers go up to God on your behalf. May he – in his infinite wisdom – help you through these dark times. Whatever you decide to do in response to this unexpected turn of events, he will be beside you and support all of your efforts to get even.
Finally, I would like to say a very big “FUCK YOU” – on your behalf – to all those bastards out there who trick people into buying sub-standard products or even nothing, by leveraging the power of e-commerce. 

All the best, WorldWondermom. I hope this episode teaches you to be more careful in making business decisions in the future.

a sincerely empathetic customer.

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23 May 2015 at 13:55 delete

waoh! i am just reading this article. this wondermom. it wasnt a good experience. yes, i learnt my lesson and that was almost two years ago...well, i'm over that matter. thanks Hafiz

29 May 2015 at 14:22 delete

haha. thanks for commenting, and good to see you made it through alright.