Saturday, January 05, 2008

Merry Christmas from Musica - NOT!

This is the first and last time I ever try to buy anything from Musica.co.za. I ordered Johnny Clegg's "One Life" CD and a live DVD from them on 22nd December, hoping to have it delivered to my brother in Port Elizabeth for Christmas. Granted, it was a last minute purchase, but after 2 weeks they have still not delivered anything. Thanks for screwing up a Christmas gift for me, Musica! This is the way to grow your business and build customer loyalty!
By contrast, I had ordered the same CD from Amazon.co.uk, had it gift wrapped and delivered to my other brother in the UK. Both orders were placed within 30 minutes of one another. The Amazon web site told me there were only 2-3 items in stock, and promised delivery before 1pm on 24th December. Since it was Christmas Eve I thought this was a little optimistic, but it arrived, gift wrapped with a card, on 27th December (the next working day). Pretty darn good for an order placed on another side of the globe during the Christmas rush. Dozens of things could have gone wrong; but Amazon got it right.
That reminds me of kalahari.net, our local bookstore and music outlet. We have bought several books from them, and their service is fantastic. I looked first on their site, but they didn't have the Johnny Clegg albums. I also tried the Look & Listen site, but it told me they didn't have stock, and their aren't any outlets in PE.
I used the Musica site to find shops in the PE area and phoned them to find out if they had stock: they didn't. That's when I made the mistake of ordering from their web site. I assumed that since it took my order that they had stock and would be able to deliver. How wrong I was.
After placing the order I got an order confirmation on Saturday 22nd at 9am, stating
"Your order has been received and is being processed. Your gift recipient's parcel will be shipped within 1-2 WORKING DAYS depending on availability."
On Monday at 1pm (their first working day) I got another email that said
" ... our online warehouse is unfortunately out of stock of both these titles.
"We have placed an order to obtain the stock directly from our stores thus there may be a delay in the shipping of your order."
Since then I have heard nothing from them. I called on Thursday 3rd January (their 6th working day) and was told that the DVD was available but the CD was out of stock, and they offered to send the DVD in the meantime. I decided to wait and see if I could get the CD myself.
I looked on the Look & Listen site and found they still didn't have stock, so I phoned our local outlet and then their Hyde Park store. They had one CD left, which they kept aside for me until I could pop in and buy it.
This morning I phoned Musica Customer Services (0860-687422) again to find out the status of order number 50070. The lady who answered the phone was much more helpful and explained that the order is automatically cancelled after 7 days, but they had had the CD in stock for a few days but the DVD was unavailable until their suppliers reopened. I asked why I hadn't been told any of this and all she could do was apologise. Their was no explanation for why they hadn't bothered to contact me to let me know that the order had expired, or that they had located the CD.
I asked her to get the Managing Director to call me. She said he was still on holiday but their IT Director would call me on Monday; she said she was the Customer Services Manager and that customer feedback was important to them. She also said they had a banner on their web site advising customers to place their Christmas orders before 16th December, to give them 5 working days to deliver everything. There isn't much point telling me that on 5th January!
I count several system failures:
  • The web site didn't/couldn't tell me that there was no stock. The best it can manage is a hugely over-optimistic "Usually shipped within 1-2 working days". Don't believe it.
  • The second email didn't warn me that there may be a much longer delay in obtaining stock. "There may be a delay" says nothing.
  • I was not told that my order had expired after 7 days
  • I was not told that the CD had been located and was available for shipping.
  • I was incorrectly told that the DVD was available, and was not warned that the order had already expired. I only discovered this by calling them.
  • There was no record of my first call when I made the second call.
These guys clearly have no idea how to run a web site. Rather use kalahari.net (which is brilliant) or try Look & Listen. You have been warned!
Update Mon 7th January: The MD contacted me, and promised to send me his contact details and I asked him to post a comment on this blog once the system has been improved. Stand by.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

You waited until 3 days before Christmas to purchase gifts for your family? I can't and wouldn't make excuses for the crappy service you got from Musica, but come on now Donn!

Donn Edwards said...

Why do you think I waited at least a week before making enquiries?

In an ideal world the shops would be empty for days before Christmas, but it never happens, does it? So apart from your cheap shot, what are you trying to say?

Anonymous said...

No insults intended. I'm a big fan of your blog, enjoy your work, and monitor it regularly. You seem to be so meticulous when it comes to detail that I guess it surprised me that you didn't have your Christmas shopping done in August!

It stinks to get crappy service from large companies that are supposed to be considered "reputable". I may be a little sensitive to the issue since I work for a large company that's noted to be one of the best in the logistics business. We get "hammered" by last minute shoppers in the remaining days before Christmas. We work like slaves to get the packages to people, but no matter what we do we're into it way over our heads. The system is exploding and the whole time one can't help but thinking, " Geeeeez, couldn't they have sent this a week ago? " There's nothing like showing up at someone's front door a day or two after Christmas with a gift that's late after you've been working 12 hour days for the last two weeks and receiving a "tongue lashing". Just a perspective from my side of the fence.

It appears that Musica has failed you far beyond the level of failure that I have spoken of. One would tend to wonder how they have gotten as far in business as they have? But we must remember, "Never ascribe to malice, that which can be explained by incompetence." Hmmmm, sounds slightly familiar ?

Although there are still some companies that deliver the highest level of service possible ( or at least what you paid for! ) the "service" end of the business world seems to have taken a dive. I live in the United States and trust me when I say it's every bit as bad or maybe even worse than your part of the world.

Keep up the great work on the blog. I look forward to more of your work with the defrag software ( I'm still a PerfectDisk fan, but Puran Defrag 4.0 is looking pretty good these days too ) I'll be looking for more good stuff in 2008. My apologies for not being more clear in my previous post. Have a happy and prosperous new year !

Anonymous said...

I am glad that you contacted them to give them the opportunity to hear your side. While I agree that you left it late, I think that your comments are valid feedback. Our South African mentality is that we often do not complain. I think that pointing these issues out to our suppliers is important if this country is to grow in this arena.


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