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30,000 orders delayed by Ezbuy’s woes with China e-commerce site

SINGAPORE — An estimated 30,000 orders placed with Ezbuy were disrupted due to its ongoing problems with a China e-commerce site, but the e-shopping service provider popular among consumers here pledged on Wednesday (Nov 29) that it was “working towards fulfilling all orders that have been affected” by next week.

Employees sort boxes and parcels at a logistic centre in in Jinan, Shandong province, China,  after the Singles' Day online shopping festival. An estimated 30,000 orders placed with Ezbuy were disrupted due to its ongoing problems with a China e-commerce site. Photo: Reuters

Employees sort boxes and parcels at a logistic centre in in Jinan, Shandong province, China, after the Singles' Day online shopping festival. An estimated 30,000 orders placed with Ezbuy were disrupted due to its ongoing problems with a China e-commerce site. Photo: Reuters

SINGAPORE — An estimated 30,000 orders placed with Ezbuy were disrupted due to its ongoing problems with a China e-commerce site, but the e-shopping service provider popular among consumers here pledged on Wednesday (Nov 29) that it was “working towards fulfilling all orders that have been affected” by next week.

As of Wednesday, most of the orders from the Nov 11 Singles’ Day sales have been delivered to customers, Ezbuy said in response to TODAY’s queries. “The remaining orders have been shipped out, with a handful still with a ‘pending’ status - pending for sellers or customers to process,” the firm said, without providing specific numbers.

TODAY had reported about the onslaught of complaints against Ezbuy from users whose orders are delayed, with many saying that they are unable to resolve their issues with the company through its customer service platforms, which were down for several hours on Tuesday. “As our hotline and live chat are currently experiencing high volume, we seek our customer’s understanding and patience while we work towards resolving this as soon as possible,” Ezbuy said.

Explaining what went wrong, the company said it has “recently experienced service disruption resulting in a slower processing time for some of our customers”, which was caused by the “restricted purchasing capabilities on a China e-commerce website”. The issues with the unnamed website — which is believed to be Taobao — had first surfaced earlier this month.

Ezbuy said it has temporarily ceased its China Buy-For-Me service while it worked to fulfil the backlog of orders. The company’s other services such as EZbuy, Ship-For-Me and Prime are still available. Orders made through the Buy-For-Me service for the United States and Taiwan are also not affected.

Ezbuy’s woes started a couple of days before the Singles’ Day shopping festival. At that time, Ezbuy said in a memo to customers that it would stop taking new orders under its China Buy-For-Me service for the “next few days” due to “unusual circumstances”. The company said many of its “purchasing partners’ accounts”, which are used to place orders on the China e-commerce website, were suspended without any valid reasons.

On Nov 13, Ezbuy put up another notice on its website saying it was sorry that there were no updates on the shipping status of some parcels. There were also paid orders from customers that were not yet placed, it said. It promised to look into the matter, and would provide full refunds if it was unable to find a satisfactory solution.

Ezbuy’s competitors have been quick to capitalise on its plight, with several taking a cheeky jibe at the firm. A recent email from vPost to its customers carried the headline, “Can’t Buy For Me? Get 40% off when you vPost instead”, while Lazada ran a promotion offering free delivery for purchases above S$20, with the tagline “It’s EZ-ier to buy it here” for its Taobao collection.

Ezbuy describes itself as Singapore’s “first and largest global shopping platform by page views and number of distribution points”. It claims that its “cutting-edge algorithm captures first-hand information on the latest deals on offer and in real time, enabling consumers to gain savings of up to 80 per cent as compared to buying retail”. As of this month, it has more than 1 million registered users in Singapore.

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