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Orders of some Lazada sellers wrongly cancelled due to 'operational error'

SINGAPORE — Some Lazada sellers have had their orders wrongly cancelled in recent days, in what the e-commerce company said was the "result of an operational error".

Screenshots of posts by affected Lazada sellers on the Lazada SG Seller Community Facebook page.

Screenshots of posts by affected Lazada sellers on the Lazada SG Seller Community Facebook page.

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  • Sellers on e-commerce platform Lazada have had their orders wrongly cancelled in recent days
  • The company said this was due to an "operational error"
  • Some sellers aired their frustrations on social media
  • The error was said to have affected orders placed from March 17 to 21

SINGAPORE — Some Lazada sellers have had their orders wrongly cancelled in recent days, in what the e-commerce company said was the "result of an operational error".

These sellers have taken to social media to air their grievances and post their experiences on a Facebook page called Lazada SG Seller Community that is managed by the online marketplace.

One seller shared a message purportedly sent by Lazada on Monday (March 21) night saying that it was "investigating an early order cancellation anomaly", which affected orders that were placed from March 17 to 21. 

Orders placed during the period were cancelled, which led to buyers receiving an automatic refund. 

Affected buyers may lose out on vouchers used to buy their products because refunds are typically issued only for the amount paid.

On the other hand, some sellers who spoke to TODAY said that they were uncertain if their items, some of which they have shipped out, would be returned to them.

Sellers were also concerned about other costs such as labour and advertising that were incurred for the cancelled orders.

In response to TODAY's queries, Lazada said on Tuesday that the company takes "this incident seriously and have taken steps to prevent it from occurring again".

It has informed the affected customers and issued them a voucher to re-order the cancelled items and is also working with sellers to ensure that "they do not incur losses from the incident". 

Lazada declined to say how many orders were affected by the operational error. 

One seller, who wanted to be known only as Nigel, told TODAY that three of his orders costing about S$400 were cancelled because of the error. 

The 33-year-old said that he received an email notification of each cancelled order on Monday at around 6.40pm and it "caught his attention" because it was odd to have more than one order being cancelled at the same time. 

"Other sellers in the Lazada seller Facebook page also posted that they had several order cancellations at one time... I was lucky I only had three orders affected. Other sellers weren't so lucky. One had more than 200 orders cancelled," he added. 

When he reached out to Lazada's help desk for assistance on the issue upon discovering the cancellations, it was already closed but the administrators on the Facebook page continued to "update everyone whenever they could", he said. 

In a post by a Lazada moderator on in its seller Facebook group, Nigel was also told that the cancellations were irreversible. He declined to say what he sells on the e-marketplace. 

Another seller, Mr Damien Toh, 21, a university student, had a similar experience.

He usually processes around five orders worth around S$30 each on Lazada daily. The error had cancelled five of his orders, amounting to a day's worth of sales.

Mr Toh, who sells books and lifestyle products on the site, said that he did not ship out the orders when the cancellations happened and he was told to contact the buyers for a reorder. 

"For some sellers, they had already shipped out their items and the cancellation happened after... I saw on an online forum that this was happening to many sellers, so (I thought) no point contacting Lazada since its hotline was sure to be flooded," Mr Toh said. 

Another seller, who wanted to be known only as Mr Tan, said that he had packed and delivered his orders before they were cancelled.

Mr Tan, who declined to say how many orders were involved and what he sold, said that he does not know if his items will be returned to him or if he will be paid for them. 

"Because of the cancellation (error), the refund to customers was processed immediately so we won't get the sales money for sure," Mr Tan added. "The initial response from Lazada was that the cancellations were irreversible and (it is up to us) to contact the customer for a re-order.

"It's quite ridiculous because it was not caused by sellers or customers, and some of them used vouchers or flash deals, so they won't want to re-order again." 

In a separate development, users of Shopee, another shopping site, also reported having difficulties accessing the platform on Tuesday afternoon. 

One of them, who gave her name as just Gladys, said that the website was down and both buyers and sellers were not able to access it. The issue prevented her from processing 100 orders.

Gladys, who works for a company that sells houseware and home supplies, said: "From around 12pm to 5pm, I had no new orders incoming because buyers couldn't really buy. I also couldn't print address labels for existing orders to pack or let couriers collect, too." 

In a response to TODAY's queries, Shopee said on Tuesday night that its mobile application was operating normally again and it apologised for any inconvenience caused. 

It did not elaborate on what was the nature of the problem that caused the disruption earlier in the day.  

Related topics

Lazada e-commerce Shopee online shopping retail

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