Lifestyle

Online Grocer RedMart's Service Standards Drop, Faces Backlash From Loyal Customers

Busy Singaporeans who are looking for quicker alternatives to grocery shopping might have heard of RedMart, an online grocer that brings household products right to your doorstep.

The premise is simple: whenever you run out of groceries, shop directly from RedMart and they will deliver your order to your house. This means you don’t have to head to physical shopping outlets, or lug bags of groceries all the way back home. Because of this, RedMart has won the hearts of many working adults for the convenience that their services bring.

redmart

Until the last two weeks, that is.

It seems that customers have been complaining about no or late deliveries, in addition to being unable to reach RedMart’s customer service personnel. There have also been reports of a lack of communication from RedMart.

Emily Peh, an existing customer of RedMart, said on Facebook that her calls and prior emails were ignored.

“I previously ordered twice from you with no hiccups and extremely punctual deliveries. I am severely disappointed this time round. Not only was I informed after I paid for the items that some were out of stock, the order also did not arrive at the appointed timeslot (8-10pm). In fact it never came. I did not receive any phone calls or notifications of this delayed order. I tried calling your helpline twice earlier and I got cut off after waiting for more than 5 min each time.”

Another disgruntled customer, Elizabeth Brown, also stated that she had been waiting two days for information about her order that failed to arrive.

“I wouldn’t have minded if you’d told me there was a problem but to have to resort to Facebook as there’s no information on your website and you’re not replying to email or phone calls is appalling. Haven’t you realised you’re also making it worse for yourselves? Several of the messages and call back requests relate to one order (mine) — if you’d simply acknowledged one of them or changed your standard voicemail to acknowledge the problem and say you’ll get back to us in a few days, I wouldn’t have felt the need to keep calling. When do you think you’ll get back to me? My delivery should have arrived on Wednesday night.”

Redmart complaints
Source: Facebook

From RedMart’s Facebook page alone, we counted over 20 unhappy customers who are frustrated with RedMart’s lack of communication and change in customer service standards in the last two weeks.

RedMart has always been known for its potential as well as good customer service. What has gone wrong? We have reached out to RedMart on this issue, and will be bringing updates on this story when we receive a response.

Update from RedMart’s Chief Marketing Officer Todd Kurie:

What happened:

As previously announced, we moved into our new fulfillment centre on 19 February. In addition to this new location, we implemented many new processes and procedures in order to increase efficiency and accommodate more customer orders.

Our plan was to gradually increase capacity over several days in order to ensure that the transition went smoothly. And it did during the first few days when we ramped back up to 60% of normal capacity. Then on Wednesday 25 February, when we tried to get back to 100% capacity, we hit a major issue which resulted in a significant number of incomplete and delayed orders. This issue impacted Thursday and Friday orders as well before we could resolve it, in turn causing customer enquiries to reach many times the normal volume, which totally overwhelmed our support staff. So our customers had the double bad experience of poor service quality and poor customer support, for which we will make no excuses.

How are are addressing the problem:

First and foremost, we are fixing the root cause of the problem by changing some key processes in the new fulfillment centre. And we have lowered our capacity, and will keep it lowered, to the point where we know we will not have any more issues, and will only increase it when we are 100% confident that service levels will be maintained.

We also acknowledge that we really let our customers down over these last few days. Many have already been given “make good” credits and we will be sure that those who have not we similarly compensate appropriately for the frustrations we have caused them and our failure to make good on our core promise as a company.

Finally we are taking steps to ensure that these problems do not happen again in the future. This includes better service monitoring so that we catch any problems before they snowball, better support resources and emergency communication plans so that we can keep customers informed of any issues and answer their questions in a timely fashion, better refund procedures so that customers get refunded quickly to their original payment source, and much more.

We are truly sorry to our customers for allowing this to happen. We understand our customers’ disappointment and anger and, frankly, we deserve it. We can, and will, fix things ASAP and hope that all impacted will give us the opportunity to serve them again. Rest assured, all failed transactions will be settled by end of this week and all payments refunded and/or goods delivered to customers as appropriate.

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