…of COVID-19 and high delivery fees
COVID-19 has pushed many consumers to jumped on online shopping because it has proven to be the most convenient way of buying during this era as people are cautioned to practice social distancing.
Stay away from overcrowded places and shopping centres are definitely places anyone mindful about their health will be careful about.
Therefore, digital marketing has become an ideal medium for businesses to promote their products and services.
Buying online is fast, easy and stress free as you confirm your order, pay for it before it’s delivered or pay on delivery but does this kind of convenience match with how much the ordinary Ghanaian has to pay as delivery fee?
Once a while I come across people ranting about how much they paid as delivery charges more than the cost price of the product they actually bought online but I flip over because it doesn’t concern me.
Lo and behold, I got my own share of how it hurts to feel that way. I was practically charged GH¢35 as delivery fee for GH¢ 20 meal I ordered from Adenta to Airport.
Honestly, I complained bitterly and called the food vendor to express my displeasure about the ridiculous fee though they reduced it to GH¢15 in the end, I paid feeling pained.
Note, it was not as if I could not afford the fee but it just did not make sense paying that much. And knowing how much they charge for deliveries in and around Accra, I just could not wrap my head around why this had to be so expensive.
On this note, I decided to conduct a social media survey on my personal blog, Kuburah Diamonds on Facebook just to be sure I was not over reacting about this particular delivery charge.
Below are the responses I sampled:
Hajia Faa Alfa said: “I think I had the worst experience ever. I bought waakye from Newtown GH¢30 and when the delivery guy got to me, he said delivery alone was GH¢50. So I asked him if what he was delivering was gold, I was so upset to the bone but I gave him the money.”
Another respondent, Jumai Abayor, ordered veils and decided to pick them up herself but the vendor gave them to delivery person and asked that she pay GH¢18 for delivery from Fan milk to Darkuman.
“I bought Jollof rice at GH¢40 from East Legon to be delivered to me at Labadi. He charged GH¢45 for delivery. I was very sick and hungry so I had no other choice but to pay never again,” Abdulai Fakiha said.
It is clear that some delivery fees charge by some business owners are becoming more expensive than the item itself.” There are similar experiences of other patrons who make orders.
Zulfawu Muntari, also an online shopper, explained “Because of high prices of delivery fee I have stopped buying online, their prices need to be regulated.”
Meanwhile others have found better ways of lessening the burden on their customers.
Muhammed Mijin Zealatu, a business owner, said: “When I started producing my own cereals, I did the deliveries myself. It was very stressful honestly but I got the chance to come to a negotiation with my customers so if the location is too far, I bear half of the delivery fee and the customer pays the rest so it wouldn’t cause any problems between them and the delivery guy.”
Another trader also said she had negotiated with the delivery company she worked with in order to manage cost incurred by customers. Others are asking their customers to pick items up themselves if the item does not require too much packaging.
I believe this issue is of much concern to many people especially in this pandemic era. It is not appropriate for business owners to take undue advantage of their patrons in the name of delivery fee.
Undoubtedly, most start ups – small to medium scale businesses fall largely on delivery services to run their day to day activities. However, they need not fleece their patrons. I suggest they take a second look at their charges.
Adizah Kuburah Braimah
Social Commentator @Kuburah Diamonds