We put Wish’s recently-announced partnership with the South African Post Office to the test and were pleasantly surprised.
Earlier this year, the two organisations announced a partnership promising faster deliveries and an improved customer experience.
Wish said in a shareholder statement that it will be working directly with the Post Office to create a more consistent and efficient experience for its customers.
To test this, I ordered a tablet case from Wish.com and, 14 days later, the package arrived at the Post Office intact and, to my surprise, containing exactly what I ordered.
A search for “Wish.com” on Youtube will see hundreds of videos reporting fake, broken or simply incorrect products arriving from an order on Wish.
However, there are also reports of people getting really good deals on great products through the online shop.
Sure, Takealot offers quick shipping times, local product support, and an efficient returns system, but if you’re willing to risk a few rands, Wish.com has a vast range of products at impossibly low prices.
When I placed my order on 23 June, I gave a conciliatory nod at my screen after seeing “Arriving by 07 Oct 2021” on my order confirmation page.
To my surprise, 3 days later, I received an email from Wish stating that my order was on its way.
This boded well for an early arrival, though I did not discount the possibility of my order shipping on 26 July and arriving as late as 7 October.
Wish ships from all over the world and, as a customer, you don’t see where your item ships from. Additionally, Wish does not provide shipping progress updates, so you can’t estimate when your product may be arriving.
Yet, on 8 July, I received an SMS, pictured below, stating that an item had arrived at the South African Post Office (SAPO), and it could be none other than my Wish order.
Working through the Post Office means that your customs duties can be paid upon pick-up instead of via your courier, as it would be when ordering directly to your door.
Working through SAPO also means that you have to drive to the Post Office indicated on the SMS – in Greenside in my case – and hope that there aren’t any hurdles in the process.
My first attempt at collection failed, as a few minutes after I walked in – at 13:30 in the afternoon – a voice from behind the counter yelled that they wouldn’t be helping any further customers.
I stood perplexed for a moment, and the lady walked around to the front to escort me out, stating the reason for their closure as: “There is a situation”.
My next collection attempt the following day was successful. I showed the attendant my SMS, gave them my ID, paid the customs fee, and walked out with my package in hand.
Below is what the package looked like:
The packaging wasn’t exactly elegant or well-protected, but I didn’t expect much else.
Inside the black plastic bag was my package, somewhat weathered, but intact nonetheless:
So, did I receive what I paid for?
Yes, I did. And it works surprisingly well, considering it cost me roughly R410, including shipping and tax.
This is what the tablet case looks like:
The Bluetooth keyboard is straightforward to set up and actually works very well. It connects to magnetic strips in the case itself, and it’s easily detachable.
The keys are responsive and have a nice click to them, and all of them work. The keyboard also has different functions for Android, iOS and Windows devices.
All in all, not a bad deal for the money spent.
So, my package arrived 14 days after ordering, which is in line with Amazon’s Priority Shipping times to South Africa.
Working through the South African Post Office wasn’t horrible, barring the “situation”, and I received exactly what I paid for.