A moment of excitement turned to crushing disappointment when one MyBroadband reader arrived home to his Takealot order for a 43-inch Hisense ultra-high-definition TV, only to find a 32-inch Sinotec.
The reader, who has asked to remain anonymous, has been fighting with Takealot for more than a week to get the order corrected.
“Been saving for ages for a decent new TV. When we eventually found one on good special we jumped at the opportunity,” he said.
“Even swallowed my pride and paid the stupid [TV licence].”
The 43-inch Hisense UHD TV was listed with the model number 43A6G and advertised as a smart TV with high dynamic range and Bluetooth.
It is currently listed for R6,499 on Takealot, but when the customer ordered it, the TV was on special for R1,000 off.
However, what arrived on the last Saturday of July was not the R5,500 TV he ordered, but an HD Ready 32-inch Sinotech that sells for R2,899 on Takealot.
Curiously, the Sinotec only appears to be sold by third-party sellers on Takealot, whereas the Hisense seems to be sold by Takealot directly.
The buyer said he immediately put in a return/replacement request.
Takealot’s support asked for pictures of the delivered items’ barcodes, which he also immediately provided
For days he received no response, with his return stuck in the “checking eligibility” state.
“I understand mistakes happen — although how not one person among however many people between the Cape Town warehouse and my Joburg home picked up on the very obvious error here baffles me — but don’t now ignore me when I’ve been patient and polite so far,” he said.
Only after he took to Twitter to complain did he receive a notice that his eligibility for a return was confirmed, and a return scheduled.
Once again the customer received no feedback regarding the return and was kept waiting for five days before he received the notice on 9 August that his return was successful.
Except that instead of sending him the correct item, Takealot credited his account with R5,500 and said the TV he wanted was not available.
However, the Takealot website showed that the TV was in stock, albeit now at a price of R6,499.
“Now I’m just livid,” he told MyBroadband.
“The entire thing was processed and closed in a minute [without giving me a chance to respond].”
The customer said he checked the listing for the Hisense TV regularly and it was still listed at the special price of R5,499 on Friday, 6 August.
By Monday, R1,000 had been added to the price of the TV.
“Even if I did decide to just give up on this whole returns and replacement fiasco, and just quietly put in a whole new order using the credit, I can’t,” he said.
He said that they had already gone 10% over their original budget for a new TV, and there was no way they could afford an extra R1,000 on top of that.
“Not that I should! I bought and paid for the TV at the listed price — the same price they had it listed at for over a week after I bought it,” he said.
MyBroadband contacted Takealot for comment on this story, but it did not provide feedback by the time of publication.
On Wednesday, following our request for comment and an irate email from the customer to Takealot support, he received a response asking for his TV licence number.
Shortly thereafter, the customer received a notification that a replacement order had been created, the refund deducted from his account, and that his TV is scheduled for delivery next week.
The Hisense 43A6G is now listed as out of stock on the Takealot website.
Update: The customer has confirmed that the correct TV was delivered on Sunday, 15 August — several days ahead of schedule.