Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Lalamove is Lala-fail and LaLousyMove: An Uncaring Delivery Company in the Middle of the Pandemic

May karma visit your lousy company again and again and again. So mote it be!
Five months into the pandemic, I officially joined the online selling community in an attempt to survive.  My main product is my Korean Beef Stew, inspired by my old favorite, the one of House of Kimchi.  I know it's largely "Filipinized" or modified from the authentic Korean stew to suit Filipino tastes but it's nevertheless tasty and something that takes a long time to cook, and so may appeal to those without the time or patience to cook it.  I cook a mean Spanish sardines pasta but so many sellers are already offering it.  Besides, it's quite easy to cook.

I've been slowly building up a clientele but last week, my efforts came to an abrupt halt.  It wasn't because of my product but rather, the lousy service of Lalamove.  Traditional advertising wisdom had it that the more premium the service, the better it could be.  Well, it doesn't always apply.  And it certainly didn't apply to Lalamove.  Not by a mile or two.

To make a long story short, I prepared two orders of beef stew headed for two drop-off points -- Las Piñas and Novaliches -- so I can send them before 9am in time for lunch in both places.  Having opted not to sleep the night before so I can cook early and stew properly, I nodded off to nap at 12:30 noontime after delivering a third order to a nearby customer. I just waited for the Lalamove email saying that the deliveries were completed.  Imagine my surprise when at 3, 4, and 5pm, my new client was sending PMs to my FB Messenger saying the orders weren't delivered to the second drop off point.  At 5:30pm, the rider finally arrived, feigning a flat tire.  The narrative simply didn't add up.   My eagle-eyed new client had surreptitiously ordered that an image of the rider be taken at the first stop (Las Piñas) where he was spotted carrying a flat screen TV.  The TV wasn't present on his arrival at the second stop at 5:30pm.  My suspicion is that he filed a delivery completion report at 12:30 noon so that he can't be tracked by the app tracker while he made another delivery.

I'm well aware of food safety measures so I was really concerned.  To sum things up, I had to refund my new client on top of paying for the P596 delivery fee (sheepishly, I remembered even tipping the rider for goodwill).  Not only did I lose my investment, and small profit, but I've also lost a potential repeat customer.

I repeatedly got in touch with Lalamove but had to repeat my complaint for three times until I gave up in exasperation.   Grab riders I've talked to revealed that Lalamove is especially notorious for such transgressions (double bookings).  Other online sellers and friends commented on an FB post on the experience shared that they've had similar experiences.  For such a premium company with rather expensive delivery charges, this company doesn't really look into customer complaints nor screen their riders.

It's sad that an established company who offers expensive delivery services and promises "faster service" turned out to be an uncaring company whose tagline should be "better very late than never".  I can think of a lot of names to replace their brand, such as "Lalalousy," "Lalanamove," "Lalang," "Ma-Lala," or "Lala-fail".  Certainly no help to people trying their best to survive at this time.  If you're an online seller like me, better stick to Angkas, Grab, or Mr. Speedy especially if you offer perishable products such as freshly-cooked food items. 

UPDATE:  More than a week after the original complaint, I chatted with a rep on their app who made me repeat everything I told another rep previously.  I was made to wait again and the connection failed before I was issued a ticket.  It seems that making customers wait is another Lalalousy company's tactic aside from not keeping records and making complaining customers repeat their complaints all over again each time the customer attempts to get updates.  In this case, karma will catch up with your lousy company.

UPDATE 2:  After more than a month, I received an email from Lalamove requesting proof of product damage.  I decided not to reply to the email since I have decided to move on, delete all proof of the rider's offenses, and besides, the company continues to miss the point entirely -- that newly-cooked food needs to be delivered and eaten quickly.  Certainly not 9 hours after pickup.  I trust that the universe and karma will be responsible for giving me recompense for this instead.


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