Nigerians Lament How NIPOST, AliExpress Shortchange Them Over Online Purchases

Many Nigerians have criticized the Nigerian Postal Service and Chinese e-commerce firm, AliExpress, for failing to deliver goods they had ordered and paid for online.

While some are counting their present losses, others say the country’s postal service was flawed even before the coronavirus pandemic.

They blamed AliExpress, the Chinese e-commerce giant, for failing to track their orders up to the final delivery point.

“Once AliExpress dispatches your order, most especially gadgets from the shop you bought it from, the tracker stops giving you updates,” said Chukwuemeka Ogwu, one of those whose goods were not delivered after waiting for an extended period.

“I ordered a phone on May 5, and the online stall I ordered it from said I would get it around June. The last update I received from them was on June 9, when they said they had placed it in a sealed bag. They made me wait till August before I was able to file a dispute and get a refund.”

He added, “I ordered again on September 2; they said on September 7 that dispatch to Lagos Nigeria had been made, since then there has been no tracking information.”

Chukwuemeka said he made several visits to NIPOST offices at the airport and Surulere, where he has been repeatedly told that his order was never entered into their database.

He said, “The logistics company that takes hold of the delivery from the online stall hands it over to customs. Customs hands it over to the airport branch of the post office. They catalogue it and enter it into their database, before transferring it to the branch closest to the person who made the order.

“The person making the order then gets a call from the post office branch. I have made several calls, gone to both the offices in Ikeja and Surulere and all of them keep saying my order has not arrived, or they have not entered any such item into their database.

“If the post office staff fails to enter an item into their database, there is no one who would know. Since AliExpress does not track deliveries once it’s been handed over to the logistics firm, it is impossible to tell if the product even made fall in Nigeria.”

Another Nigerian on Nairaland said he made a mobile phone order on March 7 and the gadget was shipped on March 18, but he had not received it since then and could not track it online.

“I ordered a phone which was shipped on March 18. Ever since then, nothing has been heard of it. The memory card I intended to use with the phone was ordered two days later, and that one has since arrived.”

They suspected that the items must have been stolen in the process of final delivery.

He said, “I don’t want to believe these phones are being stolen by those that are meant to deliver them to us. Why will I buy a phone with my hard-earned money only for it to be stolen by people who are intended to deliver the phone?

“This is corporate robbery and should be condemned. How will a phone come from China without missing only for it to get to Nigeria and get missing? I have to create this new thread to make our plight known to the whole world.”

Other Nairaland users expressed disappointments on the items they have lost after paying for the goods online.

Cornelius Ose said the government-owned postal service had failed to deliver orders before the pandemic. “Last year I ordered a set of cufflinks from a Canadian company, and it never came through,” Ose said.

“I reported to the firm and told them to use UPS; it came in three days.” Ose said from his childhood, he had known that NIPOST was deficient in mailing and delivery services.

A source in one of the NIPOST branches, however ,said that customs officials are to blame.

According to the official, custom officers unseal items to know what is inside. The official said NIPOST meticulously catalogues each order to know what belongs to whom.

Both NIPOST and AliExpress could not be reached for comments.

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