There are some things in life that are inevitable: Death, taxes, and mistakes on delivery orders.
For one woman in Singapore, her order on pandamart — foodpanda's grocery delivery service — allegedly arrived with more than half of the items missing, and with some additional bugs as well.
Despite this, she was told that she would not be given a refund for the missing items.
Order from pandamart was missing more than half of the items
Mothership reader Sarah (not her real name) said that she ordered pasta ingredients, instant noodles, hot pot seasoning, and a drink on Mar. 23.
However, when the order arrived, 11 of the 18 ordered items were missing. In addition, Sarah says that she found small black specks inside of the bags, which, on closer inspection, turned out to be live insects.
Request for refund was denied
Sarah told Mothership that upon realising the issues with her order, she contacted foodpanda through their help centre within the app.
According to screenshots that Sarah shared, after looking into the incident, the foodpanda representative acknowledged that Sarah was indeed missing 11 of the items that she had ordered.
However, the representative told Sarah that she would not receive a refund.
This was apparently because of "multiple cancellations/refund requests under this account in the past".
However, Sarah told Mothership that she had only previously raised an issue to foodpanda once, when her order of several cartons of beer had arrived with a couple of them missing.
Then, she said, foodpanda had refunded her with a voucher.
This time, however, Sarah escalated the issue of her missing pandamart items to foodpanda's service recovery centre, only to be told once again that she would not be given a refund.
According to an email seen by Mothership, a foodpanda representative told Sarah on Mar. 23 that the company had "reviewed [Sarah's] refund request in detail" and that her feedback had been "highlighted to the vendor and the relevant team in charge".
"Unfortunately, we will not be able to process a refund for you in this scenario," the email read.
foodpanda reaches out to Sarah to offer refund
After learning of Sarah's experience, Mothership reached out via email to foodpanda about the situation on Thursday (Mar. 25).
Sarah told Mothership that on Friday (Mar. 26), a foodpanda representative called her to apologise for the incident, and offered her a full refund for the order.
In a follow-up email to Sarah, seen by Mothership, a foodpanda representative wrote:
"We are very sorry to learn that your experience with our Customer Service Representatives, was less than adequate. He should have handled the situation differently.
We are embarrassed by this behaviour that is unacceptable to you. We promise that this event will not happen again in the future."
foodpanda said in the email that they take "full responsibility" for the situation, and added that customer service representatives are given a set of guidelines to adhere to, but that "in this case, clearly, those standards were insufficient".
The company offered Sarah a full refund to her credit card. However, Sarah had already cancelled her credit card.
Thus, foodpanda agreed to refund Sarah via bank transfer.
"After going through this letter, we believe you will find a room in your heart and forgive me," the email closed.
Sarah told Mothership that she was not given an explanation as to why her previous refund requests had been rejected, nor why foodpanda had ultimately decided to give her a full refund.
She also said that when she asked foodpanda about why there were bugs in the bags that she received, she was told that they will look into it.
foodpanda response to Mothership query
Mothership's Mar. 25 query to foodpanda sought an explanation on why Sarah's refund request had been denied, and if they had a statement on the bugs that were allegedly found in the bags.
In reply, foodpanda sent the following statement on Monday (Mar. 29):
"We are truly sorry for the frustrating experience that our customer faced. We have already been in touch with the customer and have resolved the matter.
We take customer feedback seriously and will take relevant steps to reinforce our processes and do our best to avoid a similar incident in future."
Top photos courtesy of Mothership reader.