I become adventurous enough to look around at the Kenyan online shops.
I started with OLX. That is a hoax. People ask too many questions when you try to buy from them. You are not assured of what you are buying and they try to trick you into agreeing to a fixed price before you can see what you are supposed to buy. They then bring you something that is totally useless and more of garbage than anything else. I tried venturing deeper to get this “great” sensation I am supposed to “sell-a-brate” after buying and selling online via OLX. I never got it. Never came close even. It was a total disappointment.
Then there was ShopIT. Very nice online PR. Great voices that lack attention to the customer. Negative feedbacks and a very bored customer assistant. When I first called, my thought was, they have the texture of nice people. They gave me great expectations. They raised my hopes so high I crushed so hard and probably never woke up again. Need I say that Office Mart is officially my favorite shopping center in town?
Then I decided to do Jumuia . Great voice behind the phone, poor emailing services and a great online presence (they are everywhere on my facebook TL). Delivery is their major issue. It took years, a lot of credit and excessive calls for them to deliver three pieces of clothing. Oh God, had I known, I would have walked my sweet ass into Enkarasha, Westlands mall or just any stall with clothes on it. Wait, I really was nuts considering I am in town almost all the time. Ng’ara is not that far now, or is it? I got the cloths a thousand hassles later.
You will think that I finally learnt my lesson, no? Well, apparently not. I ventured into Mzoori. You know, that well articulated shop with great planning behind it and a great customer assistant? That one. The guy was nice. He kept saying his name though, which was a put off coz I already knew all his names by the time he called the third time to inform me that the books I had bought were not available. Let me tell you why I chose books over clothing, jewelry or even furniture. I made sure that this time I would not use my money on their shop, so I made them give me two coupons. Each coupon was worth 500 bob. I settled for books coz they are the only things you can buy with five one hundred bob notes and never regret. Plus I have always been some kind of a book warm. Reading is both a hobby and a lifestyle. I remember sometimes back my mother sent me to buy supper at Uchumi Karatina. They had this book stand that was the first thing that greeted you when you got in. Standing there, staring at me and crying (really loudly for me to buy it) was Half a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I just could not walk past that book, what with all its loud yelling? So, I bought the book. With mom’s money. Supper money. Then I went home, not the least disturbed that people would sleep hungry and very happy with myself and my new acquisition. Mom looked at me, shook her head and served everyone ice cream and biscuits and told us to figure out how they are eaten! I was never sent to buy supper again. Till today, mom cannot trust me with her food money!
Ops! I digressed. Mzoori, right? I bought another set of books, this from a different distributer just to be sure they won’t be out of stock. I was right. They were in supply. After that now comes the story. I had decided to collect the books for myself but the guy started pitching me how I should let them deliver the books to me because I shopped online. Thing is, I have a fetish for new books and books in general. That is why I hold a card for every library I can access and I know the location of every book store you can name. I was pretty certain that I would be in Textbook Center or even StoryMoja sooner than it took my slow poor Safaricom provided internet to get me to Mzoori online. I paid for the books via Mpesa: a compulsory ten bob that seemed to be the ticket to getting the book and later, a hundred bob for the last book I paid for (I can’t remember the title coz I bought them three weeks ago and I am yet to get any of them). Up to date I still get this assurances (from the very gentle of all gentlemen I have ever encountered in customer care) of how I will get the books “today”. Apparently, “today” is not a date so it is yet to come and so, I remain three books less. I have been to textbook center twice now and one of the books was supposed to be collected from there.
They have great services, their shop is flawless and their client association is faultless. However, too perfect is not human and so their delivery is a nightmare. (I should just repurchase those books and move on!)
If you were planning to shop online in Kenya, make sure you have enough patience and time. Also make sure that what you are buying is not perishable or of immediate use. It is an evolving industry after all. We can cut them some slack as they learn. However, for me, customer experience is what sells you. A satisfied customer is a business expanded.



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