VENDORS working for Jumia Nigeria have decried the company’s trade policies, saying they are anti-business and economic growth.
At a briefing in Amuwo Odofin, Lagos, the vendor’s representative, Shedrack Yetu, said “Jumia used to be a profitable platform, but now it has become a platform where “monkey dey work, baboon dey chop.”
He accused the e-commerce giant of excessive charges, high shipping cost contributions, low seller costs arising from cancellation, negative reviews and returns.
Others, he added, were monthly subscription charges, indiscriminate flagging of quality checked products, Value Added Tax (VAT) overcharges, poor customer care and denial of vendors’ protection.
Yetu described some of these charges as indirect ways through which the company undercuts them saying when they complain, the company’s staff would blame it on system error or glitch, yet they never paid back, except in a few cases where they put up stiff resistance.
In a swift reaction, Jumia’s Public Relations Officer, Robert Awodu, denied the allegations, describing them as spurious. He however, said Jumia is a caring company which has been doing business in Nigeria for 10 years without problems. He added that the firm cares about quality and that infractions in that direction are sanctioned. He urged the aggrieved vendors to channel their grievances through the appropriate channel for treatment.
He said a forum would be held soon where the issues raised by the vendors would be attended to.
But the vendors’ spokesman complained also that the low seller score is unfair and erodes their profit.
Shipping fees, Yetu added, range from between N600 and N3,000 and that when goods are returned, they lose both ways: on commission and expenses incurred on shipping. “If a customer returns a ‘fake’ or ‘assumed to be fake’ product, vendors are surcharged N70,000 without proper investigation,” he lamented.
Yetu described the monthly subscription as a scam and Jumia’s Quality Check Agents as a thorn in their flesh, adding that their customer care officers were inactive.
The vendors, therefore, advised either the federal or state government to wade in as Jumia is becoming a threat to the government’s policy on boosting the Small Scale Enterprises (SMEs) which are the bedrock of any economy.