Summary: great product, but expect huge delays, complete incompetence,  boiling-of-the-blood indignation, no call-backs, and even blame for the company’s fuck-ups.   

I love my Crocs – by this I mean the brand of slip-on sandal I have been buying for about 12 years. Each pair lasted me four years. I wore each pair everywhere. I walked over numerous mountains with each pair too. One pair completed the final day of the Amatola hiking trail TWICE due to blisters I developed on both occasions of the epic six day trail, and the sandals are still usable.

So of course I was always going to purchase another pair. In fact, two pairs, because increasingly I have been battling to find the slip-on style I like. I had always bough straight from shoe stores, but in January I ordered three pairs online from www.crocssa.co.za – two pairs for me, one for my partner. I placed the order on the 11th and paid for it via electronic bank transfer immidiately. There were no online offers or specials when I placed my order.

The website is very clear about dispatch and delivery details. “Please allow up to 24 hours for processing of your order once payment has reflected prior to shipping.” And “Once the parcel has been dispatched, it will be delivered in 4 working days…”. Okay, I thought, worst case scenario is one week. My old pair was falling to pieces, but I’d manage one more week.

But 7 days passed. No delivery. I checked my order history online but nothing had changed since I placed the order. With the exception that a crocs sale had started. I could have saved R150 I had placed the order 7 days later than I did. Oh well, my bad luck.

Okay, this is Africa, so I decided to give it another week. 14 days in total passed, and nothing was delivered. Weird, I thought, so I logged on again to get the customer ‘care’ number (and by ‘care’ I mean absolutely nothing denoted by the actual dictionary definition of the term). A different offer was now on – a Valentine’s Day special where orders over a certain amount get R200 off. I would have qualified for this.

I called the number given at the site. Straight through to the lady who deals with online orders. My order, it turned out, had not even been processed yet, never mind dispatched, due to a stock take. A stock take that was not yet complete. I asked her to call me back to tell me when I could expect delivery. She took my number.

The day passed and no call-back. I became really angry. I called again. Same lady. No excuses, just blasé disregard at my indignation. She will call me back, she said – what is my number, she asked. I replied, saying she already has it from the day before – please read it back to me. She read me the wrong number. I calmly cracked and said please cancel the order and refund me immediately – remember, a special offer was on for R200 off – I’ll just re-order, or so my thinking went. Okay, she said. Keep in mind that this is 15 days after I placed and paid for the order.

Day 16. I received an email to say my order has been processed. Processed, not cancelled, and that the parcel will be packed and shipped on 30 January. I was flabbergasted – 19 days to dispatch the order??? Lesson learned – never use crocssa.co.za again, but at least I was to be getting my crocs. Had I waited a week, I would have saved money due to the online offers, and presumably have received my crocs around the same time, but damn, some battles are not worth fighting.

But 12 minutes after the first email, another one came through saying that the order will be cancelled. No mention of when or how a refund will occur. I couldn’t trust this company to refund me, I thought, so 36 minutes after the second email I typed the following reply from an old Nokia dumb-phone that has rudimentary internet access:

Hi, can you still make this order happen? I’m desperate for new crocs despite being super angry with the company, would be nice if you charged the brown cloggy pair at the special rate. Thanks, david

Okay, said the person in a reply.

31 January came and no word. Surprised? No. Angry? Yes. I emailed, asking what is happening. Two days passed with no reply. I emailed again, no reply again. Two days later, the parcel arrived.

Yes folks, that’s a TWENTY-SEVEN DAY wait.

I remained indignant, so I emailed with the following, which I am sure you will agree is completely reasonable:

Hi there

I ordered 3 pairs of crocs from the online store on Jan 11th, almost a month ago. They arrived today, after I was messed around a lot and ignored by employees who I spoke to via telephone. The website clearly describes a much, much quicker dispatch and delivery time, hence my indignation and desire for some kind of ‘making-of-amends’.

For the inconvenience of having to wait almost a month for the crocs and the disappointing service I was exposed to, could you please be so kind as to refund me R200 as per the valentine’s special, seeing as I could have waited before placing my order and bought all my crocs on special a few weeks ago or now on the valentine’s special. Now the valentine’s special is running, and considering I spent well over R750, this seems just and fair to me.

My bank account details are XXX:

Thank you for your understanding…

The reply came quickly this time:

We apologize for the delay in reply.

We cancelled your order because you said that you wanted a refund and then u asked that we rather send you the parcel instead of refunding you, then only we re [sic] dispatched your order and this is the reason as to why it took longer.

I believe that your parcel has been delivered after a long wait and once again we do apologize for that.

So, folks, the delay, apparently, is my fault. Not-a-flying-fuck-it-is. Thirty-six minutes out of 27 days, and it’s my fault? A bigger red flag could not have been waved at this bull.

So I replied and said either you refund me with the money I would have saved via the Valentine’s offer, or I will write a review on my blog. No reply. Hence this review.

Hope it helps. Certainly helping me – very cathartic.