With the expansion of e-commerce, the spotlight is on the logistics industry. Shipping companies have become an essential part of the equation thus making it necessary to discuss their operations and the way they deal with the public and their position in the economy.
E-commerce or online shopping is not new but, under the current circumstances when the world is fighting the coronavirus pandemic, the role of the logistics industry has become even more important in ensuring delivery of essential and non-essential items to consumers.
Complaints about online shopping are common, varying from the products to delays in shipping. People are often irked by the delayed delivery of their orders and other problems related to logistics. This article will focus on the logistics part of the e-commerce equation.
Fast shipping and delivery operation is necessary for an online store to retain its customer base and boost online sales. After all, what is the use of shopping online if the products ordered take too long to reach a customer?
The concept of online shopping hinges on the idea of buying goods without visiting a mall or store and receiving them without any hassle. A hassle-free shopping experience means no phone calls or emails to the online outlet or the shipping company regarding the purchase.
Saudi Arabia’s Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) is the authority responsible for receiving customer complaints against these express shipping companies. The CITC provides several options to summarize complaints such as breach of financial obligations, not adhering to the confidentiality of customer information, and failure of a shipping company to adhere to the preventive measures in delivering goods.
Is it fair to blame only the shipping companies? The responsibility will be shared only if the online outlet delayed the shipping of the order.
The online store will also be held accountable if it commits to a certain duration for the delivery of a product and the same is applicable to a shipping company if it pre-determines a specific date and fails to fulfill its obligation.
To ensure a safe experience, it is important to check whether or not a store or website and the shipping company are authorized.
This can be verified through the Commerce Ministry’s platform “Maarouf.”
As we are passing through critical times due to the pandemic, it has become imperative for online stores and shipping companies to adhere
to precautions aimed at protecting people from the virus.
As mentioned above, e-commerce is here to stay, which makes it necessary for all parties — online outlet and shipping companies — to strictly follow government regulations to ensure a pleasant online shopping experience.
Dimah Talal Alsharif is a Saudi legal consultant, head of the health law department at the law firm of Majed Garoub and a member of the International Association of Lawyers. Twitter: @dimah_alsharif
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