Online retailer Takealot, which bills itself as the nation's 'favourite online store' launched a strong festive ad campaign promising 'We've got Christmas covered' only to leave thousands disappointed, according to reports this week.

'For the thousands of people who didn't receive their orders by Christmas Day‚ it turned out to be the season of “wait a lot”,' according to, which reports a stream of angry customers:

“Absolutely pathetic customer service‚” wrote Ronelle Singh on the retailer’s Facebook page. “I placed an order and paid additional delivery to receive my item on Christmas Eve - a week later and still no delivery after numerous follow-up calls to them‚ and no feedback…”

“Takealot’s service delivery was beyond appalling this Christmas!” wrote Kirsten Coutsoudis. “You weren't able to deliver my Christmas presents by the promised dates‚ sent half packages‚ managers don't call back when they say they will…”

Takealot’s chief marketing officer Julie-Anne Walsh rejects the suggestion that the company over-promised and under-delivered‚ and told it “can’t be statistically validated and is not accurate”.

Asked to quantify Takealot’s late deliveries‚ Walsh would only say it was “a single-digit percentage of total orders” - the same as in previous years.

She gave the number of successful orders - not total orders - processed in November and December as “more than 650,000”. estimates in its report that almost 50,000 deliveries were late. It says: 'I think it’s safe to assume that “single digit” percentage of late orders was somewhere between 5 and 9%‚ or the company would surely have said “less than 5%”‚ so I’m going to go with 7.5%.'

eCommerce analyst Arthur Goldstuck‚ who heads the research company World Wide Worx‚ said it was “generally agreed” that the acceptable late delivery rate was “a matter of a fraction of a percent rather than a percent or more”.

Timeslive compares the online customer experience in South Africa with world-leading Amazon, which has paid compensation for letting people down on its promises.