Here's what will happen to the alcohol you ordered before the new ban
The immediate ban placed on alcohol sales on Sunday night was a particularly heavy blow for online alcohol retailers, whose delivery vehicles were packed with paid-for orders, ready for delivery on Monday, when President Cyril Ramaphosa made the shock announcement.
“The news was absolutely devastating, particularly as the suspension was immediate,” said Charles Kramer, CEO of alcohol retailer Norman Goodfellows.
The company, which has been in business for 46 years, saw its online orders surge from an average of 100 a month to 10,000 in the space of 10 days in the run-up to alcohol sales resuming on June 1. Unable to cope, and facing a barrage of complaints from angry customers, Kramer took the decision to halt online sales until it could get on top of the backlog.
“We were on track to clear the last 380 or so of those backlog orders by early this week when the ban on sales and distribution of alcohol was imposed again, this time with immediate effect,” Kramer said. “It’s heartbreaking to have to let them down again.”
Each customer was contacted by phone and offered refunds, he said.
Takealot told TimesLIVE the company was “obviously very unhappy” to have to cancel all liquor orders not yet delivered, no matter what phase of delivery.
“Some of these orders were bought and paid for well in advance of this decision, however we have to abide by the government regulations. All affected customers have been contacted and will be eligible for a credit or refund.”
By law consumers can insist on a refund under such circumstances; they do not have to accept a credit.
Makro told TimesLIVE that liquor orders collected by couriers for delivery, but not yet delivered when the ban was imposed, would be held back until the ban is lifted again.
Those who don’t want to wait will have their orders cancelled and be refunded.
“Liquor orders that have not been delivered or collected by the courier will be cancelled and all affected customers refunded,” said Massmart communications manager Refilwe Boikanyo.
- additional reporting by Shonisani Tshikalange