Is Covid becoming a convenient excuse for poor service?

Twice in as many days I have had poor customer service blamed on Covid.

  1. I ordered a dress from a well known high street store (I feel I shouldn’t name and shame!!). They processed my payment immediately (no issues there) and my dress arrived promptly within 48 hours (no issues there).   Great…however dress looked awful on me.  So popped it back same day to post office to return it.  Then waited…and waited…and waited…for my refund.  After a couple of weeks I panicked it had got lost in the post.  No worries—I had the tracked returns receipt.  Phew—they had received it 10 days ago.  So where was my refund?  Emailed to ask…..their reply…yes, you’ve guessed it!  Due to Covid there was a backlog and refunds were taking around 3 weeks.   I did eventually get my refund but needless to say I won’t be online shopping with then again.
  2. A mirror ordered through a large furniture store also failed to arrive on time and indeed was now a month over expected delivery date. Never once did the store pick up the phone to advise us—we had to keep calling and chasing them. After finally blaming Covid and not being able to give us any indication of a delivery date we cancelled the order.


How do you manage customer expectations if your normal service has been affected by Covid?