What I Ordered vs. What I Got - How Customers and Businesses can Avoid or Manage the Hilarious but Harmful Situations

The increase in the use of online technology and e-commerce platforms for shopping often results in a scenario where the delivered item differs considerably from the picture advertized on the vendor’s web page. This has made the comparison between “What I ordered vs What I got” to be one of the recurring issues on the internet, especially on social media.. This issue cuts across various product categories, with most occurrences recorded in the fashion and food categories.

The picture of ‘what I ordered versus what I got’ is usually painted by the aggrieved customer with pictures of the advertized and delivered products placed side by side. Usually, the delivered or actual product is presented as a shabby, inferior or second rate version of the advertized item. Most times, these pictures tend to be amusing or rather hilarious.

The perfect scenario is; you get attracted to a product after viewing the picture as displayed in an online store. The display/sample picture is always fascinating and is usually created for the sake of eliciting attraction. As expected, the picture entices you, you fantasize about having the product and you decide to order it. Now, you have placed an order, made payment and waiting for the delivery of your package.

Next, you receive the package from a delivery person and open it with all excitement, and sadly what you see dilutes the built up excitement. This scenario is followed by an intense feeling of disappointment, anger, growling, sobbing, regrets, and on few occasions, a helpless laughter.

Normally when this happens, the aggrieved buyer reaches out to the vendor and subsequently comes online with pictures of both items to either vent anger or to make a joke of the situation and let others have a good laugh too; depending on how well the vendor handled the situation.

The shared pictures plus the sarcastic hilarious comments that follow are usually amusing but the ethical concern associated with this common occurrence is causing some havoc in the e-commerce sector. It is definitely contributing to the sluggish rise of e-commerce in Nigeria. In FeedbackHall’s 2019 Digital Consumer Survey, 62 percent of respondents said they do not make online purchases. Of this, 51 percent reported that they do not shop online because of the fear that they may receive goods that are different from what they ordered. 

Customers and businesses can avoid these harmful and sometimes hilarious scenarios by doing the following:

For customers

Customers can avoid disappointments if they do the following:

  • Take ample time to find out necessary information provided by the vendor about a product before placing an order. In other words, do a due diligence.
  • Where possible, zoom in on the pictures of the item as much as possible. Have a good look at the visual features of the product advert and compare with what you have in mind.
  • For fashion items:

-       You should know that the picture/advertisement that may have attracted you may not be an exact representation of the actual product. Most times, the images are created for the sake of attraction. It is, therefore, your duty to ask for specifications that meet your own demands.

-       Note that the body shape and size of the model used to advertise the clothing may be different from yours. In this case you may not get the same result when you wear the advertised style. Therefore, check to be sure that the style will give someone of your body shape and size the kind of look you want before placing an order.

-       Know your size and order the right size

  • It is important to note that a slight failure in a business’ customer service is not totally avoidable. So, before going ahead to announce the failure, try to reach out to the vendor in a diplomatic manner. You can ask for a part-refund, total refund or replacement of the item.

For Businesses

  • As a vendor, it is your responsibility to provide all necessary information about a product that could be useful to potential customers.
  • Do not use overly edited pictures for advertisements as these may seem deceptive. Advertise only the value you are able to provide.
  • Note that it is totally okay to say “NO” when a customer asks for values beyond your capacity. Don’t accept what you cannot offer.
  • When an aggrieved customer reaches out to you, endeavor to calm the customer and offer possible solutions such as refund or replacement of the product.
  • If the customer refuses to be pacified, or disregards your efforts to resolve the situation, and goes ahead to call you out and share pictures online; find a diplomatic manner to make a public statement admitting your errors, highlighting the efforts you have made to remedy the situation; and apologizing.
  • Remain calm; do not try to respond to every troll or banter words sent to you. The situation will die down eventually.
  • When the situation dies down, take advantage of the newly found fame, advertize your business heavily and engage in promotions. Get good reviews about your business from previous customers and post them. After all, there is nothing like bad publicity.
  • Improve on craft as well as your customer relationship.


About FeedbackHall

FeedbackHall Limited is a customer feedback service, registered in Nigeria. The Firm develops and markets the feedbackhall.com website and feedbackhall mobile apps available on play store and app store. The platforms are structured, convenient and affordable means for consumers and businesses to give and receive feedback on goods and services.

In addition, with a team of smart, passionate and well-trained professionals, FeedbackHall offers best-in-class, authentic and insightful research services. The firm leverages its fast-growing community which has active members across Nigeria and abroad to provide real time reliable and actionable, difficult-to-find customer intelligence at a speed that has never been imagined.

Email: contact@feedbackhall.com

Telephone: + 234 9062010222, +234 9055566666