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I have heard and read about the experiences of people who ordered goods online but got something completely different. In fact, I enjoy reading up the “What I ordered Vs What I got” thread on Twitter and would laugh at the seeming gullibility of online shoppers-little did I know that mine was closer than I thought.

I sell beverages and cereals in bulk- Usually, I’d travel to Lagos to my supplier and get everything at once and sort into smaller quantities back here but when the pandemic started and inter-state travelling was restricted,my well-oiled operation was thrown into disarray.

The orders came in torrents about two months ago and I guess it was because people stayed longer at home than they would have before the pandemic. When I ran out of goods, I spoke with my supplier about the possibility of her sending me goods to restocks via a reliable transport company and she agreed.

Who would have thought that she had other plans in mind? I requested that she packaged the goods in kilograms so it would be easier for me to dispatch them here. After paying for the goods (which I hadn’t set my eyes on), I added some extra money to cover the shipping costs  and sat back, expecting to receive my goods the day she promised. In fact, I was so confident that my restock was sorted that I began collating my orders from my customers here and even collected money from some of them.

On the day my goods were to arrive, I tried calling her very early in the morning to know the time she’d get to the bus park but all attempts to reach her proved abortive. In the evening of that day, she called to say that she couldn’t deliver that day due to some issues beyond her but would do so the following day. I was left feeling very frustrated and even angry because now my integrity would be called into question by now, my integrity was at stake with my expectant customers.

Two days later, my goods arrived and the only thing that stopped tears from trickling down my face was my partner who consoled me. The tea she sent down was mixed with Golden Morn, the milk had a very coarse texture and I could almost swear that it contained garri. None of the cereals were up to the ordered kilogrammes, I couldn’t believe that I just got scammed of a whooping 80k. I picked my phone to call her up and she confidently told me that there must have been a mix up somewhere- I had the goods right in front of me o.

I wasn’t going to lose my money like that so after some back and forth, she said she wasn’t going to change any of the goods for me since I had paid her for them. I was downcast, angry and very disappointed in myself for trusting too much. At the end of the day, I was able to sell some of the goods to some of my customers that understood that I was going to be in debt if they didn’t buy as promised but I had to refund the larger part.

I learnt about Vesicash Escrow afterwards and I’ve since stuck with it. It’s been a boon to my business as I can now transact with more suppliers (even those I don’t know), which has opened me up to more lucrative offers, while still providing me peace of mind. In these post-COVID times, where movement is restricted, I simply do not deal with suppliers who don’t agree to use Escrow to receive payments because I’m not ready to lose my hard earned money again.