Ezbuy still plagued by purchasing account problems; Taobao Buy-For-Me service remains down

When it could not process any orders, Ezbuy halted its Buy-For-Me service for China. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/EZBUY SINGAPORE
When it could not process any orders, Ezbuy halted its Buy-For-Me service for China. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM EZBUY WEBSITE

SINGAPORE - E-commerce service provider ezbuy continues to be plagued by problems with its purchasing accounts, more than a month after its service was disrupted during its Singles' Day campaign launch on Nov 4.

In its latest update through a statement on Friday (Dec 8), ezbuy said that more than 300 purchasing accounts - used to place orders on a China e-commerce website Taobao - faced technical restrictions from Dec 1 to Dec 3.

These restrictions include being unable to place orders, process the check-out and receiving error messages when doing so.

As of Friday, over 1,500 such accounts in total have been blocked.

This means that it is still unable to resume its Taobao Buy-For-Me service, which is popular among many consumers in Singapore since it started in 2010.

An estimated 30,000 orders were delayed after the issue with purchasing accounts first surfaced on Nov 4.

Ezbuy, which detailed the chronology of events from Nov 4 in its statement, said that an error message had first popped up on 161 purchasing accounts that were carting out items on the Taobao website.

The message stated: "As there are overwhelming (numbers of) customers checking out, kindly try again later."

Over the next few days, it sent multiple queries to Taobao to clarify the issue, but received replies saying that the accounts had looked "abnormal" and could not be used. No reasons were given.

In preparation for its Singles' Day event to begin on Nov 8, it had set up 210 new accounts to cope with the orders, but these were blocked.

When it could not process any orders, it halted its Buy-For-Me service for China.

On Nov 11, its two main warehouses in Jia Xing and Dong Guan, in China, were blocked from Taobao's system.

It later changed its warehouse addresses and recruited a new batch of purchasing agents.

However, two days later, another 200 accounts directed to the new warehouses faced technical issues.

From Nov 14 to Nov 30, efforts to resolve the issue by sourcing for four new warehouse addresses were to no avail, as purchasing accounts redirected to these addresses continue to face restrictions.

Ezbuy said that with "constraints raised during the past few weeks, it has taken us much longer to process our customers' orders".

"We are sorry about the inconvenience caused," it added.

Only a handful of orders were still waiting to be processed, while most of the orders had been delivered, ezbuy told The Straits Times.

Ezbuy's other services such as Ship-For-Me and Prime remain available. Orders made through its Korea, United States and Taiwan Buy-For-Me services are also available.

It has also since included other Chinese e-commerce sites such as Jing Dong and Mogujie as other alternatives.

Ezbuy, which describes itself as "Singapore's first and largest global shopping platform by page views and number of distribution points", has more than 1 million registered users here.

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