Businesses Using The Pandemic as an Excuse for Poor Service

I understand the delays with Australia Post, so this question is more related around the service of companies using the "Due to Covid-19" we are unable to respond or have limited access to reply to your email in a timely manner. "We are all in this together".

I am sick of it to be honest, some of these companies are not even situated in a lockdown region but are still using this as an excuse not to reply to an email?

Are you telling me these companies don't even have employees working from home doing the exact same thing they would be if they were in the office buildings?

Will this excuse ever cease or will it be around for years to come?


  • +2


    • +9

      Not a forum section without a forum question.

      Don't be a hypocrite about pointless forum discussions…..

  • +7

    There could be any number of reasons why a business is impacted, that can be related back to COVID-19.
    I just cut them a bit of slack and if it isn't resolved I go elsewhere wherever possible.

    • +6

      Yeah I might have to, but unfortunately it always starts off with "Due to Covid". I mean some of these companies had poor service before this pandemic, just seems to me that they have latched onto this as the reason why they can't do anything now. (Even though 1 has made a record profit lol)

      • -3

        The profit the business makes is irrelevant to your post.

        • How so?

          • +1

            @iNeed2Pee: Your post is about perceived poor customer service.

            • +2

              @GG57: It was more around the excuse of the pandemic not being able to return and action emails, but still take in the orders and be able to process them without any communication at all.

              Edit: But I see your point:)

              • +1

                @iNeed2Pee: So, if you had a business, and you had orders coming in (with payments attached to them), and you also had emails coming in about all sorts of stuff probably, and you maybe had reduced staff or other impacts to your business resources, wouldn't you prioritise the order fulfilment?

                • +2

                  @GG57: I wouldn't neglect my service point of view by using "Covid-19" as an excuse 2 years after the fact, and in a region that is not even in a lockdown.

                  • +1

                    @iNeed2Pee: If you think that COVID happened two years ago, I'm not sure where you are living.
                    Different parts of a business can be in different locations, particularly 'support' roles such as answering emails (or not answering).

                    • +2

                      @GG57: In all seriousness some companies have adapted well, but some are still smashing out profits but are absolutely riding the pandemic as an excuse to fob off customers queries in that regard. We can agree to disagree! Healthy debate:)

        • +3

          More profit probably means more business, so you should scale your customer service as well because that's where your profits come from, customers

          • @bkhm: It could be. Or it could be that having reduced 'support' expenses inflates their profits.

  • +5

    I feel your frustration. E.g. Waiting an hour on the phone to speak to someone due to poor staffing is not okay. I understand it's a global pandemic, but at the same time, I'm sure businesses wouldn't think twice about cutting down their staff and blame it on COVID. I guess their logic is, we've got through COVID with these service levels and they're happy with the current service levels. Just my two cents….

    • +2

      Waiting on the phone is annoying but somewhat understandable.
      Right now I am trying to find a parcel being sent to me from a supplier via Couriers Please.

      The website tracking does not work.
      When you call them, the recorded message has got the now standard "we are trying our best at this time blah blah" and hangs up the phone on you.
      You do not get responses to the online form that you fill in.

      Parcel was supposed to be to me October 8th.

      I still don't know where it is. The supplier has told me if not received by end of next week then they will credit me, but its not their fault as they too are trying to locate it with no luck.

  • +10

    auspost blames covid for poor delivery / service and everything in between

    also auspost, our executives deserved their huge bonuses (source:

    I thought bonuses were paid because the business performed well? maybe they should have used that bonus money and hired more staff to deliver the post?

    • +1

      I feel your auspost pain, but OP's post excluded (or excused) them.

    • Spot on.

      The thing that shits me is the companies that continue to use Auspost.

      I've been aware of companies using the whole Covid thing for poor service since April/May last year.

      You only have to look to Amazon to see how it could and should be done in regards to deliveries. During lockdowns in Melbourne I have ordered some things just before midnight and it is delivered to my door by 10am THE NEXT DAY.

      Auspost is the worst. Companies need to stop using them, simple as that.

  • -1

    Wow do you not think for a second that companies can't just take on a call center and just drop that process into the virtual space.

    How do those workers get the equipment?

    Is there adequate internet due how crap the NBN is?

    Do you give casual employees access to sensitive information at home?

    Why would part timers/casual workers clock in when the Government has been giving out generous free money?

    Is the company's system even capable of remote work and collaboration?

    What incentive is there for workers to be efficient when there are no supervisors?

    Your orders can still be taken because they go directly to warehouses where workers are deemed essential and can still come in to work.

  • +2

    I am sick of it to be honest, some of these companies are not even situated in a lockdown region but are still using this as an excuse not to reply to an email

    Just cause they aren't in a lockdown region doesn't mean their staff aren't affected… Having kids to home school, being sick themselves and shit load other reasons

  • +1

    Maybe you should empty your bladder to relieve some pressure.

    • OP sounds very tense or nervy with that usename haha

  • I agree. Like everything covid related…it's a farce.

    • After 18 months you would think they would have "pivoted" to cover for the new C19 World?

  • +3

    In my organisation, I can see how this excuse could be used (we dont use it, but we could).
    I think its more damaging for a business to use the excuse vs. just getting on with what needs to get done and notifying of any potential delays.

    I work in a seasonal organisation that operates mainly over the Christmas period - we require seasonal staff to help in every aspect of the business.
    We are scraping at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to staff. And even then, we are struggling to get the worst of the worst staff. In a normal year, we have no issue in recruitment.

    The government is pouring way too much money into the unemployed. Nobody wants to work as a result. Its a terrible situation, so I can understand why a business would use the COVID excuse.

    • +1

      The government is pouring way too much money into the unemployed. Nobody wants to work as a result. Its a terrible situation, so I can understand why a business would use the COVID excuse.

      Yeah, this is a big problem for some businesses. People getting paid disaster payments etc also does not help. It's good to protect employees and provide a safety net, but it seems some people expect it permanently.

      Also, businesses reducing hours has made certain times much busier (eg. my nearest ANZ branch only operates 9.30AM-1PM now). Finding some places have reduced hours as the workload has been far too much to continue working normal hours with limited staff.

      There's also an unwillingness for businesses, especially in Victoria, to go to full employment while lockdown uncertainty exists too. I have personally been waiting 3 weeks now for a stock delivery for my business only 15km away. Makes running a business much harder when stock and supplies are uncertain.

  • +1

    I feel like those 'COVID delays' banners at the top of every website were needed for a while until businesses made changes to adapt, but some companies just haven't been able (or bothered) to improve things.

    Chemistwarehouse and Woolies for example have added external delivery options to help their customers receive orders faster.

    Amazon has managed customer expectations by indicating later dates than normal. I generally receive my orders before the indicated dates recently, which is WAY better than a company promising next day delivery and then blaming this and that when you receive your order a week later.

    Other companies (IKEA comes to mind due to my current order delays) just blame the postal service. Which to me is the worst possible approach.

  • +1

    service of companies using the "Due to Covid-19" we are unable to respond or have limited access to reply to your email in a timely manner. "We are all in this together".

    Maybe they forgot to turn off their auto reply.

  • It's the "new normal" - covid price hikes and poor service. Get used to it.

    • +2

      I know a few businesses that have hiked their prices and blamed covid even though it wasn't a legit reason. They all said they have not had price rises in a while and this was their way of making it happen with least resistance.

  • +2

    I’ve experienced this as well.

    My gym charged me for multiple months during Victorias various lockdowns this year. They are claiming they are uncontactable because of Covid(despite me noticing and emailing them straight away with screenshots of the charge). Now I understand a small delay getting people setup at home, but I find it difficult to believe they don’t have someone answering emails during this time?

    It isn’t a big deal or a lot of money but it is still annoying. No auto reply, nothing. It makes me think that they’re hoping I’ll forget to follow it up when things eventually open up.

  • +1

    I'm with iNeed2Pee… some of these questions are as if written by children, or of a childish mentality. Particularly those admitting to speeding in school zones, but wish to fight the charge, or ram up the behind of another vehicle, yet blame the vehicle in front. How did you ever obtain your driver's licence? As for service custom, there was none to start with.

  • +1

    I have so experienced this "due to covid" as an excuse for very bad service and after repeated uses of these 3 words, despite being patient, I have moved on to various other businesses where covid, has not been used (or anything else) as an excuse. I prefer to deal with places where I have been provided good service despite covid related "issues" eg issues like decreased staff, delays etc. I've just taken my business (personal and professional) elsewhere. It really is not hard to send an email nowadays, even if delayed by a short time, and having a message on your phones saying which day(s) you may be closed or have reduced staff or if you are temporarily closed etc. including when calls may be returned, or what alternatives, if any, are available for contact. Just good business practise really IMO (and yes, I have my own business).

  • The business I work for certainly used co-vid as an excuse to cut wages expenditure on service, even though their revenue wasn't affected. Therefore increasing their profit. Also many businesses have their support services outsourced overseas where they found they have no control over continuity during co-vid, but also don't seem to care. Telcos being a prime example.

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