JB Hi-Fi – Online Shopping done wrong

From time to time you stumble across organizations that are so stunningly bad at something, that it just takes your breath away.

JB Hi-Fi seems to have fallen into that category of late in the way they support their online orders.

So the premise is simple. You place an order on the JB Hi-Fi web site, and for the most part you get your order delivered in a reasonably timely fashion. Over the course of the pandemic, I’ve placed many orders without any real issue.

As a side note, it’s somewhat disheartening to see that a large Australian company sees fit to outsource their online business to a foreign company such as Shopify. Where’s your support for local businesses JB, or are you happy to send large amounts of money overseas when there are plenty of viable alternatives right here in this country?

Where the problem starts to become apparent is when something goes wrong. When online orders are placed and a delivery option is selected, the orders seem to be fulfilled from a random store that has the stock. This is fine, but obviously can lead to errors such as orders not being processed, which is exactly the problem I, and many others, have experienced in recent times.

In my case, I’ve got an order sitting there, unprocessed, and we’re heading into the third week of waiting at the time of writing.

Mistakes do happen, obviously, but you need to have a system in place to get these issues resolved quickly. That’s the real problem with JB Hi-Fi’s support system. They simply don’t respond in a timely fashion. Most online services are able to respond to queries within 24 hours or so, but to ask customers to wait a week or more for a response is pretty poor.

In fact, after posting about the problem on Facebook, they responded that they’d escalate the issue with the support team and that I should hear back within another 3 days. What? Seriously? You “escalate” a problem, but it still takes 3 days (or more) for something to be looked at. This really is next-level disdain for your customers.

Let’s make a simple comparison. Recently I had to contact Australia Post to sort out a problem with a mail redirection. I kid you not, but I got a response from them within 10 minutes or so and the whole issue was resolved within 30 minutes. That makes JB Hi-Fi’s performance pretty abysmal. In fact, you can see the measure of customer satisfaction by looking at https://www.productreview.com.au/listings/jb-hi-fi where they’ve managed to accumulate over 1,360 1-star reviews as opposed to just 560 5-star reviews.

You know what? I don’t think they care. Management have clearly understaffed the support team. It’s a deliberate decision to save money. Who cares if they get a few bad reviews and disgruntled customers. They are big enough not to have to worry about providing good customer service. This is of course the typical path that large, successful organizations typically take, gradually squeezing the margins and stripping back customer support to make more money. The greed imperative always wins out.

If this is what you’ve become, JB, then fine. We’ll all have to adapt and find alternatives wherever we can, and support smaller businesses that care more about providing a level of customer service that’s not in the gutter with yours.

Update: I added the following post onto the JB Hi-Fi Facebook page to point to some additional information about contact details for JB Hi-Fi executives.

One of the problems people have here is that it’s next to impossible to contact JB Hi-Fi for support issues with online orders. The JB Hi-Fi Chief Executive is Richard Murray and he’s been crowing about a trial they are doing on same-day delivery. That’s got to be a joke. They can barely do same-month delivery. Anyway, for anyone who’s interested, there’s a document on the JB Hi-Fi Investor site entitled “Reportable Misconduct and Whistleblower Policy” which contains email addresses and phone numbers of all the JB Hi-Fi Executives. The report is at https://investors.jbhifi.com.au/corporate-governance/ but I wouldn’t want to encourage anyone to contact the responsible people directly if you are having problems getting a response from the support team.

Now this is public information that has been published by JB Hi-Fi, so I’m going to add the contact details here.

JB Hi-Fi Group Executive Directors

Richard Murray – Group Chief Executive Officer
richard.murray@jbhifi.com.au (+613) 8530 7310

Lynda Blakely – Group Human Resources Director
lyndablakely@thegoodguys.com.au (+613) 9330 5350

Tim Carter – Group Supply Chain and Commercial Director
tim.carter@jbhifi.com.au (+613) 8530 7512

Simon Page – Group Technology Director
simon.page@jbhifi.com.au (+613) 8530 7495

James Saretta – Strategy Director
james.saretta@jbhifi.com.au (+613) 8530 7918

Terry Smart – The Good Guys Managing Director
terrysmart@thegoodguys.com.au (+613) 9330 5371

Doug Smith – Group General Counsel and Company Secretary
doug.smith@jbhifi.com.au (+613) 8530 7550

Nick Wells – Group Chief Financial Officer
nick.wells@jbhifi.com.au (+613) 8530 7456