Jumia Travel’s Bait-And-Switch Marketing, By Gimba Kakanda

Somebody has to do the Lord’s work and warn Nigerians about this systemic exploitation of customers, which our business environment has enabled and sustained, by that online travel agency called Jumia Travel. I don’t want them to get away with doing this again, and again, with neither an apology nor damages for such violation.

I patronised Jumia Travel for reasons other than being a local enterprise, albeit founded by non-Nigerians, that required our collective patronage. I prefer dealing with agents with a known address, identity, and track records, not websites whose owners I don’t know. And a friend of mine, Zahrah, was about to head to court with Wakanow.com having been similarly betrayed by the platform. Even though I had not been exactly pleased in my purchases via Jumia I kept the faith. But what they did to me yesterday, December 15, has shattered any benefit of the doubt that I had harboured since our last unpleasant encounter.

About three months ago I booked Abuja – London flight on the platform, and made payment via online transfer as instructed by their agent. A few hours later, their agent called and explained that the rate had increased. I transferred the added amount without protest. Why? I was almost late for school, with registration deadlines staring me in the face, and there was neither time nor energy to start booking process anew.

My experience yesterday was a deja vu, and I accept the blame for being the first Nigerian to “carry last,” twice bitten. I booked a London – Abuja flight on their platform and received an email quoting what to pay, which I did. I spoke to one of their agents and confirmed the amount before doing so. Then, as if practising from an old bait-and-switch script, I got a call from the agent, saying the rate had increased and that I had to add over N100,000. For a split second, it seemed like a prank, only that she was calling from Jumia!

I found the model suspicious, for it seems like a deliberate ploy to mislead and attract customers. You don’t run a business by making the few who believe in you appear like idiots. This Mavrodi School of Business idea might have worked and had gullible believers in the Nigerian system like me trapped, but it’s established that every scam has an expiry date.

Angered by this brazen undermining of my intelligence, I asked the agent for an immediate refund, forwarded my bank details, and waited, refreshing my mailbox every 20 minutes to confirm notification of refund. I took to my social media platform and shared my grouse. Of course being a beneficiary of this ancient and state-approved impunity, they didn’t respond until it began to attract engagements.

I woke up today, December 16, to an infuriating email from them – that my money won’t be refunded until 3 – 5 working days. My day was ruined before it even began, and my rage was because we didn’t really have a transaction. I only wired money to them out of trust, and what a sensible partner would’ve done was reversing it immediately they confirmed their rate had changed, and noting I was unwilling to continue with the scam.

If I had nothing to book another flight, the consequences would’ve been a tragedy I don’t even want to imagine. It’s devastating that despite attempts to regulate business in the country, some of us are wired to embrace such infractions with a defeatist mindset.

In a reaction to one of my tweets, a Twitter user questioned my intelligence for falling for Jumia’s advertised platform. A Nigerian is, by such disturbing orientation, expected to distrust an enterprise valued at over a billion dollars and, even more importantly, the largest e-commerce platform on the continent? I don’t know.

The critic’s reasoning would’ve made more sense if I had no any history of patronising Jumia. In fact, last September, about a week before I booked my ticket to London, I bought a 4-terabyte hard disk, impressed by the purchase of a similar item on the platform a month earlier. So it’s unfair to conclude that one was merely gullible by trusting such platforms. What has happened is an everyday story and experience of Nigerians, and that’s expected isn’t the national pastime of blaming the victim, but an institutional response to correct it.

Gimba Kakanda is a postgraduate student of International Relations, London School of Economics, and tweets from @gimbakakanda

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Jumia Travel, Jumia Food To Reward Customers Big At Black Friday Concert

Nigeria’s leading online travel agency, Jumia Travel and Nigeria’s number 1 online food ordering website, Jumia Food have revealed plans to reward both their new and returning customers with fantastic giveaways and deals at the upcoming Jumia Black Friday concert scheduled for November 18, 2017 at the King’s College, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The companies made the announcement through their Head of Public Relations, Olukayode Kolawole while addressing journalists in Lagos on the expectations from this year’s Black Friday festival which will kick off November 13th and end December 13th, 2017. “This year’s Black Friday will be the biggest sales event ever experienced in the country as there are as high as 80% discounts across all the Jumia platforms: Jumia Mall, Jumia Travel, and Jumia Food,” Kolawole said.

The exclusive 2-in-1 concert and shopping event will feature Nigeria’s finest artistes including Simi, Falz, Wande Coal, 9ice, Mayorkun, Niniola, Sound Sultan, Skales, Lil Kesh, Pencil, Jimmie DJ Consequence, DJ Cuppy, Nedu to thrill attendees to exclusive app flash sales and lots of exciting giveaways including a N500,000 shopping voucher.

Speaking on some of the special offers on Jumia Travel, Omolara Adagunodo, Managing Director of Jumia Travel said there will be up to 80% discount on hotel & flight bookings; over 20 holiday packages to choose from (local & international) and lots of fantastic deals. “There will also be lots of giveaways at the concert, such as a free night stay at a 4-star hotel in Lagos, a free return ticket from Lagos to Accra and many more,”Adagunodo added.

On the other hand, Jumia Food Managing Director, Olamide Bada described the deals that will be available on Jumia Food as mouth watering. “We have a long list of vendors on our platform who have offered us amazing discounts and giveaways in the spirit of the Black Friday festival. While many of our customers will have direct and face-to-face interactions with us at the concert, others who might not be able to attend can still benefit from these offers. For instance, we will be offering a buy-one-get-one-free on Sharwama & Co between 11th  November through Dec 12th; 30% off the entire menu at Beleful; and many more.”

“There will also be lots of offers on Jumia Party. For instance, you can buy one Martell Blue Swift and get 24 Apparel Hat with Purchase; Martell XO – Free Holiday Bag with purchase; Chivas Extra – Free TT Dalk Wallet or card holder with purchase,” Bada added.

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Ghana Is A Better Destination For Weddings Than Dubai – Jumia Travel MD

“I will recommend Ghana as a more preferable destination for weddings because it’s much cheaper in terms of cost and much closer in terms of distance – a flight to Ghana from Nigeria is approximately about an hour compared to Nigeria to Dubai which is 6 hours on average.”

This disclosure was made by the newly appointed MD of Jumia Travel Nigeria, Omolara Adagunodo at the just concluded Akwaaba Travel Market which held for 3 days at Eko Hotel & Suites in Lagos.

Adagunodo was on a panel discussion which dissected the topic: “Destination Weddings As A Tourism Product: Famous Honeymoon Spots Nigerians Visit.” During the session, a number of factors determining the merits and demerits of different destinations suitable for Nigerians to hold their weddings were discussed.

For Ghana, Adagunodo said, holding weddings in choice locations in the country is preferable due to cost of flying guests compared to Dubai which seems to be more prominent for weddings than Ghana. She emphasized the importance of promoting tourism within Africa.

According to her, Africa is still really lagging behind in terms of deriving substantial income from tourism. It’s only reasonable to ensure that we as Africans plan to hold our weddings in beautiful locations within the continent so as to boost its growth.

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Jumia Travel Launches Travel Smart To Incentivize Loyal Customers

Africa’s leading online travel agency, Jumia Travel has announced the launch of its loyalty programme aimed at creating more value for its loyal customers by enabling them to save as much as 10 to 20% exclusive discount on hotel plus flight bookings and holiday packages.

The programme comes with incentives such as late check out, free airport pickup, welcoming drink and early check-in.

The Chief Executive Officer of Jumia Travel, Paul Midy made the disclosure recently through the company’s weekly newsletter.

This stride is part of our efforts to democratize travel in Africa – making travel within Africa easier and cheaper. And for our Travel Smart customers who are our frequent and returning customers used to the Jumia e-commerce ecosystem, there’s no better way for us to help them book the best hotels at the best price. We are constantly on our toes as a business to offer more value in terms of pricing, more hotel & flight options in order to appreciate them”, he said.

Thanks to the Jumia Travel Smart programme, hotels get access to a customer-base of registered and frequent users who are the only ones having access to these special rates, and benefit from increased visibility and marketing on our special campaigns to promote Jumia Travel Smart.

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