Hardware store customers waiting weeks for deliveries this summer

Grills for sale at a Bauhof store in Estonia.
Grills for sale at a Bauhof store in Estonia. Source: Bauhof Eesti/Facebook

Actual delivery times at Estonian hardware stores are frequently exceeding estimated delivery times this summer, sometimes leaving customers waiting for weeks for their goods.

Customers placing online orders with home improvement chains are complaining that they end up having to wait weeks for their deliveries — longer than the estimated delivery times promised on the site.

The three chains with the biggest clientele in Estonia — K-Rauta, Bauhaus and Bauhof — all state on their homepage that delivery times depend on delivery method. As a rule, however, delivery times should fall within a week or less.

Bauhof marketing director Kristina Vais told ERR that their chain saw an exponential increase in orders in June and July due to high demand for seasonal summer goods.

The company had difficulties with order fulfillment in early summer, when they were fielding high numbers of orders and large volumes, Vais said. "These were caused by circumstances beyond our control, such as supply disruptions," she explained.

The hardware chain wasn't just struggling with issues with the supply of goods, however; they were also understaffed during the summer busy season.

Bauhof was also simultaneously working on developing a new online store platform aimed at improving customers' experience. Since going live, the updated online store experienced some technical difficulties, but according to the marketing director, these have since been identified and resolved.

While their site was experiencing technical difficulties, Bauhof had promised customers estimated delivery times of approximately two weeks, and displayed the relevant info together with an apology on their homepage.

Vais confirmed that 90 percent of customers have nonetheless received their orders on time.

She also noted that another reason for delays has been discrepancies in stock inventories. "The system doesn't allow for a product to be purchased if stock records for an item at the chosen pickup location indicate negative inventory despite the product itself being physically available at the store," the marketing director explained.

In case of significant delays, the company will offer to compensate the customer for the delay with either an additional discount or a gift card, Vais added.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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