Fashion label Shakuhachi's customer service prompts onslaught of complaints

Shakuhachi customers have been put off buying from the Australian company, after their orders failed to arrive.

Shakuhachi customers have been put off buying from the Australian company, after their orders failed to arrive.

An Australian fashion label is  facing a slew of complaints from disgruntled customers on both sides of the Tasman claiming repeated failures in its online sales operation. 

Customers of Shakuhachi, which makes designer womenswear, have reported their online orders have arrived late, incomplete or not at all. Some complain that requests for refunds have also gone unfulfilled.

Shakuhachi, launched by self-taught fashion designer Jessie White, has been among the favourite party wear of fashionistas and celebrities since the brand was established in 2000. White, an Australian, is based in Bali. 

The company has responded to complaints of missing or delayed items saying it had faced "overwhelming" demand and was awaiting a stock shipment from an offshore warehouse, which had been delayed by Customs. The excuse has failed to wash with customers.

At the time of writing, there were more than 20 complaints on the company's Instagram account. Screengrabs of complaints on the Shakuhachi Facebook page have also been captured. The posts have since been hidden. 

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Of the 79 reviews on, 74 customers have given Shakuhachi a "terrible" review, echoing similar experiences. Reviews date back to 2013.

When asked for an explanation , Shakuhachi's Jovey-Anne Fletcher responded:

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"We could not predict the overwhelming response that reducing our prices was going to have. Our sales increased ten fold and our small team of two in sydney just could not keep up with the orders meanwhil [sic] have been working around the clock packing orders themselves from sydney [sic] office. There were a few customs delays but all has now been overcome. We have now outstsoruced [sic] our pick and pack to a third party warehouse, they are rapidly getting us back on track with our deliveries."

Consumer NZ's Jessica Wilson said if a retailer advertised a sale, there was an expectation that a "reasonable supply" of goods would be available. 

"If there are restrictions – for example, limited stock – that should be made clear in the ad."

Australian consumer law was very similar to New Zealand's, Wilson said. 

As such, Shakuhachi, was obligated to "provide products of acceptable quality and deliver its services with reasonable care and skill".

"If a trader fails to meet these requirements, and the failure is major, consumers can request their money back."

"In practice, this means if you don't get the product you paid for, or it's not delivered in a reasonable time, you've got the right to cancel and get a refund."

Wilson said if the company failed to respond, consumers who paid by credit card could ask their bank for a a refund to their card.

Kiwi consumers could also file proceedings in the Disputes Tribunal as New Zealand has an agreement with Australia to allow proceed 500

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