What has happened to the service quality of Kapruka.com?
Posted on January 3rd, 2014

Anjalika Silva USA

 Just like everything else about Sri Lankan businesses, all the hoopla is only till they start making money.  Now that all the awards have been received and they are global, the quality has gone down so badly, I have no words to describe their attitude to customer service.  I was one of the first customers to support and promote www.kapruka.com to Sri Lankans and Americans who visit Sri Lanka from the US.  Flowers, cakes, wedding gifts, mobile phone top up, funeral wreaths, even gifts of jewelry were ordered through Kapruka and it worked fine.  No longer do I feel confident about their service. 

 In 2013 Christmas, my orders were taken but no warning about the time required and even on January 3rd they were not delivered as ordered on December 23.  Custom orders are taken as if they will be delivered on time but a 10 day period without delivery has no excuse.  E-mail to Kapruka had no response.  Their phone lines are only recordings and there is no follow up.  It was not so in 2011 when there were people who provided personalized service and called when there were issues or delays with orders.

 For a few years the service was great!  In 2013, something went wrong and the customer service if rated would have receive a minus rating from me.

My first problems began when I started to have issues with mobile phone top ups from the US to Sri Lanka.  There are a few deserving people to whom I provide mobile phone top ups in US$ amounts to help them offset some expenses at least.  This started to take several days and follow up calls had to be made from overseas when the recipients did not receive the amounts for several days.  It got straightened out but of late it cannot be trusted after a few bad experiences and I have started to use a different service to provide top up assistance to those I help.  Sometimes the website acts up and doesn’t respond to orders.

 Then it was the case with money transfer that was discontinued without any notification on the website when they are fully aware that their customers are global  and need to be informed of any interruptions to transfer services.  When I called Kapruka from the US, the customer service employee was very casual and said they had website problems one time and then a second call indicated that the government had stopped remittance services but no information for customer reassurance was provided.  When I said that I will stop using Kapruka and go to another vendor, there was no desire to try to help and retain a customer who just said they will reach out to a competitor. 

 In the money transfer business that was later restored, there is an unfair practice that many customers who don’t have time to check official exchange rates may not realize.  The fee of $10 was reasonable but the exchange rate falls way below the official rate.  At the time of writing this, the official rate is Rs.130.70 per US$ but the Kapruka rate for a $100 transfer is Rs. 127.00  per US$ which means that from each electronic transaction, they make the $10 fee plus a Rs.300 on a transfer of $100 giving them a $10 fee at official rate of Rs. 1307 plus a Rs.300 making Rs.1607.00 on a single transaction of $100 from the US.

 When the remittance amount increases to $1000 US, the rate falls to $125 increasing their profit margin by Rs. 5.70 per dollar plus the $10 fee.  If Western Union is used for transfers from the US to Sri Lanka, the fee will be a maximum of $10 and the rate paid by the receiving bank will be the official rate for the day. Anyone can check the Kapruka site that immediately calculates the rupee equivalent when planning a transfer. 

 How many multiples of these transactions come through Kapruka?  Money gets transferred to the needy most of the time.  If with each transaction the official rate is reduced by Rs.3 or 5 below the official rate, and the donor is charged Rs.1307 the official rate they receive, it is not a wonder that the poor man cannot survive in Sri Lanka.  These are the get rich quick schemes that the government has turned away from and do not want to see. 

Nothing happens without extreme greed.  If more than $100 is transferred from the USA through Kapruka, they apply an arbitrary lower exchange rate to pluck a higher profit.  Is it legal to sell foreign currency through government permitted channels at any rate that the vendor decides to use with a motive for larger profits?  Something that customers should consider.  I used them for years, but now I got wise to their calculations.

 There is a lot of misrepresentation and items ordered are not delivered on time as they used to be.  Something serious is happening to Kapruka and like all things Sri Lanka, sustained quality maintenance is missing.  Customers are the victims.  To Kapruka, all I can say is that you lost a loyal customer due to your lack of customer service as you no longer care about your customer when you need to most with competitors who have come forward to provide the same services. A small fee is not the issue, it is the efficiency and customer courtesy that counts most.

 Anjalika Silva



4 Responses to “What has happened to the service quality of Kapruka.com?”

  1. Christie Says:

    My experience is they are pretty good.

  2. jmack387 Says:

    To: Anjalika, Thanks for going into the details about your experience with Kapruka. It is quite possible that in order to make larger profits, they would have lowered the quality of the service and the quantity of their staff. This is, unfortunately common to many companies, including so many in the U.S.

    Classic examples are Bank of America and AT & T. BofA used to the largest bank in the US, and the meanest. Schemed their customers left and right, and mostly got away. Now they are smaller (and JP Morgan Chase is the largest bank in the US). We have blacklisted BofA for their almost-criminal business practices. AT & T is on a similar path. It is voted to be one of the hardest companies to do business with. Billing fraud is quite common with ATT. Their lousy customer service and the retention dept. even lie to the customer. There was even a class action law suit against ATT a few years back for fraudulent billing.

    Corporations lower the quality of their products and services in order to reap more profits. Apple computer seems to be going that way too, with their low quality products. This is quite common.

    I have ordered stuff from Kapruka several years ago and got good service. I might try again to actually experience the ‘new service’ and report back. Thanks for sharing you experience with them. Buyer beware!

    P.S.: Christie who said ‘My experience is they are pretty good’ provided no details of the experience. I find that a bit suspicious.

  3. Christie Says:

    It is unfortunate that we use this forum to penalize a Sinhalese entity. Most of the Western countries have consumer protection laws and they can be used to protect your rights.
    I have used this entity to send and receive money and goods. I know we always find faults with Sinhala businesses. It has been going on since arrival of Tamils and other Indians on the back of the British. It is part of the brainwashing by the colonists and imperialists.
    If I find faults with Sinhala business services I tell them in good Sinhala and still keep patronizing them.

  4. Marco Says:

    If my memory serves me right, kapruka.com was originally set up by two Sri Lankan (Sinhalese) at inception.
    They totally out grew the services required by the Sri Lankan Diaspora.
    It was the case of cannot organise a piss up in a brewery.

    Interesting i cannot understand why the Sri Lankan Diaspora should patronise the services of such web based organisations.
    Don’t you have trusted family and friends in Sri Lanka who could assist and help in sending flowers, money, gifts etc to loved ones? It kind of gives a true reflection of ones relantionship with ones kith and kin in Sri Lanka and ones “familiarity” with Sri Lanka.
    The 20 odd years i spent in Europe, i was a phone call away to any part of Sri Lanka in sending messages, monetary assistance,flowers, gifts and collecting rent from an imbecile of a Minister occupying my family residence in Colombo.

    It’s rather amusing we have people using the services of the likes of Kapruka when it clearly shows they have lost touch and are not trusting their kin folks.

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