At the beginning of March, Wildberries ordered employees of distribution points to compensate for the full cost of parcels if the buyer returned them due to marriage or non-conformity of the goods ordered. The marketplace said that they had conducted a study and found out that in most cases the return is due to the fault of the pickup point.
Wildberries also warned that partner pickup points would not be able to challenge the fine decision. In response to the company’s actions, the owners and employees of the pickup points in several regions of Russia went on strike. On March 15, they went to work, but stopped issuing parcels to customers. The rebellion was supported in Vladivostok, Irkutsk, Barnaul, Chita, Ulan-Ude and other cities.
“Let’s say a customer ordered Nike pants for 3,500 rubles. They arrived at the PVZ torn. Previously, the client paid 100 rubles for the return of the goods, and we reimbursed the marketplace 20% of its cost. Now we have to pay all 100%. If we don’t send money on time or we want to keep the goods for ourselves, we will have to pay 120%,”
Earlier it was reported that a meeting of strikers with representatives of the marketplace could be held in the State Duma. However, the latter did not show up. For almost two days, the Wildberries press service denied the strikes and stated that the distribution points were operating as usual. However, in the evening, the company announced the closure of several pickup points.
“With “partners” who choose uncivilized forms of dialogue, threaten company representatives and attempt to disrupt the work of the office, cooperation will be suspended for security reasons,” a representative of the marketplace told RBC. The company also plans to take out the remaining goods at the closed points of issue.
Despite the fact that the meeting with the strikers did not take place, the State Duma nevertheless reacted to the conflict. Deputy Yaroslav Nilov told the “Company” that the transfer of costs associated with the return of defective goods to the pickup point is unacceptable. He also noted that Wildberries have been getting into scandals more and more lately.
Those who disagree with the policy of Wildberries coordinate their actions in Telegram channels. The most popular of them now has over 13,000 subscribers. “Colleagues, remember that we are not slaves, we are the same people, and we have the right to defend our interests,” one of the publications said.
“This is not a coordinated movement at all. It’s just that the cup of patience has run out, you understand,” said Dmitry, the author of the Telegram channel Pravda Soobshchikov, who also covers the strikes, in an interview with Kompaniya.
He explains that fines are mainly associated with situations where the goods are mistakenly or intentionally changed at one of the stages of delivery to the client. This can happen through the fault of a warehouse employee, distribution center, pickup point, courier, or even the buyer himself. But in the end, all responsibility was shifted to employees of distribution points – as the most unprotected in this chain, he believes.
“Courier-drivers usually work for external carriers, and the warehouse can no longer be blamed – then the last employees will scatter. Their conditions are already bad,” Dmitry added.
The interlocutor notes that the situation, although egregious, is familiar. Partners and employees of Wildberries have long criticized the company for unilaterally changing the terms of the offer and numerous fines.
“If the client was not in the mood and complained that he was not given a package at the point of issue (from February 13 they are paid – ed.), then we will be charged a fine of 100,000 rubles. And no one will contact us and ask if it really happened. No feedback,” Anastasia, the owner of the Wildberries pick-up point in the Rostov region, told the Company.
The amount of penalties may even exceed the income of the PVZ, complains the interlocutor of the magazine. On average, a pick-up point can earn 1,000-2,500 rubles a day, and a fine for a low rating (based on customer reviews) can be 3,000, she explains.
“Including some other fine from Wildberries, which also cannot be challenged. For the second month I cannot pay taxes, because I spend everything on rent and leave a reserve in case of marriages and other write-offs, ”added Anastasia. According to her, the fine is written off automatically, and the marketplace does not comment.
Wildberries has about 9,000 distribution points in the regions of Russia. Most of them have their own marketplace pickup points, 3,500 outlets are franchised.
A day earlier, the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation announced that, against the backdrop of complaints, it plans to check Wildberries for compliance with the labor rights of workers. Including the department will check the information “on illegal deductions of funds from their wages.”
Yana Brutman, partner of the TM Defense law firm, in an interview with the Company, says that if there is an employment contract, the application of any fines is a violation of the law. It is assumed that after verification, the prosecutor’s office may oblige the marketplace to bring contracts with counterparties in line with the law.
Workers also said that after participating in the strike, Wildberries threatened them with dismissal. In addition, the accounts of several PVZ owners were blocked. One of the employees wrote in the Telegram channel chat that “if you quit with debts, they will fly to the State Services.”
“They scared us all. Selectively by region, the accounts of points of issue are deactivated. We, the owners, are thousands of people, but there are hardly a hundred of them who dare to oppose. I am sure that Wildberries is now developing a plan to get away dry from the water, ”notes Anastasia.