Manicaa denies being a scam site

Last week Friday, the National Consumer Commission (NCC) issued a warning to customers against making transactions with South African ecommerce website

The NCC alleges that Manicaa is a scam site. As evidence, the government consumer watchdog points to several complaints it has received that allege that orders were not delivered after payments were made. And that when customers reach out to Manicaa for support, they never hear back from the company.

It also studied inconsistencies on the Manicaa website, and reached its eventual conclusion.

“[Consumers] alleged that they either received incorrect items, incomplete orders or defective goods with no assistance from the supplier,” Acting National Consumer Commissioner, Thezi Mabuza told SA News.

Further, the NCC says its investigation into Manicaa eventually hit a snag as the company appears to be “untraceable.”

“The physical address on their website suggests that Manicaa is operating from Midrand, while the map on the ‘contact us’ page suggests that Manicaa is based in Canada.”

According to the NCC, Manicaa’s alleged modus operandi is to offer to sell goods, receive monies, and not deliver the goods.

“The NCC’s preliminary findings indicate that Manicaa is a scam run by Webster Kutsawa and Clara Kutsawa,” Mabuza said.

That same Friday we reached out to Manicaa via the support number listed on their site, and to our surprise were put through to an actual human being. We asked if Manicaa could provide a response to the allegations made against it by the NCC, and were told to await an email by end of business.

We did receive the email that Friday at 16:17, from the Manicaa support email address, also listed on the website.

“I would like to take this opportunity to respond to the allegation made about our company Manicaa claiming that we are running a scam,” begins the email, despite the fact that it is signed

“I would like to state on record that we are not a fraudulent company nor are we scamming people.”

The representative goes on to say that Manicaa is run by a small team, only 10 individuals, and has been operating for six years at which time it has apparently completed over 30 000 online orders.

Manicaa recognises the “complaints to the National Consumer Commission and complaints from our customers to different media outlets regarding orders not being delivered and outstanding refunds. We acknowledge and take full responsibility for all these complaints as we are working daily to resolve them.”

“As a small business competing in difficult and challenging times, we have been faced with a lot of issues beyond our control that have made our business suffer and unable to satisfy our customers,” the response reads.

“We are currently faced with the ongoing national loadshedding that hinders us from answering phone calls and emails, as our system will be down. As a result, we are faced with a high volume in customer emails which are not answered on time leading to customer complaints.”

“We are doing our utmost best to make sure each email and call is being answered but there are situations where we miss some emails due to system issues,” it continues.

Manicaa says it is working on implementing better communication systems that will bridge the gap between customers.

It also responded to allegations that orders were not delivered, saying “We would like to defend against this as we have delivered over 30 000 orders across South Africa, even though some orders were delayed due to various reasons.”

“In cases we couldn’t deliver an order we also informed the customers and made sure they have received their refunds,” it said, adding that allegations that it is forging its own 5-star reviews on sites like HelloPeter are false.

“All the positive reviews our company has received are all from our actual customers that have ordered from us and we successfully delivered.”

“We are willing to provide any proof that suggests that we are not running a scam. We have slowly started on our recovery process and we’re working towards delivering all orders within the 10-25 working days stipulated on our terms and conditions.”

The email comes with several attachments that contain information about “successfully delivered orders and tracking numbers from 2019 to 2023.” These include several PDFs named Manicaa Order Fulfillment Report and the year, as well as an Excel spreadsheet.

Manicaa says that all the customers and waybill tracking numbers in the reports are legitimate, which would indicate nearly 29 000 so-called successful deliveries since 2019.

Along with waybill numbers, the reports also include the names of courier companies that delivered the parcels, including the Courier Guy, Internet Express, Courier IT, Dawn Wing and Ram Couriers.

The email also confirms that Manicaa’s offices are indeed in Midrand, but not exactly where, and the website only lists the address as, “Old Pta Road, Halfway House Midrand.”

Finally, Manicaa attached a link to a parcel tracker from BobGo, formerly uAfrica, with the intention for us to use the attached waybills and confirm through the tracker if parcels did indeed get delivered or not.

We followed up and checked several waybills on BobGo, and they indeed correlated with Manicaa’s report. If the report said delivered, the order was delivered. If the report said in-transit, the order is in transit, according to BobGo’s tracker.

We went a step further, and reached out to The Courier Guy’s main offices in Cosmo City, and asked them to track a waybill from Manicaa and if it was authentic. Courier Guy confirmed that the delivery was indeed authentic, along with the name of the person that collected the order and a picture of the package that was delivered.

Confirmation from The Courier Guy about the delivery of a Manicaa package, according to a waybill the website supplied.

Courier Guy told us, however, that while the package was delivered, they cannot confirm if the content of package was what was initially purchased as they are simply the delivery company.

Courier Guy also said that Manicaa uses BobGo to facilitate its deliveries through the many delivery companies it uses. is a site that is littered with red flags. From mismatching images, to spelling mistakes and errors in pricing, among many other things. We found on the front page a product literally missing a name selling for nearly R600.

I’ll take five please.

The fact that it doesn’t really have a solid office location, and its 10 to 25 working day delivery time are also cause for concern, and should give potential buyers enough warning before attempting purchase.

On the other hand the company did supply evidence that at least some of its deliveries did reach their intended targets. Whether or not the deliveries contained all the purchased goods or not is impossible to tell at this point.

Also, many of the reports contained items that were not delivered, or labelled “In-transit” from as far back as 2021. When we followed up with one of these, however, BobGo indicated that the delivery could not be completed as the contact person was not present.

Whether or not Manicaa is a scam site or not is yet to be determined, as the NCC has not completed its investigation as of time of writing. However, as it seems Manicaa is willing to supply evidence, it should not take too long.

In any case, consumers should stick to trusted and vetted retailers, especially online, such as Takealot. They should look out for warning flags like those above, and if they have concerns, they should test the waters first by making smaller orders before larger ones.


About Author


Related News