For the latest advisories and health recommendations on how you can protect yourself and your family, please visit The World Health Organization at www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
Our extraordinary Customer Service and Client Success teams remain fully operational, with no impact on performance or order responsiveness. If you have questions about your business, please contact your Client Success Manager. If you have an urgent order inquiry, please contact your Customer Care Team.
Over the last six months, our local teams have worked in every country to responsibly prepare and deliver orders, while respecting all regional restrictions and community lockdowns. While some backorders are still being processed, and some popular products are facing temporary stock shortages, we are working to ensure availability wherever possible. Although many local situations change daily, we can report the following current status updates:
Across the Asia Pacific region, our partners continue to make good progress on clearing delivery backlogs, as member order volumes increase. Out of eight global vaccine candidates in advanced Phase 3 testing, four are being developed in China, with local factories preparing to manufacture up to 300 million doses a year. A sudden second infection flareup in southern Australia has been quickly dampened by the Victorian government with border controls and local movement restrictions. Case numbers have dropped quickly to April levels. Our Australian members continue to redeem for housewares, laptops and tablets in record numbers, creating temporary stock shortages.
South American governments continue to battle stubborn infections in crowded communities, with high case counts continuing to plague Argentina, Peru, Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Bolivia. As Brazil surpasses 4 million infections, daily totals have begun to trend down to early May levels. Members are creating a surge in orders across South America. Merchandise stock levels remain healthy and only localized lockdowns are affecting our team’s ability to safely deliver orders, resulting in temporary shipping delays.
India has passed Brazil, and is now the world’s second most affected country, with almost 4.3 million cases. In an effort to kickstart the economy, the government has reopened hotels, bars, shopping malls and the Delhi Metro train network, which carries 2.6 million passengers every day. Nightly curfews, containment zone travel and lockdowns continue, temporarily preventing shipments in the hardest hit cities. Elsewhere, where allowable by law, many businesses continue to operate across the subcontinent, and home-bound members are placing orders at unprecedented levels.
As the US COVID-19 infection graph crests 6.3 million cases, a welcome downward trend shows the impact of wider mask and PPE adoption. Some of the hardest hit states continue to pause or reverse their business reopening plans, as almost 100,000 Americans tested positive over the Labor Day weekend. We’ve seen and responded to a surge in orders, with deliveries in some states experiencing minor delays as our vendors work carefully to clear backlogs. Some kitchen appliance brands, TVs under 55”, home cleaning devices, bicycles and laptops continue to be popular with members, creating temporary stock shortages.
With a new school year starting and most retail businesses now reopened, the Canadian government is keeping a watchful eye for a rise in numbers over the next few weeks. Members continue to make Apple, Samsung, BOSE and KitchenAid among our most popular reward items, along with sports and home fitness equipment. At this stage we are seeing minimal impact on order delivery timeframes.
Africa and the Middle East
Kuwait, Morocco, Israel, Bahrain and Iraq continue to report peak caseloads, in contrast to most other countries in the region. In Jordan and Egypt, local manufacturers are being incentivized to begin homegrown production of popular whitegoods and TVs, to help offset import shortages. Order deliveries may be delayed in some countries as our partners navigate evolving restrictions.
The feared second wave of pandemic infections has surfaced in France, the UK, the Netherlands, Poland, Italy and most notably Spain, where over 26,000 new weekend cases almost tripled the country’s earlier peak in March. Many previously reopened borders are being reconsidered, as the EU attempts to restrict viral recontamination from non-essential travelers. Orders are still being accepted across the continent, and most members continue to order and receive deliveries with minimal delays.
While many airlines are flying reduced flight schedules, border restrictions and local arrival quarantines will affect travel plans. Our travel team continues to receive many inquiries from members who are concerned about current travel bans and destination safety. We urge all members to visit the travel portion of their program site and review the cancellation policy that relates to their booking. If there is an opportunity to cancel directly on the website we would recommend doing so. If their travel is imminent, with the departure date outside of the cancellation policy window, please submit a cancellation request and we will work to see if a cancellation/refund is possible. Cancellations that would normally not qualify for a refund are being reviewed on a case-by-case basis with individual airlines, hotels and accommodations to support travelers during this time. If a member is currently at their destination and requires emergency assistance, they are encouraged to contact: (858) 999-8206 (MX Toll Free 800-681-5365, AU Toll Free 1-800-146-417, UK Toll Free 0-800-069-8735, JPN Toll Free 0800-222-1195)
Around the globe, event suspensions, postponements, cancellations, and other approaches have been announced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some events that are suspended or postponed today may eventually be cancelled, but event promoters may take days, weeks, or even months to make a final decision. For events that have been cancelled (meaning the event will not be held at its scheduled time, or any time in the future, OR it will be held without patrons in attendance) the member is entitled to a full refund of the purchase price, including delivery charges. You, nor the member, need to take any action, as our customer service team will email you with full refund details. Given the number of events impacted, we've been advised that members can expect to receive refunds within 4 weeks. Many major events have been cancelled, while others have been suspended or postponed, rather than cancelled. These events – and orders associated with them are in a “pending” state and are treated as postponements. Until they are cancelled, we cannot issue a refund. Should the events eventually be rescheduled, any tickets purchased will be valid for the rescheduled event – as per standard industry policy. If and when any suspended or postponed events become cancelled, we will issue a refund.
We’re proud of how our supply chain partners continue to adapt and respond to this global pandemic. Our Customer Service and Client Success teams are fully operational, with no impact on performance or order responsiveness. If you have questions about your business, please contact your Client Success Manager. If you have an urgent order inquiry, please contact your Customer Care Team.
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