Auckland business owner frustrated after Ezibuy fobs off paying invoices for more than six months

An Auckland business owner says she was "disgusted" after having to chase Australian fashion retailer Ezibuy for more than six months for the payment of an invoice, which was only paid in full once she got media involved.

An Ezibuy promotional image. Source: Ezibuy/Facebook

Patalena House is an Auckland business that supplies gift and celebration products to retailers.

In August last year they invoiced Ezibuy for an order of Christmas crackers they had supplied.

The total value of the invoices was about $20,000.

But after repeatedly following up with Ezibuy and being told "your payment is on our priority list," owner Sheree Cassin-Thompson says they were only paid in full on Thursday last week after 1 NEWS contacted Ezibuy with queries.

Some of the money owed had been paid in early March, but close to $10,000 remained outstanding. 

Ms Cassin-Thompson said Ezibuy told her they had experienced staffing and accounting issues leading to the delays, but also added that they were struggling under Covid-19 after the pandemic began earlier this year.

Ms Cassin-Thompson didn't buy that, and said she thought they were simply waiting until the last possible minute to pay their dues.

"You expect it from small businesses that are struggling financially - but not from a large company like Ezibuy," she said.

"That's just completely unethical."

Patalena House has had its own financial problems under Covid-19, she said, as they expect 30-40 per cent of their customers will not be there after the lockdown lifts.

"We lost $150,000 in March and you're not going to get that back," Ms Cassin-Thompson said.

Ezibuy referred 1 NEWS to Australian public relations firm FCR, and said through their representatives that "regrettably, this account was overlooked late last year as we transitioned to a new payment system".

"Subsequently, payment was further delayed due to the impact of Covid-19 on our business.

"Payment has now been made in full."

Ms Cassin-Thompson said she had previously had no issues with Ezibuy paying their invoices, but would think twice about dealing with them in future.

"It's not actually worth having business that you don't get paid for for seven months."