I ordered a camera on flipkart 2 days back and today i received the product. Just that it wasnt a product, it was junk (kabaad) in the camera box.

While i am still fighting with them over this issue, I would like to put forth a discussion wherein I strongly feel that Flipkart's own systems are not in order and they are making the customer a scapegoat to hide this.

When i countered Flipkart customer care, they said that at times, some other orders reach the wrong customer. I am terribly confused, when did flipkart start selling junk products, is this a new product line. After 5 mins, the person finally understood that there is a serious gap and asked for some time.

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Updates and chronology of events:

Flipkart delivers the product @ 11ish saturday morning and is received by my wife

Packaging opened to witness moment of shock and disbelief (image already atached)

I made a call to Flipkart CC at 11:30 am and first response is negative. They thought product is replaced, i had a hard time convincing them that i did not receive a product, its junk

Some random person from Ws retail called and said he needed till till 5 pm to get back

I started posting the image and experience on FB, Twitter and Blogs, FB DPEG page.

FB social media team calls me at 2:30 pm to be patient (social media truly rocks)

I get a call from courier company (flipkart) to know if the package that came was tampered in any way and i told them it was not. He disconnected, basically he saved his job!

Called the customer care at 4:40 pm asking someone was supposed to call me with the status. The person said it will take time till Monday 3:00 pm since its a saturday (i am seriously irritated now)

I kept posting and telling friends about what is happening through social media

5:30ish get a call from another team member from social media deptt assuring they are on the job and they have changed the status to product returned and made a wallet account with the money (basically they are giving me back what was my own and thinking they have done their part)

6:30, 2 people from Flipkart fraud detection agency came in to investigate. Took photos of the packaging, the junk that was in the box, seemed totally confused and assured we will do something.

Sunday morning, noting seems to be happening today...

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Bottomline, the problem hasn't been resolved and they are still figuring out god know what... Nonetheless, do you feel Indian e-com companies are trying to hide their own weaknesses by passing the buck to the customer.

My questions:

1. Flipkart says they don't want to send COD packages to UP as customers refuse while It could just be that they themselves have a gap in their own system.

2. Flipkart removes high value televisions from the website. Does this mean they are not keen on selling high value product or again, is it a sign of their weak systems?

 

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UPDATE - MONDAY June 10, 2013:

I just called Flipkart and they are refunding the money, basically they don't have the product. Maybe they never did...?

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UPDATE - FRIDAY June 14, 2013:

Flipkart has send a mail that the product is back in stock and they want me to order again. The only caveat is that now the product is Rs. 15000 more expensive... Its with the same retailer WS retail.. I am definitely confused now!!!

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UPDATE - Monday June 17, 2013:

Money comes back to my credit card, i get a call from Flipkart team that if i make a fresh purchase, they will refund the excess of Rs. 15000 on my flipkart wallet if i wanted to purchase on EMI or they could send me a payment link to pay for the new amount less the excess of Rs. 15000. Since this the cheapest in the market, I go ahead with it (Yes, I know how some people might think about it)

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CONCLUSION - Monday June 19, 2013:

The camera reaches home late noon and I am there to receive the packet. I asked the guy that i will sign the packet only after checking the contents but he said the policy is to sign off first. I explained what has happened before and he said that he will wait for me to open but it needs to be signed first (So basically not just in POD, even CC purchases require you to sign first and then take the goods). Camera came out to be fine, am i happy with the final deal, yes because it was still cheaper than the entire market. Will I shop online again, I love it outside of India but in India, one needs to be more cautious I believe.

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Tags: flipkart, fraud, scam

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How do we know that you have removed the brand new camera and put this junk yourself and now trying to cream off flipkart?

Now pl dont get charged up. this is the first question in the minds of seller, be it flipkart or snapdeal or anybody. And it is for this reason that they always ship items with transit insurance. Buyers must check contents (inspite of courier boy protests) esp in case of exp items such as this in front of courier boy and make a note of discrepency if any there itself.

Now i do not doubt you or any customer with whom such an unfortunate thing can happen. But there is a limit to checks and balances that one can put. in case you have a bright idea to prevent things that happened with you, we would be v keen and so are most e-com sites.

Hope that flipkart quickly responds to your complaint and you get the bonafide item for which you paid.

Hi Sanchita,

Regarding your first point, well i dont mind what you have said because in the past 24 hours, many people have said many things. Ofcourse that is the problem of having a discussion against a big brand that people would trust them more than you. I have been transparent and shared all the info i had including what Flipkart has done.

I cannot comment on how to improve their system as i dont know what their current system of checks is!!! I do feel when a high value product is involved, there should have been additional checks than regular ones. Maybe they were but well its out for discussion and you have an opinion on it already :)

The purpose of the post is to debate whether Indian e-coms delivery systems have matured enough or not to handle high value products and whether they are making the customer a scapegoat to hide their own inefficiencies...

Sanchita, honestly, this is the stupidest comment I've heard in all my experience at therodinhoods.com

Our members make the effort to take time, photograph, write, explain and even UPDATE real life events for all of us to learn from!

You think if this was a fake case, Flipkart would not have sued us and the author by now??

I wonder if you are a real person or a bot....

well what is real life experiences for someone who sells about 150-200 items a day ranging from 125/- scratch guard to 75000 rupee sennheiser HD800 may appear to stupid to another who hasn't done this particular thing notwithstanding the vast knowledge, experience and success that may have been achieved in other fields.

No, i dont think flipkart would have done what you suggested even if they have verified and are sure that legitimate item has left their premises at the first place. the point that i was trying to make which many incl u may have missed that the stakes for a reputed seller to try and indulge in fraud of any kind is far more self-destructive than any individual buyer. this is with no malice or reference to the current case in discusision. this is the reason why companies put detailed terms and conditions in thier sites. now the company can either chose to legally fight it out or settle the case amicably. most chose latter since what is at stake is their very hard to build reputation for which they are always spending millions as one can see on TVs.

Do plan a visit to Port Blair. you will be surprised to see the kind of services that we have. yes there are no cinema halls, no malls, no straight roads or trains and the net is slow but we do get newspapers by afternoon and Cable TV and net do work satisfactorily. my husband is a government officer posted here in andamans and thats how i m here. you may also check out on RoC site for M/s D Tek trading pvt ltd, Bangalore and my name as the second shareholder might appear there, though i have not checked it personally. with slow net, i check strictly what is essential. 

regds  

LMAO. Must say, this is the "stupidest" comment I have read in my life thus far. :)

UPDATE - MONDAY June 10, 2013:

I just called Flipkart and they are refunding the money, basically they don't have the product. Maybe they never did...?

My point, Alok and Sanchita, is how does one have safeguards for this kind of happening. The package should be opened in front of the courier boy??? How does one handle it - after all it could happen to any one of us, too.

Yup, i learned that as protocol, one should open the parcel in front of the courier guy and only sign thereafter because the sign is a declaration that product was OK when received.. My wife actually trusted Flipkart and that wasnt the best strategy. Of course i also have to acknowledge now that Flipkart trusted my story and decided to process the refund. But overall, they lost a customer and perhaps many others in the process... Ultimately, its sad for both the parties involved.

For CODs, while i dont have a first hand experience, but my friends say that they don't let you open the packet till you give them cash so it becomes a catch 22 situation...

And not just that. Even if you check the package in front of the delivery guy, he refuses to take it back in case of damage. He simply says that his job was only to deliver. If there is any complaint we are supposed to go through a different procedure of returning it back and the delivery guy cannot take the product back. So, in any case, even if you open the pack in front of the delivery guy...the process of returning and refund in case of damage goods or no goods (in your case) is painful.

Having sent hundreds of thousands of items by courier in my previous startup, I can say with some confidence that 9 out of 10 times the problem is in the last mile. We had packets being opened and items being stolen/replaced at the receiving hub and/or by the delivery persons. This was happening across the country, not in some mofussil branches . All the fancy branding that the company does on the packaging lets the delivery boy know that there is something valuable inside. Of course, the more literate just read  the challan and decide if they want the new phone or camera or whatever is inside the box. He bails out after pinching the item and joins some other delivery service without missing a day, because every service is perpetually in need of more/experienced staff.

An organization does not want to sully its reputation, plus all the direct and indirect costs around the replacement end by being borne by them. I think it is the delivery network that is still the weakest link in the chain, which is steadily chipping away at the efforts of the organizations and the experience of the buyer.

You can file grievance on 

pgportal.gov.in

and ask your credit card company to file dispute for transaction if they dont refund.

Thanks Govind did not know this existed... Really helpful :)

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