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e-Commerce : The joy ride. BUMP !!!

My e-commerce joy ride has come across a bump.


I recently ordered a Blackberry from [order no : 1299114]. To my surprise when i switched it on, the message box had messages dating as back as May 2007.


I have been given a re-furbished one instead of a brand new one


Now i have to go through this hell of initiating a return the product, shipping the product at my own cost & waiting for a refund….some stupid extra work, when my day already looks pretty busy.


These sites have been heavily funded….why can’t they get their basics right. Can’t they do a proper vendor verification. Even the Blackberry team would tell them whether the vendor is authorized. Either the vendors are making a fool out of them or they are taking consumers for a ride.


It gives me a terror to think, what if the messages were neatly deleted from the inbox…..i would never have found it.


What do the QC departments [that they claim in so high spirits] do ??? & if they ship so efficiently, why can’t they arrange for pick up ???


guys…BUY at your own risk.


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  1. Aren’t you suing them? You know Pearl Right?

  2. i’ve always had a feeling that sites selling cheap are not selling brand new goods or something is not right with them! I once bought a couple of ties from and found minor defects in both. and that was all i ever shopped from one of these deal sites ever.

  3. just to add [order no : 1173661]
    Trèsmode Sandals
    When I opened the box I found them used with dirt stains all over.

    I also ordered a Blackberry 9780 from them, which came with an Indian bill and warranty  from
    The phone had a T-mobile logo on it and the warranty was 6 months from fashionandyou and not the 18 months one from  blackberry.

    They both had QC stickers on them.  

  4. OH BOY…

  5. Kinnari

    Thanx for sharing…I used to always wonder….how come they are selling branded stuff on low costs ? Everytime there is a sale going huge discounts…that too on high branded stuff……:)

    now it’z clear that they sell discarded or used stuff..or the stuff is secondhand…

    as in why would someone sell a “Guess” Product with 60% discount…or a “Dior”  with 40% discount ? 

    Hope you get your amount back or a new BB back…Cheers

  6. yeah

  7. Sorry but some more bad news…

    You may have to fight for the returns, because they don’t entertain refunds or exchanges for electronics:

  8. thats sad..what i know is they don’t have a vendor verification process. they’ll sign on anyone who offers a good deal. secondly, they should have utilized the funding in strengthening their process rather than spending heavily on advertising…QC is the main key in the process as they don’t directly control the products.

  9. No Alok, i’m not suing them. Unless they turn their back to this. Everyone should get one chance to improve 🙂

  10. i have initiated the process and they have called for the product…lets wait and watch. i’m shipping it back to them today.

  11. WOW..lot of victims .Hope they learn after reading this article 🙂

  12. Guys,

    Fashion and You takes their customers on ride, always.
    I had ordered some things for my office, guess what? They shipped some other order to me and they even did not sent the invoice. On their website there is no online invoice kind of thing exists.
    Later when I got in touch with their customer care, they advised me to ship the docket back along with invoice, the INVOICE which they NEVER delivered me. 
    I had to scream on their customer care for many days to get the refund, but I made sure not to send the docket back on my expenses and will NEVER EVER buy any thing from these guys.
    PS: They have hired bunch of jokers in their support department, forget english they can’t even talk in hindi.

    After few days one of my friend bought a Black Berry out of hard earned money to gift her husband on his birth day. They shipped AT&T unlocked phone to her which are already available at throw away prices on Ebay and the likes.
    They did not mentioned this ‘AT&T unlocked’ disclaimer on their site, a customer can easily get into the trap.
    Poor girl went chasing their customer care but they were not willing to issue the refund, she tried to contact to their corporate office but it did not help again.

    When I came to know of this goof up, I shared Harish Bahl’s (Founder, Smile Group) contact details with her to escalate the matter. He looked into the matter personally and arranged a refund in one week’s time.
    But the irony is – He practically can’t help everyone, specially the ones who can’t reach him.

    These guys need to set their processes & commitments STRAIGHT & RIGHT.

    That was the day when I and some of my friends stopped using Fashion & You, we gave them ONCE chance and they have got BOLD.

    I sincerely hope you get your refund back.

  13. couple of weeks back seen an article on about product sourcing reality revealed by a e-comm product sourcing employee….will post as i get it….. gucci is made in bandra (west)  🙂 🙂

  14. Indian mentality ‘dishonesty’

  15. r these businesses or scams? hope this piece gets highlighted.

  16. We can make another e-commerce portal, where people who bought products from all these websites ( and similar) and cannot return the products – can auction these products 🙂

     – Saurabh


  17. Given all this and the earlier post by Alok I can conclude the following. E-commerce is a fad right now because everyone’s talking about it. So everyone wants to be part of the party. But at some point this fad has to taper down. But having said that, we will need strong e-commerce players sticking around as you cannot deny that e-commerce has a strong potential in any economy. My bet is on Flipkart. They are by far the biggest and yet have avoided any such shams. companies like blah-blah-and-you will not survive at all if they continue such gimmicks.

  18. for your information – you need not ship it back etc. first thing you got to do is dispute the purchase with your account/card issuing bank or the online payment partner of the website (EBS/ CCavenue/ in case of ebay just inform ebay). This has to be done within 7-14 days. The vendor/merchants money will be held up – and he will be given some time to resolve the dispute (14 days max). if he fails to satisfy you – your entire money will be refunded – no questions asked.

    This is a condition every ecommerce provider agrees to while they signs up nodal banks and payment gateways (i have worked on a few of those agreements). Consumers are quite safe – except most people don’t know what to do – they contact the vendor, vendor asks them to ship back at their own cost etc.

    anyway, have you ever thought why those ebook sellers (on internet marketing silver bullets etc) offer a 30 day money back guarantee etc? its because the buyer can enforce an equivalent guarantee with the payment gateways or their own card issuing banks. not good news for people who sell things online (even i do) but thats how things stand.

  19. Hi All,

    Just for info. A lot of ecommerce sites sell Blackberry’s at 50% to 90% discount. E.g. F&U, Naaptol and others. Always check the product description when you buy a blackberry phone on ecom. If it is 18 months manufacturer warranty then it would and should be a authentic piece. 

    Otherwise it will always say “6 months third party warranty” or something like that. 

    Sites like Flipkart do not entertain such phones and its vendors. These mobiles basically come from the U.S through some way to Malaysia and then China where they are completely refurbished and made brand new and then come to India. 

    What happens here is there is a huge audience which does not know a T Mobile or a Verizon, and also want to buy the phone for show off and max use FB on it. Out of 100 pieces of these 1 to 2 are always returns. But 98 yet get sold like hot cakes since they are on a 50% to 80% discount.

    The guys who actually use apps and stuff faces issues later in terms of paying in $ and some apps not opening likewise. 

    Hope the info helps…

  20. They are so heavily funded …. guess poor management

  21. the e-commerce site is fnu…the payment gateway powered by Ccavenue…let me know how to go about it. i chkd the ccavenue site, cldn’t spot a place for consumer grievance.

  22. in this particular case ( shipping takes 3-4 weeks.. and even more sometimes.. 

  23. i’m pretty surprised, aren’t the VCs doing to good check or just riding the wave.

  24. you were promised a new mobile for the money u paid which was not delivered.

    on chargeback copy pasting from this link:

    What is a Credit Card chargeback? What is CCAvenue’s Credit Card chargeback policy? 
    A refund that is forced by a Credit Cardholder’s and Credit Card company is known as charge back. This occurs when a cardholder decides to formally dispute a charge on his/her Credit Card bill, usually because someone else fraudulently used that card number.
    Credit Cards Permit Chargebacks As per VISA & MASTERCARD rules any online transaction can/may also be revoked or refuted by a customer to a Sub Merchant via his card-issuing bank for the following reasons. This is normally allowable for up to 6 months from date of the transaction. However, in some cases this period may may extend even beyond 6 months depending on the Bank policies of certain banks.
    a) The Sub Merchant has not shipped the goods or delivered the promised service. 
    b) The Sub Merchant has taken back the goods /cancelled the services but not yet issued a refund on the Credit Card. 
    c) The cardholder’s Credit Card has been fraudulently used by someone else to procure goods and services – without knowledge or prior agreement of the cardholder. 
    CCAvenue’s payment gateway service provider, ICICI Bank and Citibank, have state-of-the-art fraud screening capabilities to reduce risks. However, if any chargeback is reported by the cardholder, you (sub-merchant) will be liable to pay the amount back to CCAvenue or it will be adjusted with the current balance of your account with CCAvenue; or you will be liable to refund back the disputed amount back to CCAvenue. Please note that this practice is universal and is followed by all payment gateway service providers the world over. CCAvenue has also an in-house team, which will screen all the transactions. Please see the section on fraud reduction tips for more information.

    In cases which prima facie look fraudulent, the same will be referred back to payment gateway for a further thorough authorization and if it is still authorized then CCAvenue will forward the transaction to the Sub Merchant so as to enable him/her to use his/her judgment whether or not he wants to execute the order or not. The chargeback disputes are normally less than 1% of the total transactions in a year. 

    a) Sub Merchant should keep complete proof of goods being shipped. This could be in the form of a Courier consignment note or Receipt from the final consignee. 
    c) The Sub Merchant can prove that the customer was informed in advance about refunds / return of goods for replacement faulty goods. 


    Fraudulent use of a Credit Card on the Internet is always at the risk of the Sub Merchant. 
    Sub Merchants should keep an internal benchmark for the level of transaction for which he will take a risk, without asking for additional documentation from a customer. 
    Example: ABC Shops has internally set a per transaction limit of Rs 30,500/-. Which means that up to Rs 30,500/-, ABC Shops will process an order without asking the customer to provide additional proof. If the transaction amount is more than the internal benchmark of Rs. 30,500/- then poof is required for: 
    a) That this customer owns the Credit Card he is using. 
    b) He is who he says he is. (ID) 
    So ABC Shops asks any customer who does a transaction over Rs 30,500 to send by fax the following:- 
    a) The last statement he received from the Credit Card company, which clearly shows his Credit Card billing address as well as the Credit Card number. b) A copy of his driving license / national identity card / PAN No. / Passport which proves he is the person who has placed the order. When ABC Shops has these documents, then they can go ahead with the customer without any doubt

  25. what is your card issuing bank? contact them! say you want to initiate a chargeback because you have been defrauded by online vendor. you need to act quickly though.

  26. eccommerce sites in India are supposed to complete an order within 7 days of a confirmed order being placed online. if not, the payment gateway is supposed to reverse the transaction – they will do so if the vendor does not confirm with the payment gate way that delivery has been made. if fashion and you is delivering after so many weeks, that means they are giving fake shipping details to their payment gateway.

  27. i chkd the link, i can dispute this anytime till 6 months. i have shipped the product back. btw, i used net banking. let me chk with the bank.

  28. The OWNER of CC Avenues is A Rodinhooder!

    Check out –

  29. this is not a problem with the portal, my frd bought from a bb dealer and he had the same issue, its all BlackBerry 🙂

    but you are not likely to face any issues…

  30. Hope you took pictures of the product before shipping.  Here is one ecom sie to avoid.

  31. Yup Abey…i have taken pictures

  32. It is not true that all these online stores are selling substandard wares. I run a ebay shop on by the name jasmine_collections doing a monthly turnoever of more than 1 million rupees. And guess what i dont even have an employee or an office. cant sell if i were selling wrong goods. i can perhaps go on to defend whole of morning but in short, online selling forums offer best value for money. in fact i have run a detailed five article tutorial on how to do business on ebay India on my website as well. regds

  33. Sanchita, this is no disparagement of your business.  We all agree that online ecommerce has the biggest potential.  However as in any market there will be shysters who are out to rip off the unsuspecting consumer.  We are highlighting that.  For every 9 honest merchants there will be 1 con artist.  Now if the con artist was lurking around eBay then thats to be expected.  However when a supposedly brand name institution does this in a systematic manner then we want to rip their head off and feed it to the crows.  Fair na?

  34. i was just imagining what you said, ” ripping the head off and feeding it to crows” Yuck 😉

    true, there will be one odd black sheep. but if there are strong checks and balances, their ability to cause damage is minimised. also for one odd such person, the entire effort or the institution should not be penalised in form of bad publicity as it happened here. though no sweat at all .. its a forum and democracy 🙂

  35. i do agree with you in totality…

    that’s why buyers BEWARE !!!

  36. Nothing will fix their rep unless they get their act together.  They are already on my blacklist of places never to shop from.  And with the ecommerce glut they’ll either be toast before the year is out or they’ll shape up.

  37. hey guys…my return has been processed and the money will be remitted in the next 72 hours…alas!

  38. Dear Kinnari,

    This is with regard to your order no.1299114 that was delivered to you in an undesirable condition. Please accept our sincere apology for the inconvenience caused to you. We would like to confirm that the return of your order number 1299114 was initiated on 12th January 2012, and a refund was processed from our end on 17th January 2012.

    At Fashion and You we believe that our real success lies in happy customers. Your satisfaction is our prime concern. However, in this case we have let you and ourselves down. We would like to inform you that we identified the cause for this incident and are taking strict action to ensure that it is never repeated again.

    We truly appreciate your relationship with us and hope you will give us a chance to serve you again. We promise you the highest quality standards and cutting edge service in future. In case you have any further queries regarding this matter please feel free to contact us on (0120-6739999) or write to us at (

    Warm regards,

    Team Fashion and You

  39. How come very educated people running e-commerce websites have no ethics. I run an e-commerce website name

    The branded electronics products use to have very wafer thin margin and at max 9%. Now I understand the funded e-commerce companies giving huge discounts from their deep pockets but how about online marketplaces like ebay, tradus ..??

    I am sure the online market places giving huge discounts on branded electronics products must be selling imported or refurbished products and cheating the customers.

    This kind of bad practices will spoil market for everyone and e-commerce will not pick up in India.

    I am sharing here some business insight- when we go to source products for our customers from market we always get two option 1- Buy genuine ( Margin 1-5%) 2- Buy compromised i.e. imported or re-furbished ( margin 8-25%) and we always choose first one. 

    So I believe people who are running e-commerce business at good volume level use to have very good dealer network and market knowledge and I am sure they always know whether they are buying GENUINE or COMPROMISED products.


  40. Putting systems in place and strengthening processes is tough. Needs commitment and hard work. Splurging investor’s money on advertising is easy.

    Sasikanth Chemalamudi, My Blog, The First Crore

  41. Sorry just came across this post…this is bloody shocking and clearly not-acceptable!!! Paying for new and getting refurbished…what if in future we buy a phone and find terror related messages in it??? 

    Indian e-com space is getting cluttered by the day…instead of promoting e-com such experiences and horrid stories may actually deter people from buying! 

  42. I always wonder how some champs can procured goods on such discounts & thought they are fake – So true & news is out here… 

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