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Flipkart sent me junk in the name of a Nikon D800

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.




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…




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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36 Comments

  1. Profile photo of Sanchita Dutta

    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.

  2. Profile photo of aAlok Khemka

    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…

  3. Profile photo of aAlok Khemka

    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…?

  4. Profile photo of kaanchan bugga

    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.

  5. Profile photo of Govind G Prajapati

    You can file grievance on 

    pgportal.gov.in

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

  6. Profile photo of aAlok Khemka

    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…

  7. Profile photo of aAlok Khemka

    Thanks Govind did not know this existed… Really helpful 🙂

  8. Profile photo of aAlok Khemka

    I was looking around today and there is another strange thing i would like to put forth in this discussion. While i bought the camera for 140999, flipkart now shows that the product is out of stock but shows a price of 164852. Why would they do that if the product is still out of stock? strange …

  9. Profile photo of asha chaudhry

    aalok, 

    pls do update your post as soon as you receive a refund. they mention 72 hours i believe??? 

  10. Profile photo of soneeta sethi

    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.

  11. Profile photo of Praveen Gupta

    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.

  12. Profile photo of Sanchita Dutta

    Thank your stars that you had bought the item from flipkart who have valued their reputation more than the amount involved. if it was any other site incl ebay india, be rest assured you wouldnt have got anything.

    The reason lies in details of terms and conditions which you agree to abide by when u make the purchase. and it always say that by accepting the package from courier company, you have certified that you have received the correct item and quantity. in your case, such an expensive item was not collected by you in person nor was it checked at time of delivery. makes your case extremely weak even if you had decided to go legal.

    The bottom-line and solutions lies in what i had mentioned earlier. talking about poor and undeveloped logistics and supply chain is like talking about poverty in the country. Just nothing will or can happen by talking or discussion. specific, doable and easy and cheap to implement solutions needed. 

    For example, almost all reputed e-coms use bluedart or fedex since pilferage is minimal. if its professional or dtdc and its expensive item, you would surely have sleepless nights. tamper-proof packets, company tape are a few other simple yet effective measure which can detect tampering with the package just by looking at it.

  13. Profile photo of Vipul Agarwal

    I recently bought a (hardcover) book from Snapdeal. Since this was the first time dealing with them, ordered it as COD. Sanpdeal took its own time in delivering the book.

    I told the courier guy that I want to open the package before making the payment, he refused. So I guess you have to follow the process of payment and then opening the package. The book was slightly damaged. Tweeted about it. Got a response in 5 minutes. (Great job Snapdeal). Lodged a complain and they took back the book in about 4 days time. Now I expect them to send the replacement in another 2 days (as per their SMS).

    The point is that the delivery and the complain/quality team are separate and they dont work in tandem.

    BTW, have never had issues with Flipkart.

  14. Profile photo of Prashant Tripathi

    Mumbai Dabba System is only business in the world which actually runs on Six Sigma Parameters.. Every business has some defects and mistakes.. its one of such cases !! Dont panic .. If you run a business .. you will create many more goofups.. be happy that they have refunded and buy again .. Cheers !!!!!

  15. Profile photo of aAlok Khemka

    sure, will do

  16. Profile photo of aAlok Khemka

    While i have my hands (rather myself) burned with this e-com experience, one friend got a camera from ebay which was twice as expensive as mine and it went off smoothly… Perhaps his action gave me the confidence to go ahead with the purchase but well, some people are luckier than others 🙁

  17. Profile photo of aAlok Khemka

    So i am not the only one it seems http://www.in.com/news/scitech/girl-orders-ipod-flipkart-delivers-stones-instead-50194601-in-1.html

    I dont want this to look like i am against Flipkart or e-commerce to be honest. My questions are still the same:

    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?

  18. Profile photo of Prashant Tripathi

    COD in UP : What would one do if customer changes its mind by the time it is delivered.It might be one of the problems.I faced it few times..No one can help it.

    Rotation of products on any portal is a general process.. it might be because of financial equations or even service quality.. anything …

  19. Profile photo of Aneja Raj

    Along with the refund they should give you a free gift card too for having to put u with the crap. You should save the pics, all emails from them and approach the consumer court. Seriously!

  20. Profile photo of Ankur Sharma

    Agree! I had ordered a phone worth Rs. 25,000 and the package’s seal was broken when I recd. it. And the supplier himself delivered a replacement along with a free gift (Bluetooth headset) for all the hassle I had to go through.

    Of course, I’ve had my bad experiences as well including one with Yebhi.

  21. Profile photo of Ankur Sharma

    To answer your second question, I got to know this from a leading last mile delivery company’s head that TV’s are the most notorious category while it comes to logistics. “They keep breaking all the time” were his words! Maybe this is one the reasons.

  22. Profile photo of Alok Rodinhood Kejriwal

    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….

  23. Profile photo of Sanchita Dutta

    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  

  24. Profile photo of aAlok Khemka

    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!!!

  25. Profile photo of Sarthak Jain

    Wait. What ?. Seriously ?. So They have refunded your money yet or not ?. Just tell them if at all they should refund the money or else you should get to buy the product at the same price.

  26. Profile photo of Subhasish Ghosh

    LMAO. Must say, this is the “stupidest” comment I have read in my life thus far. 🙂

  27. Profile photo of aAlok Khemka

    Hi Sarthak,

    They send me a mail last week on the 10th that they are processing a refund. I havent received anything in my account till now. Got a call from another team on 13th that they are trying to get the product and then i received this mail on 14th … Crazzyy company!

  28. Profile photo of Sarthak Jain

    This is absolutely retarded. This mail makes no sense whatsoever !!. I can understand them mailing you that they are resending you the product(instead of the Refund) and that’s fine(because you bought the product in the first place) but I CAN’T believe they asked you to buy it again from the website at a higher price. They are trying rip you off man !!! Crazy !! Unbelievable Stuff !!

  29. Profile photo of aAlok Khemka

    Hi Vipul,

    I have figured out that the social media teams on most of these businesses are perhaps most active and they respond but promises are not delivered. When i tweeted and spread the word on social media, the first people to call from Flipkart were from the social media team. But there is a complete disconnect or rather tight compartmentalization. Imagine cs team telling me that they will send a refund and the social media team telling me they will send the product as they felt that refund will not solve the matter…

  30. Profile photo of Vipul Agarwal

    True Aalok. I usually try and bring up poor service or bad organizations on Twitter and FB. Usually nowadays I get someone to connect with me. Sometimes they help, other times they are not able to. For example, Snapdeal’s team on SM and their actual delivery teams are at a disconnect. Similarly for Tata Docomo. Those poor guys on SM cannot do much.

    On my saga, Snapdeal first sent me a message that they have “already shipped” a replacement book. Then 3 days later they called and said that they are processing refund. 🙂

    On the other hand, I ordered the same book on Amazon.in on Sat and Sunday they called and said they are delivering. Obviously I will now go to Amazon first and discard Snapdeal which took 8 days to deliver the same book.

  31. Profile photo of Sarthak Jain

    This is the basic problem. If there is better communication from the Companies to the Customer about a issue a lot of problems with solve themselves. But that doesn’t happen. Even a study I read about somewhere says the same. A Robust and Effective Customer Service / Support Team is a major and integral part of any organisation.

    http://www.iamwire.com/2013/06/customer-expectations-from-support-team-a-report-2/

  32. Profile photo of Hemant Padalkar

    I had ordered 3 Q&Q watched when flipkart had 55%off offer, I waited for a week to get my order delivered but that did not happen so I contacted them through their Facebook page, the social media team told me that they were arranging for a replacement, and after an hour when I called their CS they told that they are refunding my money as they weren’t able to get POD from courier company, again I got a call in evening from social media team that they will be sending 2 of the products next day, hour after this I got a mail that refund has been initialized against my order as all product were OOS, I was really surprised as both the CS and social media team were so disconnected.

  33. Profile photo of aAlok Khemka

    ******************************************************************************************

    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.

    ******************

  34. Profile photo of Parixit

    I think there are 2 major issues with service providers. They outsource the Logistics  and customer service.

    Outsourcing logistics seems a practical idea as is lessens the headache but again, having your own logistics also doesn’t guarantee that things will be IN ORDER. Strangely, most of the times the delivery boy told me to check the packet and then take it. Coming to customer service as many have spoken of it, worst is Vodafone Maharashtra circle. Whenever you call them, they tell you to speak in Marathi or Hindi. If you continue speaking to them in English, they disconnect, put ou on hold or lastly communicate in their version of English(horrible) Twitter helps that time 😀 

    If companies try and pack the goods with utmost SECURITY, it will add up to the final cost of the product. Developing a reliable Customer Management service and logistics service is one sector which entrepreneurs should focus towards.

  35. Profile photo of Akshay Pathak

    Bullcrap Same happened with me 
     
    so that fact is that i use flipkart quite frequently , my mom needed a phone so the best deal that came out was from Flipkart i ordered it got it delivered in 48hrs i was impressed then suddenly a nut cracker WTF i just wanted a simple phone not a broken phone  

  36. Profile photo of asha chaudhry

    so are they replacing it akshay?

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