Arun’s Note: I have been a regular customer of Flipkart for over couple of years now and have had pleasant experiences with them in 9 out of 10 transactions I have conducted. I had one real bad experience (about a year back), when it came to refund. I did not write about it back then, as I thought it would be one-off case. However, over last few months, I have been increasingly hearing about more and more people experiencing issues with Flipkart service.
This letter was written by Sushrut Bidwai, a Nashik/Pune based Internet Entrepreneur – He details his travails with Flipkart customer service.
Thanks for sharing your email address. This is a long letter, just want to make sure I am communicating everything. Though there is gist at bottom, if you would rather skip.
I bought a laptop and few other things in mid Oct and they were delivered in third week of Oct 2011. After using laptop for few days, I realized that it crashes a lot. I investigated the problem at my end and found that the fan stops working some times and that causes overheating and crash.
I reported this problem and talked to customer support. I was supposed to leave to Bangalore for a business trip of 10 days and hence had asked them to accelerate the process. But only on 23rd Nov, when I was already in Bangalore, I was informed that laptop will be replaced. I was also told that laptop will not be replaced, as per the guarantee, but rather I will get store credit or refund.
I asked the support agent, Mr S that I can only return the defective laptop once I reach back on 2nd Dec. He told me call *him* once I reach. I called flipkart on 2nd Dec and was told S will get back. This same thing continued for next 3-4 days. But neither S, nor any one else from flipkart support got back.
Finally next monday ie 6 or 7th Dec, I was told that reverse pickup will be arranged in next 48 hours. Nothing happened till 13th Dec. Finally I decided to publicly ask for this and then I was told reverse pickup will happen in next couple of days. Again I had to leave on a business trip to Pune, actually for a week, but I cut it short. Not having a laptop was affecting all my business really hard now.
I decided that enough is enough and now I want to be compensated. If flipkart is giving “replacement guarantee”, it has to honor it. And I decided to not co-operate for reverse pickup. The reverse pickup person banged on my door when I wasnt home, for 45-60mins causing serious discomfort to all neighbours and extreme embarrassment to me and rest of my family. We had to answer lot of question, causing further mistrust. Plus our neighours told us that he was using profanities while leaving the building against me.
Even after that, I agreed to the terms offered by flipkart. Terms were, flipkart will ship replacement laptop *immediately*, costing Rs 800 more than my purchase price and I will co-operate in reverse pickup. I had given time for delivery guys to come and pickup the laptop.
Please note that Mr J, customer support staff, told me that replacement will be shipped immediately, that is first thing tomorrow.
Delivery people did not came on given time and hence I called Mr J. He told I have to wait till they come, cancelling in effect all my plans. And if I dont do that replacement will not be shipped. I asked him that replacement was suppose to be shipped immediately, how is that dependent on everything else? He told me no, replacement will be shipped as soon as delviery guys confirmed receipt of defective laptop.
After this I completely lost trust in flipkart. I have purchased more than Rs 150,000 worth of things from flipkart.
After a couple of days, after looking at my tweets, Mr J emailed me that “Flipkart is committed to refund/replace your laptop. And new laptop will be shipped when defective one reached Bangalore warehouse”
Please note that – Mr J first told me, laptop will be shipped next day. They it will be shipped as soon as reverse pickup guys send receipt. Then he said it will be once it reached Bagnalore warehouse.
After that – I finally bought the same laptop, which flipkart told me they cant procure from any sources. I had to not only spend more money but put it on an expensive EMI which will cost me 15K more, as I did not have that kind of cash left.
Then, flipkart told me they have shipped the laptop!! I told them I already bought it. So they went ahead and added some Rs 43,000 store credits to my flipkart account!!
There is no way I can trust an organization like that. I understand this can be one of case, but there is no way you can affect some one like that and still not ready to compensate appropriately.
In a gist –
1. Flipkart guaranteed 30 day replacement, which it did not honor.
2. It never processed for 2 weeks, till I started talking about it publicly.
3. Customer staff kept giving me incorrect information, on purpose
4. All in all it wasted more than 45 days of my computing time.
5. Its delivery guy harassed me, used profanities.
I am an entrepreneur, like you. You can understand how much precious computing time is when you are about to start a new venture. I wasted an entire month. I am completely snowed under now, late with all necessary business stuff. My reputation is down the drains, as I have not been able to keep up with promises. And that’s a huge huge opportunity loss. I was supposed to move to Pune from Nasik by 10th Dec, but had to delay solely because of this laptop issue. <was-not-in-orig>I had already signed lease agreement effective from 16th Dec, meaning I lost Rs 4500 directly because of Flipkart. </was-not-in-orig>
Tell me what I should do? Should I just take the refund and go away? Or isn’t it my duty as a consumer to make sure businesses are penalized when they do some thing like this and fight for that?
What do you think? Has Flipkart’s customer service really deteriorated over the years, or would you discount this as again one of the rare cases among thousands of other satisfied Flipkart consumers?
Let us know!"Letter to Sachin Bansal : CEO/Founder, Flipkart.com",