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Letter to Sachin Bansal : CEO/Founder, Flipkart.com

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.

image12 | Letter to Sachin Bansal : CEO/Founder, Flipkart.com

This letter was written by Sushrut Bidwai, a Nashik/Pune based Internet Entrepreneur – He details his travails with Flipkart customer service.


Hi Sachin,

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!

Customer Service Flipkart Flipkart retail Open Letter Sachin Bansal
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About Arun Prabhudesai

Arun Prabhudesai is founder / chief editor at trak.in. He jumped the Entrepreneurship bandwagon in early 2008 after a long 13 year stint in I.T Industry. You can follow him on twitter @trakin and Facebook. Arun’s Google+ Profile

108 comments

  1. Go to consumer court immediately. I am sure you will get benefit.

  2. Kannan Kerala

    MyDeals247 MyDeals247… I loved its new eCommerce concept.

  3. Hello Mr. Bansal, Hope sitting at a very high position u r not even bothered to read all these comments. Why the hell are flipkart people playing around with Common man’s money??When it comes to refund, u guys never bother to process and ur people at Customer care speak of RBI guidelines……!!!!!What the hell do you think you are doing…First, train your customer care people about how to handle things as well as how to speak to customers…..because I have got to hear 4 different versions of dialogues from your customer care people in a single day….How many days does it take for you to refund amount after the consignment has been reverse picked up??as per your guidelines 20..!!! Since April 18th I hope Flipkart people were sleeping hearing to lullabies from Sachin aswell as His bro…. To hell with you people..I have got all the recordings of all the four versions of my conversation with your HIGH END Customer care people. Face me in the court and I mean it….because till date my cheque has not reached me….

  4. I was a big fan and regular customer of Flipkart.com. Recently I bought a phone from Flipkart. The sealed package arrived after two days. I opened the package, there was NO PHONE inside. Just visualize the situation – a sealed box, all the phone accessories are inside, except the phone.I have reported the issue immediately. Now whenever I call I get reply from Flipkart that they are investigating the issue. Now what happens to my phone, nobody from Flipkart has any idea. I am really frustrated with Flipkart post sales service and delivery commitment. #Flipkart #BadService

  5. Hi I was informed by your courier partner BlueDart that my order through Flipkar.com cannot be processed unless the form16 is submitted. And they advised me to contact your customer support. Since then (9/05/2012), I have been keeping in touch with your customer support executives. And I was assured by your customer support executives that I will be able to collect my ordered product within 2 to 3 business days. So I waited till Saturday (12/05/2012). But I got a mail mentioning that there will be another delay of 2 to 3 days in delivery. And today (15/05/2012), I contacted the BlueDart and unfortunately they were telling that the issue of Form 16 was not resolved by Flipkart. I again contacted your customer support executive and I didn’t get any clear picture about the delivery. They were simply bluffing that the issue of Form16 has been resolved from their side and I will be able to collect my ordered product within the next 2 to 3 business days. Later I got a call from customer support telling that I will be able to receive the goods withing 2 to 3 business days. Then I mentioned the problem of Form16. And now I got a mail to submit the form16 inorder to get my product delivered. I have gone through the document that which you had sent. It is a taxation rule for Kerala State amended in the year 2005. But I remember your customer support executives saying that this Form16 rule was newly introduced by Kerala State Govt and the Govt keep on changing these rules and that is why they were unaware about these issues. There is already a delay of six days. And you are asking me to fill up the form16 only after 12 days the order was given? This really indicates your bad responsibility. You have never mentioned in your web site about the submission of Form16 in any occasions. Customer purchases goods online, since they don’t want to go to shops. But now you are telling me to submit the Form 16 to your outlet somewhere in Trivandrum. It is my responsibility to clear the Form 16 issue. Your have been in this field for some period and don’t you even know the basic rule to deliver a product? Or else you should have mentioned this issuing of Form16 to your outlet. Your are keeping on changing your assurances. This comes under betrayal. It is my responsibility to submit form16 at your outlet and I don’t have time to submit that. I don’t have any idea about some of the fields mentioned in the form that which you have sent me. You have to clear it from your side.

  6. Maj. Gen SD Sood

    Dear Mr. Bansal, I am an author and a publisher. Had supplied nine books for sale and return to your organisation in July last year. My contact man was Varun Aggarwal who was very nice and signed a SOR Contract that assured me of quarterly reports followed by monthly reports. Nothing happened till two/three reminders. Finally in December i was informed that three copies of “Leadership FM Sam Manekshaw had been sold. I was in regular touch to get my money that was promised in a day or so. That day is yet to arrive and I have now decided to give up as a foul debt. This is for your information. My co. is SDS Publishers, 1709, sector-29, NOIDA.

  7. My experience with filpkart was more or less satisfactory, but the latest experience is quite bad. Their customer Service is in shambles and they openly say that they can’t help you. My consignment was due on 13th, but it was not delivered till this day and representative are not ready to give a definite date of delivery. As I have to go out of the town, I had to cancel the order.

  8. If you make your “reputation”, and “business stuff”, and “promises” dependent on a laptop delivery and replacement, you are not a true entreprenuer. You are just a crybaby!!

  9. I am facing a similar issue with Flipkart. I bought Samsung Galaxy R from Flipkart, as it is a faulty product I requested them to exchange it but they are so reluctant to do so. Every time I speak to CS they tell different things. Finally, they accepted that it is a faulty one and agreed to replace the product but since last three days whenever I ask them whether did they arrange for a reverse pickup they say we will raise it today and it will take another 72 hours.. What the hell.. 72 hours is constant.. Pathetic…

  10. Baby Deals Online

    Retailing in tough in India.

  11. Arey Ek to wo banda aapka laptop wapis lene aaya and aap ghar par nahi they. Aur is se jyada bechara kya karega? U are not the only customer right? Jo hua wo jane do abhi. let bygones be bygones. Nahi lena hei to mat lo flipcart se… I don't know why people don't step outside their house and go to the open market where they can really get a better deal and real people for any thing… specially Laptops. Its not USA where u get things cheaper online then in Store. Its India and reverse is true.

  12. I have bought books from flipkart.com and have always been happy & satisfied with their service. Never had a chance to replace or seek refund. However, as someone who wishes to see all entrepreneurs succeed, I wish that Sachin does respond to this letter. If I were in his shoes, what would I do? I have tried to jot down a letter that I would write to Sushrut. Hope Sachin does a much better job than my attempt.

    • Arun Prabhudesai

      Mukesh, I dont mind featuring that letter on trak.in, if it would be of interest to wider audience… Let me know if you think so..

      • I think it would be of interest. If you want to feature it there, pls feel free to do so. The letter is already up on my blog @ http://rmukeshgupta.wordpress.com/2012/01/26/how-can-flipkart-respond-to-the-open-letter-to-its-founder-by-a-dissatisfied-customer/. Do let me know if you post the letter.

        • An excellent, well drafted and carefully worded letter has been prepared by Mukesh. Hope Sachin takes this opportunity to enhance the image of FlipKart. The offer to send one book every month may turn out to be a bit expensive if Sushrut decides to pick costly books but even then the overall price for enhanced branding is quite negligible. The other option could be to organize a best customer feedback kind of award and organize periodic get together to give out the awards and get further branding in the process.

  13. sad to hear this, poor cust service. Thankfully have used flipkart only once so far to order a book for a cousin.

  14. bussy I used filpkart but only ordered books no I got from you to never go up on this side thanks 2 u for sharing this information with us.

  15. Thank god I haven't used flipkart till date… and now never will. I also found that Flipkart deals are not the best… even if they claim. They have good advertising though!

    • purchased with reasonable good deals for over 2 years now with nearly impeccable service(amazing turnaround, good packaging of fragile goods) but….off late customer service definitely sucks.

  16. Had a big problem on Refund with Flipkart.

  17. This is either the first sign of cracks in the processes or an aberration. If its the former, either the team is unable to handle the growth in volumes or the system of handling returns and refunds was never properly in place to start with. Is FlipKart listening or has the hubris set in?

  18. This kind of situation is not only happening online. Even in offline this is happening. Indian e-tailers and retailers should learn what is customer satisfaction. Its my opinion that everyone should not be allowed to do such kind of business. There should be some special studies to start such business. Only those who are completing the course properly should be allowed to start business. Just investments and promotions can not become innovations.

    • Dear Mr. Raza. I agree that Indian people should learn what is customer satisfaction. But tell you what, being a part of the Market, I know what I get from every thing I sell. Due to cut throat competitions, the margins are very very low. And to provide customer satisfaction in that amount, is almost impossible. Secondly in things like Laptops, electronic goods etc, in India, it is not the job of the retailer to provide after sales services. It is actually the job of the Company. So if you buy a Sony Laptop from a Retailer, the Retailer is not someone who you should ask for any kind of customer satisfaction. It is the job of Sony Service Center.

  19. Now-a-days i am facing problems in payment gateway. Out of 10 transactions 2 will be payment failure especially when they debit my account with http://www.flipkart.com instead of WS Retail. I think that’s why they came up with wallet.

  20. That’s sad to know. I had similar issue with myntra. They promise for a replacement of small size of shoe they sent. But they never replaced and their customer support is not co-operating at all. They even stopped replying my e-mail.

  21. I am surprised that you guys expect “professionalism” from any Indian company or it’s representatives. Why are your shocked and upset? I am of an extremely negative opinion about any Indian customer support. I don’t remember ANY communication of this kind end on a note that could make me happy. I may sound cynical here, but I am sure we WILL NEVER HAVE GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE, at least in our life times! It’s inherently in our genes to be unaccountable, irresponsible, “i don’t care” kind of attitude. We are suffering here only because of one reason: and that is “no enforcement”. When the law makers and law keepers are corrupt, how do you expect anything to change! Remember, we live in a country where self-confessed thugs like Ramalinga Raju is living a luxurious life on bail! People celebrated Kalmadi’s bail – and awarded a grand home-coming for the biggest crook of our times! Is there hope? Seriously??

    • 200% agree with you, Sameer….. we have 5000 years of currupted genes/dna… it will take another 1000 years to correct ourself…. I wonder who was the fool who said in 1998 that India would be super power by 2008.

  22. very sad……..

  23. This is not just with flipkart, every private companies do the same when come with refund or replacement… Just go to consumer court… this is the best choice… i did this before with a computer store here in my area… after i send them notice, they came to my home and replaced the DVD writer… who the hell are they to use the bad words while the mistake is with them… if i was in your situation, i will beat that guy the death and take him to police (BTW my brother is IPS)… my brother say me it is totally write to beat a wrong guys…

  24. its just not flipcart, similar sort of things keep happening with almost all indian e commerce sites i have witnessed the same with naaptol & indiaplaza as well.

  25. Very Shameful to you Mr. Bansal

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