How could Flipkart respond to the open letter to its founder by a dissatisfied customer!

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[Arun’s Note: One of our readers – Mr. Mukesh Gupta – has framed a wonderful post in response to an open letter written to Sachin Bansal, CEO/Founder, Flipkart.com, that we featured few days back. I think Sachin Bansal should definitely take a note of this… I am producing the post verbatim as it has appeared on his blog.]


Today, I came across an open letter written to Sachin Bansal, CEO/Founder, Flipkart.com. In this letter, the writer (Sushrut Bidwai) talks about his experience of trying to get his laptop replaced by Flipkart. He also talks about the attitude of the service staff and how they left him feeling frustrated (repeatedly).

This open letter has also induced responses from other customers of flipkart to come in the open and admit that they also had similar experiences when it came to refunds or replacements.

Now, flipkart has the following options:

  1. Pretend that nothing happened and continue business as usual.
  2. Take notice of the service failure, take corrective actions to ensure that this is fixed at the earliest. Then continue business-as-usual.
  3. Put corrective measures in place, reach out to Sushrut and sort out his matter. Also, reach out to the others who have indicated that they went through a similar experience and sort their matter as well.

These steps can address the issue at hand. However, can Flipkart manage to use this incidence, turn it on its head into a great PR activity for itself? I think it can. The question is how? If I were in Sachin’s place, I would write an open response to this letter as below:

Dear Sushrut

First things first. I am really sorry for the harassment caused to you in your transaction with flipkart. I also know that no matter what I say or do, your 40 days of productive time will never be recovered. As a fellow entrepreneur, I understand what a difference such a time frame can have on a business.

However, I also wanted to thank you for taking the time and writing such a long and detailed letter to me. I want to let you know that I personally take responsibility for the actions of my employees and apologize to you for the bad treatment that you have received from Flipkart.

Just so that you know, your open letter has had the following effects on flipkart:

  1. We have identified the reasons for this service breakdown and have put in place processes and policies to ensure that such an incident never happens again with any other customer. Thanks to you, the service levels at Flipkart will go up a couple of notches which will be appreciated by our future customers.

I would like to invite you to my office so that I can explain how we have ensured that such an experience never happens with any other customer.

Also, I would request you to address our employees on your distress during this period. I hope that this will make our employees more aware, conscious and inspire them to provide better service to our customers.

As a token of gratitude & appreciation (for having taken the time, put in the effort to bring this to our notice and helping all our future customers), I would like to offer to you one book, free of cost, delivered to your home every month, for the next 5 years. You can pick the books and we will deliver it. I know that this can not in anyway bring back the time you lost due to the issue, but hope that you will benefit from the knowledge you gain from the books.

I would also like to take this opportunity and request all our customers to continually engage with us and continue to provide us your valuable feedback. We would like you to believe that delighting you at every interaction is our only objective. Anything short of that is not expected. So, if you think, we are slipping, please provide a helping hand and let me know. I will be ever grateful to you for this help. You can reach me at (his email ID).

Looking forward to meeting Sushrut and delighting all our other customers.

Your’s

Sachin Bansal

Note: This is my way to respond to such a situation. Let’s see what action Sachin takes (or ignores).


Would love to hear what readers think about this…

  1. Vijay Pratap Singh says

    Flipkart gave 5% discount offer through credit card then i bought a laptop.
    11 Nov 2016
    But 5% cash back not came in my credit card.
    Kindly check & shortout my query..

  2. Mang Buhril says

    I have been shopping in flipkart over the years. Of late, we can’t help but notice the pathetic service provided by ekartlogistics. Buy from any other site like amazon and you get your delivery within or before the specified mentioned dates of delivery, but here the order number FMPP4070566668 status doesn’t get updated for 5 days and i have written a complaint through the website and then call up the customer care after a few hours, they can’t give any info other than what i had already seen on the tracking status, and even informed me that mail reply had already been sent to me by the customer care department, i told him to hold the line and check my mail, other than the auto-response mail, there was no communications from flipkart, i’m not sure who’s the bigger fool here . Am really disappointed with the service provided, amazingly pathetic.

  3. Charu says

    I agree, flipkart’s customer care services are non-existent and the moment it comes to a dispute their true faces are reveled infact there is no face. these are a bunch of frauds and they prefer to keep your money with them for indefinite periods without delivering you any product. most probably the money of thousands of the customers which is lying with them unduly might be being used for some illicit or hawala purposes or thats how they are paying salaries to their employees – through earning interests from the money that they dont refund you in time. i am taking them to consumer court and if needed to judiciary as well. they need a lesson badly.

  4. Mayank Verma says

    Dear Sachin Bansal,
    I am writing this mail to inform your that i purchase Lenovo A6000 from flipkart and the product got delivered to me on 1 april 2015.But to my great surprise the phone get hangs after every 30 minutes and everytime i have to remove the battery and reinsert the battery then its work fine also the phone is not getting connected to the Wifi in my offifce premises and apart from the this are many problem coming in this handset.When i called to the flipkart customer care they told you will get the call from our technical person.I agree that i received the call on very next day from karnataka flipkart executive he asked me what is the issue i am facing but he disconnected the call without giving any resolution .
    after that i received the message that i will receive the call on the next day.i received the call but the call got disconnected before i picked the call.I am very frustrated with in flipkart Ass hole poor service neither they are providing any resoultion not they are replacing my phone .

    My order no on flipkart is Order Details
    Order ID: OD202430723542762700 (1 Item)
    Seller: WS Retail Review Seller
    Order Date: 27 March, 2015 3:55 PM
    Amount Paid: Rs. 6999 through Cash on delivery
    Returned Requested

    Mayank Verma 8750770065
    Shopclues.com Plot No-112 Sector-44,Gurgaon , Opposite to policy bazaar
    Gurgaon, Haryana – 122003

    So if this flipkart are not going to exchange this product i will go to the consumer court with all the call recording that i had with the Flipkart cutomer care .

  5. Sameer Sharma says

    Let us all be very sensible about all this. Snapdeal has a full page showing names, photos and emails of the whole management. whereas myntra or flipkart do not. Flipkart is even ashamed to mention their founders’ names. it just says “2 people”. myntra doesnt even say that. there is no section where you can find mention of the management team. this is because when these people run businesses,they know they will be doing some malicious business with one customer or the other. that is why they hide their identities. i hope Amazon (whose employee mr binny bansal was at one time and stole their idea) destroys flipkart and myntra some day.

  6. Amit Sharma says

    I am a regular customer of Flipkart and the service i have got is good but recently I have faced a bad experience that I placed an order on Flipkart for a mobile and I was eagerly waiting for the same but i am srprised to know that my order against the order id# OD301013256008222100 has been cancelled because the courier company was unable to deliver the same at my location wheras i have received many parcels by the same courier at the same address….. I wanted to gift the same on Dewali to someone but all my effort to receive the product was in vain and finally the order has been cancelled… Thank u so much flipkart for doing this i will never come back to you now… And i appriciate the you customer care team as well who argue with the customer and shout on them when they ask the reason abt the cancellation… Thanks mis. Amrit Kaur for your customer support…

  7. sathish says

    Dear Sir/Madam,
    I ordered MOTO-E on The Big Billion Day and i got the conformation mail in the Evening.
    here i have attached the conformation mail with this and my order id is OD100944848375621800.
    At any cost i want my product MOTO-E. i talked with the customer care, he suggested me to mail to you.
    I don’t want any offer or cash-back amount. From the morning, i surfed flip-kart and placed the order. at the end of the day i got nothing.
    i wasted my whole day for this. i have a screenshot for the placed order.
    please conform my order and give me my product. i eagerly waiting for the your product .

  8. Harish Nautiyal says

    Dear Sachin,
    I bought a dell laptop through flipkart.com, Order ID is OD11223120620, Invoice Date is 24-Dec-2011 and it has 1 year warranty. Now I am having problem with the display of the laptop and if I make call in Dell customer care then they tell me that my laptop’s (Service Tag No. 13157219737, 61LGVQ1) warranty has been expired. But as I mentioned that invoice date is 24-Dec-2012, so my warranty should ends on 23-Dec-2012.
    Now neither flipkart is giving me any solution or dell I have contacted both.
    Now I am going to file case in consumer court against flipkart who sold me 2 month old laptop.

  9. anuj says

    Can some1share d email addres of sachin bansal..facing d same problem.

    1. Sameer Sharma says

      Snapdeal has a full page showing names, photos and emails of the whole management. whereas myntra or flipkart do not. Flipkart is even ashamed to mention their founders’ names. it just says “2 people”. myntra doesnt even say that. there is no section where you can find mention of the management team. this is because when these people run businesses,they know they will be doing some malicious business with one customer or the other. that is why they hide their identities.

  10. VIJAY KUMAR VORUGANTI says

    Dear Sachin
    I wanted to upgrade the RAM of my Dell Inspiron 6400 laptop.
    I had gone through Flipkart website and found Transcend 2 GB RAM (JM800QLU-2G) and immediately placed an order for purchase of the same vide OD20829190293 convinced that this will meet my need. The consignment with tracking number BC01730653 was delivered to at 11.50 a.m. on 31.12.2012. On unpacking flipkart upper packing and from a peep into the transparent Transcend packing, I realized that the RAM would not fit in my laptop and was meant for PC.
    Frankly speaking, that moment, I was not even aware that the RAM meant for laptop is different from the one used in a PC.
    Immediately, without even touching the Transcend original pack, within 10 mts. of taking delivery, I had contacted the Flipkart stating the inadvertent mistake and requested for replacement with a RAM compatible with my laptop. They refused to my request stating that they have no Policy of replacement/exchange. My repeated requests did not move them. The original packing of Transcend was not even touched by me.
    I am not a technical man. I genuinely require a laptop RAM, but the RAM received would not fit into my laptap.
    I had just asked for the right RAM for use in my laptap. I am not asking for any refund.
    BUT FLIPKART REFUSES TO BUDGE AN INCH.
    The policies made by Flipkart are meant for smooth functioning of the entire system.
    I do not think that a policy should not come in the way of solving a genuine hardship caused to a customer and protect the interest of a genuine customer.

    Flipkart can always rise to the occasion and make an exception in the case of a genuine hardship to a customer and one would appreciate such a policy.
    It will go a long way in creating a lot of Goodwill for Flipkart.
    It is not as if one has to go to a Constitutional amendment requiring assent of President of India.
    Hopes Flipkart would move now. Flipkart can raise a bill for any additional cost, if involved.
    Best Wishes
    V. Vijay Kumar, IRS (Retd.)

    1. VIJAY KUMAR VORUGANTI says

      Dear Sir I am still waiting for response to my earlier mail vide order No. OD20829190293.
      I doubt whether Mr. Sachin is really aware of these problems being faced by genuine customers. The speed shown in accepting the order and delivering and taking the payment, is never shown in resolving the problems of customers. The ground staff know only two words “Sorry” and “apology”. No Co. should have these two words as its foundation, much less Flipkart. It has to be more sensitive not taking shelter of so called “Policy:
      Hope Mr. Sachin would realise this as soon as possible.
      For a co. like Flipkart, which aims to be an Amazon of India, these two words should not be part of their activities.
      Hope Mr. Sachin will act soon.

  11. VIJAY KUMAR VORUGANTI says

    I wanted to upgrade the RAM of my Dell Inspiron 6400 laptop.
    I had gone through Flipkart website and found Transcend 2 GB RAM (JM800QLU-2G) and immediately placed an order for purchase of the same vide OD20829190293 convinced that this will meet my need. The consignment with tracking number BC01730653 was delivered to at 11.50 a.m. on 31.12.2012. On unpacking flipkart upper packing and from a peep into the transparent Transcend packing, I realized that the RAM would not fit in my laptop and was meant for PC.
    Frankly speaking, that moment, I was not even aware that the RAM meant for laptop is different from the one used in a PC.
    Immediately, without even touching the Transcend original pack, within 10 mts. of taking delivery, I had contacted the Flipkart stating the inadvertent mistake and requested for replacement with a RAM compatible with my laptop. They refused to my request stating that they have no Policy of replacement/exchange. My repeated requests did not move them. The original packing of Transcend was not even touched by me.
    I am not a technical man. I genuinely require a laptop RAM, but the RAM received would not fit into my laptap.
    I had just asked for the right RAM for use in my laptap. I am not asking for any refund.
    BUT FLIPKART REFUSES TO BUDGE AN INCH.
    The policies made by Flipkart are meant for smooth functioning of the entire system.
    I do not think that a policy should not come in the way of solving a genuine hardship caused to a customer and protect the interest of a genuine customer.

    Flipkart can always rise to the occasion and make an exception in the case of a genuine hardship to a customer and one would appreciate such a policy.
    It will go a long way in creating a lot of Goodwill for Flipkart.
    It is not as if one has to go to a Constitutional amendment requiring assent of President of India.
    Hopes Flipkart would move now. Flipkart can raise a bill for any additional cost, if involved.
    V Vijay Kumar IRS (Retd.)
    9440384640

  12. Ahmed Syed says

    I placed an order for Sumsung S3 Flip cover via CoD, but the person who delived the product there is insifficent funds to swipe the card so I gave the money then I checked the amount was debited from my account. called flipkart no reponse as if now hope so I will get my money back soon………

  13. Sumir Sharma says

    I agree with you all guys.Flipkart is a company that is expected to get drowned in coming months because of the poor attitude shown by the Company's staff.I have joined the Flipkart's Affiliate Program few months back, to be exactly in June 2011.Till then I have sold the Company's product worth over 6 lakhs and Do you all know how much commission I have recieved from the Company? Not even a single penny.

    This is what flipkart does to its Affiliates.I don't Know about Customer.

    Shame on you Sachin Bansal.

    I request the admin of this site to write an articles about the Flipkart's Affiliate Program is Scam and I will show you the proof as to Why it is a scam.

    Thanks and Regards.
    Sumir Sharma

  14. Dhananjay Singh says

    Hi Sachin,

    I am currently facing the same problem as Sushrut. w.r.t. my laptop replacement. On 26th April 2012, I place an order for Samsung NP300V3A-A03IN Laptop with Flipkart and paid via my credit card. On 30th April, 2012, I was supplied a laptop that looked nothing like the one being shown on Flipkart's website. This tantamounts to fraud. Funnily, the pictures are still the same after 4 days.

    Since the last four days, I have been trying to solve this mess. I have also written many emails, for which I get an automated reply but no action. I have upgraded to a Toshiba Portege R830-X3310 Laptop and asked your team to provide me an email confirming the differential amount to be paid, which is still pending. Today (3rd May, 2012) I have made over 10 calls and completed my last call at 10.25 PM with an assurance that tomorrow, I will be provided the final additional amount to be paid.

    Sachin, some feedback on my experience so far.

    1. Quality levels for customer / technical service people at supervisory levels is pathetic. They don't have a clue about how to solve issues. I have spoken with over 15 people across your customer service and technical services teams. Each passing the buck to a new chap. Still no solution.

    2. You payment and related processes are not flexible and dynamic to deal with sudden mistakes / errors like my case. There is no supervisory guidance / process note to deal with this. Customers are left at the mercy of foolish and arrogant junior staff, who might not have the bandwidth to deal with such situations. Shouldn’t this be sorted in an e-commerce business platform!

    3. There is no accountability / escalation detail provided to the customer and he/she is left to the mercy of your mediocre team. I have been trying to solve my own problem and hence calling your customer service many times daily for the last 4 days.

    I can go on and on. Please provide me your email id, so I can forward my emails. I am planning to proceed forward legally, as in my case Flipkart has shown a particular product and sent another one. This is fraudulent. I am tired of trying to solve it since 4 days now. Remember, you are sitting with my money and I don’t have a laptop to work with.

    Look forward to your POA and not words to sort this out.

    Best Regards,
    Dhananjay Singh

  15. Ankur Kumar Mehrotra says

    I was going to wirte something like this If I should get it was done by Mr. Bansal

    This is absolutely great whatever Mr. Bansal did for Mr. Arun (if m not wrong about Customer's Name), Compensation value doesn't sense much instead of feeling behind the same to provide it to the one who was faced losses.

    But here I would like to say one thing only to Mr. Bansal that He must put some efforts to create a Three Tier Grievance Redressal System or Anything like this, cause m/s W S Retail Services Private Limited doesn't have any other way except CS@flipkart.com or one customer care number/ helpline.

    I am glad to see, as previously I was going to spend some of my moments to put some notes on Customer's article but somehow I reached on this page where Mr. Bansal Reverted back to Customer & that nice to read all that.

    Mr. Bansal just think for what I mentioned above as one customer care never could be enough to satisfied so huge chain of consumers like you do have through your company and when your company grows like this than don't you feel customer satisfaction levels also shall get increased simultaneously?

    Well I do also have problems with Flipkart but this is not the time to share the same here as I believe in actions made by yours own personally first than administratively second than third higher authorities of government or departments under which same falls than fourth is Consumer Commissions and at second last level LAW than Publicly, cause every individual/ organization/ company could face manpower loss/ transportation loss/ technical loss/ other losses and they do also have right to realize what they did to make it resolved with best of their efforts if could reach with the same level of satisfaction of consumer also.

    With All my Best Wishes for a CEO.
    May You Be On the Destination of The Hearts of Your Clients.
    This sentence is whole in its own as have depth of all.

    But this was not from Him so I would love to leave comment here that Anyone who had faced this kind of inconveniences could approach several Departments/ Organization/ Honorable Ministries/ Law Faculties and other relevant ways to get the justified resolutions And VERY SOON WE ARE GOING TO INTRODUCE ONE STOP FOR ALL THESE KIND OF PROBLEMS TO GET ONLINE HELP FROM OUR SUPPORT CHANNEL THROUGH NGO/ PUBLIC PROFIT ORGANIZATION.
    I hope soon it should get start.

    With Thanks & Regards to all,
    KAM

  16. Pankaj Preethi says

    I just love MyDeals247.com.

  17. Sameer Parwani says

    You should change the title of this post. There's a big difference in meaning between "How could Flipkart.." (the current title) and what it should be "How Flipkart could…"

  18. Pradeep says

    I would investigate the situation, reach out to the customer and explain the issue and try to resolve the matter with him. Also improve the process so overall customer support level get improved.

  19. Altaf Rahman says

    Except Arun who catagorically said “He is reproducing from another Blog”, all comments are either ‘for’ or ‘against’ the company.
    We should be discussing how to redress the situation.
    As Mukhesh Gupta has written what he would do if he were in the shoes of Sachin, here is what I would do.
    As the issue of bad service is in media, I would make a impartial investigation and to see if Flipkart is really wrong. If so, either refund the money or what ever compensation. Once the issue is settled, then go explain the situation to media that the case is taken care of. I would not let media know what redressal I have taken.
    If I write a open letter to the customer, offering him books for 5 years or family vacation in Europe or a Merc and say sorry, from tomorrow I have to stop my business and start entertaining the so called distressed customers.
    I let media cover the redressal in low key manner and let the issue die natural death.

    Just my two paisa :)

    1. Arun Prabhudesai says

      Aha…. Thanks Altaf for a very balanced perspective and probably the best possible solution to the situation.

  20. Siddharth says

    WTF! Have you ever called any customer service to praise them of their effort. PEople remember customer service when they are unhappy. It happens all the time. Even the best companies have a few dissatisfied customers.

    Being a entrepreneur yourself you should know what Flipkart is doing is simply awesome. They are already doing a fabulous job and as an entrepreneur you should be happy about it.

    All you do is reporting. ( btw who knows about Trak.in). Flipkart is the best startup to come out of India(till date). How can you spread such negativity is something i fail to understand.

    1. Arun Prabhudesai says

      Dear Siddharth,

      Thanks for your frank opinion, and we at trak.in are not as popular as many other news portals in India, however, we have our little community who religiously follow us…

      Coming to Flipkart, we have written so much good about them that some have even asked whether they pay us to write…See these articles

      http://trak.in/tags/business/2011/07/05/flipkart-indian-ecommerce-growth/
      http://trak.in/tags/business/2011/07/29/indias-billion-dollar-internet-company-flipkart/

      and there are many more articles on flipkart, where we have only good things to say about them… When they do good we write about it, and when there is something negative…we do the same…

  21. Gagan says

    To Kunal, who is saying Sachin Bansal and his team need to grow up….who are you?

  22. Kunalkant Sen says

    Arun, Free books for 5 year. R u kidding. Sachin and his team needs to grow up. They are thinking of themselves a big giant and deliver the SME kind of service.

    1. Arun Prabhudesai says

      Dear Kunalkant,

      Its not me, but the write of the response has given an hypothetical situation… He means…he could do something substansive to make up… The point is…he probably will get PR worth more than what he spends on this activity..

    2. Nidhi Varshneya says

      I agree with you on the books point, that was too much to compensate neways I loved the way you hav drafted this letter, too sweet and polite! Loved the way you apologized. I think after reading this letter nobody would be left frustrated or would be
      angry with someone. two thumbs up for this great mail.

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