In November last year, we had published a post on how product manufacturers like Netgear are refusing to offer warranty on products purchased from online ecommerce sites. It seems Netgear (and previously Nikon) are not the only ones who seem to be doing it.
Even Lenovo has come out openly and mentioned that their products purchased from online stores like Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon may not have warranty coverage. According to gadget site BGR, Lenovo’s director of consumer business has made following statement
“It has come to our notice that some of the online stores and marketplaces are selling Lenovo products at heavily discounted prices. Our observation is that these may not be Lenovo authorized resellers . Keeping our end customer’s interest in mind, we have accordingly issued an advisory on our website.”
Consumers buying products online need to keep this in mind before making their purchases from any online website. This is true especially in the case of high-priced items like Laptops, Digital SLRs, mobiles etc.
Last year Nikon had also posted a message on their website that Flipkart and Snapdeal are not their authorized partners/dealers and products purchased from these stores may not be eligible for warranty.
A Netgear channel partner recently got this email from the manufacturers’ channel manager stating exactly the same in case of Netgear products.
While Toshiba has not mentioned it explicitly on their website, according to this news, Toshiba has warned consumers against buying their products online saying that none of them are authorized to sell its products, including Televisions and Laptops, online. According to the news, Toshiba will be circulating this message to all the newspapers and have put up the disclaimer in websites and Televisions.
Why Are Product Manufacturers Doing It?
It’s simple – to save offline retailers…
In last 24 months or so, online shopping grown to such an extent that offline retailers are now severely affected by them. Their sales are down as consumers prefer to buy products online, thanks to excellent deals offered by the likes of Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon.
Obviously, hundreds are offline retailers and channel partners are revolting back stating that they cannot match the prices offered by these online retailers. In addition to this, these channel partners double up service agents. So, consumers are buying the products online, but approach these offline retailers/channel partners when it comes to warranty servicing. They hardly make any money on servicing of products that are in warranty period.
Another reason is also that Lenovo’s own online store have prices that are higher than Flipkart and Amazon. Here is an example:
Lenovo’s own Thedostore lists Lenovo P780 phone for Rs. 18,869, while the price of the same phone on Flipkart is over Rs. 1500 lesser. Obviously, a consumer prefers to buy the phone from Flipkart rather than from Lenovo store!
Offline retailers have also come together to form an association called “We Will Act” to protest against the price undercutting done by ecommerce sites in India.
In our view, more product manufacturers may come forward and officially warn consumers against buying online.
What is your take on this?