Is Flipkart Deliberately Delaying Deliveries To Promote “Flipkart First”?
Flipkart is a lighthouse ecommerce example when it comes to customer service. Before Flipkart came in, customer service in ecommerce was a joke in India. I would not be exaggerating if I said that they were the ones who showed the path to others on how to offer great customer service.
While there have been some exceptions to that, generally they have had an excellent track record of timely shipping and after sales support. I have personally placed umpteen number of orders over last 5 years, and more often than not they have surprised me on the positive side.
However, things seem to have changed over past few months, especially when it comes to timely shipping.
And, unfortunately, I strongly suspect that delay in shipping is quite deliberate.
I have placed couple of orders over past month or so, and the shipping has been surprisingly slow for me. One of them was for Table Tennis balls which I have been ordering once every couple of months for past 3 years, and Flipkart has never delivered it so late as it did the last time.
And, it is just not me, many people on Twitter and Facebook have been increasingly complaining about the same.
And in our view, the reason seems to be Flipkart wants to push their paid premium service Flipkart First!
Before Flipkart announced their expedited (paid) shipping services like next day deliveries or even same day deliveries, generally the Flipkart orders used to land at buyers place in less than 48 hours. Infact, more than half of my orders with regular free shipping option came in next day and in about 95 percent cases it took maximum of 2 days!
Their fast shipping was one of the reasons, Flipkart customers loved them!
But seems like that will be history soon…
Flipkart orders are now taking over 3-4 days (or even more) to reach customers. This way, they are creating a need for expedited deliveries. They have launched “Flipkart First” service that offers expedited in-a-day delivery free of cost along with priority customer service.
Before it was launched, although it was not guaranteed, most customers would as-is get these services free of cost. Now unless Flipkart delays regular shipping for non Flipkart First customers, they will not be able to create market for it!
On the other side, if I have to play devil’s advocate, one of the reasons it may be happening is because Flipkart First customers are getting priority on their orders, so regular customers are getting pushed back and hence the delay.
However, this does not explain why the delays have happened before “Flipkart First” service was launched?
I leave it upto our readers to come to a conclusion, but in my personal view, regular customers are going to suffer because of Flipkart First, and the suffering, in some cases, may be quite deliberate from Flipkart.
Do let us know your views on this!