Online (no) deals : Trouble in the Indian Online Shopping Scene?
Online Shopping is all the rage these days as every business, irrespective of its size and clientele, is going on the World Wide Web for greater visibility, tapping the virtual market and exploiting the benefits that e-commerce has to offer. The initial reluctant reaction from the public to virtual buying is now a distant memory as online shopping has become the chosen mode of retail therapy for most people owing to its comfort and expedited delivery services. The situation in the Indian online shopping scene is the same as a large number of online vendors have cropped up, providing reliable services and a wide catalogue of products to sate even the most discerning customer’s desires.
The biggest glitch that lay in transferring payments online has been successfully addressed to a very great extent with the development of safe portals for payments. Taking all these past events into consideration and factoring the pros and cons into the final decision, the result would outwardly look like a positively growing trend in the shopping culture of today’s generation to shift towards the online model. However, all is not well as it appears to be.
On November 13th, Gadgetronica placed an order for a Samsung Galaxy Note II on the leading Indian online shopping portal Sulekha.com. The promised date of delivery of the product was on or before the 19th of November. When this deadline seemed to be slipping by, a phone call to the vendor extended the date to a good two weeks. Two weeks for the delivery of a product? That is when we started smelling trouble. And as of today, neither the product has arrived nor the payment refunded.
This set us off on a search to find out whether this was a one-off instance. We didn’t have to look very far as a trustworthy source informed us of their experience which was quite disturbing. After placing an order and going through this drill of extending delivery deadlines, the product never saw the light of the day.
A little more research brought several more such occcurrences to our attention, all pertaining to the same vendor. Though it is not very clear as to why this is going on, the entire business of withholding customers’ money for long periods of time only to return it back without delivering the product promised seems to be outrageous.
If this trend continues, it will undermine the public’s confidence in online shopping and affect the entire industry as a whole. Whether this is just one bad apple in a basket of good ones or not, it is for their future performance to determine.
Keep watching this space for updates (hopefully there will be some!) about the status of the order.
No sign of the refund still.
[Update] 7 Dec 2012
They will refund the amount in 12 to 15 days. That’s more than a month from the order date.
Nikhila is a gadget lover and passionate writer. She likes to keep up with social media and Internet culture in particular while staying updated about all latest gizmos. Nikhila is a mechanical engineer-turning-into-technical-writer. Bibliophile, Grammar Nazi, dog lover, foodie, casual artist.
24 November, 2012