Latest Flipkart Shopping Misadventure-replacement and refund denied

Of late I have reduced my shopping at Flipkart, as their rates are almost always higher than that of their rival Amazon. But few weeks ago, in one bad moment I decided to purchase an item and this post shares a series of incidents that followed, totally wasting my precious time and peace of mind.
Glitters Pistol Shaped Jet-Flame Gun Mauser Cigarette lighter sold by Singhvi Industries

Accidentally I saw this Product on Flipkart. It was a cigarette lighter but what attracted me was its gun shape. I don't smoke but still decided to have it, purely because of the gun feeling it offered. I checked its price on Amazon as well. On Amazon it was cheaper but delivery charge was higher, making it a few rupees cheaper overall on Flipkart. Thus decided to order the same on Flipkart- my big mistake.

The "Glitters Pistol Shaped Jet Flame Gun" arrived as per the scheduled time but that's where the promptness ended. It was a shoddy packaging with no instruction leaflet or anything. When I opened the package and pulled trigger, no flame would come out. It only triggers a spark. It was supposed to release flame but the unit was defective or damaged in transit.

The very next day I initiated a replacement request. I was expecting a replacement to happen but no one called me on the planned day. When I checked online, I realized that replacement order has been cancelled. Surprised, I sought an explanation. I was told that there's been some error and a fresh replacement order has been raised. The second replacement order was also cancelled after few days.


The order management screen is in a complete mess, with multiple rows some showing item as returned, some showing order is placed, many showing it is cancelled.

The emails from Flipkart are another joke. It happily declares order is cancelled, doesn't explain why and what next and dares to ask how likely I am likely to recommend flipkart. There's no support email to reply to.
I feel the seller- Singvi Industries Delhi, seem to be pulling tricks to deny replacement and trick the system. I get an SMS at 7.36 PM that replacement is packed, at 8.57 PM I get another sms courier partner couldn't reach me. The truth is there's no way they can deliver it from Delhi to Chennai within 1 hour and there's no calls made to reach me or try delivery next day morning.
Flipkart Social Media team called me multiple times, but they seem to be empowered only to do some sweet talk which only wasted my time and didn't provide the required solution yet- which is processing the refund. They don't seem to be empowered to offer a refund or such sensible solution. While I appreciate their prompt response/call, it is not helping me a bit as they are unable to resolve the core issue- I need faulty product replaced or refunded.

Flipkart twitter team gives a series of generic replies, sometimes almost instantly (bot?) but can never give a specific response to my concern- like "we will process your refund" or "sorry you're on your own, we can't refund"
Flipkart customer care is now inaccessible except for complicated IVR menu which can't solve any unusual situation. No way you can speak to a human. You should be lucky to have the call me option enabled- most of the time it is disabled. I got this option first few times but then afterwords finding the call me option consistently disabled, even at mid night
This drama has been going on for more than a week now and I don't see any resolution in sight. 3 of my emails sent via website are not responded to. So far I have wasted several precious hours trying to resolve this with various teams at Flipkart, but no luck yet. I am not planning to spend more time on this follow up. Looks like I have to take a 1109 Rs loss and if that is so this will be my final order on Flipkart. I can use it as Gas Stove lighter, toy gun or probably try to get it fixed myself.

On investigating further- just now while writing this post, I found a possible reason on Amazon- On Amazon website it says unit will be shipped without gas due to shipping regulations. No such note/description is available on Flipkart website. May be this is the reason why no flame is coming out, but if that is so, flipkart/seller should declare it upfront and guide buyers where to get the refill.
Last year Roohi Bhatnagar had a major dispute with Flipkart as they bought expensive furniture only to get inferior quality product delivered
I've only shared my experience. Use your discretion. If they can't handle a Rs 1100 item replacement/refund issue, how can I trust them for 50-70k items like DSLR camera?

Unable to make any profit even after decades of operation, I think some of these companies are resorting to cut cost at wrong places.

Update:
Finally flipkart has collected the item and processed refund. But I still don't know why the replacement order was cancelled again n again or why it won't happen again. The time and effort I had to spend on this was not worth it.

4 comments:

  1. Why don't you call your credit card company and dispute the transaction? (assuming you have paid with your credit card)

    ReplyDelete
  2. That will be an even more complex process. If transaction had not gone through or if order was not delivered, asking bank to reverse transaction is right process- like it happened with Air Asia recently(refer earlier posts). In this case I felt following the replacement/return/refund process with Flipkart I thought was better.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hello Shrinidhi.

    I am very skeptical about the online purchase. I understand your frustration and being cheated by these company. I also had very bad experience from snapdeal. I stopped looking from snapdeal and also told all my friends about it. My findings, before we purchase see the customer care office exists physically. I had called several times for the replacement which snapdeal had sent, never got back. No wonder it is loss making. Because of the dishonest company. I also feel many people should know the reality of flipkart, snapdeal etc.

    regards bob

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks Bob. Unable to make any profit after decades of operation, I think some of these companies are cutting cost in wrong areas

    ReplyDelete

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