Beware of ordering any high value product from Snapdeal!

I had written about how Snapdeal is fleecing it’s customers by showing higher discounts and thought that was the only thing they indulge in. With their peppy “Unbox” series of adverts and sales, they really have picked up the market and looked good.

However, recently one of my colleague – Souvik Kundu, who is very fond of online shopping, decided to order a refrigerator from them which was available at an attractive price. The same was delivered promptly on 31st Jan 2017. However, when he “unboxed” the packaging, his happiness was gone! What he received was a broken refrigerator with shattered glass and inner compartments. He raised it promptly with Snapdeal customer care, only to be told that his residence is at a non-serviceable area and the product can’t be picked up, and that he shall arrange to send the product back to a Gurugram address, the expenses for which will be reimbursed to his Freecharge account (and not his Bank Account).

See what he had to go through in his own words (mail sent to me yesterday on 2nd Feb 2017)…

I had placed an order for a Refrigerator on Snapdeal via Order ID: 18107396430, Placed On 23 Jan, 2017.

 Order was promptly delivered on: 31st Jan 2017.

 Once I opened the packing, the interior parts were in damaged condition.

As soon as I found the same, I called the Snapdeal customer care executive regarding the issue, and the executive checked and assured me that my product will be picked up from my location and the replacement of the same will be processed within 48 hours of the product pickup. He provided me an Reference No: 39738530. I was happy with the call of the executive and waited further action from Snapdeal.

 However, my nightmare was yet to start…

After few minutes of the conversation, I have received a mail (31st Jan 2017 at 4:46PM) from Snapdeal, stating Your item cannot be picked up as your address lies outside our serviceable area for reverse pickup. Please send it to our warehouse via any national courier within the next 5 days. We will reimburse the courier charges to your FreeCharge Account. We’re sorry for the inconvenience caused.

“What the hell! They delivered the refrigerator at the same address. How could it be a non-serviceable area to pick up? Double standards??”

Deliverable at my address

Deliverable at my address

Once I received the mail, to confirm the confusion, I called the customer care again, and a Lady checked the reference no and replied the same lines what was mentioned on the mail that : Your item cannot be picked up as your address lies outside our serviceable area for reverse pickup. Please send it to our warehouse via any national courier within the next 5 days.

I told her that manually arranging a courier is not possible for me as I have recently moved to my new location and not aware of all the available courier services near my place, and also I have a new born baby whom I have to take care. I didn’t really had time to visit a home appliance showroom to purchase the same, and that’s why I had selected online shopping from Snapdeal in the first place! Then the lady replied, she will forward my concerned to the relevant team to shorted out my problem.

Very next day I have again received the same mail saying:  Your item cannot be picked up as your address lies outside our serviceable area for reverse pickup. Please send it to our warehouse via any national courier within the next 5 days. We will reimburse the courier charges to your FreeCharge Account. We’re sorry for the inconvenience caused.

“Again the same repetitive answer. Being sorry doesn’t solves my concern and now the new clause of reimbursing the courier charges to FreeCharge account! Why can’t they reimburse it to my Bank Account?”

I then dropped a mail to Snapdeal Customer care as well as Kunal Behal and Rohit Bansal to bring my concern to their notice to get a faster resolution to it. Yesterday (01st Feb 2017) one of the executive called me and he was forcing me to manually send the item. Finding no resolution, I still checked some of the courier services online near my location and they are quoted for charges approx. 10-12K! 

“No way I want that huge amount of money reimbursed to FreeCharge wallet, forced to spend it there itself!”

I again updated the same to Snapdeal Cuatomer care as well as Kunal and Rohit, and received call from some lady saying (CEO Executive desk), there is no alternate of manually sending the damaged product, and the courier charges will be credited to the Freecharge account only.

I’m in a fix now. To save time and money, I opted for online shopping and look what I unboxed – True Unhappiness!

I have started a twitter and Facebook campaign from today and haven’t received any firm resolution or assurance except for the same repeated lines.

Souvik now is shaken by his experience and vouches never to do any online shopping! So much so for one bad experience. And ask him about Snapdeal – Never again!!!

In this case, I fail to understand two simple things:

  1. Why an area becomes non-serviceable for pickup when the same area is good for delivery?
  2. Why is the customer being forced to spend additional amount on the same portal (or allied sites) for something which he had spent out of his own pocket? Why can’t the courier charges be reimbursed to his bank account?

Perhaps, in the world of cut-throat competition and where there always is a “cost of customer acquisition“, these companies can’t afford any money that has come into their system to go out just like that!

Now, that’s the reason why I have been advising friends to avoid shopping from such online portals for high value products. And if at all you have to buy them online, buy it ONLY from reputed sites – two names that come to my mind – Amazon.in and Flipkart.