24/10/2019

The harrowing tale of shopping on Flipkart


So I have been a Flipkart user since like, what, 6-7 years? My first online shopping experience was with Flipkart. I have been a Flipkart affiliate in the past, have sent them users who have made orders worth Rs. 20-30 lakhs plus, at the very least. Now I'm done with the affiliate part since the past few years and shop occasionally via Flipkart, since i have an amazon prime subscription and most of the products I need are available at lower prices there. So Flipkart was offering Redmi Note 7S at a great bargain during the Flipkart's equivalent of Amazon's great Indian shopping festival - I had received a Rs. 500 instant discount on a phonepe transaction i had did the day before. This combined with the bank offer and some cashback scheme from Cashkaro, was getting me the phone for a measly Rs. 8340. My previous phone, a Redmi Note 4, was selling for around Rs. 4300 on cashify, so I thought it was worth it to upgrade my 30 or so months old phone with a new one. I placed my order late night and slept with the satisfaction of grabbing a good deal on my face. Next morning i received an sms stating that my order has been called. An email i had received at the same time stated that the order was cancelled stating

"Hi Gaurav Gahlain,

We'd like to let you know that your recent order OD116697709845978000 has been cancelled as our systems have observed a trend in your purchase history that suggests that the items you've purchased are usually not intended for personal use."

I called the customer care and they said they'd respond in a few days. After some days, i received this reply

"Hello,Gaurav
We'd like to let you know that your recent order  has been cancelled as our systems have observed a trend in your purchase history that suggests that the items you've purchased are usually not intended for personal use. This would also mean that you will no longer be able to login to your Flipkart account.

Thanks,
MANISH GUPTA
Flipkart Customer Support"

So apparently the customer service looked into my matter without asking me anything on my end and passed the judgement to block my account, blocking my access to all my orders history and invoices.

I called the customer care again and they said the concerned team would get in touch over email again, since that's how they operate. I replied to another automated sounding email that i received, explaining all the measly 5-7 orders i could recall to have ordered this year. In reply to that, i received the  exact same email received from MANISH GUPTA, but this time signed in some other person's name.

I called the customer care again and told them i needed to talk to someone who actually reads things and doesn't copy paste responses. They said we have noted your concern and would get you in touch with a real person this time. This time again, after waiting another 2-3 days, i received the same automated email.

I called the customer care again. They said i have to reply to the email. I told that i had done so and had received the same auto generated response in reply to that. I repeated this thing 5 times to the lady on the phone, but all she could manage to say was I understand your concern but please reply to the email. In the end, after 23 minutes of repeating the same thing, my call was abruptly disconnected.

Points to note here. I am a Flipkart Plus Member, or used to be so, since about an year, not sure exactly how long. The only noticeable orders i can remember to have placed in the last six months on Flipkart are 3 phones. One Redmi Note 7 16 gb, got it for my father who was upgrading from a refurbished Redmi 1s after 4-5 years. Another Redmi Note 7 32 gb after a couple months i think, for a cousin of mine who is 18 and lives in my ancestral village where couriers don't deliver,as far as i and my cousin know. Both these phones were bought at regular prices, without any discount of any sort. Third phone i got for another cousin of mine who, though lives in delhi, wanted to gift her husband a phone on his birthday but didn't have a prepaid mode of payment and thought it would be weird if her husband took the delivery and was asked for cash. That was an Oppo or a Vivo, not sure now. That was last month, i think. Fun fact, my cousin is yet to pay me the amount that i paid for the phone.

I work an okay 9 to 5 job and travel 5 hours daily for work. I don't have time for non-personal use (or for reselling, the term used in the mails later instead of non-personal use). No normal person who looks at my order history could say that. I can show all the products i have ordered at my home, except consumables of course. I am not sure what kind of shitty AI, if it can be called that, is powering (or crippling?) their systems. For a company i have introduced tens of my friends and relatives to, it has made me feel stupid.

I'm left with an order now that is way below acceptable quality for the price that i paid, which even though within the 30 day return period, i cannot get to return it since i cannot login in the first place. That, combined with my 930 plus points, it has been a robbery.

Stay away from Flipkart, all of you, is all i can say after this horrible experience. I used to think all these young companies are cool, know that the customer is important, but yeah, now i know otherwise.
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