FP StaffSep 29, 2022 16:42:05 IST
As convenient as online shopping can be, especially during the festive sale, getting cheated is a risk people unfortunately have to take. Recently, a man ordered a laptop from Flipkart but received several bars of soap in the package.
In another incident, a businessman in Bihar ordered a drone from the e-commerce platform Meeshobut instead received some potatoes.
It’s normal to get a little desolate when something like this happens. We are also afraid that we have been robbed of a lot of money, which at the moment seems impossible to recover in any case. You may also feel like calling the platform’s customer service helpline and giving them a listening ear. Realistically that wouldn’t help. But there are other things you can do.
Believe it or not, it is actually possible to make good and get your money back, or the actual product you paid for. However, the most important thing to note is to let cooler heads prevail, take a deep breath and take it one step at a time.
Before we discuss that, here are a few practices to follow when taking delivery of any package you may receive from an ecommerce platform:
First of all, start recording a video of the package as you receive it. Platforms like Flipkart claim to have processes like Open Box Delivery where the delivery person opens the box for you while delivering it. The reality is that this is a practice that only exists on paper. Rarely will you see a delivery man waiting for you to unpack.
Wait before sharing your delivery OTP
Most ecommerce platforms now require the user to share a delivery OTP with the delivery person. The purpose of this OTP is usually to ensure that the package is delivered to the correct person and furthermore that the package received was in good condition and that it has not been tampered with. Open the package in the presence of the delivery person and make sure that the unpacking or opening of the package is registered. Then adjust the OTP delivery.
Now, no matter how hard you try, there will be times when you won’t get a chance to open and inspect your package in front of the delivery person.
Here’s what to do when you receive a package from an ecommerce platform like Flipkart, Meesho, or even Amazon that doesn’t contain your product, but some other stuff.
Make an unboxing video and take photos
First of all, make an unboxing video while opening the package. You should do this especially if you suspect your package has been tampered with, or if you’ve bought a valuable item such as a phone or laptop etc. If you haven’t shot a video, take a ton of photos, especially of the box and the contents you received. Take pictures of any damage the box has had.
Gather all the information and evidence you need
Collect every little bit of information and keep it handy. From the date you placed your order until the day and time you received your order. It would also be nice if you have the name of the delivery person who delivered your package. Also make sure you have the transaction ID handy, in case you’ve already paid for your order.
Approach the Customer Service Center
Once you have all your videos, photos and other evidence ready, simply call customer service. They may ask you to share a few videos and photos and a few other information, so share whatever you’re asked, except your banking information. This is also a good time to ask the customer service representative for your complaint number or ticket number. In this way, you can refer to this call when matters need to be picked up. If your customer service representative can resolve your issue on the spot, then that’s well and good. If they ask you for a few days, ask them to put it in writing and email you about it.
Email the company
In the event that your customer service representative was unable to resolve the issue, or, if they said they would email you about the issue you raised but failed to do, please email to customer service, with all your photos, videos and mention the complaint number, or ticket number you received. You should get a response within one or two business days, tops.
Highlight them on social media, especially on Twitter
If you don’t get a response even after sending an email, go to social media. We have seen that Twitter works better than Instagram or Facebook. Tweet to the company first, mention your issue, share the photo and video, and make sure to use the correct hashtags, especially if the ecommerce platform is running a campaign. Chances are you’ll get a response, but just in case you don’t tweet to a few influencers the ecommerce platform has worked with before. You can also try tweeting on some of the influencer’s posts. This increases your chance of a response from the e-commerce platform. This is also the chance for your story to go viral on social media, in which case you are sure to get a response.
File a complaint with your local consumer forum
Now, even after you’ve done all this and tried everything, if you still don’t get a satisfactory and reasonable answer, don’t be afraid to approach your local consumer forum and file a complaint with the consumer court. This is assumed to be an expensive affair, but more often than not. In addition, if you have a lot of money at stake, don’t hesitate to approach your local consumer forum. People think that approaching the consumer forum is a long and arduous process, and most platforms rely on customers to just give up and not approach consumer forums when things go wrong.