Saturday, July 28, 2012

My experience with Flipkart.com - A Review

First and foremost, let me inform you about two things:
  1. I am not a shopping freak at all. To add on, the only "shopping" I do online is to buy movie tickets, train tickets, flight tickets, pay bills, buy books etc. Basically, 'need' based transaction or low risk transaction.
  2. This review is purely based on my interaction and experience and might be different from your experience.
One fine day, one of my luxurious need became my basic need - to buy a camera. As is always the case, I do a lot of research before buying things that, I consider, are slightly expensive. After a lot of in-depth research and budget constraints, I finalized on Canon Powershot SX-150 IS. Flipkart was providing it for Rs. 9695/- with some freebies. Other sites were providing the same for the same price without some freebies. I went to some shops and realized that the price is slightly higher than what's quoted online by e-tailers. Giving into a better deal albeit moderate risk prompted me to opt for online shopping.

I bought the camera from Flipkart.com!


Once I entered my debit card details and clicked on "Submit", the next screen I got had the following message: "The page cannot be displayed". Just a second later, I got a message on my cell: "You account has been debited Rs. 9695/-..". So, I lost my money and I have no idea if I bought the camera! After cursing my decision of buying online, I called up the toll-free number. To my utter surprise, after navigating through some numbers, the person who received my call called me by my name! Now, I know, technically, that's possible as they will have my number stored and when I call them, their system will provide my name along with the number. But, through all my toll-free talking experience, no-one has ever addressed me by name. Instead, they all would cross-verify to ensure that "I am me". But Flipkart did it. In marketing terms - Flipkart's moment of truth with the customer - Perfect!

They informed me that they have received the amount and the camera will be delivered within 2-4 working days. As was promised, it was delivered within 2 working days. So now the cycle has been completed, I paid - and I received!  When I checked the invoice, I found that one item was missing. It was present on their website but on in the invoice. I contacted the customer service again. After verifying my claim, which took them a couple of minutes, they accepted it, apologized for it and promised to add an equivalent amount to my digital wallet within 1-2 days. I received the amount on my digital wallet and bought the remaining item from the site. Now the cycle has been fully completed.

Positives:
1. I got what I paid for. The product is exactly what is shown on the website.
2. Much better customer service team.
3. Better tracking mechanism and updating the customer throughout the delivery via e-mail, sms and by tracking the order from their site.

Negatives:
1. They should ensure that the sales package contains everything they have mentioned on their website. I suggest an added level of cross-verifying. Though they provide an alternative, it is cumbersome for the customer to search for the remaining product and buy it separately. Else, they should have a system where an incomplete order should be completed from the back-end without having the customer's involvement.

Overall Experience: Not bad huh? If this is how online shopping goes, I am sure this is not the last time I will log on to Flipkart.

24 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this..I am also going to buy from Flipkart ! Their ads are also very good :D

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    Replies
    1. It seems their marketing strategy is working! :)

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  2. Even though there are many e commerce sites like Indiaplaza, Yebhi, snapdeal and so on...but flipkart is getting all the attention and I guess they deserve it. Till now I have bought only books via online shopping that too from Indiaplaza and it has been very good experience. Even though they have COD (Cash on Delivery) option, I chose to pay via netbanking as I trust them. Thanks for sharing Binu....:)

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    Replies
    1. I agree Prashanth. There are many e-tailers now and the players now will have to provide a proper differentiating factor to survive.

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  3. homeshop 18 is better than flipkart,ts cheaper

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    Replies
    1. Thanks buddy. Will try that too someday.

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  4. That's Nice to hear. Some people valuing and respecting and treating their customers well. I basically buy only books, regularly though from Flipkart and I've stopped paying COD , now that I trust that they would always deliver in the promised time. I hope they do maintain their standards forever!

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    Replies
    1. Same here Ashwini. It used to be books and some basic stuffs from the net. Also, I personally felt their customer service was much better than anyone I have experienced so far..

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  5. I shop all sorts of things on the internet .. because I hate going to stores. And I do not think I have been unlucky ever, or been cheated. lucky me:-)

    Impressive customer service!

    Hope you have a blessed weekend:-)
    Thanks for your nice comment always.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tania, there's a difference. Here in India, online shopping is just picking up.. And hence, people are resistant to change.. :)

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  6. Your first point resonates with my views and I was also looking for a good camera in the same price range as yours a few months back. Though, I had zeroed in on cannon sx150 and nikon s6200.. but finally I went ahead and got myself a nikon from a dealer. Had you done this review earlier, I could have tried flipkart.. Btw, on a slightly different note, how is the clarity with cannon? :)

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    Replies
    1. Arti, Canon is great. I don't regret buying the camera.. Who knows, somewhere down the line, I can share the pics and convert the blog into a semi-photo blog :D

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  7. Not bad at all. Actually these are few reasons people don't buy online in India. Though the trend is changing. Also in India we don't have a good return policy. Customer is worried about two things; first being the price and the product, how the site is etc etc. is not important for him. I am saying all this as I was running an e-commerce project before marriage.

    I think Flipkart should double check the product before delivery.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didnt know you were running an e-commerce project before! Would like to know more about it..

      You are right Saru. Our online sales cycle stops after delivering the product / service. After sales service is what we lack.

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    2. I was selling high end customized gifts.

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    3. Really, and why did you discontinue it? Seems to be a profitable business case..

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  8. Flipkart is definitely a better one!

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  9. I buy books from Flipkart.com and I have very good experience with their customer service. It's unfortunate that they missed an item from u r order but I never found any problems with buying on Flipkart. Value for money for sure :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No problems so far.. Although they missed an item, they ensured I get it ASAP, which is what I liked..

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  10. have purchased books/cds/pen drives till now.. all have been a perfect experience.. really quick and well packed. I recommend it. Am curious - how was the packaging for a camera ?

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    Replies
    1. Roshan - the packaging was good. As in, no damages :) Everything kept perfectly in order and ensuring the camera doesn't get damaged in transit..

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  11. One of my friends shopped with flipkart before. She bought the harry potter series. One of the books from the 7 books have reversed pages. She called them, and the replaced the entire package. She told them that she had written her names on all the books, but inspite of that she got a new package. They are very customer centric, but yes they do have some flawas which you have very cleanly highlighted in your post. All in all a good experince.

    On a different note, are we going to see some clips from the new camera then ? :-)

    and hey I am sure you are following the olympics in full swing!!

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    Replies
    1. Yes Jenny, I guess some photo posts will come soon :) And yes again, I am following Olympics, I have just published a post and as I write, you have already commented :D

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All yours..

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