Coronavirus lockdown has opened up the avenues of online shopping to everyone. However, online customers know that it is very likely that they would not get the product they had in mind when ordered. Sometimes, the gap between expectation versus reality gets so big that it makes the news. Here are some incidents that will keep you aware of the downsides of online shopping.
1. When one hears of an online shopping disaster, the wide perception is that something cheap or useless comes at the place of something expensive. However, it went upside down in the case of Lokesh Daga, when he received a Redmi Note 10 smartphone in place of a pack of Colgate mouthwash. Upon opening the package, the Mumbai based Amazon customer realised that the phone was ordered by another customer from Telangana. Daga took to Twitter to inform the e-commerce company.
Hello @amazonIN Ordered a colgate mouth wash via ORDER # 406-9391383-4717957 and instead of that got a @RedmiIndia note 10. Since mouth was in a consumable product returns are restricted and am unable to request for return via the app(1/2) pic.twitter.com/nPYGgBGNSR— Lokesh Daga (@lokeshdaga) May 13, 2021
2. In January 2018, a 26-year-old Mumbai resident Tabrez Mehboob ordered iPhone 8 on Flipkart, but when the package got delivered, he found that a bar of soap was packed in the iPhone box. When he complained to the leading online shopping platform, it refused to compensate him citing that the customer had signed the courier boy’s digital log before receiving the item, reported Mumbai Mirror. Subsequently, Mehmood filed a case of cheating against the e-commerce platform.
3. A user posted a screenshot on 9gag displaying that Flipkart was demanding a weirdly unusual delivery charge of Rs 1000 for a Rs 100 trimmer. Such instances can be found in plenty on the online shopping websites where the sellers try to fool the buyers by keeping the product price lower than expected and mischievously raising the delivery prices beyond fair. Since product prices are in large fonts on the product pages of the shopping websites but delivery charges are in smaller fonts that a user may not look at.
4. In March this year, Liu, a woman in China ordered iPhone 12 but received a box of Apple flavoured yoghurt drink. Liu claimed that she had ordered the smartphone from the official website of the company. While some experts speculated that she might have fallen prey to a fake website, the woman uploaded a video that led to a police investigation. Eventually, a man was arrested who admitted to opening the parcel box and replacing the iPhone with a box of yoghurt.
While online shopping is not free from the risk of receiving fake products by dubious sellers and mischiefs by the people in the supply chain, there are places where customers can seek help regarding their grievances. In new regulations under the Consumer Protection Act that were notified in July 2020, if a seller refuses to withdraw goods and provide a refund within 30 days, it could be considered a breach of consumer rights liable to a lawsuit.