I'm an online guy, working in Sulekha.com. And an avid ecommerce shopper. I have shopped from most of the sites in India - Flipkart, Letsbuy, eBay, Makemytrip, Cleartrip, Homeshop18, Fashnvia, Timtara, Infibeam - almost everything. And this is my story of how I lost Rs.5000 with Timtara.com, how I got screwed up by eBay and why I wonder company like Homeshop18.com couldn't even handle a simple change of address request for a one-year magazine subscription.
First Timtara. I bought two original softwares (my friends do tease me for this) - Microsoft Windows 7 Home Basic to Home Premium Anytime Upgrade & Microsoft Office 2010 Home and Student from Timtara.com spending Rs.5050, along with a discount coupon. The order was made on 12th of March, 2012. And today, the date is 5th of May, 2012, and I haven't received my products yet. The worst part is, everyday am trying to reach their customer care but either the call doesn't go through or even if the call goes - nobody picks up. I have been doing this routinely for almost everyday now and till now I was never ever able to reach anybody in Timtara.com. Being an online guy, and feeling cheated, I approached Vakilsearch.com to prepare a legal complaint against Timtara and have mailed to them with no response from their end. Now a days, am afraid to do online shopping - Thanks to Timtara.com, they have scared even an online guy itself.
Second is eBay. I bought a 19.5" LED Viewsonic Monitor from eBay and got it delivered correctly. The product was not working. I called the eBay seller and he asked me to route the complaint through eBay. So I called and lodged an issue. Then the seller called to tell that I should lodge a complaint with Viewsonic (the manufacturer) as well which I did. The service rep from Viewsonic came and said the Product I got was DOA (Dead on Arrival) and asked if am ok to go for a replacement which Viewsonic will provide. Since I bought from eBay, I thought eBay Guarantee Program will safeguard my purchase and hence I said no to the service guy and called the seller again. The seller asked me to call eBay and check the process with them directly. I again called eBay and they said they will get in touch with me shortly. I waited for almost 30 days, though I did call eBay in between but nobody spoke whats the procedure for replacement. Then I said I wanna go for refund and not replacement because I have wasted enough time to put up with this. Then one claims rep from eBay called and told that refund will not be given because this is a Manufacture Warranty item. All my dealings should have been with the manufacturer and eBay is not responsible for this. I said fine, but why was I not informed about this for 30 days? Have I been informed, I would have gone with replacement with Viewsonic directly. And when I finish asking my questions, the eBay guy has kept the call already. No care, no empathy, nothing.
Third Homeshop18. I have a one year magazine subscription bought from HS18 last October. Last month I shifted my home and hence called their customer care for a change of address request. They said I have to mail the details to firstname.lastname@example.org. And so I did. The reply I got was shocking. It said I have to buy a new subscription with new address and then the magazine will be delivered to new address properly. I replied asking why I have to buy a new subscription and what happens to old one. Then I got a mail saying: "Please ignore our previous mail. We deal only with books, for magazines you have to call our customer care". What a joke. I got that email id from customer care only. 15 days on - and still my new address is not updated and I already lost this month issue with my old address.
Though I have mentioned only the bad experiences - there are lots of good one also with Flipkart, Letsbuy and Infibeam. But the point I want to make is - ecommerce is a growing this and companies like these makes the growth miserable. There should be a strong way to tackle bad things happening and safe guard the consumer. Even today, I don't know how am going to recover the money I lost with Timtara.com and after that what happened - I started ordering Cash On Delivery, which I don't want to do. But I have no other choice if I want to protect my hard earned money.
I would appreciate any kind of help from this forum in recovering the lost money as well as teaching a lesson for companies like these.