Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Re: Apologies, from Flipkart

Dear Sachin and Binny,

Thanks for the mail. An empty apology. An apology nonetheless, you say. True that. Not many Indian companies have the balls to admit their mistakes. Their wrong-doings - none. But neither have you.

Like you admit, you have failed our trust. You did build up some credibility over the years and stood apart from other online retailers. But I somehow think that you took a gamble with losing that credibility and have actually gotten away with it. Because it is different how things work in this amazing country of ours. We're more easier to hoodwink. We've just got so damned used to it. From the clerk at any government office to the ministers who we elect, everyone has been pulling the wool over our eyes over the years. So what happened with your amazing sham of a sale is just that - a statistic. We've moved on after every election. I'm sure most of us have already moved on about this too. A small blip on the radar. PR can be bought. Hashtags die. Memories, in this internet age is already too damned short. Hell, even I wanted to type this out before I could forget.

Ok, let's get to what I'd called wrong-doings. Thankfully, you've neatly underlined those points in your little empty email. By the way, that was a really well played ploy. Play the little mind-trick of mentioning all the "issues" that social media picked up on and admit to them. Half the battle won. Most of us would be so overwhelmed by you admitting to those "issues" that the mind automatically starts to forgive and forget. Trump card?

Price changes - No one is talking about the non-discounted rates of products. They are talking about how prices were hiked up before the sale. To be later reduced - as a discount on the price of the product. What were you talking about in your email? That some evil gremlin came and removed the discounts?

Out-of-stock Issues - wow, for me, this a serious wrong-doing. You are telling me that you misjudged demand? After testing the market for so long - with so many flash sales? How I'd love to know how many Tab 3s you had for sale there. For me, there is something fishy about the stock numbers. And how did your infrastructure not manage to even update the values there? How did people even get to place orders then? And make payments for a product that was supposedly not in stock?

Cancellations - well, you had specific terms and conditions for this sale drafted up that said no refunds and no cancellations. But YOU cancelled so many orders? I mean, even for products that had low stock. Products that were out of stock but people were able to pay for. How does that even make sense? I know that you are returning all the money. But isn't that some major breach of trust? Did people pay you for nothing? Is that even legal? No, seriously, let me get this right. Product out of stock. Site hasn't updated this information. Person places order for non-existent product. Makes payment. Receives email that order is cancelled. This email doesn't mention the product being out of stock and that said customer was suckered into parting with his money but rather that - "due to high demand for this item and in order to provide all customers an equal opportunity to avail this great deal, we had to cancel the following items in your order". Even if at this point, you had mentioned issues with the infrastructure and that the said product was actually out of stock when the order was placed, it is fine. But you didn't. Or were you busy counting the money by then?

Website Issues - surely, infrastructure must have been scaled up significantly to handle this traffic. For me personally, the site never went down. But that was since I never tried to place an order for some of the "amazing" deals. Again, the nagging thing is that people were able to place orders for out of stock products. And pay for them. No wonder so many of them are ranting against the sale.

You seem to have ended the email on a slightly emotional note. Don't worry, by that time, you'd sold your apology to more than half the people who received it. Like I said, memories are short...

Even this will come to pass.

No thank you.
Naveen

4 comments:

  1. Oh yes, that apology didn't make a dent! Be true to your customers damn it!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Flipkart is now Fraudkart and Flopkart.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nicely drafted. They say out of stock for products sold at retail price and won't even be able to order it. Now they don't have option? Weird stuff flipkart. This is pure scam and not sure why I received an apology email when I haven't ordered anything from you.

    ReplyDelete

Leave your non-Anony-mouse comments here: