Flipkart caught cheating by customer; Facebook outrage leads to suspension of sellers

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New Delhi | Updated: June 17, 2015 8:44 AM

Customer hits back at Flipkart after he allegedly caught it cheating by offering 'fake' discounts.

FlipkartCustomer hits back at Flipkart after he allegedly caught it cheating by offering ‘fake’ discounts. (Facebook)

Flipkart, one of the more popular e-retailers in India, was left embarrassed after a customer caught it cheating. Not just that, the customer posted the ‘evidence’ on Facebook on June 3 and that sparked instant outrage on the Internet with people giving their varied, often damning, views about e-commerce in general and Flipkart in particular.

Defending its position, Flipkart issued a statement on June 6 stating that it is a marketplace that helps sellers connect with customers across the country. The company cracked down on the ‘cheating case’ and after carrying out an investigation of  the incident and suspended the sellers.

Meanwhile, the case evoked outrage on the Internet and the general consensus that was arrived at there indicated that customers are often duped with fake discounts being offered on products whose prices have been deliberately inflated.

Flipkart chearting facebook postThis was the facebook post made by Mani Sankar Sen on June 3. The post received Flipkart’s attention, who apologized and promised to check it.

Here is what happened?

In this Flipkart case in particular, a footwear item was pictured whose original MRP was Rs 399, which was visible in the product picture itself, but it was being sold at a marked up price of Rs 799. On Flipkart, the product was on sale at Rs 399 after a discount of 50%.

This post was shared on Flipkart’s Facebook page by Mani Sankar Sen and it received attention of many users who felt cheated and who did not hold back in expressing their displeasure. Even though Flipkart team apologised and assured that they will rectify the issue, the post was shared several times and the company was criticised for duping customers.

Take the poll, tell us what you think?

The Logical Indian, an online community on Facebook offered a very sound piece of advice: “Dear Flipkart, Please don’t lose your loyal customer base. Kindly Invest more in your service and quality, Invest less in your advertisements. Be loyal to your customers. No marketing strategies work better than being ‘honest’ to your customers.”

The post by The Logical Indian on Facebook received more than 5,500 ‘shares’ and over 20,000 ‘likes’ within 4 hours.

On June 6, Flipkart released this statement:
Flipkart is a marketplace which helps sellers connect with customers across the country. We have investigated the incident and after receiving the full report we have suspended the sellers. Flipkart adopts a zero tolerance policy towards any instances where the seller has sold a product above the MRP stated on the label. When found in violation of our policy, sellers are suspended and further blacklisted. Flipkart takes utmost care in ensuring that product information on the marketplace is not misleading and for this, we rely on our sellers to share correct information with us.”

In an economy where e-retailers are growing big hand over fist and have won over many critics as well as the consuming public with great discounts, and easy to buy policies, it is important for market leaders like Flipkart and the like, to maintain high standards. Focus must be on better services.

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