Plea of an Online Shopper: For Snapdeal

Writing a complaint letter or for that matter any letter is a not an easy. Writing it not only requires that you state the facts. A good letter – or so I believe – should have its fair share of pathos, anger, frustration and above all humor. I was recently asked by a friend of mine to write a letter on his behalf. So drawing upon my experience of excelling in writing such letter I came up with this one. Here I produce it in entirety. Do let me know what you think of it 🙂

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Let me recount my harrowing shopping experience with Snapdeal.

[W]hat in me is dark
Illumine, what is low raise and support;
That, to the height of this great argument,
I may assert Eternal Providence,
And justify the ways of Snapdeal to men.

When my computer monitor died, I had two options one, go to market and purchase it from brick and mortar store or second inspired by Modi Ji’s call of digital India go online and do the online shopping as any empowered, young and modern tech savvy digitized Indian youth should do (not that I am blaming Modiji at al).

Snapdeal

Snapdeal or Snaildeal

So in my chutzpah, I logged into internet and to get “apne man ki deal” opened the Snapdeal’s website to place my order. After looking around I ordered for LG 20M37H LED HDMI Monitor (Order ID 11828384015). Placing the order and receiving the product was really easy. It took 3 days & I received the monitor. Now wouldn’t you say that’s really fast and efficient service?

Or so I thought before opening the package. As I opened the package to have a glimpse of the monitor I had ordered for I was in for a shock. Ek kahawat aksar sunta tha jo haqiqat ban gayi. Dikhaya ram; pela hanuman. Lo and behold! It’s a different model inside the package.

However all is not lost. Even at this point, it’s an issue which could still be resolved amicably and swiftly keeping in with Snapdeal promise of exceptional customer service. I immediately called Snapdeals’s customer care – both of whom I will now refer to as snaildeal and cust – se – maar respectively – who explained the replacement process.
He said that first an engineer will visit my house & check the product. If he finds that a wrong product is delivered then he will pack it and then give me an inspection document.

He will then report the result of the inspection to the concerned department in Snaildeal who upon receiving the inspection document will arrange my reverse pickup.

After that, once they receive the product in their warehouse, their team will check the product & upon confirming that wrong product was delivered, they’ll initiate the process of replacement of the product that I had ordered in the place. He assured me that once this process is complete, it will take another 5 to 6 days for the right product to reach me.

So far so good!

It was here that things went awry.

On 22nd February 2016, they tell me that their engineer will visit my place on 23rd Feb for the inspection of wrongly delivered product.

I wait and the day passes. No one comes.

In the evening, I call them again and get a promise that engineer will definitely visit the day after.

For next three days it is rinse and repeat. No visit is made by the engineer despite my anguished calls.  You see I am an I.T. professional and without a monitor, my entire work gets stuck. I am losing my patience.  It’s frustrating waiting day after day. Calling them up to get assurance that the visit will occur soon.

After three days of waiting in distressed anticipation; finally I had the honor of engineer’s visit on 25th February at 5:30 PM. He does the inspection and after veracity of my complaint, packs the product for reverse pickup.
Man! Was I relieved? I was ecstatic “Chalo bhai ab to kam ho hi jayega”.
But picture abhi baaki thi mere dost!

It was not the happy ending I expected. On 26th of February; I called Snaildeal’s cust – se – maar executive again to request for reverse pick up. But they refused saying that they have not received the inspection document from the engineer who made the visit. He added that they were waiting for the document and the process will be initiated only upon its receipt.

Again I politely and patiently inform them that the engineer has already made the visit and packed the product for reverse pickup and if they haven’t yet received the document; they should co-ordinate with the engineer to accelerate the process as the delays are seriously hampering my work.

Despite my plea, nothing transpires even on 27th of February.

On Sunday, the 28th & I do all in my power and within reach to get this issue resolved as it is seriously affecting my work.

First of all I call the engineer. Then I get the contact number of his superior who tells me that he has already updated the status in the software. He adds that he is surprised why Snaildeal is claiming ignorance of the fact and lying about the status of the inspection document.

I immediately call Snaildeal and share the supervisor’s contact detail so that they could resolve any confusion or miscommunication that is obstructing the process of reverse pickup.

I was surprised that after three days of inaction from Snapdeal; it was I who had to call the engineer; take his supervisor’s number and then call Snapdeal’s customer care so that they could coordinate with him. I mean what kind of service is this where customer care is not in loop with the engineer they send.

Soon after, I get a call from Snaildeal that I need to send the scanned copy of the inspection document. You see how they again throw the ball in my court.

With my net not working, I go to my neighbor’s house. More trouble. His internet pack is exhausted. I recharge his net pack & then send the scanned copy of the inspection document to Snaildeal. Again I call and asked for reverse pick up. Again they deny having received the document. To my surprise and anger the exec. Says “We have not received the document from engineer. We can proceed only when we receive the document”. I say to myself; WTF! Iski Maa ki ^*%$”.  My patience has reached its threshold, I am really really pissed now. This is the height of unprofessional behavious. I ask him why did they asked me to send them a scanned copy of the document in the first place if they were still waiting for the document from the engineer.

As most cust – se – maar executive do; he dithers and say he is following the protocol. The process is underway and that my issue will be resolved shortly and that they are trying to their best of ability to do so.

It’s not funny how once you are through the conversation – angry and frustrated – the final blow that the exec make is by saying “aapka Snapdeal customer care mein call karne ke kliye dhanyawaad kya main aapki kuchh aur shahayta kar sakta hun”. I mean they do apologize for the inconvenience cost but what about the accountability?

What can a frustrated, disgruntled, angry customer do? Has he no choice but to wait? I mean the reason why we place order online is that I get it delivered at my door step and I don’t have to run here and there and spend sleepless nights.

Frustrated utterly by the Snapdeal’s response, I asked them not for the replacement of the product but refund of my money.

On 29th February, I call them again in the evening to inquire about the reverse pickup status and to my utter surprise they tell me that they have received the document. Oh my God! Finally they initiate the reverse pick up process of the monitor.

I wait entire day but the pick-up man does not arrive. This whole thing goes back to square one again. What the F*&%. Its rinse and repeat for next three day. I keep waiting for reverse pick-up man on 1st, 2nd and 3rd march. Promises made only to be broken. Value assured not delivered. Finally on 4th, the product is picked up by the courier guy.

Refund is initiated in the evening once they receive the product. This process was fast as compared to previous promises. However to add to the pitiable value delivery to their customer, they refused to give my Rs 100 coupon back as no such policy is in place at Snapdeal.

After all I have been through, all I want to ask to arrogant customer care executives is that do they take us for fool and idiots. We pay in advance for a service we haven’t seen and when a wrong product is delivered, it is we who have to wait and call again and again as if it was our fault.

Thus ended my saga of suffering, frustration at hands of one of the top online retailer. All I can say is that now I have my eyes open.

I am wiser now. I am sure had I asked them to replace the product, it surely would have taken a week more or even longer and this tale would have turned out to be on a scale at par with epic such as Mahabharata. I conclude with summarizing my tale.
Day by Day progress:
18 Feb – Product Ordered
21 Feb – Wrong Product Received
22 Feb – Wait
23 Feb – Wait
24 Feb – Wait
25 Feb – Engineer visit
26 Feb – Wait
27 Feb – Wait
28 Feb – Wait
29 Feb – SD received the inspection document
1 Mar – Wait
2 Mar – Wait
3 Mar  – Wait
4 Mar – Reverse Pickup done in the morning & refund initiated in the evening.

What I got from Snapdeal at the end.

  • 16 days of mental agony.
  • Daily Call expenses (more than 100 rupees)
  • They refused to give INR100 discount coupon (They finally forced me to stop shopping from SD forever.)

What I learned from above experience:

  • Snapdeal has no control/co-ordination with third party companies like courier company.
  • Local market is far better than online. First check online price then go to local market.
  • Please check the return policy first before buying the product.
  • Buy from authentic websites only, if needed.
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