2013 / 7 April

E-commerce still doesn’t work for some products


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I’ve been an early adopter of e-commerce here in India, and used to buy stuff off Baazee.com (which is now ebay.in) and Fabmall, which was one of the first e-commerce sites which started off in Bangalore years back, before they were bought by other companies. 

If you haven’t heard of those names, you’re still an youngster in the ecommerce play here in India. Being an online consumer in the Internet world for so long, still doesn’t guarantee that I don’t get stumped once in a while with some policy which ensures that I can’t use the product I bought and can’t return the same for a refund.

Here’s how I ended up loosing some money trying to buy something online this week.

I was looking for a swimsuit for my 2 year old to prepare for a vacation trip in two weeks. So when my wife told me this, the first thing I did was look up online retailers in Indian which would ship one to home. 

I did find a product I liked from a popular e-retailer and placed an order for what I though would fit my daughter. Since my daugher’s two, I placed an order for an item listed for ages 2-3 from the site.

I must say that they were pretty prompt in shipping the order, I got it just two days after placing the order. Unfortunately, things went downhill from there.

The swimsuit which they shipped says it is for 2 to 3 year olds, but if you look at the actual size of the product, only a 6 month old baby can fit in it. There’s no way my daughter could even squeeze in  one of her legs into the swimsuit they sent.

I promptly got in touch with the customer care folks within 20 minutes of getting the courier stating the problem with the item they shipped.  They refuse to take the item back since their policy states that they cannot accept returns of swimsuits according to their policies. Even a follow up email restating the issue, came back with an even shorter negative reply.

Well, now I’m a few hundred rupees down with a swimsuit which my daughter can’t use, and I have to spend more again to actually get something she can wear. The one we bought has to go into sto

Well that really goes to teach me a lesson! Don’t rush though the buying process and to take time to read the return policy of any new site which I buy from. I don’t blame really the retailer for this problem, since I was in a hurry to finish the purchase process and didn’t take the time to look at all the site’s policies.

That also leads me to the conclusion that even in this day and age of the internet, there are still some things which we have to go out to a physical store and buy. There’s not way to figure out each clothing manufacturer’s sizes since nothing is standardised here in India. One manufacturer’s XL size could be another’s XXL! Something labeled by the child’s age is so vague in terms of size and cannot be used to buy products online, unless the site’s return policy allows you to return these to them.

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