This is to share the experience I had after shopping at HomeShop18 for the first time. I had ordered a Roti maker for my old parents residing in Orai, UP, in India. Since I stay away with my wife and kid in Bangalore, India, I found HomeShop18, the best alternative for fulfilling the needs of my parents as it has the reach to almost every nook and corner of the country.
The order was placed with order No. 1004208093. Since these were Diwali holidays I happened to be there at my parent’s place. I had given my contact number to HomeShop18 and all the updates I was receiving on my mobile which were quite satisfying.
The expectations started shattering as the delivery date of the product started nearing. The courier agency called me and asked me to collect the item from their office citing the reason that the delivery boy couldn’t find the house. I was surprised as I had clearly explained the address to the boy. I was wondering what if I had given the mobile number of my parents or if I was not visiting my parents during that time? I told the courier agency to deliver the product to my house or return it back. Then I called the delivery boy, who confirmed that he is on the way for delivery. After reaching the stated landmark the boy called me again and asked me to come there and collect the item. I was irritated. I asked him to come to the house as it was just 200 meters from the landmark. The boy came to the by-lane and again asked me to come and collect the item. Fed up with their attitude, I reached the by-lane which was hardly 50 meters away. The boy was having many items to deliver on his ill equipped cycle. Seeing the plight of that courier boy, I showed him the house from that distance and asked him to come to the house for delivery, next time when I order the product from HomeShop18. Courier’s attitude should not convert the company from HomeShop18 to RoadShop18.
I took the parcel home and when I opened it, all dreams shattered. The handle of the Roti-maker was broken the LED light was exposed to open, one side of the hinge was also broken. Though, all the promised items were available inside the parcel. I imagined the plight of my parents, had they received the parcel? I immediately asked my wife at Bangalore to register the replacement request as I was not having the net connectivity. She registered the replacement request immediately with complaint number HS2016110305360. The very next day I got the call from HomeShop18, where it was accepted to replace the product. But the customer care executive asked me to courier the product to the HomeShop18 office. I told him that it is not possible for me to courier and requested him to get it picked up. He expressed his inability and informed that if I cannot courier the product to their office then, they cannot do anything further for my order, neither return, nor replacement. With no options left, I agreed to courier the item.
Again I imagined the scene, if my parents would have received the parcel? I received the SMS saying that I need to pack the item properly and courier the item to the mentioned address. Further, the details of the courier need to be shared with the customer care centre. I did the same but my heart was filled with lots of unpleasant memories of shopping with HomeShop18. As on today, it is the punishment that I am serving for visiting the website of this company. My money paid for the product of the order of Rs. 1000 is gone, the damaged product is gone, and additionally the courier charge of the order of Rs. 500 is gone. That’s how I am a customer, i.e. one who dies because of pain.
I remembered how quick the flipkart’s representative came to replace the laptop battery I had ordered that didn’t suit my laptop. And this happened twice, but they did it as they wanted the trust of the customer to be honoured. Even Rediff happily refunded the money for the calculator watch and asked to keep the watch too. There lies the clear difference and the priorities of business entities.
Finally, here is the recommended business mantra for professional online shops. It can well be concluded that ‘the selection of a bad courier partner can well spoil a company’s credibility as well as the business’.
- The courier company should deliver the item at home
- The receipt of the item by the correct person should be ensured
- For items prone to damage, the courier boy should insist on opening the parcel in front of him to ensure proper delivery.
- The courier company should handle the items with care.
- The items prone to damage should be labeled accordingly by the packaging department.
- The pick-up of the item should be the responsibility of the courier company, with no road side delivery or pickup clauses.
While I am not sure of the replacement of the item and the refund of the courier charges, I have only one question to such online shops, please try to deliver smiles on the faces of the customers? The profit or the earnings may sound too attractive, but the foundation with such values can never be strong!