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Old 29th January 2021, 18:32   #6721
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Originally Posted by Sankar View Post
Its frustrating when online orders go wrong and the customer support wants proof of their bad packaging to issue a refund.
I understand it must be frustrating to receive damaged products but considering the number of fraudsters who buy online and cheat these big companies, they are being forced to ask for proof. If no photograph is being shared, then anybody could contact the customer support and ask the product to be delivered again stating it is damaged. I agree this isn't a foolproof way but they are just trying to make sure that the concern is genuine.

This happens on Swiggy/Zomato as well. When the food delivered is spilled or arrives in a bad package, they ask us to share the pictures before providing a refund/re-delivery. I was annoyed at first but I later realized that there are people who simply complain that the food arrived in a bad package when it actually hasn't. I'm not saying everyone does it, but for the few fraudsters out there, these companies are forced to make these policies.
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Old 29th January 2021, 19:25   #6722
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I understand it must be frustrating to receive damaged products but considering the number of fraudsters who buy online and cheat these big companies, they are being forced to ask for proof. If no photograph is being shared, then anybody could contact the customer support and ask the product to be delivered again stating it is damaged. I agree this isn't a foolproof way but they are just trying to make sure that the concern is genuine.
I thought about that too, from their pov. The answer is Customer profiling. They must be doing it already and they ought to have a good picture of what kind of a customer I am or anyone is for that matter who is shopping on their site. They can use that information to validate such requests and resolve the issue without having to ask for proof for two items costing less than Rs.100/- I am guessing the CS executive would already have some basic customer profile available with them on their interface. If someone wanted to scam them then do you think a picture proof is good enough? One can willfully tear all the packages and ask refund for all the items in the package? How hard is it?

This is where applying logic by the CS executive comes in. The total order was worth Rs.1248 (CS exec knows it) the items were shipped in one carton (CS exec knows it). The customer is saying one packet atta and one packet mustard was torn and contents spilled, customer is not saying all items are torn and unusable. CS executive should apply logic and reasoning and think - could he be genuine? he is not asking for a full refund, he is saying just two items are torn, the total order worth is Rs1248/- the damaged items are just Rs.93/-. Shall i refund? The damaged items is barely 8% of the total ordered value. If he wanted to scam us why asking refund for a small amount. Could he be genuine? Well he might be genuine, and he's been an old customer, let me not make this difficult for him and just issue the refund. Case closed. No need for phone call and putting one on hold as they discuss and transfer.

^^ I didn't see that happening? Doesn't need a picture of the damage right to deduce that claim was genuine or not.

If I was asking for a full refund or even close to 50% refund it would have been fair to make it difficult by asking for proof for damage since the items are not returnable, or if it was a high value item.

I am shopping from the .com website since 2008 and .in website ever since they came here and if they don't have a profile on me then that sucks, but it would be nave to think that they do not profile their customers. Even if the customer is a newbie they ought to apply some logic before making it difficult for customers for such small value refunds. If they are going to trouble the genuine customers citing fraudsters and their action they are going to lose their customers.

Regarding Zomato:

I ordered for a Dominos item through Zomato and it was a prepaid order but Dominos did not deliver it. I contacted Zomato and they washed their hands off saying I have to contact Dominos for refund. I called Dominos for the refund and they said they would refund it but I did not get any confirmation message from them even after 10-15 minutes. So I contacted Zomato again and asked me for the refund which they said they can't refund Dominos order as the order processing and delivery is handled by Dominos themselves. The next morning I emailed Zomato on an address I got through google search along with the voice call recordings of my conversation with Dominos and Zomato exec and that made them refund the money to my original payment method. After that I uninstalled Zomato and have never bought from Dominos again.

Last edited by Sankar : 29th January 2021 at 19:32.
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Old 29th January 2021, 22:01   #6723
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I thought about that too, from their pov. The answer is Customer profiling.
I did think about this. It is the easiest and efficient way out there but they don't seem to be doing it. I'm pretty sure they are profiling customers if damage return request is raised several times from the same account but not the other way round.

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They must be doing it already and they ought to have a good picture of what kind of a customer I am or anyone is for that matter who is shopping on their site.
The solution is well and good but I'm afraid there would be questions on whether to profile customers based on the specific account or the individual.

Quote:
If someone wanted to scam them then do you think a picture proof is good enough? One can willfully tear all the packages and ask refund for all the items in the package? How hard is it?
Surely taking photos ain't a foolproof method but just saying that it would reduce the scam to a certain extent.

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This is where applying logic by the CS executive comes in.
A valid and good example. But this would mean that the company would need to train their staff to identify the situations well enough. Not sure to what extent this would work but definitely possible.

Quote:
Even if the customer is a newbie they ought to apply some logic before making it difficult for customers for such small value refunds. If they are going to trouble the genuine customers citing fraudsters and their action they are going to lose their customers.
Good point.
Whenever I shop online, I keep in mind of what all things could go wrong. Hence, it didn't feel like a trouble till date. But you surely make a valid point!
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Old 30th January 2021, 00:54   #6724
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Default Re: The Online Shopping Thread

If I receive something in a damaged state, or even if the outer box is damaged, the first thing I do is photograph. I'm happy to send the photographs to the supplier. I'm happy to show them what went wrong. I'd probably have sent the photo with the original complaint, if possible.

I think I had a similar experience with a no returns bottle of Marmite. Glass bottle, smashed, Marmite oozing, I didn't even unwrap the final wrapper: when something hard is soft and squidgy, we can tell it's... broken!

Amazon rep said, "Of course we will replace it. I just need a photo to be sent to this link..."

I sent it. I didn't feel mistrusted, I just accepted it as part of the process.

(One point is that I don't think Amazon were the actual seller. They would have to account to that seller.)

I do get cross when they ask for information they have already, like, the stuff that is on their screen, or should be.

I do get cross if I have to repeat myself more than once. Or... classic situation back at work, eg, after a long and detailed description of a bug, I'm told, "Can you send that in an email?" No, I can't: I just spent that time telling you about it.

I don't think it is relevant to go the but some people wouldn't be able to route. Yes, some people have only land-line phones and film cameras. So let them complain to customer services that they can't send a photo: you and I can.
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Old 30th January 2021, 04:57   #6725
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Originally Posted by Sankar View Post
They can use that information to validate such requests and resolve the issue without having to ask for proof for two items costing less than Rs.100/-
The usual reason for such (what seems to us) unreasonable processes is audit. After all, customer returns is a business expense and they must be justifiably worried about minimising their risk/exposure to the uncontrolled spiralling of this expense. So they'd have some internal (or even external) audit folks focusing on this alone; making sure it stays within budgeted limits and each return is sufficiently vetted before refund is issued and so on.

Every quarter or so some auditor would pull out a report on "Refunds issued without supporting photographs" and ask category managers to explain why. For the category managers this must be a completely avoidable headache, so they'd instruct their team to not allow refunds without photos.

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Originally Posted by Sankar View Post
This is where applying logic by the CS executive comes in.
As someone who has seen how CS department is run - managers there don't want executives who apply logic. They only want executives who apply process. Imagine the chaos, if each executive in a 1000+ member CS team applied their own logic and processed refunds based on that instead of some all-encompassing process. First of all, each of them will use a different subset of all available information while applying their logic. Second, customers will see differing service levels and will be up in arms soon enough.
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Old 30th January 2021, 06:03   #6726
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Being handling customer service in e-commerce for 10 years and seen that returns are the biggest headaches which takes up quite a few resources from customer service as well as delivery team.

It all depends on processes applied. One of the biggest players that I worked for do not ask for any pictures and just go by customer word but keep track of this. Once a user takes up too much returns, then the company might ask for proof
But the same company asks for proof for its customers in India. And that is only because of customer behavior. I have seen this is the major worry in all e-commerce processes. The only thing that is strived for is to reduce the turn around time.

When it is large scale in customer service teams, it is all about following a process and not logic. There are teams penalizing executives for smallest of mistakes.
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Old 30th January 2021, 11:49   #6727
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If I receive something in a damaged state, or even if the outer box is damaged, the first thing I do is photograph. I'm happy to send the photographs to the supplier. I'm happy to show them what went wrong. I'd probably have sent the photo with the original complaint, if possible
The outer box was not damaged. I used to be like that, sending photos of damaged stuff and feedback (mostly in the hope that they improve) to which they would say they would forward to the respective team. But I learnt in due course of time that its mostly in vain and the quality of packing stays the same or got worse. Now having fed up with that my logic about sending photos is different; now they know their packing isn't durable enough for the trip and on top of that they need proof of how their crappy packing damaged the goods. This is why I can't be bothered with photos even if I could. They don't improve. They don't trust the customer. They (read as amazon and their managers) value their beans at the cost of customer losing some of theirs. The onus is on the customer to prove that they are not scamming. It doesn't add up to the "Earth's most customer-centric company" tagline when the customer can't be trusted.

I hate it when something I expect to use/eat/drink reach me in an unusable condition and that I have to return and wait for another 4-5 days for another one to reach me (hopefully) intact. My city is not a metro and we don't have same day delivery for any item and the fastest is 2 day delivery and that too for a very very limited number of items. So something reaching unusable is a pain on multiple counts.

If you have been buying from them for long enough you will know how they used to ship glass bottles then and now. They would encase the bottle in an airbag like the one in the image below it would reach intact. The marmite would not have broken.

The Online Shopping Thread-aircolumnbagairbagpacking.png

Now its just some bubble wrap and throw it in a carton or in a plastic bag, some break some reach intact. The quality of packing for most items has deteriorated. Pantry when launched had better packing and they used to put spacers to fill empty spaces to prevent items shifting in transport. I believed the extra Rs30 delivery fee (also for prime customer for pantry orders below a certain value) was being charged for better packing and faster (then) delivery. The last two pantry purchases had no spacers which resulted in items getting tossed and thus the damage. The decay in the quality of packaging has also set into the pantry.

They have figured that doing this is cheaper than packing the goods properly because not everyone will call back (CS) for some spilled flour, seeds or some liquid if the loss is minimal because not everyone has the time or energy to do that on a routine basis. In case a customer does have a complaint then asking for proof will make it difficult for them and save themselves from auditors.

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Originally Posted by binand View Post
Every quarter or so some auditor would pull out a report on "Refunds issued without supporting photographs" and ask category managers to explain why. For the category managers this must be a completely avoidable headache, so they'd instruct their team to not allow refunds without photos.
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Originally Posted by raaj.bhalla View Post
But the same company asks for proof for its customers in India. And that is only because of customer behavior. I have seen this is the major worry in all e-commerce processes. The only thing that is strived for is to reduce the turn around time.
I am guessing this company is Amazon? When they started selling here the customer support was a pleasure like the .com site. Now with "for the desis and by the desis" influence on the scheme of things and processes the customer support is a borderline pain with CS execs who can't read and/or want to repeat the what the issue is over the phone. But I give it to amazon that in all of the ecom sites operating in India, amazon is the least pain in the butt even with the less than stellar CS experience compared with its own previous self.

Thank you gentlemen for your replies with an inside glimpse on the processes of the return team. Surely its not helping to make amazon.in fit the tagline of the most customer centric company on earth.

Dear Amazon, Blacklist scammers their phone numbers, email addresses and their delivery addresses and show some faith in the rest of your customers.
--

n.b. Wherever I have commented regarding shipping and packing I am solely talking about Amazon sold and/or warehoused orders where the packing is done by them. Most (if not all) seller packed orders are overdone with layers of carton and the items arrive intact. I was worried about a knapsack sprayer I bought recently but it came under two layers of cartons intact.
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Old 30th January 2021, 13:33   #6728
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Some online sites are sometimes being unfair to the sellers as well I feel. I had ordered 2 UPS through Amazon and one of them was damaged slightly during transit. (Broken 3 pin top and a cracked panel). I simply wanted a replacement but they said it was non-returnable, refunded my money and noone ever came to pick up the damaged product.
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Old 30th January 2021, 19:21   #6729
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Originally Posted by meerkat View Post
...I've just got a first hand experience of a more subtle way of biasing even some real reviews into more favourable ones:

A dried fruit package delivered by Amazon yesterday has this sticker message pasted on it:
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Originally Posted by Vasuki View Post
Fake reviews beware. Really interesting tactics used by fake sellers to promote their brands.
This is the second instance of the cashback "encouragement" given to buyers in the past month. That too for low value items in the range of 30-40 rupees.

The kicker is my reviews with this fixing of the rating system have not yet been posted (I dobt if they ever will). I also had reported the sellers, but even this is not reflected in the sellers ratings.
I guess Amazon is also in the game of gaming their own rating system - sellers be damned.
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Old 30th January 2021, 22:32   #6730
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The outer box was not damaged...
I totally sympathise and completely agree with what you say about Amazon packing. I've never seen the wonderful examples in your photo, but perhaps I never bought the right products, but on the whole, I can agree that Amazon packing has gone for a toss. Literally: toss it in a box, or even worse, a plastic envelope, regardless of what the item is. I received a Rs.12k tablet, a couple of weeks ago, packed with this disdain. No protection, just a cardboard wrap, part of which was actually torn enough to show the inner box inside. Occasionally, they even put some hypocritical sticker about minimising packing for environmental reasons.

I was a happy Flipkart customer when Amazon arrived, but Flipkart failed to keep me. Now, from Amazon (Who are actually fine much of the time), there is nowhere to go.

100% with you, especially when the complaints process makes the whole thing more painful than it should have been. Only thing is, I'd have swallowed any discomfort and sent that photo.

Perhaps my will has been broken. And I say that quite seriously, because I have been a warrior in customer-service issues in the past
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Old 31st January 2021, 09:20   #6731
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This is the second instance of the cashback "encouragement" given to buyers in the past month. That too for low value items in the range of 30-40 rupees.
I got a similar offer of Rs.50 paytm on a Rs.159 kitchen product. No point believing in Amazon reviews anymore.
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Old 1st February 2021, 10:06   #6732
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Its frustrating when online orders go wrong and the customer support wants proof of their bad packaging to issue a refund.
Sometimes their policies are so confusing! About a year ago, I had ordered a couple of jams/preserves. They came in a single box with just some bubble wrap placed in between the two jars. Needless to say, they were smashed to hell and the box was wet. Glass shards mixed thoroughly with a paste of blackcurrant and orange

Had a long talk with the CS, where I explained patiently to the lady that the items were not in any condition to be used. Her reply was that the item cannot be refunded and can only be replaced. I did make an honest attempt to explain it to her that the package was full of glass shards and liquid was oozing out, but she kept saying "company policy". In the end I gave up and accepted the replacement.

A delivery guy came to pick up the soggy, oozing, ant covered mess (I had kept the whole thing outside) after 2 days. He was stung a few times by the time he placed it in another cover. I felt sorry for that guy
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Old 22nd February 2021, 11:39   #6733
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So had a near heart attack from Amazon after ordering a Rs. 60k laptop, i really do not prefer buying high value items online but the laptop i wanted was not available online.

So here goes the ordeal, on 13 Feb the laptop reached the Maharashtra hub and was dispatched the next morning to Delhi, usually it takes anywhere between 12 to 18 hours for any package that has been dispatched from MH to reach me but this time it had been more than 60 hours and there was no update so i talked to a representative he/she told me that it had not been received at the next hub and was in transit, so like a crazy person after 3 hours i again talked to an representative demanding the status update of the laptop this time i was told they are having some sort of operational issues and within 30 minutes miraculously the status was updated (this was a red flag in my mind maybe i am just paranoid).

I then received the laptop on 17/2 and as usual i record full video of unboxing of electronic items so i started opening the outer carton which was fine and had no signs of manhandling but when the laptop box appeared i'll let the pictures do the talking.

The Online Shopping Thread-whatsapp-image-20210222-11.32.44-1.jpeg

The Online Shopping Thread-whatsapp-image-20210222-11.32.44.jpeg

Now that is a big red flag, tear on the box from two side but after unboxing and turning on the laptop, the laptop was fine.

Maybe i am just paranoid but to me it feels like an unsuccessful theft during those 60 hours after it had reached hub it was supposed to but wasn't logged in the system.
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Old 23rd February 2021, 10:52   #6734
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Maybe i am just paranoid but to me it feels like an unsuccessful theft during those 60 hours after it had reached hub it was supposed to but wasn't logged in the system.
Don't wanna scare you or something but there is a tamil movie named "Kannum Kannum Kollaiyadithaal" in which the hero and his friend replaces the parts of brand new laptops bought online with sub par or old components. This can be a wild possibility considering the box is torn or tampered. Ensure the laptop works flawlessly, check if the laptop has been tampered or opened within. Lastly, do raise your concern with the customer support on the same!
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Old 23rd February 2021, 11:37   #6735
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So had a near heart attack from Amazon after ordering a Rs. 60k laptop, i really do not prefer buying high value items online but the laptop i wanted was not available online.

So here goes the ordeal, on 13 Feb the laptop reached the Maharashtra hub and was dispatched the next morning to Delhi, usually it takes anywhere between 12 to 18 hours for any package that has been dispatched from MH to reach me but this time it had been more than 60 hours and there was no update so i talked to a representative he/she told me that it had not been received at the next hub and was in transit, so like a crazy person after 3 hours i again talked to an representative demanding the status update of the laptop this time i was told they are having some sort of operational issues and within 30 minutes miraculously the status was updated (this was a red flag in my mind maybe i am just paranoid).

I then received the laptop on 17/2 and as usual i record full video of unboxing of electronic items so i started opening the outer carton which was fine and had no signs of manhandling but when the laptop box appeared i'll let the pictures do the talking.

Attachment 2124406

Attachment 2124407

Now that is a big red flag, tear on the box from two side but after unboxing and turning on the laptop, the laptop was fine.

Maybe i am just paranoid but to me it feels like an unsuccessful theft during those 60 hours after it had reached hub it was supposed to but wasn't logged in the system.
You are not being paranoid, it helps to be cautious. I have noticed that sometimes the package does not move for a long time at a courier facility or often it reaches an incorrect courier facility. This happens with only one particular courier service (BlueDart) which they use to send this particular item. I buy this regularly so I kind of know what is a normal transit and when it gets derailed. I have made it a point to open such items only under a video camera. Its not easy to figure out if its tampered or not either since its not something that can be figured out by looking at it. I have brought this to the notice of Amazon but they have brushed it off. But I still keep a watch on it.
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