Big Billion Day sale: Flipkart faces social media backlash over ‘crashes’, ‘misleading’ pricing

The website’s servers seemed clearly overloaded within a couple of hours of the sale opening early in the morning.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: October 7, 2014 7:06 am
#BigBillionDay gets Flipkart millions of unhappy customers The Big Billion Day sale seems to have earned Flipkart more angry customers than satisfied ones.

Billed as India’s largest discount sale ever, e-commerce company Flipkart’s ‘Big Billion Day’ sale on Monday brought with it some unwanted backlash on the social media, with disgruntled shoppers taking to Facebook and Twitter to vent their ire over server “crashes” and “misleading” pricing claims.

The website’s servers seemed clearly overloaded within a couple of hours of the sale opening early in the morning. Many users complained of landing on error pages or seeing their transactions being interrupted midway through. Additionally, consumers claimed that offers advertised by Flipkart in the newspapers were not available on the website.

“The traffic was heavy but server did not crash,” a Flipkart spokesperson said, but refused to give any details. A statement by Flipkart founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal said: “Our technology team has been dedicated towards addressing errors and providing constant support to accommodate the largest scale of traffic and customer visits e-commerce has witnessed across the country.” CEO Sachin Bansal claimed his company hit its target of $100 million in gross merchandise value (value of goods sold) in 10 hours.

The day also saw significant offline and online activity by Flipkart’s rivals Snapdeal and Amazon India, with Snapdeal running a campaign with the tagline: “For others it’s a big day. For us, today is no different.” Amazon has been running a sale from October 4-6, calling it the ‘Mission to Mars’ weekend.

“Snapdeal had a record breaking day of sales on October 6. We witnessed sales of over a crore rupees a minute, with lakhs of products being sold in a single day,” its co-founder and CEO Kunal Bahl said in a statement.

Flipkart had run massive marketing campaigns, with advertisements splashed across newspapers and outdoor media announcing its discount sale on Monday. Within hours, though, exasperated users took to Twitter, Facebook and blogging to attack the company’s pricing claiming that in some instances, the “discounted offerings” were actually priced higher than on rival e-tailing sites while in other cases, the mark-up prices were seen to have been first hiked, and then ‘discounted’ to a prices close to market rates. (with PTI)

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First Published on: October 7, 2014 2:41 am
  1. J
    JetFire
    Oct 7, 2014 at 4:12 pm
    They even printed a product of rs 14000 to 1400 in newspaper----nothing like that was there on site
    Reply
    1. S
      Sree
      Oct 7, 2014 at 3:19 pm
      flipkart was also disapointed yesterday?.same thing happend yesterday. My moto e deal Rs 1500 was cancelled without intimation...
      Reply
      1. S
        Sarvesh Khemuka
        Oct 9, 2014 at 12:15 pm
        I SALUTE THE MAN, THE COMPANY AND THE APOLOGY. He had to apologize because he knows he is in India, where people feel proud on an Apple site crash (on a single product launch day) but mindlessly rant defames on a company website that's handling unimaginable volumes of unlimited product transactions. A hardworking pionate Indian company giving them all the benefits that they could never even dream about getting at this stage of India's development. Some hours of technical glitch for such a huge traffic is always ignorable. The entire site was up and moving steady the same day, isn't that commendable? Learn to support and encourage Indian companies, you wont make them complacent in doing so, believe me..And now don't say its a Singaporean company anyways, the DNA is surely Indian. Many of you live with electricity blackouts, inflated water bills but mouth harsh complaints only where its easy to... just a little education on online shopping which Flipkart should be doing 1) If a product is sold at 7000 Rs on regular days without showing actual price in cross it doesnt mean that in if the product is sold at 6000, the seller doesnt have a right to show the actual cost as 9500 (which is its actual MRP not inflated cost, but yes a tactic to show you good discount), 2) If you keep a product in cart and keep shopping without paying, dont expect it to be there for ages as products are limited. 3) If you cant get your hand on crazy discounted products dont feel cheated, those are very few in numbers used for promoting the concept. Actors give away their movie audio cds free to some people during promotions, thats not called under selling or miss-selling. 4) i tried at 8 the products were already out of stock! yes, because there is something called as Flipkart first customers who get priority access 10 to 15 min before such events. They consume that stock. Everything cannot be told by the company, you also need to research. 5) Count the benefits vs problems and then make an opinion. Not everything is perfect in this world. Be proud of Indian companies, Support and show integrity .. dont keep everything on an edge and dont let bad press get a chance because of your social media endeavors.
        Reply
        1. V
          Vikash Thakur
          Oct 7, 2014 at 3:02 am
          Flipkart cancelled my order on BigBillionDay without any prior approval or intimation? When the company was not allowing any consumer to cancel order after purchasing. This a clear case of abusing dominance of seller position. How can they do that to any consumer as a matter of fact?
          Reply