E-commerce might be the future but in Uttar Pradesh, past dealings with customers have given the two giants of Indian e-commerce, Flipkart and Amazon, very good reasons to avoid the state.
According to a post on Quora which went viral and was later deleted, companies have had horror stories when it comes to delivery in Uttar Pradesh’s Noida, which borders Delhi. The post was in answer to a question that asked “Why are Amazon and Flipkart not delivering products in Noida?.” The answer was posted by an anonymous user who claimed that he was part of the risk investigations team at Amazon.
According to the post, the text for which was also shared by novelist Manu Joseph on his Facebook page, the biggest problem in Noida is “Order abuse cases” and that it is highest in these regions than rest of India.
The anonymous user wrote, “People used to order IPhone and mention they got a Nokia model phone. They mentioned the IPhone was not working and so customer service used to initiate return and what did Amazon got in the return package, bricks, biscuit packets, cardboard pieces. Its very easy to play fraud with Amazon and Flipkart.”
But the tales don’t stop there, according to the anonymous user, delivery boys were also beaten up, some even locked up in bathrooms. The reasons, “give me my change of 2 rupees, the POS not working, the order was late, order was not functioning.”
The post ends, “These customers place the order just for fun using COD, the courier boy goes for the delivery and they say we did not order. Due to this, lot of logistics and Supply chain is lost. Noida region is like Germany, they have highest fraud cases with Amazon. Educated, yet not.”
The question has also seen another reply from user Indradeep Banerjee, who has put out personal stories from an ex-Flipkart employee. According to Banerjee’s post, once a “delivery boy who was carrying three Macbooks was looted at gunpoint in an open field which was given as the address.” The company could not track down the buyers because the address and mobile numbers were fake.
He adds that in UP shipments get stopped because some times the “right people” have not been “paid off.” In other stories people “order for the fun of it,” and when the goods arrive they refuse to pay. He even points out that sometimes delivery boys are robbed of the ‘Cash on Delivery’ payment in their purses.
This is not the first time that issues over e-commerce delivery have come up in Uttar Pradesh. In 2013, Flipkart had taken a decision to stop delivering goods worth more than Rs 10,000 to the state thanks to the number of ‘prank orders.’
In case of Amazon, if you try ordering an iPhone 6 even in the state’s capital Lucknow, it shows as not available for delivery. In Flipkart’s case, the iPhone 6 was available for delivery in Lucknow. In a statement, Flipkart told IndianExpress.com, “Flipkart has a large base of happy and loyal customers in Uttar Pradesh. We deliver to multiple cities in the state, including Bareilly, Varanasi, Allahabad, Agra, Lucknow and Noida. However, for any shipment sourced from outside the state, the government has set a limit of Rs. 5000/-, as per the commercial tax department. Our focus has always been to provide a seamless and unmatched shopping experience to the customers, while ensuring all compliance with the law of the land.”