In Depth

What people have received after ordering online will shock you

Have you ever wished that the soap in your hand may turn into an iPhone or something of the kind? Clearly, it’s not possible. But the vice versa is!

 

On 18 November 2016, Navdeep Nain posted a video on youtube wherein he is unboxing iPhone 7. However, he was shocked to see what was in there for him.

“I ordered an iPhone 7 on 26th October 2016 hoping that it will be delivered to me before my birthday but when I opened this package from Amazon.in, I found that instead of an I phone 7 they send me a soap bar (Fena 40g)!! I never expected this from Amazon.in. And still after so many days they are not helping me in any way they are just delaying the process,” writes Nain in a video description that he uploaded on the internet.

Like Nain, there are hundreds of customers who have had bitter experiences with the e-commerce. Be it Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Hyderabad or any other state of India, people are coming out to tell their stories as to how they got cheated.

Naveed Ahmad, a resident of Karan Nagar, Srinagar had ordered a cellphone costing Rs 4500 from Telehub teleshopping. To his utter dismay, he was delivered a Hanuman toy by the seller.

Online shopping is great, everything is just a click away. All the desired products, best deals, scams and frauds. Everything! It doesn’t matter where you shop from; you are prone to fall prey to the sellers who sometimes send a completely different product, a damaged product or no product at all.

Over the past few years, India has witnessed a great exponential increase in its online market. Now-a-days people in India are purchasing all sorts of products through online shopping portals.

According to statistics provided by Google, India has more than 100 million Internet users, out of which around half opt for online purchases and the number is growing every year. .

With such a large market size, companies, right from retail shops to consumer goods, are entering the Web space to attract potential customers. Even traditional retailers like Shoppers Stop, Westside and Pantaloons are looking at the online shopping space for growth.  General retail chains are also upgrading their sites for e commerce, making it more convenient for customers to place online purchase orders.

However, as easy and convenient it is to shop online, it is as easy to get conned. A fraud seller attracts a customer by setting a very low prize on a branded product. Sometimes, even when a customer pays the amount as per the fixed rate, he gets conned.

Arshie Qureshi, a local from Srinagar Kashmir said that she was too excited about Che Guevara poster she had ordered from Amazon. However, she received something completely opposite: a poster with Swami VivekAnand’s quotes.

“I called them up (Amazon customer care). They sent me the right product after that. But they wasted my time and efforts. Moreover, I know people who don’t get back to them. So, online shopping had its own cons,” she said.

Though most of the goods are not deliverable to Kashmir, there are many files full of applications addressed to Senior Superintendent Post Office division (SGPO) Srinagar requesting him to stop the payment of the goods they received.

According to a General Post Office Srinagar official, complaints from customers regarding online frauds are increasing day by day. “Almost every week we receive complaints involving instances where a customer while shopping online has been promised of one article and being delivered a completely different article. The aggrieved customers come to us for stopping the payments to the sellers alleging that they have been delivered either a defective article or a different article,” said the official.

Talking to the aggrieved customers whose complaints were found at the post office Srinagar reveals a lot about the nature and mode of working of these online fraudsters.

Sibhat Nissar, a resident of Hyderpora, Srinagar had ordered for a Philips power bank which was available to her at a discounted price but instead was delivered a low grade power bank.

The complaints also revealed instances where the sellers directly approach the customers with the purpose of duping them. Saima Bashir, a resident of Batamaloo Srinagar had received a telephonic call from Divya Rishi Sanastha Tele Company offering her a mobile phone costing Rs 15000, a gold coin and a power bank in lieu of Rs 3000 which she was asked to deposit through the post office. However she was delivered only the power bank after paying the amount to the seller.

There are also instances where the bank credentials of the customers have been compromised with while conducting online transactions. Owais Naqshbandi, an employee from the Jammu and Kashmir bank said that a good majority of customers have experienced a security problem threat or nuisance as a result of using their devices for online shopping.

Besides these types of frauds, physical fraud is also committed. When buying from websites, consumers may think they are getting a good deal on a product that is normally relatively expensive. These sales from reputable websites are often misleading. So, how can you avoid fraudsters and minimize the risk while shopping?

With the growth in online shopping, the incidences of online frauds have also increased manifold.  Online fraud is the most prevalent economic crime in India , which has been gradually assuming larger proportions with increased use of online modes for payment & transactions .

Moreover, the person from who you are buying something is a virtual entity and before you pay the money – even in the case of the cash on delivery – you do so before actually seeing the product & seller in real.

Deal only with online shopping websites that provide a full address and contact details and preferably have the names and addresses of the Directors of the company listed in open domain on corporate information website.

Very often you will be moved from a merchant’s screen to another screen where the monetary transaction is being completed. Here again, look carefully for information on full style and address of the entity, before plugging in especially your banking or other details.

Also, the bank’s screen for re-validation and internet password must come up on the bank’s website with an https on the extreme left side. Online shopping has also become a huge clearing house for fake and bottle leg products, so please be extremely careful here.

Especially with electronic items like Mobile phones and power banks be very careful of extremely high discounts or low prices – if it is too good to be true, it probably isn’t. Which does not mean you will not pick up some fantastic bargains – you will. But be careful. If in doubt, research the portal’s reputation online and then buy.

And whenever you open a new package, make sure you make a video, so you have a proof.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Fiaz Maqbool Fazili

    June 21, 2017 at 1:19 PM

    how should one deal with such cheating; which forum and which law applies to such fraud

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