Snapdeal is an Indian shopping website which operates on a marketplace business model, similar to it’s rivals Flipkart and Amazon. I’ve been shopping with Snapdeal for close to 2.5 years now, which I won’t anymore and I will tell you the reasons why. I have shopped on Flipkart, Amazon, Ebay, Aliexpress, Gearbest, Fasttech and Snapdeal is by far the worst portal on this list. Let me tell you why.
How it all began
My problems began when I ordered this chair on 8th November 2016 for ₹5204.
I got the delivery on 19th November 2016. It assembled fine, but I noticed it had a defect and would tilt backwards when I sit on it. So I raised a complaint with Snapdeal for a replacement within a week on their TrustPay system. They got back to me within a few days and agreed for the refund. I was then told to pack the parcel up and that they’ll collect it from me.
It was too hard to disassemble so I called up customer support and asked them to ask the seller to request him to send instructions to disassemble it. They get back to me the next day and tell me that they can’t do that and that I need to find a solution myself! Every other shopping portal allows for the buyer and seller to talk through the portal so that all communications are recorded apart from Snapdeal. I managed to find a local seller within 2-3 days who disassembled the product for me for ₹150. I packed the product up and waited for Snapdeal to pick it up. It was hard because the box was half torn when I got it.
More U-turns than RBI
The pickup never came. When I called them back, they told me that they do not have a courier partner servicing the area and that they will give me a ₹500 compensation, which I completely rejected since
- The chair was irreparable and it was a DOA.
- ₹500 is too small of a compensation for a chair costing more than 10x that.
- It was Snapdeal’s responsibility to pick it up and send me a replacement.
Then after a few days they tell me that I should be sending the chair from a courier in my area and that full shipping charges irrespective of how much they are will be refunded back to me. I confirmed many times if they will give me the full refund, which they agreed on. So I contacted DTDC couriers and they agreed to take the parcel for ₹8000-12000, depending on what tier I want. I told Snapdeal about this and they told me the cost was too high and they’ll pick up the parcel. After waiting a week to no avail, I contacted them back and this time they again told me they will not pick up the parcel and that I should be sending it. Again I had to explain the situation to a different representative. I got a resolution saying that I should be looking at a different courier partner in the area. I queried all of them. Either they didn’t want to take it or quoted similar costs.
Now they tell me they can refund maximum 30% of the product cost as the shipping cost. All of this was NOT mentioned in their terms and conditions or their return policy. I asked Snapdeal if logistics would do, which they didn’t agree for. I have rejected the 30% resolution and they have promised me a revert by Monday 2nd January 2016. Let’s see what happens.
I will tell you all the problems that I have had with this whole episode. If someone from Snapdeal reads this maybe they can try to fix it.
- I had my language preference set to English. However many of the customer representatives could not speak English or spoke it very poorly. One just refused to talk in English!
- Snapdeal’s terms and conditions were not properly defined and the staff regularly likes to come up with their own policies instead of sticking to predefined ones.
- What I noticed was that often their customer support via phone would be turned off only for my phone during most hours and the IVR would tell me just to use the app or website. It worked with any other phone. All emails were left unanswered. If this is malicious intent on Snapdeal’s part or not that I do not know, but it is concerning. Not answering emails usually leads to less evidence against a party since it is harder to record phone calls for evidence than screenshotting email conversations. The customer support in general is awful.
- Administration is an absolute mess. I end up calling them every day and have to reexplain the whole issue again. The customer service representative takes no decisions, but that is all handled by a different team that you can’t speak to. Everytime you complain you have to wait one working day for them to make the decision and give you a revert which is fixed.
- There is zero responsibility to anyone to fix my problem. Customer support is often rude and often makes you get all worked up.
- If their courier partners can’t pickup a product from a certain region, then why allow selling in the first place? This can be a huge problem for heavy products. Surely I’m not the first one having this issue.
- Absolutely zero vetting of sellers and no dismissal at bad reviews. There are a lot of complaints of shady sellers selling defective/old/stolen goods. I had received a product with a part missing once on Snapdeal but the seller made a off the books deal to refund some of my money, which was fine since I really needed the product and wasn’t found anywhere else.
- You often end up spending a lot of time on the phone, all of which is not toll free!
It’s been like 40 days since I raised the initial replacement request and they are doing everything under the sun to piss off a loyal customer of nearly 2.5 years. Meanwhile I have had absolutely zero problems on other delivery portals, on which I have returned things several times. It’s not like this is the first time this has been happening. A year ago I had to fight for 2 months to return a DOA product because their courier coordination was pathetic. I thought may be I’d give Snapdeal an another chance. Didn’t turn out to be very wise.
At the end of the day it’s stupid for me to have to fight with Snapdeal customer support just to return a DOA product, when I don’t have to worry about this when I shop with Amazon or Flipkart. The customer support is fantastic, returning products works without you having to sacrifice a goat to satan and logistics is all handled by them so you don’t have to worry. It’s not just me. There are countless claims of fraud by Snapdeal online. See this Reddit post or consumercomplaints.in. I doubt all of that billions of $s of funding that Snapdeal gets will actually be useful when they are leaving a very bad taste in their loyal customer’s mouths. PayPal and Ebay is popular today for one reason alone. The buyer can always trust them to not fuck you over.
I’ll update this post with whatever happens. Right now I’ll have to wait to see if they refund my money or I may have to settle the matter in the court. One things for sure – this is the last time I’m shopping at Snapdeal. 😠
Update 01/01/2017 7:20 PM:
A Snapdeal representative called me today and asked me to ship by India Post, which would not accept the parcel since it is higher than the maximum allowed volumetric weight. He threatened me that the “case will be pending” in case I do not accept his final ₹500 settlement fee and they will do nothing about it. I rejected that and am looking at one more courier. He was completely averse to help me out by asking someone to collect the parcel from logistics company’s office nearby if I send it via that. He also agreed to email me the full resolution so that I can use that as proof. But I never got the email! I even emailed them back to ask for it. No reply.
I think I’ll be filing a complaint in a consumer court with a hefty compensation for all the trouble I’ve had to go through if this is not some how resolved.
Update 12/01/2017 7:15 PM:
I have repeatedly tried contacting Snapdeal but I never get a call back from them, as promised every time I call. None of the courier options have worked out. One of Snapdeal’s representative had finally promised me a call back by 1 PM today but the call never came. I’ll call them back today and let’s see what happens.
I had also asked for the contact details of the Nodal officer, who is supposed to look at disputes like this as per the Information Technology Act, 2000 section 69A. All such requests were either unanswered or I was promised an answer within a few days, which never came.