From Credit Card to COD, Indian E-Commerce Evolution?

I still remember the day, when I first placed an order online at an Indian E-Commerce store, it was a sari for my mom and I paid for it with my credit card. Fast forward 5-6 years, dozens of transactions at Indian E-Commerce sites and a few lakhs spent online, and yesterday I ordered something through COD (Cash on Delivery).

This was despite the fact that I would have gotten 5% off my order if I had paid through my credit card, not to mention, reward points on my credit card account.

So what really transpired to make me switch from credit card to cash on delivery, even though COD is only supposed to be there to make the customer feel comfortable with the shopping site, so that he/she may trust them with their credit card info next time around?

Well the primary reason I did this was due to the fact that on my second last order, my credit card was charged twice by the very same company, who not only couldn’t see it in their system after I complained, but even after I sent them a scanned copy of my credit card statement, clearly showing the double charges (something I have never been made to do by any other company)!

This company (dominant player in its niche) then wanted me to contact my credit card company, get the transaction numbers and what not, at which point I simply had enough and raised a dispute with my credit card issuer, who to their credit, resolved the matter in a matter of days and that too based on an email complaint!

Add this to another double charge case which I faced last year or the instance where I was made to run around for refund, for over a month by the largest E-Commerce player in India, after having received a counterfeit DSLR battery or the recent incident involving Letsbuy, where not only my order worth Rs. 48,000 wasn’t fulfilled, but the company itself was shut down by Flipkart, who had bought it few months back. Ensuing utter chaos at Letsbuy customer care and serious doubt over their promise to refund the money within 7 to 21 working days.

So even though logically a customer is supposed to progress from cash on delivery to credit card for their online shopping, once they get familiar with the concept of buying things online and at the end of the day, cash on delivery costs more to consumer as well as seller, there are people like me, who have literally been arm twisted by the sheer trust deficit, long refund times and complete lack of apathy from Indian E-Commerce players to either go off line or stick to cash on delivery (for things which aren’t available easily) as the payment method.

Of course at the end of the day, Indian E-Commerce sites have no one else to blame but themselves and need to not only work on delivering products to the customer in a timely manner, but also ensure that customer service is top notch and that refunds are issued in matter of hours, rather than weeks it currently takes! Especially when budget International E-Commerce sites like dealextreme are able to process and issue refunds in less than 24 hours, despite operating on razor thin margins!

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2 Comments

  1. Arnob Gupta June 4, 2012
  2. Yogesh Sarkar June 4, 2012

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