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  • Writer's pictureSophia Satapathy

The Dangers of Online Shopping: How One Customer Lost ₹23,000 to a Tata Cliq Fraud Delivery Mix-up



Delivery Mishap tata CLiq Thumbnail

Online shopping has gained immense popularity but has also led to numerous risks for customers. One often hears horror stories of wrong deliveries, items not matching descriptions, and difficulties raising complaints. However, some instances leave people truly perplexed.

Let me introduce you to one such case that recently made headlines. A customer, excited to receive his order of premium New Balance sneakers worth Rs. 23,000 from Tata Cliq Luxury, was left shocked upon opening the package. Instead of the coveted kicks, he found a humble pair of slippers. Naturally disappointed, he reached out to the company seeking a refund. But the situation took an unexpected turn when his request was denied.

While delivery errors can occur occasionally, the customer was truly dismayed by the refusal to return his money. Further distress unfolded as he shared details online. The company acknowledged the goof-up but cited quality checks as the reason for withholding the refund. Netizens were quick to express their views on the matter. With expensive items, recording unboxing emerged as a lesson. Overall, this Tata Cliq fraud case highlighted pressing issues around protecting consumer rights in the digital domain.

 What happened to the customer and Tata Cliq Luxury?


Sneakers

Shoes That Was Ordered By The Customer

 The ordeal began when a customer named @Ace_Of_Pace ordered an expensive pair of New Balance sneakers worth Rs. 23,000 from the Tata Cliq Luxury website. He eagerly awaited the delivery of the stylish sneakers. However, much to his disappointment, upon receipt of the order, he found that a pair of simple slippers had been delivered instead of the sneakers. He promptly lodged a complaint with Tata Cliq Luxury, upset with the wrong delivery, requesting an exchange or refund.

But to his frustration, Tata Cliq Luxury denied the refund. In their response email to the customer, they cited "quality standards" for not providing the refund. They further claimed that the correct product had been delivered to him. Feeling cheated by the company's handling of the mistaken delivery, the angry customer took to Twitter to share his experience. In a viral Twitter post, he accused Tata Cliq Luxury of deceiving and defrauding customers. Despite the issue gaining attention online, Tata Cliq Luxury did not admit fault.


Slippers

Man claims Tata Cliq sent slippers instead of shoes worth Rs 23K, wants refund

The case highlighted broader issues faced by online shoppers, such as incorrect deliveries, a lack of transparent refund policies, and the need for e-commerce platforms to have stronger quality checks in place. While Tata Cliq Luxury acknowledged it as a problem case, the company did not take responsibility for its part in the matter. The unsatisfactory resolution left the customer feeling misled and out of pocket for his expensive purchase.

Lessons for customers from this Tata Cliq fraud incident

  • Record videos while opening expensive items: It's important to record unboxing videos of expensive items you order online. This helps prove what was delivered in case there are any issues. Photos may not always be enough evidence.

  • Pay attention to return and refund policies: Companies may have strict policies regarding refunds that don't always favor customers. It's best to understand these policies clearly before ordering costly items so you won't be disappointed later.

  • Share issues on social media: If a company is not addressing your problem, posting about the experience on platforms like Facebook or Twitter can help get more attention. While public forums can raise awareness of issues, one must be cautious when sharing problems online. Some scammers may use such information to fraudulent ends, preying on frustrated customers. Direct but polite communication with companies through official channels helps ensure fair resolutions in a safe manner.

  • Consider purchasing high-value items offline if possible: While online shopping offers convenience, it's usually safer to buy very expensive purchases from a physical store. This makes returns or exchanges easier if anything goes wrong with the order.

What recourse do customers have in such cases?

Ordering products online has become increasingly popular, offering convenience and a wide range of options. However, there are instances where customers receive the wrong product, leading to frustration and disappointment. In such cases, it's essential to know what recourse you have as a consumer. 

This article will guide you through the steps you can take and explore various options, including consumer courts, industry bodies like ASCI (Advertising Standards Council of India), and specialized complaint resolution platforms like Sama and Voxya.

Understanding Consumer Rights and Recourse:

As a consumer, you have certain rights when purchasing goods online. 

These include the right to receive the product as described, the right to a refund or replacement for a faulty or incorrect product, and the right to seek compensation for any damages caused. 

If you receive the wrong product and the seller refuses to cooperate, you can explore the following options:

Consumer Courts:

Consumer courts are established to protect the rights of consumers and resolve disputes between consumers and sellers. To file a complaint in a consumer court, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Gather all relevant documents: Keep a record of your order details, payment receipts, and communications with the seller.

  2. Identify the appropriate consumer court: Consumer courts are organized into different levels based on the value of the claim. Find the court that matches your case's value.

  3. Prepare your complaint: Clearly explain the issue, provide evidence, and state the desired resolution.

  4. Submit the complaint: File the complaint along with the necessary documents at the designated consumer court.

  5. Follow the legal process: Attend hearings, provide additional evidence if required, and cooperate with the court's proceedings.

Here are the relevant details on how to reach out to Consumer Courts in India:

National Consumer Helpline (NCH)

The National Consumer Helpline (NCH) is a toll-free number - 1800-11-4000 that can be called from anywhere in India to register consumer complaints or seek information regarding consumer rights and forums.

You can call the NCH helpline number for guidance on identifying the appropriate consumer court based on your location and case value. They will also provide information on the complaint filing process and next steps.

Consumer Court Website

For more details on consumer courts, you can visit the official website of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) at https://consumerhelpline.gov.in/

The NCDRC website provides the complete address and contact details of all state and district consumer forums across India. It also has information on the e-filing process for consumer complaints.

State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (SCDRC)

If your claim amount exceeds Rs. 1 crore, you need to approach the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission or SCDRC. Contact details of all SCDRCs are available on the NCDRC website.

District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (DCDRF)

For claims up to Rs. 1 crore, the appropriate authority is the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum or DCDRF based in your district. Contact details are provided on the NCDRC site.

E-filing of Consumer Complaints

You can also e-file your consumer complaint through the electronic filing portal - E-Daakhil available on the NCDRC website. This makes the complaint registration process simpler and faster.

Industry Bodies like ASCI:

The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) is a self-regulatory body that monitors and promotes ethical advertising practices. While ASCI does not directly handle individual complaints, it plays a crucial role in maintaining advertising standards. 

If the issue pertains to false or misleading advertisements, you can file a complaint with ASCI, and they will take appropriate action against the advertiser.

Filing a Complaint with ASCI

  1. Visit the ASCI website www.ascionline.org and click on the 'Complaints' option.

  2. Select whether you want to file a new complaint or check the status of an existing one.

  3. Fill out the online complaint form providing details of the advertisement, media platform, and nature of objection.

  4. You can upload screenshots or links of the objectionable ad as supporting evidence.

  5. Optionally provide your name and contact details, though ASCI also allows anonymous complaints.

  6. Submit the form online. ASCI aims to respond within 15 working days of receiving the complaint.

  7. You will be updated on the complaint status via email. ASCI may also request additional information if required.

ASC Consumer Complaints Council (CCC)

The ASCI Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) reviews complaints and recommends appropriate action like removing or modifying the ad to the advertiser.

If required, ASCI can also approach regulatory bodies like the Advertising Agency Standards Council of India (AASCI) or even courts for further action against misleading advertisements.

Specialized Complaint Resolution Platforms:

Several platforms specialize in resolving consumer complaints and disputes. Two such platforms are Sama and Voxya:

  • Sama: Sama is an online complaint resolution platform that helps consumers escalate their issues to companies and seek resolutions. To file a complaint on Sama, visit their website, provide details of the issue, and follow their instructions to submit the complaint.

To reach Sama for individuals, you can visit their website. On their website, you will find detailed information about their services and how they help individuals resolve disputes online.

If you have any queries or would like to get in touch with Sama, you can reach them through the following channels:

  • Website: You can visit Sama's website and explore the information available on their platform. The website provides comprehensive details about their services, consultation options, and frequently asked questions.

  • Helpline Number: Sama may have a helpline number listed on their website. Look for a contact or support section on their website to find the helpline number, if available. You can call the helpline number to speak with a representative and get assistance with your queries.

  • Email: You can also reach out to Sama by sending an email to info@sama.live. This email address is provided on their website as a contact option. You can use this email address to communicate with Sama and seek any information or support you require.

Note: Please note that Sama charges a consultation fee of Rs. 2500 for individuals seeking a 60-minute consultation with a highly qualified subject matter expert. This fee is applicable for the consultation service provided on their platform.

It's recommended to visit their website first, as it may contain the most up-to-date contact information and details about how to reach them.

  • Voxya: Voxya is another platform that assists consumers in resolving complaints. To file a complaint on Voxya, visit their website, select the appropriate category, provide the necessary details, and submit your complaint.

To file a complaint on Voxya, visit their website, select the appropriate category, provide necessary details, and submit your complaint.

  • Helpline Number: Voxya doesn’t have a direct helpline number, but you can reach out to them through their website or other channels.

  • Email: You can contact Voxya via email by clicking here.

  • WhatsApp: Send a WhatsApp message to Voxya at +91-9889528946.

Filing a Complaint:

When filing a complaint, it's essential to include all relevant information, such as order details, payment receipts, and any communication with the seller. 

Be clear about the problem you encountered, the desired resolution (refund, replacement, etc.), and any supporting evidence you have. Additionally, keep a record of all interactions, including dates and names of customer service representatives.

Contacting Customer Support:

Before taking legal or formal recourse, it's advisable to try resolving the issue directly with the seller's customer support. For example in this case you need to contact Tata Cliq.  Contact them through the provided channels (phone, email, or chat) and explain the problem. 

Provide them with your order details and any evidence you have. In many cases, companies are willing to resolve the issue and offer a satisfactory solution.

Receiving the wrong product can be frustrating, but as a consumer, you have rights and options to seek redress. Consumer courts, industry bodies like ASCI, and specialized complaint resolution platforms like Sama and Voxya are available to assist you in resolving disputes. When filing a complaint, ensure you have all the necessary documentation and be clear about the problem and desired resolution. By taking appropriate steps and seeking assistance, you can increase the chances of a satisfactory outcome and protect your consumer rights.

Preventing such issues - Role of e-commerce companies


Actions by E-commerce Companies

Recommended Approach

Monitor the work of delivery partners

Implement a robust monitoring system to track the performance of delivery partners

Regularly check delivered products

Conduct periodic quality checks to ensure accurate and satisfactory deliveries

Resolve wrong item issues promptly

Quickly acknowledge and rectify any instances of incorrect items being sent to customers

Provide easy refunds or replacements

Streamline the refund and replacement process, making it hassle-free for customers

Respond politely on social media

Engage with customers on social media platforms, addressing their concerns in a polite manner

Admit own mistakes, avoid blaming

Take responsibility for any errors or mistakes and avoid blaming customers

Review both sides in complex refund cases

Thoroughly investigate complex refund cases, considering all relevant information and evidence

Make fair decisions with patience

Take the time to make fair and well-informed decisions, considering customer satisfaction

Conduct regular quality checks

Establish a system for regular quality checks on delivery partners to maintain service standards

Handle grievances sympathetically

Show empathy and understanding towards customer grievances, seeking solutions that satisfy them

Build trust through transparency

Foster transparency by openly admitting mistakes and taking appropriate measures to resolve them

Encourage customer loyalty

Nurture customer loyalty through exceptional service, leading to repeat purchases and referrals

Conclusion

Online shopping offers convenience but comes with risks, like receiving the wrong items. This story shows how ordering expensive products can go wrong despite quality checks. As customers, we must record unboxing valuable items and respectfully request a refund if issues arise. Brands must address grievances sensitively and work with delivery partners to fulfill orders accurately. While mistakes happen, denying responsibility is unfair to customers. If facing similar problems, customers should share their experiences for awareness and seek resolution through appropriate authorities.

FAQs

Q1: What are some common disputes that can arise from online shopping?

A1: Some common disputes in online shopping include shipping and delivery issues, product quality discrepancies, return and refund processes, and communication breakdowns with customer service.

Q2: How can I protect my consumer rights when shopping online?

A2: To protect your consumer rights when shopping online, make sure to review the e-commerce retailer's return and refund policies, use secure payment methods, seek clear and accurate product information, and ensure effective communication with customer support.

Q3: What should I do if I receive the wrong or mismatched item?

A3: If you receive the wrong or mismatched item, contact the retailer's customer service immediately and provide detailed information about the issue. Request a replacement or refund based on their return and exchange policies.

Q4: What steps should I take if I receive a damaged or defective product?

A4: If you receive a damaged or defective product, document the damage with photographs and promptly contact the retailer. Most reputable online retailers have return or exchange policies for such cases and will offer a replacement or refund.

Q5: What can I do if my online order is delayed or goes missing?

A5: If your online order is delayed or goes missing, track the package using the provided tracking number and contact the retailer or shipping company for assistance. They can provide updates on the delivery status or initiate a search for the missing package.

Q6: What if I face difficulties in returning or exchanging an item?

A6: If you face difficulties in returning or exchanging an item, review the retailer's return policy beforehand. If you encounter challenges, reach out to their customer service for guidance and clarification on the return or exchange process.



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