Tag: twitter

Flipkart and the Big Billion Day Ambush

Flipkart had been building the hype for its so-called Big Billion Day sale for over 2 weeks. I as million others was waiting for the so-called auspicious October 6. Auspicious as apparently the Flipkart founders started the company from an apartment numbered ‘610’. They definitely did a great job in getting people hooked to the whole drama. TV adverts to news paper reports on them employing over 5000 extra people for this one Big day and personal mails from the Bansal duo.

Come October 6, the mega sale started at 8 am. Offers even someone with no money could have bought. From pen drives for Rs. 1 to mobiles and tablets for Rs. 100. The had it all to make it a blockbuster. But then if only world was perfect. The products on knocked down prices made appearance for a few seconds. I read it they had been planning for the mega day for months, to see a little or no stock on offer.

Read on twitter that people were unable to even place orders due to technical glitches other than the products being out of stock. I managed to get my hands on a deal I thought made my day. A Samsung LED TV worth Rs. 73000 for Rs. 47950 (included a trade in of my old TV). A difference of over Rs. 25000. Who would had let go such a deal? The order was placed at about 2 pm. Received an email from Flipkart at 4. Thought was an order confirmation mail but found out it was a mail cancelling the Order. The mail gave the reason for cancellation which left me baffled.

Greetings from Flipkart.com!Thank you for your order OD000943973783348200 . You made an excellent choice by deciding to purchase one of the top selling products on Flipkart. However, due to high demand for this item and in order to provide all customers an equal opportunity to avail this great deal we had to cancel the following items in your Order.
ITEM QTY PRICE/UNIT
Seller: WS Retail
Samsung 40H6400 40 inches LED TV 1 Rs. 73500.00
The amount of Rs. 47950.00 will be refunded back to your bank account/card by Tuesday, 14 Oct’14.

So as you see, it was cancelled such that other people could have been given equal opportunity to avail the so-called “great deal”. I couldn’t understand what it meant. I didn’t place a bulk order which would had deprived others of the great deal. An order of one unit was cancelled so that someone else could get the opportunity to buy it? And for the sake of equality?? Wonder what equality means to Flipkart and the Bansals??? In my profession such is an act of inequality or discrimination or bias. It didn’t end here, a little after the cancellation the same TV was being sold for a higher price. I would had understood that they ran out of stock and cancelled. They were well in stock but wanted to sell the TV at a higher price.

I thought about the whole scheme of things, got to know of a few more people whose orders were cancelled after the payment was made by them. So Flipkart got my money against an order which was cancelled at their discretion, the money would be refunded after like 10 days, remains with them free of cost. They do not pay any interest or cost of raising the money from people like me and retains it for 10 days. Thinking about it, they got a cost free fund for 10 days, sort of short time debt but without any interest. Interestingly this collection would run into crores getting to know the number of people whose orders were cancelled after receiving money from them.

The entire issue was covered by DNA in an article “Flipkart draws wrath on its big billion day as it cancels order within hours”

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-flipkart-cancels-order-on-their-big-billion-day-promises-to-refund-amount-2023968

Details of similar instances was compiled by @Datoism in his post “The Flipkart Scam”

http://www.storify.com/Datoism/the-flipkart-scam/

In a perfect world the number of a particular product on offer would had been mentioned and the moment it ran out of stock it would had shown the availability as out of stock and no further orders would had been taken. The orders would had been on a first cum first serve basis. Everyone takes their chance and if they got lucky they would had succeeded in buying the product. But then this did not happen. Either they continued to show availability even though the product went out of stock or the deal was just an eyewash to attract people to get money from them without the intention of selling in such offer. Surprisingly, the consumers had no option to cancel the purchase, but they had the option which they exercised without any cogent reason.

The debate has been going on for a while on the effect of e-commerce on small stores. I am not against the whole e-commerce uprising, at the end it is for the benefit of the consumers. But then why regulate the small stores, why do adverts to make consumer aware while buying stuff from the small stores, whereas the e-commerce giants get to trade without any regulation to the detriment of the small traders. There are no regulation in India to check the sales being made by the e-commerce players. There is no regulation on their receipt of money and its refund. There is nothing to bind them to make offers which can be fulfilled. How is it different from people who sell stuff to increase height or make hair grow? Knowing it can’t be possible people get duped in them, same as getting duped into an offer which was probably impossible for Flipkart to fulfil. Isn’t that clearly illegal?

The whole incident calls for serious checks and balances. If e-commerce is for the interest of the consumers then there is a serious need for them to be regulated. The consumers need to be equally educated about the supposed harm they can be inflicted.

I, am not concerned about my order or the money. I know they cannot escape with my money, but the larger issue needs a serious address. The whole modus operandi is in the nature of an Economic Offence. It is clearly a misrepresentation made to the people at large and misappropriation of their money.

I, understand Flipkart achieved a fabulous sale on the Big Day, which was known after the curiosity created, but it will be interesting to know how many orders were cancelled by them after having received the money. How much money was received from such orders? If their intentions are genuine they should come out with these figures and not just bask in the glory of their achievements.

I, as a lawyer, intend to take up the issue, be it by representing to the Economic Offence Wing or RBI or a PIL for a proper regulation to control the misrepresentation and the loss caused to consumers. Surprisingly Flipkart is silent on the entire issue even though it being raised by hundreds on twitter. Well, any of you that wants to join the drive may contact me.

Loosing my twitter virginity..

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

I was with my family for a change on the New Year Eve in 2009, yes for a change because on NYE I had always been with my friends. The reason was the screwed up life I was facing, it was at its lowest best. I was optimistic and tried to believe that there is no further low that life can achieve so its time to see the light in the gloom. So spending time with family was the best option, they always appreciate you and make you feel lively.

This post is not about my low life or the 2009 NYE, it’s about my hooking up with twitter. So as I was home my brother was trying to tease me for being active and known on this cool community known as Twitter. I told him even I had an account and tried to tell him that the bloody thing sucks. Yes I had an account, which I had opened sometime in June 2009 after all the twitter buzz in the media. Sent some random tweets and sat back hoping that people would reply to my tweets, without realising that it was not a chat channel. With no responses I made myself believe that the whole jing bang on the media is a paid promotion of the website and this thing does nothing but Suck. The account was abandoned.

So I told my brother that there was nothing to feel proud about being active on some frivolous website. He asked me what was my handle, I was like WHAT? Then was told that the id on twitter is known as Handle. Hmm ok, yes the sucky website had its own lingo. Told him the handle was Karmic @KarmicThoughts. Nothing Bond about it.

Why @KarmicThoughts? I was thinking of keeping it @alwaysready till i realised it sounded more like the handle of a whore . Thought and thought till I noticed that I am saintly and an ardent believer of karma, so my thoughts would be karmic thoughts. Saintly? Well apparently my name was also the name of some ancient famous saint. Senseless? I know, and now no more questions about my handle.

It was the night of 29th December, with no friends and a few bot followers my Twitter account was almost Virgin. Almost as it had indulged in some one-sided foreplay before. My brother @kp1200 added me and screamed out loud on his timeline, MEET MY BROTHER, FOLLOW HIM. Then he asked me to check my account and start the journey. I checked my Timeline and saw it blank as always, was then told I need to check the mentions, damn this new lingo, considering I am bad with languages I was up for a tough ride. My mentions had a bunch of messages from some wonderful people who then became good friends. Well honestly, thanks to my goldfish memory I dont remember who all were they, but can surely guess who all it could be. I had lost my twitter virginity.

I was given a crash course on the lingo, hugs was called Twugs, CLT = Currently listening to, RT = Retweet and some more. Bro told me a tweep of his is following me, and I thought he meant someone is weeping coz of me. Damn WTF was I thinking, but then I had thought I need to put a T before any word to make it a part of the Tweet Lingo.

The journey had started, over the next few months followed some lovely people, made some awesome friends, learnt about follow friday, gave and was given recos (made me feel special seeing people writing goodness about me), attended tweetups, celebrated birthday on the road with a bunch of great tweeps, twitter was now an integral part of my life. Recently heard somewhere “I may look lonely but I am never lonely” well I could relate to this phrase to the core. Twitter was on 24/7, it grew on me like an addiction and yes I was addicted to this life changing experience.

Life changing as I could speak anything and was not questioned. I could ask anything and was answered. I was getting information before it was flashed on new channels. It made me feel I had some sort of power, like a super hero. I could bash Chetan Bhagat and would see people joining me. For a change I had met people who were smarter than me. Twitter was the new google of my life, google with a ‘personal touch’.

Lately things have changed, yes changed as my thoughts have started being questioned which kind of kills the whole idea of being myself on twitter, but then who cares 🙂

Today after a year, with over 28000 tweets and over 760 followers, and realising how wrong i was in saying that it sucked, after finding that every social media is not like facebook, I am still hooked to twitter, it’s an affair which doesn’t seems to be ending anytime soon. Thanks to my brother that I have company even when the world surrounding me is fast asleep.

REALITY VIRTUAL !!

The world in our generation has moved from reality to virtuality, virtual is now more real than the real. The virtual world is more powerful than the real. Though we are alive in the real world we are living a virtual life. The first thing I do today when I wake up is to check my emails, my social networking space, twitter and blog. Everything else comes next. We cry, we smile, we get angry and fight in real for something that happens virtually. Today we want our online profiles to look more beautiful than our homes, afterall we technically live there than in reality. A friend of mine met me a few months back with an idea to make virtual something we do in real. He wanted to provide a platform for the netizens (yes being a lawyer we extensively studied about citizenship, but netizenship is a concept yet to be legally ratified) to protest. I told him that this is already happening. We protest by showing our displeasure on our blogs, social networking sites and the likes of twitter. We all do it, even though it is mostly not heard. He then asked me if I am angry over some issue and would want to break glasses or maybe set a bus on fire, can we do it virtually. Well honestly I wouldnt do it even in real, So his idea was to let us protest and show our anger by doing things we are not able to do even in reality. A place where protest petitions be signed, show our displeasure by quietly lighting a candle or make noise by breaking glasses. And the idea was to get heard by those who needed to change, those who had committed the wrong. I thought if this was practical, if it made sense. It somehow did, but I told him that it might not be totally viable. The same guy called me 2 days back and asked me to check http://www.indiaprotest.org, i checked the website and was amazed that he had brought his thoughts and ideas into life. The website was interactive and I could register my protest in ways I could not do in reality. Though it was a little far fetched but it gave that satisfaction of releasing the anger. Great innovative website, it surely can bring a change to the way we protest and can make a dent on those who think themselves to be immortals. The way we are moving out of reality towards the virtuality, its not too far when we would all have the split personality disorder. We are two different people online and offline, trying not to mix the two. The mixing of the two would definitely bring around a fatal change. It would get difficult to live both and eventually choose one. Thats why I think a balance of both is needed. The moment one takes over the other, the disastrous would begin. So live virtually without disturbing the reality, coz virtual is all because of the real. Signing out..Woof Woof !!!