Home > Customer delight, customer service > How could Flipkart respond to the open letter to its founder by a dissatisfied customer

How could Flipkart respond to the open letter to its founder by a dissatisfied customer

Today, I came across an open letter written to Sachin Bansal, CEO/Founder, Flipkart.com. In this letter, the writer (Sushrut Bidwai) talks about his experience of trying to get his laptop replaced by Flipkart. He also talks about the attitude of the service staff and how they left him feeling frustrated (repeatedly).

This open letter has also induced responses from other customers of flipkart to come in the open and admit that they also had similar experiences when it came to refunds or replacements.

Now, flipkart has the following options:

  1. Pretend that nothing happened and continue business as usual.
  2. Take notice of the service failure, take corrective actions to ensure that this is fixed at the earliest. Then continue business-as-usual.
  3. Put corrective measures in place, reach out to Sushrut and sort out his matter. Also, reach out to the others who have indicated that they went through a similar experience and sort their matter as well.

These steps can address the issue at hand. However, can Flipkart manage to use this incidence, turn it on its head into a great PR activity for itself? I think it can. The question is how? If I were in Sachin’s place, I would write an open response to this letter as below:

Dear Sushrut

First things first. I am really sorry for the harassment caused to you in your transaction with flipkart. I also know that no matter what I say or do, your 40 days of productive time will never be recovered. As a fellow entrepreneur, I understand what a difference such a time frame can have on a business.

However, I also wanted to thank you for taking the time and writing such a long and detailed letter to me. I want to let you know that I personally take responsibility for the actions of my employees and apologize to you for the bad treatment that you have received from Flipkart.

Just so that you know, your open letter has had the following effects on flipkart:

  1. We have identified the reasons for this service breakdown and have put in place processes and policies to ensure that such an incident never happens again with any other customer. Thanks to you, the service levels at Flipkart will go up a couple of notches which will be appreciated by our future customers. 

I would like to invite you to my office so that I can explain how we have ensured that such an experience never happens with any other customer.

Also, I would request you to address our employees on your distress during this period. I hope that this will make our employees more aware, conscious and inspire them to provide better service to our customers. 

As a token of gratitude & appreciation (for having taken the time, put in the effort to bring this to our notice and helping all our future customers), I would like to offer to you one book, free of cost, delivered to your home every month, for the next 5 years. You can pick the books and we will deliver it. I know that this can not in anyway bring back the time you lost due to the issue, but hope that you will benefit from the knowledge you gain from the books. 

I would also like to take this opportunity and request all our customers to continually engage with us and continue to provide us your valuable feedback. We would like you to believe that delighting you at every interaction is our only objective. Anything short of that is not expected. So, if you think, we are slipping, please provide a helping hand and let me know. I will be ever grateful to you for this help. You can reach me at (his email ID). 

Looking forward to meeting Sushrut and delighting all our other customers. 
Sachin Bansal 
Note: This is my way to respond to such a situation. Let’s see what action Sachin takes (or ignores).
  1. amit sabale
    January 27, 2012 at 10:23 am

    This is most appropriate response, pity if they follow option 1.

    • January 27, 2012 at 11:43 am

      I do hope that they are listening to this discussion and respond well. Thanks for posting your thoughts here.

  2. Imran Khan
    January 27, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    SUPER good

  3. Sushrut Bidwai
    January 30, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    Just note that Sachin Bansal never replied to my email (same letter) and only 2 weeks after going unnoticed I have made it public. Having said that – when some one ignores close communication but responds to public communication then it signals two things IMHO –
    1. Unless you have access to public mediums and willing to use it, then only we will respond.
    2. Otherwise we will keep doing shit and not clean it up.
    3. And if you did go public, instead of being embarrassed and ashamed of their mistakes they want to turn it into another PR stunt!

    Almost 99.9999% Indian consumer would have taken the refund and kept cursing flipkart offline. Unfortunately thats the reason why we keep seeing these incompetent, unethical businesses sprung all around us.

    • January 30, 2012 at 6:56 pm

      I completely agree to your thoughts here. My response was probably one of the ways that Sachin could have responded to the situation and still make some amends. I am sure that a lot of customers would still keep cursing flipkart after taking the refund, but I guess the intensity of the complaint does go down a bit and Flipkart could have gained some supporters for having tried to own up their mess.

      All said and done, it is always better to not get into such a mess at all in the first place. 😉

    • Ujjwal Shankar Prasad
      September 29, 2014 at 11:47 pm

      And the best course is to publish his email Id so tthat people can write to him and he can’t claim ignorance

  4. karan
    February 6, 2012 at 1:17 am

    dude im a lawyer if u guys want to sue company flipkart forward ur details to me

    • February 6, 2012 at 11:00 am

      I dont think that this requires such a drastic action Karan!

  5. February 9, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    @karan Thanks but already 2 different law suits filed against them. @musingsofa – why this does not require a law suit?

  6. Ankur Talwar
    May 31, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    This post is in regards to the issue that i am facing with the product that i received on 24th May 2012.The handset received is having severe heating issues and it gets heated up to that extent that you cannot hold the handset with your bare hands. I checked the online reviews and found that the handset has nominal heating issues and that too when there are numerous applications running in the background. I restarted the phone even formatted it twice to remove all the application and then try to check if the issue still persists.
    I formatted the handset, closed the internet on the phone and then used the phone for 3 minutes on call. The phone got heated upto that extent that i could not hold it in my hands for next minute and had to use the headsets to speak over the call.
    I contacted the customer support on 26th may via email and received no response accept for the auto-responder. When contacted them via call they verified the complete issue over the call and then sent the below email:

    Dear Ankur,

    Greetings from Flipkart!

    Order ID : OD20522142631

    Mobile : HTC ChaCha (Black)( Sandisk 8GB Micro SD card )

    Kindly perform the necessary trouble shooting steps given below.

    when you use several applications at once your phone requires more power and may heat up. This is normal and should not affect your phone’s lifespan or performance.

    By charging the battery up to 8 hrs for the first time and subsequently for 2 hrs.
    Charging the battery only after complete discharge of battery.
    Do not remove the battery often.
    Do not remove the battery more often repetition.
    Leaving applications running in the background increases the demand on battery power. Close application you do not use.

    Tip on the Battery: When you unpack the phone for the first time, the battery is not fully charged. It takes three charging-discharging cycles for the battery to reach its peak performance. so, for the better performance of battery it is recommended that you fully Charge and Discharge battery at least three times.

    I already informed them over the call that i have tried everything to check if this issue is due to my negligence or there is a manufacturing defect still they sent me the above response. I responded them immediately that i have tried every possible thing however this is not normal as the phone gets heated up on charging as well. I was afraid to use this phone further as it might burst or damage my ear. I stopped using the phone and continuously followed them up for getting this handset replaced.

    Finally when i heard nothing, i called them up today to get the refund and i was told that the best can be done is that the battery can be replaced and that too will take 7 to 8 working days.
    This is a brand new phone which i have purchased and for next one month i cannot even use it.

    This policy is not fair and now i will show you guys how bad a customer can be.
    Order ID OD20522142631

    • May 31, 2012 at 2:04 pm

      I am so sorry to hear about your experience with Flipkart. I dont understand how they can be so blatantly ignorant about such customer service issues. This will only impede in their growth plans.

      Will they only take this up if one of their competitors pick up these threads and start using them in their advertising messaging to overtly showcase their bad service? I don’t know.

      One thing for sure is that the investors or the board of directors at Flipkart need to step in to stem this rot before it gets too deep and they loose their investments..

      I can only hope that someone does something to ensure that this doesn’t happen..

      Meanwhile, my heart goes out to you and other customers like you..

  7. July 13, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    Hi Sachin,

    Please note that my initial experience with flipkart.com has been really bad. I had planned to reward my employees with some gifts and I choose to order some products in flipkart. However choosing flipkart has resulted the below issues.

    a) Delivering Expired Stocks
    b) Cancelling a stock stating out of stock after a due date

    Order Number : OD20707020808

    Product Description Expected Delivery Date Comments
    Bajaj Platini PX 104 L LED Emergency Light (White) By Jul 16, 2012 Issued Expired Stock
    Skullcandy S2DUDZ-072 In-the-ear Headphone By Jul 11, 2012 Cancelled due to out of stock

    I would like to know if your employees are following the right protocol before making it available in flipkart.com website. How can you source a stock which has expired 10 months before and how can you publish the product in the website if it is out of stock?

    PS : Could you please let me know what action do you want me to take at this time? Filling a law suit for delivering the expired stocks or get an immediate solution for this issue.

  8. November 5, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    I had a bad situation with Flipkart once. I thought it was a one- off case, and shopped again. Big mistake!
    I’ve met Bansal once, in 2007 as a fellow start-upper before they went big, so I felt some loyalty to support them.

    I wrote to them. They sent a standard template which did not answer my question.
    I called them. In effect, they said ‘we have your money now, and there is nothing you can do about it. La la la’

    Refused to let me speak to a supervisor, saying supervisors are not going to help me !?

    I wrote about it here .. Filosuffer.Wordpress.com . It still is less than 24 hrs that my complaint was refused, so I can be funny/sarcastic and still hope they fix it. If they don’t, I guess it’s consumer court time.. 10K isn’t something to write off to experience.

    -A Startup CEO

  9. Prabhu
    December 27, 2012 at 6:23 am

    Im prabhu from tamilnadu
    i have ordered a Iberry auxus 03g tablet on 25th december 2012 for a Cash on delivery
    i got that product on 26th december 2012
    my parents got the package and gave the money to courier boy..my parents didnt opened it because i said not to open because i should open it first.
    i came home from college and took the parcel it was completely weightless and
    surprisingly opened the package
    the packing was normal.
    but the tablet’s box seal was opened and lamination around that box was also somewhat peeled off and i was shocked to see that
    after opening a really frustrating thing happened the tablet’s place was free and i checked below the accessories it was not there too…
    i just got really devasted by flipkart
    my money’s gone and i got a empty piece of Sh*t box.
    immidiately i called 1800 102 3547
    we had a conversation of about the above things they said we will get you in 24 hrs time..
    then i said if bad things happens defenitly i am going to sue your company .
    still 5 hours left to get replied but i didnt got reply from now.
    i am going to sue this stupid company and i’m going to make their company down profitable.
    they should refund my money and for my breaking mind.
    F that Flipkart company.. please post this on your blog……
    make them down…i am really disappointed by flipkart’s service

    • December 27, 2012 at 11:22 am

      Sorry to hear about your experience, Prabhu. Hope that flipkart resolves this issue soon. However, I suggest that till you get a definitive response, it would be better for you to keep patience ( though I know it’s easier said than done).

      Take care and do let us know if there are any further developments in your case.

      Thank. Take care!

  10. MERAJ
    May 13, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    With the heavy heart I have to write this on this blog that I have been targeted by flipkart by giving flpkart points and without intimating me and I have to suffer the same issue all over again. No doubt FLIPKART is also CHEATING MANY INOCENT CUSTOMER’S AND HAVE NO COURTESY TO EVEN REPLY ON EMAILS SENT BY CUSTOMERS.

    Order ID- OD30501071855 [Incident: 130503-006478]

  11. June 1, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    Hi I need Sachin Bansal’s Email for escalation as i have been calling Flipkart customer care for giving my product but not getting any positive response .

  12. karan bissa
    July 15, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    Dear Mr. Sachin Bansal,
    We are seller on flipkart and registered with the name of “D’Dass” . These days, we are facing many problems in working with flipkart and we are feeling that flipkart is anti-seller. The issues which we are facing makes us feel that we are on wrong platform. It is not the suitable environment for sellers and flipkart is focusing only on earning their commission and supporting “WS Retailers” and other giant players. We are going to discuss every problem point by point :-

    1.Listing facility – flipkart is not helping in listing the products and it is very complicated . flipkart should change the listing format and start easy offline listing because it is not feasible to purchase ” Ms office 10″ and “MS office 13” . When seller starts Bulk listing on flipkart and faces issues related to quality check again and again, it makes us frustrated because when flipkart is charging commission from us, then they should help us.

    2.Seller Support – Your seller support is very bad because they do not provide solution for our problem and they are busy in their gossips . Snapdeal provides Toll free no. for seller support and provides satisfactory answers to sellers but flipkart seller support is opposite to them .When you are charging money from us for call and keeps us on hold on very long time and not providing any solution, then you should close down this service. flipkart only believes in “how to earn money” but does not know how to maintain relationship with seller.

    3.Payment- We are noticing that your payment method is not transparent and you are charging some hidden charges from us. In some cases, when buyer cancels the order ,then question of marketplace fees does not arise but you are charging the same. Why? In cases of return , you are charging more than forward shipping, why ? Give us the logical reasons for it.

    4.Logistic facility – your logistic facility is not good because they do not provide care to products . We also deal with Bluedart and Gati but we never face the problem of breakage of products and even, in the case of return of product , we receive the safe and same product so that we can resell the products but your logistic partner E-Kart destroys the products and we receive the products back in parts .

    5.Product returns – These days , we are receving the many products back and buyers are returning the products for meaningless reasons . When we provide exact product to buyer and buyer returns the product with the comment that “It is too small and replace the same” ,then there is no sense in replacing because he/she will again return the product for same reason . But you never forget to charge your Marketplace fees and other Penalty . You are only focusing on your commission,then what about us ? Flipkart is not with us . Atleast, you should support us and stand with us and take actions on it and work on alternative solutions.

    Flipkart should at least understand our concerns and work on it because in this way, you are going to fall on ground . I know that everyone is not wrong in flipkart but i am damn sure that flipkart is victim of some cheap and fraud offcials who are not working honestly . When we started work with flipkart , we were sure about flipkart but now we are feeling that we were wrong . We will take this matter to flipkart Mr.Sachin Bansal(CEO) and we do not care what will happen with ………..
    We are also planning to publish this article on “Logical Indian” with the title “Anti seller” and #Accha_nahi_kiya

  13. karan bissa
    July 15, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    Dear Mr. Sachin Bansal,

    These days, we are feeling that there is something wrong which is taking place in flipkart . Last time, we have sent mail you but we did not get any satisfactory revert from your side . There is fraud game in payment department of flipkart because they deduct amount more than they should . Flipkart is just focusing on earn from unethical way but we are not going to accept it anymore . We were feeling that there can be mistake in payment but every-time , happens with us . How can it be possible ? For example :- flipkart gives us Rs.1105 for particular shipment after deducting their marketplace fee but at the time of refund to customer, they deduct Rs.1599 from us . Why ? It is not the way of business .

    You are promoting “sell more and grow more” but in a fact, you are just charging your commission and does not care about us . We thought that “F” stands for flipkart but we came to know that “F” Fraud-cart .

    Order id Payment received Deducted Remark
    OD00317239481xxxxxxxxx 1105 -1599 Refund to customer
    OD20316339423xxxxxxxxx 923 -1599 Refund
    OD003173520264xxxxxxxx 0 -702,-513 Refund
    OD303124839821xxxxxxxx 1442.47 -2557 Refund
    OD20307929902xxxxxxxxx 0 -83 order cancel
    OD00265526213xxxxxxxxx 0 -2285

    paymentnot received,but deducted

    OD0032156442xxxxxxxxxx 0 -66 Order cancel
    OD002785056xxxxxxxxxxx 0 -2129

    paymentnot received,but deducted

    OD2029581229xxxxxxxxxx 0 -2452 payment not received,but deducted
    OD30317351603xxxxxxxxx 0 -113 order cancel
    OD00298158626xxxxxxxxx 1449 -1994,-1114 Refund and deducted in excess
    OD10306941209xxxxxxxxx -615 615 Fraud entry and window dressing
    OD0029553422xxxxxxxxxx 0 -403 payment not received,but deducted
    OD202766365105xxxxxxxx 0 -44 order cancel
    OD20263959755xxxxxxxxx 2330 -2341 refund
    OD3027929633xxxxxxxxxx 0 -112 order cancel
    OD10293119177xxxxxxxxx 1454 -1999 refund
    OD00202939882xxxxxxxxx 0 -544 order cancel

  14. October 6, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    Dear Sir,

    I bought Lava Iris Fuel phone this june , all details related to phone are shown below and invoice of bill is attached here with . my phones screen goes blank from last three days and my work stops. this happening ten time daily and the start working by it self. within four month i found this big trouble.

    As a assistant manager i have to travel regularly and my office work is managed by call. this problem is big and gives me lots of mental harassment. i need replacement of new phone. i never allow my phone to stops for a single minutes.i dont have time to repair it .

    i request you to help me in this case soon otherwise have to go for other steps.

    Order ID: OD302951143600955300
    Order Date: 26-05-2015
    Invoice Date: 02-06-2015
    VAT/TIN: 07810387105
    Service tax #: AAACW8725FSD001

    Billing Address
    Soni Rajanikant M.
    A-12 jalaram kutir ,Vishnunagar
    Society T.B.road Mehsana near
    aarambh flat gujarat 384002, Shiv
    Mahesana 384002 Gujarat
    Phone: 9924928463

  15. Priyanshu Dubey
    October 23, 2016 at 8:39 am

    Sir this was very disappointing work from your team
    I bought one Moto E3 power hhis flash was not working I give return request to your team I want my product back on 27th oct because on 28th oct I have to go my home
    MY ORDER ID OD607382950532571000

    • October 31, 2016 at 12:33 pm

      Pls do write to Flipkart to get your query resolved..

  16. Rajesh Gandhi
    August 4, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    Never ever buy any electronic item from Flipkart. The quality is very bad. they do not deliver what they display. I recently bought a Philips BT64B/94 Portable Bluetooth Mobile Speaker which is really bad and not worth the price. I asked for a return and refund but I was told that it cannot be returned. I even said that I would buy some other product in lieu of the same but that too was not allowed. The worst part is that their prices are also much higher in comparison to other online sellers such as Amazon. I am going to file a complaint with the consumer forum shortly.

    • August 4, 2017 at 7:13 pm

      Unfortunate that you had a bad experience..

  1. January 26, 2012 at 9:38 pm
  2. January 27, 2012 at 6:28 pm

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