Ex-CM's son-in-law orders smartphone online, gets old lock instead

When the complainant opened the package, he immediately marched the courier boy and the parcel to the police station and filed an FIR

It was as a surprise gift for his daughter, that Shailesh Wagh had ordered the latest smartphone from e-commerce website, Paytm. So imagine his surprise when he opened the courier package to find a used padlock instead. Most customers would have complained to the website and sent the package back, but Wagh did one better — he immediately marched both the parcel and the courier boy to the police station and filed an FIR in the matter.

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Shailesh Wagh had ordered a Samsung S6 Edge, but received this old lock instead
Shailesh Wagh had ordered a Samsung S6 Edge, but received this old lock instead

It couldn’t have hurt that Wagh is the son-in-law of Shiv Sena leader and former chief minister Manohar Joshi. The Shivaji Nagar police immediately registered the case and have already begun investigations. Wagh, a resident of Dadar West, had ordered the smartphone (Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge 32 GB) costing Rs 46,300 on September 26. “As the price was the lowest on Paytm, I logged on and purchased the phone with my credit card,” said Wagh, who is the director of Shailesh Group, which has interests in real estate, hotels and water treatment chemicals.

Read Story: Be careful while shopping online, say Mumbai cops

The package arrived promptly on October 1, and he opened it right in front of the delivery person. But instead of a shiny, new phone, he found a used padlock without any keys. “The lock was old and made in Italy, but of the same weight as the phone — 350 grams. Wagh opened the parcel in front of the courier boy and when he saw there was only a lock and some paper balls inside, he brought the parcel and the courier boy to the police station,” said Inspector Mrituanjay Hiremath of Shivaji Park police station. He confirmed that an FIR had been lodged against Paytm, as well as MNV Corporation, the Kandivli-based seller which offered the phone on the website. The courier company was also named in the FIR.

“We have started investigating into the matter and have already summoned officials from the courier company. We will check what actually happened and who changed the package, if at all,” said PI Hiremath, adding that the probe was being led by Police Sub-Inspector Yogesh Patil.

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According to Wagh, after he called Paytm and told them he was going to complain to the police, the company called him back several times, asking him to not go to the cops.

“When I was in the police station, I got several calls from Paytm telling me not to register an FIR. They said they would refund my money, but would they have been ready to do so if I was a common man? Later, Paytm even threatened to withhold my refund if I complained, but I’m sure the cops will take care of that. I pursued the case since it is mostly the youth who buy from such websites, and are likely to be cheated,” Wagh told mid-day.

The other side
Saurabh Vashishtha, vice-president (Business) at Paytm, told mid-day, “There are one-off cases where merchants indulge in such fraudulent transactions. Paytm takes these issues very seriously and ensures that the customer does not suffer. The fraud team at Paytm investigates the packet journey and zeroes down on the reason for the fraud (merchant, courier partner or even the consumer). The relevant product from the merchant is deactivated for the duration of the investigation. If the merchant is found guilty, the merchant is fined heavily and permanently de-listed from the platform.”

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