While e-commerce is thriving in India, with established players like Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal making online shopping a trusted, hassle-free affair, many fly-by-night operators are cashing in on consumer trust and taking unsuspecting people for a ride.
Payal Lohia and the bag that she was given
Payal Lohia, a 34-year-old Juhu resident, found this out the hard way when she came across an advertisement by Luxekart.com on a social networking site on September 15. The advertisement promised a discount on a Rs 21,999 ‘Gucci’ laptop bag, and Luxekart was offering it for R15,339. She jumped at the opportunity and immediately placed an order through the phone number given on the site.
On September 22, Payal received a courier delivery from the website and paid R15,339 in cash. When she unpacked the bag, however, she realised that it was a fake. She called up the company and told them about this. She was relieved when a Luxekart employee told her that the bag would be exchanged by the courier company, or her money would be refunded.
An employee of the courier company turned up on her doorstep and wanted to take the bag away without an exchange or refund. A furious Payal refused to return the bag and kept asking for a refund via several e-mails to Luxekart. In a couple of days, she stopped receiving replies to her e-mails and realised that neither the website nor the phone number she had placed the order through were operational anymore.
“I realised later that many people across the country have been conned by Luxekart. I have already filed an online complaint with the consumer court and will be approaching the police soon to ensure no other person falls prey to such cons.” When mid-day tried contacting Luxekart, their website and contact numbers were not operational.