Online fraud: Man orders iPhone 7, gets bar of soap

Oct 04, 2017, 10:27 IST | Gaurav Sarkar

After customer gets detergent bar instead of iPhone7, e-retailer cautions customers to always open parcel in front of delivery boy and keep the defective package

Online shopping comes with a set of hazards, which sometimes includes the customer being delivered a bar of detergent soap when he's ordered an iPhone 7. One such incident occurred with Bangalore resident Shantanu Gupta on September 29 after he ordered a 32GB variant of the phone from online shopping portal Flipkart.

The bar of detergent Gupta received in his iPhone 7 parcel
The bar of detergent Gupta received in his iPhone 7 parcel

When the chartered accountant's package arrived on September 29, he opened the box in front of the delivery boy, only to find a bar of soap inside. Gupta had video-recorded the incident. He did not accept the delivery of the parcel and returned it with the boy and later complained to the online retailer's customer care service. On Tuesday, got a call from Ram Murty, security manager in Flipkart's fraud investigation team, telling him someone would be coming to inspect the defective package.

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Shantanu Gupta
Shantanu Gupta

Keep the box
When mid-day got in touch with Murty about Gupta's case, he said customers should ideally always open the sealed package in front of the delivery boy. "But," said Murty, "He (Gupta) should have kept the iPhone box and its contents with him so that we could investigate and trace its history. In cases where the product is already paid for, customers should always take the package even it is faulty, and then report the incident to customer care. If it is not paid for, then too they should take its delivery but not pay the COD (cash on delivery) amount."

He further pointed out: "It would be helpful if they (customers) could take a video and pictures of the incident how Gupta has done. The customer care centre then sends the complaint to the investigation team who carry out the investigation process under different levels."

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Product to be replaced
Once these details are figured out, the investigation team then renews the customer's history, and may even file an FIR against the customer if any doubt emerges in their complaint. Murty concluded: "We are currently investigating the delivery boy. In this case, the customer's complaint is genuine and we are going to replace his product within 2-3 days."

For Gupta, this has been a learning experience, "This experience has not only changed my attitude towards Flipkart but all e-retailers; I am never going to purchase anything online ever again."

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