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E-commerce and Fun/Prank customers

COD is bliss for all online buyers and  companies as it reduces the risk of making payment online while trying out a new shopping site for a buyer and also boosts revenue of e-commerce companies.

However in the fastest growing internet industry there are different types of customers, few are genuine buyers and few fun/prank customers who never accept COD orders and order it for fun and sometimes snatch it from the delivery boys without paying the COD amount.

There have been instances where fun/prank customers order products online and right after delivery of the same they change the product with a piece of rock and take a picture to share it socially with the seller and ask for refund so that their product become FREE!

These customers could have been handled easily by companies who are ethical and technologically advanced and have proper quality checks, packaging of products and premium delivery partners but social media is acting to be the biggest challenge to handle these type of losses as prank customers always pretend to be innocent and social audience get to see only one side of the story which might not be true story and hence companies end up paying or making losses accepting their mistakes even when its not to avoid losing their social brand image.

These prank customers could have been dealt easily as per the company policy if social media was not a challenge because e-com companies have terms like:

1) Do not accept the packet if it looks tampered.

2) Call the customer care in front of the delivery boys if you see product is missing.

On social media there is a psychology of users to accept that whatever is posted is always true and consumer is always right but the online shopping company which is run by ethical values and have been serving millions of customers happily has no reason for cheating you intentionally.

If there are genuine cases ethically operating companies detect the issues and make necessary corrections which is acceptable.

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  1. Some customers will remain to be so, after all that is what human behavior is.

    It’s better for companies to devote more of their resources on ‘actual’ customer satisfaction instead of serving the ‘dummy’ customers.

    And as an industry, there is an incremental need to create a Customer Scorecard (much like the CIBIL score card)…which can disqualify a customer from ordering COD. This thought might take some time to get implemented, but this would become a must some-time soon.

  2. Point well taken, COD Solutions Provided by at least 2 of our RH’s Aman Jha of Startup4Startups and also Rahul Am of Dial2Verify latest post here

    Also there is an Article for the same in the Times Group Newspapers Online version link here 

    Akosha, an online redressal site, (Also a TRHS member) has seen a 73% rise in complaints against companies that changed to the marketplace model. Another forum, Complaintbox said it now receives at least three complaints a day about online sites, substantially higher than what it received a few months ago. “It is only when consumers reach breaking point that they file complaints on forums,” said Ankur Singla, who runs Akosha.

    The rise in complaints has pushed companies to take corrective measures. Sites such as Flipkart, Snapdeal, Yebhi and ShopClues have introduced new checks to ensure that goods are packaged and shipped on time.

    We also have FB Market place Solution providers from (Nameet Potnis) and also Connect with Tanya Rao of on the TRHS 🙂

  3. This is great imagination Sarsij, universal common CIBIL score card for all consumers buying from any CIBIL registered online dukaan can solve this … but it has to be owned and controlled by gov as its going to take all the confidential mobile numbers or email id’s under this new CIBIL database.

  4. Darshan, as per my personal experience being a customer support head at a online shopping company…not all negative feedback by customers on these type of consumer complaint portal are genuine…hoever few companies deserve bad wort of mouth due to no business or customer handling skills or passion.

  5. Surely would give you the Benefit of Doubt for Your Personal Experience with the Single Company that you are Employed with in your current Role for the purpose as what you State.

    However : 1) Do not accept the packet if it looks tempered. (Tampered would be a Better option to lower the TEMPER there 🙂 )

    Also talking of Skills or Passion here : hoever few companies deserve bad wort of mouth due to no business or customer handling skills or passion.

    Maybe you can check out a few of these listed Posts and their Respective Comments and then come back to see if your View changes ? or you learn a few more things out in the Open world 🙂 From other Fellow RH’s and the Legal experts included

    With a Fresh Round of Funding happening recently for Flipkart things change fast in the Online Worlds and perspectives change too 🙂 Starting with the Issue that you pointed out from a Customers point of view.

    Flipkart sent me junk in the name of a Nikon D800

    And the Rise and Fall and Acquisitions of the The entire section in e-Com with the Doodh and Paani analysis and – A marriage of INCONVENIENCE!!


    E-Commerce! I see HOPE! Flipkart scores!!


    The Posterboy of Indian E-com world, Flipkart – bites the bullet ??


    Snapdeal vs. Flipkart! All gloves off! This is a Party to the finish!!

    Flipkart 200M funding – Doodh ka Doodh; Paani ka Paani

    Four Brand Experiences – Dominos, Flipkart, Myntra & Bru World …

    Why Amazon and eBay are better than Flipkart? Website Terms, Contra…


    And a Lot of other useful and informative posts exist for the interested apart from this Storyline based  attempt to line up a few of them here 

    Oh Yes!! also before I sign off do Check this attempt to to create a Customer Scorecard here for

    Aman should be able to provide an In depth explanation on the working of the same since he is already working on it currently and developing it further as we Talk.  Cheers!!

  6. This was was loud shout Darshan! 

    Few links are relevant. 

    PS – Auto text editor on. Excuse typos!



  7. Till the time order is not placed the ball is in the court of e-seller and they shout loud (invite/offer) to all and sundry to catch their attention…. most of the time the customer is bona fide of course with exceptions. Just to save the reputation of your company you stumble to his unreasonable demand to make sure your social media profile remains intact. This creates a vicious circle. People come to know you as “vulnerable” and you might find rise in cases against you. The worst is if you do reply with facts & figures you are labeled unprofessional, unethical, arrogant etc etc ….In fact all the complaint or review forums are meant for the end customers and are read & interpreted by end customer in a way which at times is prejudice to the seller — Where does the seller go?


    In my personal experience (E-Com in F&B segment via COD) we have black listed numbers / address we don’t deliver to. One live instance is “District Court “.We have almost stopped sending Food Parcel to this address as the moment the food reaches them they start threatening with notices/summons for unjust reasons. In fact they create unique situations to get their food free. Let’s say 2 out of 10 are unjust & unreasonable. The tricky part, here, is how to fish these 2 out of the 10 (bona fide new caller) from the same premises or locality? A complimentary meal or refund or replacement will not upset any bottom line but tend to unbalance & distract you from addressing genuine customer issues. Would love to hear ways to get out of such situations.


    They say “Four men can’t walk in the same direction unless carrying a dead body”. Our endeavor should be to create a situation where all walk to YOUR benefit rather than creating chaos.

  8. Rajeev Roy, you have got very deep knowledge about this important subject! 100% true, its hard to identify these 2 out of 10 customers staying in the same locality and same this case will be hash to blame marketing team as well for wrong targeting of customers.

    Our country is so diverse and complete mix of professional and emotional customers. My experience and learning to this is – Instead of traditional approach to customer service , you need a different type of CS and operation team who is capable of understanding and serving diverse Indian customers.

  9. It happens with almost all the online e-commerce companies as well as the online service providers. Prank calls and after getting the orders delivered at the door step making excuses and all.

  10. We at getitBazaar provide services to online sellers including a full transaction processing service which includes full order processing, stock pick up, delivery, cash collection and settlement after checking satisfaction with purchase for a charge of Rs 100 or 2.5% whichever is higher. We charge a surcharge if the product is heavy or bulky. Easy processing. Email me if interested.

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