Have you ever ordered something online and received a fake copy of the same product? Well, you are not alone. There are thousands of customers who are duped and left with duplicate versions of the product they actually intended to own. However, these cases have definitely gone down when compared to what the scenario was 2-3 years ago. Yes, there was a time when online shopping was considered to be a risk as you had no guarantee for the product and chances were that you might not even receive the product at all.
Today, online shopping is becoming much more reliable as the competition between online sellers has toughened. E-commerce portals like Flipkart, Snapdeal, Amazon, etc. have started offering some commendable services along with consumer protection. From next day delivery, to 30-day money back policies, online shopping is finally taking a strong shape.
But this doesn’t mean that these companies can't goof up as it was evident from something that I experienced this week. I was scrolling through Amazon.in and found a pair of Xiaomi Piston 2 earphones being sold for Rs. 699 by a seller called Magudam Mart. I had some store credit in my account and went on to order the earphones. The package was delivered in the next 3 days promptly but when I opened the package I saw that the case was cracked. This was the first clue pointing out that something was fishy.
The product we received is on the left and the original product on the right
I pulled out at the earphones and they somehow didn't feel like the real deal. To confirm, I compared the unit that I got to one of the review units that in our test labs. There was an obvious difference in the final finish of the product and the size of the driver. Even two of the ear-tips were torn and there was no sign of the small wire clip inside the box. After checking a few links online, I found that the product we received was in fact a replica of the original earphones, and is sold in a number of countries.
The product was under the 30-day return policy so I immediately returned the product the next day and was refunded the full amount. The seller also apologized with the following:
“Apologize for the broken piece, it might happened during transit. We will refund your order amount. Can you please remove feedback from your side (sic)”
Cases like these happen everyday, but this clearly shows that there are various products available online which are proclaimed to be genuine and, as a result, easily dupe consumers into buying them. Sellers should make it a point to provide full information about their products which not only helps the consumers, but also helps the seller to have a better reputation and less negative rating.
Apart from the seller, the online portal itself should keep a check on such products to gain the confidence of their loyal customers. They should actively take part in consumer protection by doing better screening of every seller that applies to become a part of the online market. They should also have employees who keep a check on the sellers by ordering a product themselves and experiencing the whole buying procedure. Apart from that, the online portal should employ a more strict policy on user reviews and feedback sections and mark items that are or seem to be non-genuine.
Have you ever faced such issue? Do tell us in the comments section below.