Laid up in bed a couple of months ago, as a voracious reader had already finished the local library & Librarywala decided to check out some of the websites to order in books.

The first time around ordered from Indiaplaza. Good deal, good service, delivery on schedule & it got me hooked. But the next time around decided to do a comparison for deals since was ordering number of books; so off I went Indiaplaza; Rediff; Sify.

Prices were better on Rediff & Sify, saving nearly 750/- on the entire deal, so went ahead & ordered. And my story began…….

Rediff – Delivered the fist book more or less on time. Then disappeared, tried getting in touch with customer service – no go – have standard stupid Q templates that provide no answers, sent numerous emails, no answer except the template that we are looking into the same. In disgust sent a mail to Ajit – do not really know if this helped – but received a mail saying that books are in the 30-45 days delivery period (this is on day 35:)). Finally called them up, a lady looked at whatever software they needed to, keeping me on hold for nearly 15 minutes before giving me the same reply, however had no answer to my question of “what happened to the 2 books that had to be delivered in 30 days”; after persisting, was informed that we do not stock the books & supplier has not got it yet – so how does that matter to me? amazon is also not the publisher, but delivers on schedule. After 60 days got some of the books. Now the mystery of two remaining books, another round of followup on the phone & I was informed that we have credited your credit card last month because we do not know when we would get the books. Hello! Hello! Am I the customer or what??? Are you not supposed to ask me…… But disgusted said fine, give me the transaction number so I can check with my bank why the amount has not been credited. No answer, then ‘sir we will get back to you’. Three days later, no comeback so called up again & was kept on hold & then given the number. Surprisingly, my web banking was open & I saw the credit actually happening!!!

Sify was another story by itself……You cannot get through their customer service on the net, emails are templates. Calls to chennai being answered by someone at landmark…..phew but finally got the books!

This experience taught me that it was better to go direct to the supplier, in this case Landmark. Ordered, received a couple, rest was informed; when I called up chennai that they expected the shipment middle of november. When I reminded them that it was 30 days, prompt came the reply it is 30-45 days & working days.

Phew……Conclusions drawn up

Most shopping sites or ecommerce enabled in India have no concept of customer service. How can you accept bookings 24/7 but customer service works 10-7 five or six days a week???

Overall the discount is not worth the followup & frustration.

If you know the name of the book, author it is better to call up Shanbag in Mumbai, Shankars in Bangalore & equivalent in Delhi, Kolkatta to get it faster and probably the same price.

However, Amongst all four, Indiaplaza was the best in terms of communication, feedback, update – in short good customer service.

Written by AD
ex waiter, angadia, travel agent, dotcomer, dukaandaar, marketeer, people watcher. appreciates single malt, food, friends