ShopClues.com in cahoots with Cheats!

In continuation with my trysts with ShopClues, where having received a fake product, I had raised the issue to their senior management, who couldn’t care less.

By chance, I had marked the mail to the support team as well, and they at least responded. Their response however, was completely unexpected and quite surprising.

I had not expected them to take ownership of the fake product and start claiming that it was the original product as advertised. This is despite the fact that you can see multiple users raising the same issue on their own pages.

Buyers who caught the fakes

Buyers who caught the fakes

The fact that they have ignored responding to the 12 points of differences that I had pointed out to them, appears to be out of some iota of shame.

I forwarded the response to the management team, not hoping for an answer, but by way of giving them a head-up that I will be sharing this in the public forums.

This is the actual response I had received from the support team:

On 16 Sep 2014 11:16, “ShopClues.com” <support@shopcluescom.zendesk.com> wrote:

##- Please type your reply above this line -##

Your request (#1096064) has been solved. To reopen this request, reply to this email or click the link below:
http://shopcluescom.zendesk.com/requests/1096064


ShopClues Support, Sep 16 11:16 AM:

Dear Rahul,

Thank you for shopping with ShopClues.com.

This is with reference to your order no. 19721865.

We express our inability to accept your return request as we have sent you the same product ordered by you. Please refer to http://www.shopclues.com/return-policy.html for return policies. We appreciate your understanding in this matter.

For further assistance, kindly refer to www.shopclues.com/help

Best Regards,
Customer Support Team
Ranbir
ShopClues.com


Rahul Raj, Sep 12 09:04 PM:

There has been no response from your end.

Do let me know if you are handling this, else I will look for resolution
through other channels.

The legal team that we retain at our organisation has advised that I raise
a simple consumer court complaint against your firm under the relevant
sections as the more appropriate as well as more effective course of
action. This is being suggested in conjunction with a release of the
information to media channels which may help others individuals who may
have faced the similar issues and also to bolster the claim against you.

I intend to heed their advice in case your team chooses not to respond in
the next 1-2 days.

Regards,
Rahul Raj


With righteous indignation I responded back to the support team challenging them to respond to the points of differences I had shared:

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Rahul Raj <What_you_expect_this_to_be @Gmail>
Date: Tue, Sep 16, 2014 at 12:22 PM
Subject: Re: [ShopClues.com] Re: Fake item sold by Shopclues.com (Re: Fwd: Shopclues.com complaint : Web page error)
To: “ShopClues.com” <support+id1096064@shopcluescom.zendesk.com>

How is it the same product as ordered???.!!! :
1. It is not 9000 mAh capacity as advertised
2. Original accessories as mentioned are not provided
3. Weight of original (as mentioned on your page and also on Samsung product page) was 265 grams, thus us under 150 grams
4. The product code mentioned on back is not a Samsung original code. So it is not an original Samsung product, or even one manufactured by Samsung  authorised original equipment manufacturer

Explain again how this is the same product as ordered?

Don’t expect me to take a case of cheating lying down.

Understand that I am Insisting on providing me the product that was mentioned on the page, and no other. I have not asked for refund as yet.

Confirm back on priority

Regards,
Rahul Raj

This was followed by silence from the support team. For people who have read the other posts, this would not come as a surprise, but a pattern definitely emerges: Every time there is a difficult question to answer, the ShopClues.com team takes on the vow of silence. मौनम सम्मति लक्षणम?? (Sanskrit: Silence signifies agreement)

I forwarded the mail to the senior team at ShopClues, just so they could not feign ignorance on a later date. BTW, I have not received any bounces from any of these mailboxes so the IDs are definitely up and running.

From: Rahul Raj <What_you_expect_this_to_be @Gmail>
Date: Tue, Sep 16, 2014 at 3:54 PM
Subject: Re: [ShopClues.com] Re: Fake item sold by Shopclues.com (Re: Fwd: Shopclues.com complaint : Web page error)
To: sandeep@shopclues.com, radhika@shopclues.com, mrinal@shopclues.com, sanjay@shopclues.com, support@shopclues.com
Cc: support@shopcluescom.zendesk.com

FYI,

This is the kind of response your team has sent after I sending a 12 point list of how the product delivered is not the same as the kind advertised, committed and contracted.

Do note that this claim of the Product being “same” despite the differences being pointed out, has come on behalf of Shopclues.com and not some third party vendor. The vendor has not contested that it is fake, it is shopclues.com which is making this claim after being made aware and with full knowledge of the deviations and thus is the principal party and may no longer be covered under the agency definition/covenants.

Regards,
Rahul Raj

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Lack of pride from the senior management of ShopClues.com

On receiving a fake product from ShopClues.com I had sent a mail to the entire senior management of ShopClues alerting them of the fact that their website was facilitating something not legal. My expectation was that they will either take action, or else, defend their business model as a marketplace.

Surprisingly, the response was different, namely, Nada, None, Silence.

Looks like they are aware, but are not bothered by this – do first generation entrepreneurs have really so little pride in their work??? Very surprised!

It actually started with me trying to use the webportal to raise the issue of fake product to the ShopClues customer service. This is what I was posting, but kept getting a webserver error:

Shopclues.com has provided a fake/counterfeit product to me under the guise of original.

This must be replaced with a new, unused and original product as committed. I do not want a refund as that is the easy way out by selling fakes to unsuspecting customers and then refunding the few who are able to identifiy fakes, and thus profiteering from an illegal activity.

Please note that counterfeiting is a cognizable offence (read arrest does not need warrant) and facilitating the same is grounds for criminal prosecution as per section 102 and 103 of Trademark Act, 1999 of the Indian penal code.

Issues with the product :
A. Capacity is much less than a third of advertised as it cannot fully charge a Note 2 even after fully charging the power Bank with a 2A supply (Samsung original charger)
B. Weight is half of what it should be, around 140 grams instead of 265 grams as mentioned on the official product page.
C. Battery pack is not genuine
D. Box is not sealed
E. Old used product provided
F. No product info stickers on the box as present on genuine boxes
G. Data cables as mentioned on the box not provided
H. Generic non genuine data cable provided
I. Sticker on back is askew and does not appear genuine
J. Original manual not provided.
K. Non genuine product flier provided with spelling errors which highlights it is not genuine
L. Samsung service center has checked and confirmed that the Product code as mentioned on the back sticker is not present in any of their databases, including international database. They have found it on some Chinese site, but the products listed there are not genuine.

Regards,
Rahul Raj
98xxxxxx73

Back sticker

Back sticker

As suggested by the webserver error message, I then dropped a line to the webmaster :

From: Rahul Raj <What_you_expect_this_to_be @Gmail>
Date: Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 9:53 AM
Subject: Shopclues.com complaint : Web page error
To: Sudhir.singh@shopclues.com
I am getting an error while submitting complaint on the shopclues.com portal at around 9:45 am today.

Please have it added  as a complaint from my id:

Ref: order number 19721865
Complaint option : File an issue
Issue type : Post Delivery Issues
Sub type : Significantly different from description
Attachments : 1 image (attached)
Full text : <As above>

This got no response as well, so I finally mailed the management team:

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Rahul Raj <What_you_expect_this_to_be @Gmail>
Date: Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 5:06 PM
Subject: Fwd: Shopclues.com complaint : Web page error
To: sandeep@shopclues.com, sanjay@shopclues.com, mrinal@shopclues.com, radhika@shopclues.com

Dear Sandeep/ Team,

It is extremely disappointing to get fake products from a website which normally is in the news for the leadership.

It is even more dissatisfying to note that it is very difficult to contact your support team to get resolution for a fake product sold on Shopclues.com. (Order number 19721865, http://www.shopclues.com/samsung-9000-mah-power-bank-black-and-white-color-1.html#Features – attaching PDF as well for records). Discussing the large number of points with the call center agent is rather futile for the customer.

The option available to the buyer is to raise an issue through the web portal but the same does not work and sending mails to the webmaster (as directed on the error page) gets no response.

Request your assistance in resolving this issue and providing me with the original product as committed. On the face of it, it is a blatant attempt at fraud hoping only  a few customers will catch on, and you need to set an example out of this case on how attempts of fraud are handled by ShopClues.

Regards,

Rahul Raj

PDF Attached

Back sticker

Back sticker

This got no response as well. I hope your experience is different.

In the meanwhile, spread the word people!

 

Fake products on ShopClues.com : Caveat Emptor

Today the headline in the newspaper I subscribe to referred to the funding eCommerce website SnapDeal has raised recently. In the same breath as Flipkart.com and Snapdeal.com, the newspaper also mentioned ShopClues.com which really got my goat.

I have dealt with most eCommerce sites in the Indian market space and NO experience has been as bad as it has been with Shopclues.com, (followed by Ebay India but that is another story). This website appears to be out there to cheat customers hoping that the newly on the net Indians will fail to notice fakes. There are a ton of bad reviews about the products by their own verified buyers, but unfortunately I read them only in hindsight.

Recently, I had bought a product which looked like an awesome deal – MT Samsung 9000 mAh Power Bank (Black and White Color) – OEM. This was being sold by a Delhi Based seller Gadget Mania. The changelog is saved here just in case they make changes to the page. I have also saved a PDF version.

The actual product can be found here: Official Product Page. Surprisingly, this was exactly the specs listed on the ShopClues page listed above, most noticeably:

1. Samsung/ OEM as the manufacturer [Check]

2. 9000 mAh capacity [Check]

3. Same dimensions [Check]

4. Same weight (265 grams) [Check]

Image here:

Notice the specs

Notice the specs

Compare this with the original:

Original Specs - Same - Check!

Original Specs – Same – Check!

Unfortunately, what you see on ShopClues.com may not  be what you get! Specially when it appears to be an awesome deal, hence, Caveat Emptor

What I actually got was something entirely different:

My first suspicion was when the box was not sealed, looked old and did not have any Samsung holograms, or product stickers and barcodes.

Unsealed box

Unsealed, Used

Next up, the battery pack was quite light – nowhere close to 265 grams. In fact, I later measured, it was under 150 grams. Also, the sticker was askew with a little bit of plastic sticking to the back – tell tale signs of a poorly manufactured product (read fake).

Product sticker askew

Product sticker askew

<150 grams instead of 265 grams

Light weight surprise

The cables mentioned on the page, and the box, were missing, instead, there was this generic cord, and surprisingly, it had the Apple proprietary lightning connector:

Lightning connector on a 'Samsung' product

Lightning connector on a ‘Samsung’ product

And finally, the back sticker which was in Chinese, hoping that the customers will believe it: Everything these days is made in China, right? The product code is not recognized by Samsung product registration servers BTW:

Back sticker

Back sticker

The merchant had shared their email with promise to revert quickly, so I sent a mail to them,but there was no response. So, I used the “Ask a Merchant” feature of Shopclues.com and promptly got a reply. This went as under:

=============

Reference: Order delivered today You have not replied in spite of claiming that you respond within few hours. You promised a genuine item and nothing less than that is acceptable. I will be raising a complaint for fake item tomorrow.
09-Sep-2014 01:29 AM
Gadget Mania sorry, unable to understand, already mentioned oem product
09-Sep-2014 08:47 AM
RAHUL RAJ I had sent a detailed mail with photographs to your email id mentioned on the product page (Accessories. retailstore) yesterday. What are you not able To understand?? This page does not allow numeric details to be shared. O in OEM stands for Original! Not fake /used.!! Respond immediately please.
09-Sep-2014 09:12 AM
Gadget Mania what you want you want replacement or refund
09-Sep-2014 13:56 PM
RAHUL RAJ Replacement with new, unused and original product as committed. I do not want a refund.
09-Sep-2014 14:08 PM

=============

And silence after that!!

Obviously, I left a bad review. I am thinking of taking the legal recourse, but I will have to take time off from a slightly busy work schedule. So, let’s see.

Till then, let’s spread the word!

Cheers!