Online Shoppers Face Warranty Issues
E-commerce, despite its growth and popularity, still has a long way to go in India in order to be a success. A recent survey shows while online shopping is the hottest trend in recent months, warranty and service eligibility remain an issue when buying a product online.
The survey conducted by price comparison platform MySmartPrice, asked respondents questions about denial of warranty, warranty claims and duration taken to claim warranty through an online survey which was followed up with telephonic interviews. It found that a whopping 54 percent online shoppers who claimed warranty on products bought online, were denied warranty at least once.
The study says that for 55 percent of the respondents the warranty claim process took more than a month to complete whereas 45 percent of the consumers stated that the process of claiming warranty for a product online is usually completed within a week or two. Respondents who said that their warranty claims had been rejected were mostly sent back from service centers operated by offline retailers, the study found.
The study notes that delays and denial of warranty is either due to the conflict between service centers and respective brands as well as a lack of service centers in the buyers’ location. This is a key challenge in online shopping which promises delivery even to smaller towns and villages.
“The problem with claiming warranty is more pronounced in rural India. Customers in the rural areas said that it was “nearly impossible” to claim warranty, while those in tier II and III cities found the process “very hard” and customers residing in metro cities found it relatively easier to claim warranty. Most customers tend to claim warranty on mobile phones, followed by computers and laptops. Nearly 90 per cent of the customers had issues with mobile phones and tablets, notes the survey.
Lack of a formal bill from the seller was cited one of the main reasons why customers were denied warranty. In some other cases, warranty card were not stamped. Some of the products were old stocks and the warranty had already expired, the report mentions.
“While it is heartening to see several brands take an online only approach, it is also disappointing to see some brands turning away customers who bought their product online for service,” MySmartPrice co-Founder Sitakanta Ray says. He believes that for online commerce to be successful, it is important that both stores and brands work together to solve their issues.
More than 20,000 customers, who had bought products from different e-commerce portals through MySmartPrice, participated in the survey.
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