Nov 8, 2013

It's time for HomeShop18 to play spoilsport

Frankly speaking, I have never liked HomeShop18's website. Every single time I visit it, it shows that I am logged in, but requires me to re-login before doing anything else. I wonder why they don't log me out completely! Why then did I order stuff from the site?

The first time I ordered from HS18, it was sometime last year when I was redirected by India Book Store as I wanted Walter Lewin's 'For the love of Physics' (physicists write great autobiographies, by the way). It reached me in a short time, along with loads of bookmarks and a pen. Naturally, I was happy! Sadly, they didn't live up to my expectations ever after.

Then again, I am not writing this for a few lousy bookmarks. It's about how poor their service has become. A few months ago, they had decided to restore free shipping, which made it my preferred choice over Flipkart for single book purchases. That started the chain of events that make me write this.

I purchased a book Just Married- Have you applied for bail from HS18 (Don't judge me, it was the worst 100 bucks I have EVER spent). Although it was supposed to reach me in 2 days, it took them a good 6 days. On tracking it, it seemed that the package made three round trips from Mumbai to Delhi before reaching me (no calls from the delivery guy to confirm anything though)! Naturally, I was pissed off and HS18 sent me a gift coupon worth 100 bucks shortly thereafter as a token of appreciation for my patience. After finally receiving the book, I thought it would be worth the patience, but my disappointment is something that belongs to a separate blog post altogether.

After a few months, I thought of finally using the coupon as it was about to expire in less than a month. Just to check that it worked, I entered it as the payment and the order was placed automatically. How on earth did that happen?
I promptly wrote to HS18 customer "care" asking them to cancel the order, which they did within hours of my request. However, the next time I wanted to use the GC, it didn't work. Shouldn't it have been restored automatically?

I contacted HS18 again, and this time they had an interesting response.
Dear Mr. Daityari , Warm greetings from HomeShop18!
Nothing warm about this.
Thank you for writing to us. In regards to your query, this is to inform youthat we would not be able to provide you with the GC as the cancellation hasbeen done form your end.Thanks & Regards, Varun Dhall HomeShop18 Customer Support Executive PhoneNumber - +91 120-2441918 Extension – 173 (Please press ‘#’ after punching theextension)
Right. Due to a glitch in your site, you put the blame on me? Quoting their policy,
For orders placed through Gift Certificates / Vouchers of HomeShop18, refund would be provided in form of a fresh Gift Certificate / Voucher of the same value.
It's not that they don't have a system in place for this, it's just that they are just not willing to do it.

Frankly, I am disappointed. Also, their book prices have been increasing rapidly. A simple search for the book 'The Google Guys' reveals that HS18 is second from the bottom in the list, just above Crossword (which never provides any discounts!) It's safe to say that my last ever transaction with HS18 is in the past.

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