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Flipkart Smartphone Exchange Scam

26th April 2024 | 10 Views

Disclaimer from Creator: This article is based on my personal experience while exchanging smartphones, as well as those faced by people known to me, and does not have any intention of defaming Flipkart or its policies.

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Flipkart is a very popular online shopping site in India. Though not as big as the #Amazon network, it has given a fair competition to the global giant. #Flipkart is known for its well-discounted prices, good delivery service for Flipkart Assured products, similar to Amazon Fulfilled products. Another attractive trait is its #exchange offers for electronics and appliances.

Exchange offers are very important because when you buy a new appliance like TV, fridge, washing machine or phone, chances are that you already have an old product which you want to sell off. Now we all know how difficult it is to find reliable purchasers on websites like OLX, Quikr, Cashify, etc, as the market is flooded with scamsters. So it is always better to sell on well-established sites like Amazon and Flipkart if they offer to buy it off.

I want to emphasize that I have personally had good experience selling old washing machine and microwave to Flipkart, no complaints there. But when it comes to selling #smartphones, Flipkart has employed a very clever strategy to fool customers.

Flipkart firstly gives a much higher rate for smartphones than Amazon. This automatically makes the buyer go for a purchase on Flipkart rather than Amazon.

Scam 1 – Pickup charges

Firstly, remember that Flipkart charges Rs. 100 for picking up the old item, even though the same delivery guy picks up the old item while delivering the #new items. So, the #pickup charge is unnecessary.

Then when the Flipkart delivery guy comes to pick up the old smartphone, as is expected, there are many checks he has to do, such as checking for dents, damaged screen, whether the phone has power issues, etc. Till this point, everything is fine.

Scam 2 – Removal of screen protector

However, the first thing he did was peel off the #screen #protector film to check the screen. Now we all know that screen protector is a very thin transparent film which cannot hide or mask any screen cracks. So why take it off in the first place?

Then he handled the phone for several minutes, checking for dents and classifies even microscopic scratches on the back cover as dents. Due to his manhandling the phone without the screen protector, a previously spotless screen got several smudges and fine lines which the delivery guy refused to accept as his own fault.

Finally, he rejected the phone saying it is not spotless and asked me to pay up the exchange amount. So essentially you are unable to exchange your old phone and end up paying the regular non-discounted price for the phone.

Why it was a bad deal?

  1. If the only reason you opted for Flipkart was because they were giving a better price for your old phone, then clearly that purpose is defeated. You won’t get an exchange opportunity elsewhere unless you buy a third phone.
  2. Moreover, you have unnecessarily paid Rs. 100 for the pickup which didn’t happen.
  3. Not just that, now your screen protector has been rendered useless because the glue is damaged after removal, and you cannot put it back without leaving bubbles. Your phone screen is no longer spotless because of the manhandling by the Flipkart guy.

At first, I thought it was only my bad luck that I got a crappy delivery guy. But then I heard this happen to few other folks too. Their perfectly functional dent-free phones were rejected for false reasons. That’s when it dawned that this is not an isolated incident.

The customer is always wrong

Of course I did complain about my experience to Flipkart customer support, but they said that they have to trust the judgement of the delivery guy who was just doing his job. Basically, Flipkart expects a brand-new phone from exchange customers, as if it has just been unboxed, and then finds excuses to reject the phone. I don’t know if Flipkart management is aware about this ongoing scam, nor do I know who has master-minded this strategy, but one thing I know for sure, I will never again opt for their smartphone exchange offer.

Alternate solution

Thankfully, I was able to sell the same phone to Amazon, without its pristine screen cover, and was able to get a fairly good exchange price. Amazon delivery guy also did a lot of checks, but their process is very systematic. The Amazon guy asks you to download the Amazon app which then automatically checks a few things like valid IMEI numbers, etc. The he physically checks the phone with minimal handling, so that it doesn’t introduce any new marks on the screen.

Overall, the experience with Amazon phone exchange was very professional compared to Flipkart. So, if you are planning to exchange a smartphone, avoid Flipkart at all costs, unless you are exchanging a never used phone in pristine condition.

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