One Reason Compelling Enough To Never Shop on Paytm


Well well well, where do I begin? Do I begin my post talking about how I was astonished by the amazingly well made website with super good UX that turned me into Paytm’s loyal customer taking me away from Freecharge or jump right in to my four horrible experiences with Paytm that dragged me back to Freecharge for good? Read on!

Back in 2011 when I first used Freecharge I was completely blown over by the experience of doing a recharge as compared to doing it the normal way by approaching a mom-and-pop store. I absolutely loved the McDonalds and Inkfruit coupons I used to get on Freecharge apart from the experience in itself, but eventually things changed when I explored Paytm in August 2012. The lovely interface and the no-crap easy to use platform took me over until their horrible customer care support drove me back to Freecharge eventually.

I would like to share my four transactions that pissed me off to the core, so here you go.

1. Bloopers with Citibank offer on Paytm (25% cash back with four maximum transactions per card)

Well, that’s an attractive offer right? Being a Citibank customer I really wanted to avail this offer so I recharged my prepaid number +91-91779988xx with Rs. 440 for four times continuously (Order no. 205939315, 205937711, 205937013 and 205936244). The horror begins now! Only two transactions went successful and two failed but Paytm initially showed that all the transactions went successful and my credit card got charged accordingly. Here is the rest of the story,

Email 1:

Screen Shot 2014-08-19 at 11.38.01 amResponse 1:

Screen Shot 2014-08-19 at 11.38.06 amResponse 2: 

Screen Shot 2014-08-19 at 11.38.56 amEmail 2:

Screen Shot 2014-08-19 at 11.39.00 amResponse 3:

Screen Shot 2014-08-19 at 11.39.01 amEmail 3: 

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Response 4: 

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So it took me 10 days, multiple emails and multiple conversations with multiple people to resolve a simple issue. All I wanted was refund for two failed transactions and I had to struggle to educated the customer care support team about it!! Should it be really that difficult? One should not battle it out with customer support to resolve simple issues such as these.

2. My greed to order 8GB pen drives for a great bargain! (25% cash back offer with certain restrictions that I don’t remember now)

I placed an order for four 8gb Sandisk CZ 15 pen drives to avail their 25% cash back offer (Order no. 537988783) with Rs. 250 cash back limit or something. It costed me just Rs. 577 for four pen drives which I felt was an amazing price! I placed the order by opting for COD and the delivery person landed at my doorstep a couple of days later when my dad collected it at the door for me. Luckily my dad got the package to me before paying the money and I immediately noticed that the package was very light in weight and it was quite evident (I could touch the pen drive through the packing itself) that it had just one pen drive only in it so I refused to collect the package and sent it back. I even tried calling the phone number present on the invoice, the call was received by some vendor who claimed that he sent four pen drives to Paytm.

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Once the delivery person left I raised a ticket on Paytm claiming for a replacement for that order. A few days later one of their customer support representative gives me a call trying to find out the reason why I didn’t accept the package, once I explained him about what happened he asked me if he can cancel the transaction to which I objected and persisted that I need the delivery for the order. After speaking to him for almost 10 minutes he persuaded me saying that it’s better to cancel the transaction and get a refund. Way to go! That’s some way of pleasing your customer, if you are not willing to serve your customers with offers then why have them in the first place?

3. Pricing error with Nokia Lumia 1520 (plus 25% cash back offer with limit of Rs. 250)

Well, on the very same day that I placed an order for the four pendrives I found that there was a pricing error for Nokia Lumia 1520 which was listed for just Rs. 19,136 only where as competing websites were selling for close to Rs. 40,000 so I placed an order by purchasing it with my credit card (Order no. 538012286). I knew that this was a pricing error and my order would be cancelled eventually but I was expecting a proper communication to happen later which didn’t happen at all!

Screen Shot 2014-08-19 at 12.02.34 pmJust a day later I got an email from Paytm claiming that I cancelled the order so the money would be refunded as Paytm cash, WTF!!! I knew that the order would be cancelled but me cancelling the order? Things that pissed me off here,

First, I never cancelled the order from my end

Second, the customer support team never even try to apologise or cite the reason for cancellation unless I created a ruckus over their Twitter and Facebook pages.

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Third, I never wanted the cash in Paytm wallet. Why would someone even want Rs. 20,000 in Paytm wallet unless you use your mobile phone for making ISD calls 24×7 and need to recharge your phone once every minute?? It’s as simple as requesting me how I wan’t my refund back, I paid through my credit card and I need the refund back in credit card!

After struggling for few more days I finally got an apology, explanation, a Rs. 200 token gift and refund into my credit card. Sad!!

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4. A final nail in the coffin, purchase of 2 sets of 6 Nayasa 1 ltr. water bottles (50% cash back offer)

So, I was back to Paytm and really knew that this was the last try to shop on their ecommerce portal. I placed an order for two sets of 6 Nayasa 1 ltr. water bottles to avail their 50% cash back offer (Order no. 557326380). The shipment was handled by Javas courier and it was a COD. The delivery person arrived at my doorstep and I noticed that the packaging was all torn out and the lids of the bottles were scratched up, I was talking to the courier person about it and in the mean time my mom handed over the money to him. The courier person himself acknowledged that it was a transit damage and they were sorry about it! Seeing the condition of the water bottles I directly refused to take the package so he called up his manager, to my utter shock he claimed to his manager that I tore the packaging so he cannot accept the shipment back!! I was so damn pissed off by his lies that I told him that he can take the package back and the money as well and I will talk to the customer support team to sort it out!

The delivery guy just left the package outside our door and left the premises, I took the package back in the next day and didn’t even open it till almost a week. Yes, I waited a week by finally gave up on it knowing that the good for nothing useless customer support team miserably failed to address this issue once again!

I raised a ticket and sent the details of my problem to their customer support

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After three days of wait this is the response I get! In those three days I neither got a phone call nor an email from them, all I got was this stupid senseless email!

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I responded back to their email requesting for a response and have been waiting ever since.

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So dear Paytm, here I have a couple of questions for you.

1. How do you intend to win on your customers when you do not have any means of instant approach to customer care? Out of all the four issues I had it took me almost a week to resolve the issue and at least two days to even get a response from your team.

2. Why spend lakhs on senseless cashback schemes and marketing when you cannot convert an existing lead?

3. Why build a huge empire when your base is so weak? Customer support is more like a spinal cord for an ecommerce website, without putting a proper customer support team in place how do you intend to scale up and serve your customers?

4. Why don’t you acknowledge a problem? The first step to solving an issue is to acknowledge it! I had to struggle to make your customer care representatives understand and acknowledge what my problem was, uncool!

5. How do you account for transit damages when shipment is handled by third party delivery services?

Update on 19th August 2014 at 02:40 PM

Got a call from Paytm customer service person (Don’t want to disclose her name). She was apologetic towards my forgettable experiences, wanted to know what would please me and even offered a refund for my last transaction. I politely rejected the offer to refund my money and said that all I need is Paytm to address their customer service team, I told her that the next time (if) I come back to Paytm I should not repent my decision! She said that she will talk to the concerned vendor and even to Javas and try to find out where things went wrong!

Update on 19th August 2014 at 03:27 PM

I got an SMS saying that the amount has been refunded into my account sigh! This definitely is not my intention, I still hope that they do address their customer service issues and resolve it soon.

Update on 19th August 2014 at 08:59 PM

I might sound totally insane but I just placed an order on Paytm once again (Order no. 574375353) and it’s a Xiaomi 5200mAh external battery pack. I really want to see if Paytm stands on its word and does provide better service, fingers crossed!

Update on 21st August 2014 at 09:10 PM

Back home from a hectic day at work and found a sweet surprise waiting for me. A hand written letter from Paytm and a large box of chocolates. I can’t really tell you what’s present in the letter but I am moved by the response given by Paytm, I never asked for a refund nor a box of chocolates but what mattered the most was the hand written letter! I still wish for the same though, their customer service should improve and I hope it will! Kudos!

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