- Online shopping nondelivery of product Open
I am reporting this online store merchant for intentionally defrauding Indian consumers. I also got duped by this online seller. I explored a bit more and identified the way he cheats his customers. My findings are appended:
The merchant's modus operandi is as described below:
*. The merchant owns a website in "co.in" domain.
*. "co.in" is a domain that is specific to India. The look-&-feel of the portal is exactly like an Indian online store.
*. Unlike other foreign online stores, this store displays products with price tags written in Indian rupees.
*. Unlike other foreign stores, where payments are to be done using a common currency like USD or Euro, this merchant allows payments to be made from your local banks.
*. Overall, you will never get to know that you are making purchases from a foreign store.
*. When you click on a product to see the details, I remember seeing a small tattoo that looked like America's flag stuck somewhere on the product description page. The merchant's application automatically picks up one of such tattoos and attaches it to the product description page. I guess, the meaning of this tattoo is that - in case, the customer purchases the product, he would be buying the item from the country that the tattoo represents. This tattoo service is one of the services offered by the merchants, to "help" their Indian customers. I learned these details only today. At the time of purchase, when I noticed the tattoo, I thought maybe - displaying America's flag is the way the merchant is informing the buyer that the product was "Made in America"
*. This merchant does not have a store in India. Someone who logs into the website will be automatically attached to a foreign country by the merchant's application. Customers would be misled with a feeling that they are in an Indian online store and will be lured to buy products. (I do not know if the products are real or just pictures.) Indian customers make payments in Indian rupees and close the deal and wait for the delivery.
*. * or * days before the expected delivery date, the customer would receive calls from some local courier agents and they would demand a huge amount as customs duty.
*. The customer would be surprised. He tries to convince the courier agent that he never made any purchase from any foreign store, then why should he incur customs duty?
**, The customer eventually gets to know that the purchase was done in ubuy.co.in. This merchant does not have a store in India. So they attach your purchase with some store in a foreign country. Which foreign country would the customer be attached to will be decided by the merchant's application
**. From this point on, it is a lot of harassment that the customer would go through. The customer would be contacted by ubuy.co.in and his favorite courier agents one after the other, throughout the day on phone and emails demanding urgent payment of the customs duty. The amount would be so huge that the customer would not be even able to afford to make the payment.
**. The merchant and his courier agents severely accuse the customer of not reading small disclaimers that the merchant had stuck on his check-out page stating that - the customer has to pay the customs duty, in case that is required.
**. As a matter of fact, most of the customers would not have noticed or would not remember the mentions of customs duty charges on the merchant's checkout page. Customers like me would just ignore those disclaimers because I was under the impression that I was making purchases in India and hence customs duties would not be applicable for our purchases.
**. The confused customer after being humbled by the merchant and courier agent for not having enough funds to collect the package would be tired and disappointed. Finally, he decides to let go of the items that he purchased online. In my case, I bought some ceramic teacups and water glasses. I was charged Rs **,*** Rs as customs duty. The price that I paid in the store was Rs **,***. So all together the *-set teacups and the *-set water glass cost me Rs.**,***. Most of the customers cannot afford this surprise charge and they let go of the purchase.
**. The merchant would happily receive the customer's decision not to pick up the package from the courier guys. The merchant then gifts the item to his courier partner. They would celebrate their victory of cheating a poor customer and they all get on to wait for their next online store victim.
**. This is what has been happening behind the screens with ubuy.co.in the online store.
**. I think, I took a step different from other customers. I decided to find out from the merchant why would I incur customs duty when I bought my items from an Indian online store? I always buy items from Amazon.in Amazon does not redirect me to a store in Paris or London and asks me to pay customs duty. I asked the merchant how did I get attached to a store in the US but not a store in Asia? For all of my questions, the merchant and his disciples had just one answer, and that they kept on parroting - "Gosh! I cannot make you understand. ma'am you will not get any refund from us. ma'am once placed, you cannot cancel your order. Ma'am it is you who are at fault. Though unnoticeable, we had disclaimers stuck all over our checkout page. You should have read our disclaimers. The disclaimers are for the benefit of our customers. Gosh! I cannot make you understand, you won't understand ....."
**. The merchant does not have a store in India. Still, he wants to sell his products to Indians at the expense of innocent Indian customers. I asked the merchant to explain the rationale behind the so-called services that he offers to the population in India? The merchant knows that the customs duties are * folds higher than the price of the product. Why would Indians make purchases from his store, in a foreign country by paying a customs duty that is * to * times higher than the actual price of the product? What does the merchant think the customer is benefiting from this purchase?
**. **% of the customers opt to leave their purchases with the courier agents as they cannot afford to pay the customs duty. Is this merchant not defrauding his customers? Is this not what exploitation is all about? Don't we have to bring this to the notice of the authorities and stop Indians from being exploited by merchants like ubuy.CO.IN?
I requested the merchant to cancel my order and refund my money in full. His answer is the same. We will not cancel and we will not refund. That is our company policy. Your package will be gifted to our courier agents if you do not have the funds to clear customs duty. I stick on to my demand that my money should be refunded in full Rs. **,***.** must be refunded.
Are you brand?
Are you Lawyer?
Refund / Credit for purchase
Damages for loss and agony
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