Let your heart guide you......It whispers so listen closely

Friday, March 9, 2012

Zoomin vs India Post

This post is about an experience (precisely bad one) with a product/service based website. I was thinking of writing about it about a week back. But since issue settled down and I was a bit busy, so some how the urge to write, subsided. But today again I got an email, which totally turned me off. I don't know why some people love to act so dumb and idiotic.

Disclaimer: Its a typical consumer-complaint-forum kind stuff..super long. Think twice before you start.

So here it goes..

Zoomin.com is a website, where you can make your photobooks/flipbooks, photo mugs, canvas prints or anything that is related to photos. We used it for the first time in first week of February. We made two sample albums, and ordered them with the delivery address as Pune. As per order history, our parcel was dispatched within a day through FedEx and we got it in 2 days. The albums turned out to be really nice and I loved them. Though there were some problems while designing them, with save option, but all in all experience was tempting enough to go for more such albums. Quality of print, delivery, website.. everything can be genuinely rated Good. Another positive point is that, they give you your tracking number as well.

So I went ahead and planned another one. I thought of making an album for my parents and send it as a surprise. I gave myself a week's time for collecting photos and arranging them in best possible way. It was all done and ordered on 21st Feb and on 22nd Feb the status was shown as dispatched via India Post. I was super excited to see the expression on my parents' face when they will receive it.

Every thing seems good till here, then what is the bad part of it. Here it is...

I went on to track my order on the speed post website on 23rd, but it was showing "Consignment not Found". Initially I thought that may be IndiaPost website isn't working. Coincidentally very same day AK posted something for Mumbai. Within few hours her courier started getting tracked. So I was prompted to ping the Helpdesk. I presented my situation. Within 30 minutes my query was answered  Verryyyy quick na.. Here is the response... 

I would like to inform you that the your order has been processed and ready to dispatch on February 22 via India post. But India post picks up orders in bulk from Zoomin together and hence your order has been delayed.
However, your order has been left from Zoomin and hence the tracking details will now get updated on the India post website soon. We have sent this order out using India Post since your shipping address was not serviceable any of the other couriers. India Post ideally takes 1-2 weeks (Saturday and Sundays not included) to deliver an order. India post also takes longer time to update their website with the tracking details.

I didn't like the following in the answer:

> India Post takes 1-2 weeks (Saturday and Sundays not included)
> India post takes longer time to update their website with the tracking details.

I have used India Post many times and I can confidently say that the above two statements cannot be given as if they are universal truth. Anyways, there was nothing I can do, other than being patient. Tracking status remained same. On 24th I was almost sure that the Zoomin hasn't dispatched my order yet, since they send in bulk (when it comes to IndiaPost). So this time I requested them to tell me the exact shipment date, so that I can get an idea, when it will actually reach. 

In the mean while, within 3 days AK's courier was already delivered, i.e. on 27th, which was sent on 23rd. 

This time my query was answered on 29th Feb. I was informed that parcel was dispatched on 22nd Feb and due to some internal technical issues with the Post systems, the tracking details have not been updated. They again said that they are feeling unfortunate that my shipping address is not serviceable by other courier services, that is why they have to use IndiaPost... and it will take 1-2 weeks.

I knew things were fine in AK' s case, so there was no point in doubting speedpost services. The Zoomin team appeared so stubborn in accepting their responsibility, that I gave up on arguing with them.

On the morning of 1st March, I saw the changed status of my parcel. It said that the parcel was dispatched on 29th Feb. For a day I believed that helpdesk was right, and that the status is getting updated delayed. But as I saw the tracking website getting updated, I knew it was dispatched on 29th only and will reach home in 3-4 days. Just to vent out my anger and frustration, I wrote to them rudely, about not informing the actual shipment date. I was told that due to technical problems and the strike at Post system (which was only a day long) tracking details are not getting updated. They assured me that it will reach in next 12-15days. If it was already dispatched on 22nd (and not on 29th), then why next 12-15 days.

Anyways, it did reach on 3rd March. Mom-dad were very happy to see the surprise. I was excited and happy too. And though I intended to write the above story, but there was inertia. Until today when I received another email from them

Unlike our other courier partners, India post only picks up orders in bulk from ZoomIn. As a result, all orders ready for dispatch on 22nd Feb was picked up on 29th Feb.

I knew it in very first conversation itself, that is why I asked them almost 10 times (which includes Helpdesk, FB and voice call) to tell me the exact shipment date. But they kept on repeating that.. it was dispatched on 22nd.. India Post is slow in delivery and status update.. they are sorry that they have to use IndiaPost.. and the blah... I got exactly copy pasted emails again and again..

How smartly they kept on pushing the blame on a government service, from which they know no one will come fighting. I didn't stop believing IndiaPost, because I had used it too many times to change my opinion. But if it were some ignorant customer, how easily they would have tarnished somebody else's image to maintain their own.

If somebody from the team is reading this, I hope they realise how much time and energy I wasted in bothering about the tracking status 5 times a day, writing to helpdesk/FB and now writing this post... if at all they could have given the expected (if not the actual) shipment date. 

Despite the story, I still intend to use the website. But I don't feel the same.. believe can't remain same forever. 


Akanksha said...

I'm glad that finally they have admitted it... Actually, the suggestion of giving expected shipment date is pretty nice... You can send it to them, in case you don't mind wasting a little bit of time (more time) doing social service, which would help IndiaPost and customers alike ;)

CYNOSURE said...

Hahaha...'typical India'...it happens only in India...:p
BTW album was nice...everyone loved it...me too...:)

Sid said...

hmmm... I think I am already off with this zoomin inc., whose website BTW claims Fanatic about customer rights and Super Fast Delivery, among other things.
I think, given the competition, I'd be better off switching to HP services or picsquare or one of the many other vendors.

Richa said...

I appreciate your efforts of lightening the fact that , 'its easy to blame it on others' and saving Indiapost's image ...

It's ridiculous, when people keep on delaying the matter to safeguard themselves...

CYNOSURE said...

never... :P

deep said...

@ Akanksha - I am not in mood to communicate with them any more. I am 100% sure they won't understand.

@ CYNOSURE- When will this typical India improve.

@ Sid - I would need a lot of force to overcome the inertia, which is found in abundance (in me).

@ Richa - Thanks dear. But the sad part is that, such people are found in abundance.

Harshita Srivastava said...

uhh..is that so? I had ordered just once and my first experience was pretty okay. I was planning to go in for a second shot but your experience scares me out..And it's really good that you've created an awareness on this...They should atleast give proper info to their customers

deep said...

@ Harshita - As I had mentioned in post, this is just one such experience. In all I have ordered 8 such products; even after this incident I used it 4 times. I think its an issue only when they collaborate with India post, just because they aren't transparent enough.
So I think you can go ahead conveniently, when EITHER you are in a city where advanced courier services are available OR you are patient enough with the delayed postage of your courier on speedpost.

rajivxxx said...

I am ebay seller and these two lines are 1000% correct

>India Post takes 1-2 weeks (Saturday and Sundays not included)
>India post takes longer time to update their website with the tracking details.

stop blaming and try to boss of someone

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