By Mayank Jain:Â
Online shopping has empowered people. Buyers benefit from having multiple choices and a great deal of comparison data before making their purchase and sellers benefit from wider access to markets and increased reach to multiple demographics. But Samsung is trying to tilt the scales on its own side.
Internet is another euphemism for freedom. Freedom to choose or to not choose, freedom to select products we want and to know their prices even if we don’t want them, freedom to make sure we buy the things we need and freedom to discard those that don’t fit our purpose in the online ‘cart’ itself.
Samsung’s online retail store in India on the other hand, is not following the above ideology by making cancellation of orders once placed, impossible. These aren’t the dark ages. When companies like Flipkart give us the option of denying the product even on delivery, Samsung doesn’t allow users to cancel a product even just after they placed it by mistake or if they don’t want it anymore, even when the order is not shipped.
The right way to do business is to embrace competition and fickle mindedness of consumers and winning over it; not shutting it off by penalizing them. A petition on Change.org in this regard has garnered huge support and as much as 8400+ people have signed it so far. This seeks to push the same request of not levying any penalties on cancellation of unshipped orders to the Head, Samsung India and Operations Executive from U.K.
It is demeaning to note that the cancellation feature is available in Samsung websites across many countries including the USA and UK but only India is left out from the same option. This reiterates the fact that MNCs treat India like a dumping ground for their products rather than take note of it as a substantial and important market for them.
This was highlighted further when Samsung launched the quad core processor version of Galaxy Grand in South Korea in a few days after launching the dual core version of the same phone in India and at a higher price. This resulted in mass dissent towards the company but they didn’t budge from their position. The company has also been known to launch more colours and variants of their phones in other markets and India receives only the common Black, Blue and White gradients.
On the issue of cancellation, Samsung has responded with an empty gesture by a change in policy to limit cancellation within the two hours of purchase and with a 2% cancellation charge which translates to paying a fine for checking out company’s products and not buying them anymore.
Such strategies need to go out once and for all, as India in itself is a tough competition to the likes of Samsung and Apple with our home-grown brands like Xolo, Micromax and Karbonn doing much better in terms of price and quality. One strong appeal against such discrimination will become a lesson in the minds of their executives forever that India is as important a market for them as any other country. Boycotting further purchases from Samsung and signing this petition is the least we can do to assert our position.