I’m a regular online shopper and more so at Flipkart. Although I bought a lot of stuff from the e-tailer, I have never bothered to write a review sharing my experience with those products. One day, I decided to write one, for a product that I hadn’t brought from Flipkart (if you didn’t know, for good or bad, Flipkart allows you to review products even if you didn’t buy from them). Just to give them credit, I used Flipkart to research about this product, reading other reviews and comparing prices with other online retailers. Since I wanted this product urgently, I thought to go out and see if I can find it at some brick and mortar store for similar price.
To my surprise, I found it for much lesser than at Flipkart.
Coming back to my review, I shared my experience with the product and also mentioned that I bought it for so and so (lesser price offline. Their review system isn’t real time so it was published immediately but the next morning it was taken off and there was an email from their reviews team. It reads:
We noticed that your review mentions retailers other than Flipkart. While we like that you are a passionate and informed consumer, the Product Reviews section is for customers to share their experience with the product, helping other customers make informed purchase decisions. Since discussion of retailers is irrelevant to a product review we have had to hide your review in accordance with our review moderation guidelines.
That’s fine and sounds very professional. Or, it seems so; until you find other reviews where it is the other case (flipkart’s price is lesser than elsewhere). One review (part of it) reads:
I was unable to buy it at flipkart, as they do not deliver the product at my desired location, rather I got it from a Samsung dealer at my city. The pricing at flipkart Rs. 1000 lower than what I paid to the dealer (and then goes on to describe his experience with the product).
Dear Flipkart reviews moderation team, isn’t the ‘discussion of retailers’ irrelevant in this case?
So to say the least, the (ill famed) review system of Flipkart is not rule (which they’ve set) abiding and far from being transparent. If I have to give them ratings on some base points, it would be something like these: