When 42-year-old Amol Bhagat placed an order for a mobile phone with a reputed online shopping portal, the package was delivered at his house in Uttan near Bhayandar on time. After paying cash-on-delivery (CoD) amounting Rs.9,500 for the ordered product, Bahagat who works as a mason, opened the box. However he was in for a nasty shock- the box did not contain a phone but had a bar of utensil washing soap in it. Before he could recover from the shock, the delivery boy had already left. Bhagat immediately alerted his neighbors and local municipal corporator- Sharmila Baagaji who managed to establish contact with the delivery boy who luckily had not gone too far. The matter was brought to the notice of on duty personnel at the Uttan coastal police station. However, no complaint was registered.
According to locals, the delivery boy who worked for the logistics company hired by the online shopping portal claimed ignorance. He seemed to be innocent as he frequently visited the area for delivery and had promptly returned after being called, it's the logistics firm which may have played mischief.
“He was allowed to go after representatives of the logistics promised to initiate a refund within seven days, failing which we will take necessary action.” said Bagaji.
“Yes, they had bought the delivery boy here at the police station, however such type incidents come under the purview of consumer forums.” confirmed a police personnel.
This is not the first incident with online shoppers, multiple cases have been reported by people describing their horror of receiving stones, bricks, soap bars and even thrash in their packages.
In many cases the police have registered criminal offences against the shopping portals and logistics firms. The intervention of consumer forums can be for defective products, but this is a clear case of cheating and criminal breach of trust and the police should have taken cognizance of the matter, said a legal expert.