The curious incident of the online bookstore

Sometime during the month of August this year, I planned to buy the two books – God Created The Integers and On The Shoulders of Giants. Since the local brick-n-mortar version of the Landmark bookstore did not have the latter, I took a chance and ordered it off the online store.

When the book finally arrived it was a mess. The package was torn, the book dog-eared and it was wet.

I took the above two pictures with the phone camera and put them up on flickr.

Curiously enough, on the 15th of Dec 2008, a person claiming to be heading the said bookstore/portal called up and asked for the pictures to be taken down. I requested him to write to me with the same statements that he made over phone. I await that e-mail.

I don’t really have much to say except that they just lost my business. And, I remain amazed at the notion of customer service/satisfaction that these folks have.

16 thoughts on “The curious incident of the online bookstore”

  1. Well, both the books are available in indiaplaza.in (and I didn’t check it in flipkart). As far as books are concerned, I never had a problem with either of them.

    Reply

    sankarshan Reply:

    They weren’t available at that point in time. Since then, I seem to have started using flipkart.com more than indiaplaza.in. The latter has had a history of missing delivery dates. Perhaps it is only me, but their ETA is really bad.

    Reply

  2. @sankarshan
    “And, I remain amazed at the notion of customer service/satisfaction that these folks have.”

    And whose notion of customer service/satisfaction have you found satisfactory? I am sure list will be small if you consider only Indian businesses.

    @Indranil,
    Does amazon ship to India with sane shipping cost?

    Reply

    sankarshan Reply:

    After some initial hiccups flipkart.com has been good. NDTVShopping inspite of being a front-end for Indiaplaza does have decent CustomerService Agents. I have to admit though, my online transactions are generally limited to purchasing books. So, cannot say more about customer service when buying stuff other than books. A reason to avoid most online retailers in India is the fact that their sites/carts don’t seem to work in any browser I use. That, for me, is a distinct FAIL. An example could be sagepub.in whose cart seems to somehow work only in Konqueror on a Linux box.

    Reply

    sankarshan Reply:

    And, oh I forgot to mention Leftword. Their cart doesn’t behave as well.

    Reply

    Indranil Reply:

    Well, they aren’t too insane. Quite on the higher side, but gets the books delivered fresh and safe!

    Reply

    Dilip Reply:

    Amazon may not ship to India. But I found that 20north.com ships to your doorstep in India, managing the customs duty etc. And it sells pretty much everything that you can find on amazon or ebay type sites. and they accept payment in INR. Uber cool!

    Reply

  3. Did you contact the company in any way, apart from putting the pictures up? It would have been good to give the company an opportunity to rectify the error / explain how it happened.

    Reply

    sankarshan Reply:

    Yes, twice. Sadly, their customer care email is aliased to two folks whose accounts probably don’t exist. And hence it bounced.

    Reply

  4. My prefered online bookstore is by far bookdepository.co.uk, free shipping to Portugal but for what I see, it doesn’t ship to India free of charge.

    Reply

  5. Pingback: online book store
  6. At last I found a goodvirtual book store. Vanishbooks.com provides whatever you need. Free shipping, discount huge database you have everything. Great going guys…

    Reply

  7. Hi, it’s disgusting received books in bad shape. As far as book packaging is concerned, I’ve found Indiaplaza.in to be really good.

    Besides, if you don’t wanna pay for the high shipping rates of amazon, you can try betterworld.com.

    Reply

  8. Vanishbooks.com is the best book store I have come across till now. Their rates seem to be very resonable. They also give good discounts on many foreign books and also give free shipping on all my purchases.

    They accepts payments via pay pal, credit card of all leading banks, online banking, debit card, mobile. I feel that they have it all. A complete online store.

    Reply

    Dinesh Reply:

    Packaging of vanishbooks.com is quite good. The book I received was like fresh as if I just bought it from a book store.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.