Imagine this: you purchase a new iPhone 8 from a major online retailer. But when your package is delivered and you open it, instead of a shiny new phone, you find a bar of laundry detergent.
That sounds like the plot for a bad sitcom, but it’s exactly what happened to Tabrej Mehaboob Nagrali, a 26-year-old software engineer from Pavel, India — a city near the Mumbai metropolitan area.
Reportedly, Nagrali ordered an iPhone 8 from Flipkart, a Bengaluru-based retail juggernaut akin to Amazon. The 26-year-old paid the full 55,000 Rs (roughly $860) for the Apple device, but when the package was delivered on Jan. 22, he found a bar of Active Wheel detergent instead, according to local media reports.
Nagrali has since contacted police in Mumbai and filed a complaint against the firm. “Nagrali approached us with a complaint yesterday, and an offense of cheating was registered against Flipkart,” Avinash Shingte, a senior inspector at the Byculla police station, told the Press Trust of India.
A Flipkart spokesperson told Moneycontrol.com that the e-retailer has a “zero tolerance” policy on these types of incidents. The spokesperson said that the retailer is investigating the matter and will “resolve (it) at the earliest.”
Surprisingly, this doesn’t seem to be the first time that Flipkart delivered a household cleaning product rather than a smartphone. A man named Anand Bhalakia found himself in a similar predicament when he ordered a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 from the site, but got a bar of soap instead, Hindustan Times reported in June 2016. At least, in that case, the bar of soap apparently came with an Android charger.
Earlier this week, Walmart was reported to be in “advanced talks” to buy a 15 to 20 percent stake in Flipkart — a move that some analysts predict could be indicative of Walmart’s ambition to purchase the entire firm. That might be due to Flipkart’s increasing competitiveness with Walmart rival Amazon in the country.
Flipkart is currently India’s largest homegrown e-retailer. It was last valued at $11.6 billion in April 2017.