Contrary to company’s claim of making shopping funny and entertaining, consumer complaints suggest it is actually frustrating. However, timtara claimed that due to a spike in the orders resulting into three times growth in number of transactions, there could be some delays
E-commerce and group buying websites are the latest choice of private equity players and venture capitalists. But things are not so rosy for the customers. timtara, an online retail buying website offering huge discounts mainly on electronic items, has a large list of dissatisfied customers. Contrary to company’s claim of making shopping funny and entertaining, many consumer complaints suggest it is actually frustrating. However, the company believes that the growth in the number of transactions is the cause of such complaints.
The Internet is flooded with complaints against the online shopping portal regarding non-delivery of shipments or delayed deliveries. It also suggests non-responsive attitude of the company against the complaints.
Take the case of Mahesh (name changed). Considering the great discounts timtara is offering, he decided to buy a camera. On 6th March, he ordered it after making payment through his credit card. Despite company’s claim to deliver the product in six to ten days, Mahesh had to wait for the shipment even after 20 days.
“Their customer service phone lines do not work. If we send them mails, half of them go unnoticed. For the remaining ones, they come back with standard greeting message and false commitment on delivering it in the next 3-4 days,” he told Moneylife.
Moneylife took interest in Mahesh’s case and e-mailed his complaint to the company. timtara replied, “The order is in process and the same will be delivered to the customer in 3-4 working days.”
Mahesh’s is not an isolated case. There several similar complaints posted on the Internet. In fact even on company’s Facebook page, where various discounts are displayed, there were many complaints (Timtara page is no more on Facebook). Ironically the company claims to be rated as the “No.1 online shopping website in India” by Dataquest Magazine Research.
“One month pass(ed) but still (there is) no delivery. No reply to my 35 emails and phone support is very bad. Lost (my) money,” reads one complaint on timtara’s Facebook page.
Another review on website mouthshut.com reads as, “This was my first experience with timtara.com when I ordered a cellphone on 12 March 2012. Till date (29 March 2012) the status on website shows ‘Awaiting Shipment’. I wasted hours trying to reach them on the customer care number mentioned on the website but either it comes busy or it keeps ringing and no one answers. I filed a complaint regarding the same on the website but have not heard from them so far. It’s really annoying and frustrating to see that they still send me their promotional mails with false promises regarding delivery.” (http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Timtara-com-review-qmopmsmtuq#)
In an e-mail reply to Moneylife, timtara said, “timtara is in operation since the last 18 months and we have been growing 50% on month-on-month basis. Additionally within the last quarter we have seen spike in the orders resulting into three times growth in number of transactions. Due to some rush, there could be a chance that some of the customers might not have been addressed. For these customers, we take corrective measures immediately by reaching out to them and ensuring speedy delivery.”
However, it did not reply to the query on complaints stating that company’s call centre does not reply and e-mails get auto response. It said that, “Regarding your query for registering complaints—we have provided an email id i.e. [email protected] to all the customers for giving any query/complaint. Furthermore customers can also write directly to our CCO (Chief Customer Officer).”
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The market closed well above yesterday’s high and may hit 5,365, and then 5,400
Dispelling fears of taxes on investments through P-Notes by the government saw the market move higher since the opening bell. We had mentioned in our closing report yesterday that if the Nifty manages to close above 5,195, the downtrend may be arrested. Today the index went on to hit its five-day intraday high (including today) and more than covered the losses incurred in the prior two days. The index managed to even close above its 20-day moving average and witnessed a maximum percentage gain since 3rd January 2012.
If the benchmark manages making higher high and stays above 5,290, we may see an upmove to the level of 5,365, and then up to 5,400. The Nifty saw a huge gain on lower volume of 71.40 crore shares on the National Stock Exchange (NSE).
The market opened on a positive note following assurance from finance minister Pranab Mukherjee that government on Thursday will clarify its position on taxation of investments from overseas, amid foreign institutional investors (FIIs) expressing concern on the proposed anti-tax avoidance rules. The Nifty opened 28 points up at 5,207 and the Sensex gained 58 points to resume trade at 17,117.
Across-the-board buying saw all sectoral indices trading with gains as trade progressed. Fresh assurances from the finance minister that persons investing in stock markets through P-Notes will not have to pay taxes in India, pushed the market further northward in post-noon trade. The market hit its intraday high around 3.00pm with the Nifty touching 5,307 and the Sensex climbing to 17,440.
The market closed a tad of the highs with the Nifty gaining 117 points (2.25%) to 5,296 and the Sensex jumping 346 points (2.03%) to settle at 17,404.
The advance-decline ratio on the NSE was positive at 1321:424.
Among the broader indices, the BSE Mid-cap index jumped 2.35% and the BSE Small-cap index surged 2.04%.
The rally saw all sectoral indices settling higher. The main gainers were BSE Oil & Gas (up 2.82%); BSE Realty (up 2.61%); BSE Metal (up 2.58%); BSE PSU (up 2.57%) and BSE Bankex (up 2.55%).
The Sensex was led by Tata Steel (up 4.04%); Maruti Suzuki (up 3.76%); Hindalco Industries (up 3.73%); ICICI Bank (up 3.64%) and Reliance Industries (up 3.23%). Jindal Steel (down 0.69%) and Sun Pharma (down 0.23%) were the laggards on the index.
The Nifty toppers were Kotak Mahindra Bank (up 4.84%); IDFC (up 4.61%); SAIL (up 4.02%); Ranbaxy (up 3.73%) and Hindalco Ind (up 3.69%). The key losers were Cairn India (down 0.98%); Jindal Steel (down 0.74%); Sun Pharma (down 0.67%) and Hindustan Unilever (down 0.33%).
Markets in Asia settled mostly higher on hopes of European policymakers, who are meeting to day, would hike the Eurozone bailout fund to help cash-strapped nations. The gains were also supported by better-than-estimated earnings from Chinese banks.
The Shanghai Composite rose 0.47%; the Jakarta Composite gained 0.40%: the KLSE Composite climbed 0.69%; the Straits Times advanced 0.55% and the Taiwan Weighted settled 0.77% higher. Bucking the trend, Hang Seng declined 0.26%; the Nikkei dropped 0.31% and the Seoul Composite shed 0.02%. At the time of writing, the key European indices were 0.60% to 1.22% higher and the US stocks futures trading in the green.
Back home, foreign institutional investors were net sellers of a huge Rs1,332.85 crore worth of stocks on Thursday, a large part of which would have a block deal by a private equity investor (possibly Warburg Pincus sale of Kotak Mahindra Bank), while domestic institutional investors were net buyers of shares totalling Rs229.67 crore.
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The US government has always been a mouth-piece of American big business. That is why the protest of US commerce secretary John Bryson against India giving a compulsory licence to Natco Pharmaceuticals to produce a generic version of a patented anti-cancer drug leaves a bad taste in the mouth
Granted, it has been a unipolar world since Mikhail Gorbachev made it so, though Ronald Reagan took credit for defeating the "evil empire". Granted, the US can now justifiably claim the post of the world's big and only policeman.
In an ideal world, one of the roles of the policeman is to protect the poor from the predators (please don't laugh; it happens sometimes.) That is why the protest of US commerce secretary John Bryson against India giving a compulsory licence to Hyderabad-based Natco Pharmaceuticals to produce a generic version of a patented anti-cancer drug leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
The government has allowed Natco to produce a generic version of Bayer's patented cancer drug called Nexavar. This will bring down the price of the drug by 97%. Natco will sell the drug at around Rs8,880 for a month's therapy of 120 tablets against Rs2.8 lakh charged by Bayer. Experts say that this decision paves way for cheaper drugs in several other areas.
The US government has always been a mouth-piece of American big business. A large portion of its diplomatic effort is aimed a protecting "big, vulnerable MNCs" from the depredations of "poor, small, bad wolves" protecting the poor in their countries.
Therefore it was no surprise when commerce secretary Bryson repeated, almost word to word, Bayer's arguments against India granting the compulsory licence to Natco.
Mr Bryson told Anand Sharma that India's action would discourage new investments in drug R&D (research and development) and dilute the international patent regime. He said "pharmaceuticals is a very competitive area and heavy investments went into research and development every year. Any dilution of the international patent regime is a cause of deep concern for the US". Considering the tremendously cheaper price at which Natco will supply the drug, the US commerce secretary's words leave a bad taste in the mouth.
Now, let us take a look at this news item reported by Sky News, the British television channel.
A man suffering from the deadliest form of skin cancer told Sky News how a new drug brought him back from the brink of death. Charlie Jones woke up two weeks ago from emergency surgery on tumours that had spread to his kidneys to be told he had a matter of hours to live.
But doctors at the Christie Hospital in Manchester decided to try out a drug called Vemurafenib that has only just become available. To their amazement, his response was almost immediate. He is now much better and has returned home.
"Since I've been taking the drug I have been getting stronger and stronger," he said. "I'm getting colour in my face. My body is feeling a lot better. It's helping me feel like the old me."
Charlie and his girlfriend Louise Howard now hope to get married.
The drug is expected to be supplied to other cancer patients through Britain's National Health Service (NHS), which means it will be practically free.
Doesn't this make us all feel better and take away the bitter taste left by the US commerce secretary's words?
(R Vijayaraghavan has been a professional journalist for more than four decades, specialising in finance, business and politics. He conceived and helped to launch Business Line, the financial daily of The Hindu group. He can be contacted at [email protected].)