Banking on just a Karishma

Here’s a 1 sentence review of for the Busy reader: AVOID them for now, they’re learning at the customer’s expense & don’t seem to be ready for PrimeTime!

A Short review of, for those who like Bulleted lists:

  • Pricing: There are discounts but the items I needed had none 
  • Shipping charges: Free
  • COD available: Yes, but orders below INR 500 are charged INR50 extra for COD
  • Courier services used: Relatively unknown (Quantium Solutions, Delhivery), Delhivery delivered on time but Tracking didn’t work [Updated 25-Apr]
  • Timely delivery: No Sometimes [Updated 25-Apr]
  • The Good
    • Good variety in catalog
    • COD option
  • The Bad
    • Delivery times inaccurate
    • Not too many attractive discounts on items I was considering ordering, but YMMV
    • Not transparent: they don’t inform you when they ship the order & don’t update the tracking number on their website
    • They use relatively unknown courier services
    • No item-wise expected delivery time shown before ordering. So, they can decide to source the item from anywhere in the world & you’ll just have to wait
    • Generally not proactive in reaching out to customers
    • Services don’t seem professional
    • Extra charges for COD under INR500
    • First two Credit Card payment attempts failed (Master Card), went through the 3rd time.
  • Summary: A Big [Updated 25-Apr] Thumbs Down! I’ve had some bad experiences with them twice, and will not give them any further business. I hope people looking for reviews online find this write-up and make an informed choice. Hopefully, these guys are either forced to get their act in order, or go do something else. For, consumers do have other choices and sometimes, there’s more a business needs to do, than just bank on (a) Karis(h)ma (Translation: Miracle)!

Here’s the long review, for those interested in Details.

A few weeks ago, I was talking to my sister in Delhi and she mentioned she’s trying to source a baby product (Farlin baby clothing detergent) but was not able to find it in any of the shops around her home in Delhi. With many online stores selling baby products these days, I thought of ordering online. She’s not too net savvy so I decided to order it for her. 

Had been hearing about this website called via their online & TV ads, with Karisma Kapoor as their brand ambassador & investor. I decided to give it a try.

The first try:

April 5, 2012 (Calendar Days elapsed: 0, Business Days elapsed: 0):

I searched the website and was able to find the Product I was looking for. There were no discounts on the MRP. Since it was a daily use item, I decided to order 2 1litre bottles.

Shipping was Free, and their Shipping policy & charges stated that for Metros, “We are committed to delivering consumables like Diapers, baby feed and other daily need consumables within 2 to 3 business days of the order being confirmed.“. It also mentioned “To ensure that your order reaches you in the fastest time and in good condition, we only ship through reputed courier agencies.

Their contact address on their website mentioned an address in Delhi, so I was hoping deliveries within Delhi will be pretty fast.
They also had Cash on Delivery option but since I was sending it for my sister, I decided to pay upfront via Credit Card.
After two failed attempts at making a Credit Card payment, the payment went through the 3rd time. I placed the order on Thursday, 5th April 2012 (Order #100098379). 

Friday was a holiday, and I was hoping they’ll Ship on Saturday, 7th April, and it’ll surely reach by Monday, 9th April. I communicated to my sister that the item is on it’s way.

After placing an order, I received a confirmation email with the Order number. 
Saturday, 7th April (Calendar Days elapsed: 2, Business Days elapsed: 1):

I didn’t hear from them for 2 days and on Saturday, I decided to call their 24×7 Customer Care number. After getting connected to an Agent and inquiring the status, I was told that the items have already been dispatched from Mumbai via Quantium Courier, and I was provided a Tracking number on the phone. Never heard on this courier company, but hey, there’s so many things in the world I haven’t heard of. 
Sunday, 8th April (Calendar Days elapsed: 3, Business Days elapsed: 1)
I tracked the courier again and the message I see on the website says:
Status: Offload/Bag missing by Airlines
Remarks: Contains liquid
Location: Bombay
On seeing this, I called Customer Care and was told that since the courier contained liquid, it was not accepted on the flight and they’ll now be sending the courier via Surface mode. I’m quite surprised and am imagining someone carrying my courier along with their cabin baggage & getting stopped before boarding :P, “Sorry Sir, aap yeh Sabun nahi le jaa saktey, anumati nahi hai!” (Translation: Sorry Sir, you can’t carry this liquid soap, not allowed)

I asked them when I can expect the item and I was told that it’ll still reach within the time promised.

Tuesday, 11th April (Calendar Days elapsed: 5, Business Days elapsed: 3)
I checked the tracking status again and it was updated on Tuesday to say the following:
Status: onforward to branch
Remarks: Forward to surface mode
Location: Bombay
I called them to ask the following questions, and they didn’t have satisfactory answers:
a. Why was the item shipped from Mumbai? If a daily consumable is not available locally, shouldn’t they inform me it’ll get delayed?
b. What’s the definition of a reputed courier service, as claimed in their T&Cs?
c. Is it the first time they’re shipping a product with liquids?
d. Why did someone not inform me proactively when they got to know the package will get delayed? I would have appreciated an option to cancel my order.
I then asked them when I can expect to receive the item and was given the same answer “within the time promised”. I ask them when that is, and the Agent says within “3-4 working days” (notice a day added ChupkeSe), I asked by what date is that, and he says he can’t give me an ETA. When I ask him why can’t he calculate 3-4 working days from the date I ordered and tell me I’ll receive the item by Wednesday, he has the audacity to bang the phone on me. Really angry, Hope that call was recorded and someone listens to the recording, and the guy has to explain!
Thursday, 13th Apr (Calendar Days elapsed: 7, Business Days elapsed: 5)
The item has still not been delivered and the courier tracking has the following update:
Status: Physical item received
Location: Delhi
Friday, 14th April (Calendar Days elapsed: 8, Business Days elapsed: 6)
The item has still not been delivered and the courier tracking update now says:
Status: Onforward to branch
Remarks: Kotla
Location: Delhi
Sunday, 15th April (Calendar Days elapsed: 10, Business Days elapsed: 7)
Saturday has passed and the item has still not been delivered. I call their customer care number and it’s their usual Laachaari (Translation: helplessness), and the cosmetic “regretting the inconvenience caused”.  

I then ask to be connected to a supervisor and am put through to Arif. I simply ask him why I should order from them again, for that matter why anyone should order from them. Apologies as usual and a promise me that the item will be delivered on Monday, 16th April. I say I know it will get delivered on Monday, considered it’s now sitting 2 Kms away from destination address since the last 2 days, but what about the delay? I ask to be compensated for the delay and he promises to speak to higher-ups and call me back. I promise him that if I don’t hear from him, not only will I never order from their site again, but I will also take extra effort to write a review and spread the word

Monday, 16th April (Calendar Days elapsed: 11, Business Days elapsed: 7)
The item is finally delivered. Around afternoon, I get a call from Arif and he communicates that after consulting with his higher-ups, he can offer me a INR 300 coupon for the inconvenience caused. I accept and he sends me the coupon code by email. 

The second chance

Now I have a 300 bucks coupon that I need to use which brings me back to
Not able to decide whether to order something strictly within 300 bucks, or to buy something that we need & pay the difference amount. I decide the latter and to use their Cash on Delivery option to avoid paying upfront, in case they decide to source the item from Africa this time & ship via a Boat.
Sunday, 22nd April (Calendar Days elapsed: 0, Business Days elapsed: 0)

I choose a travel doodler worth 600 bucks and apply the coupon. It works but I see the charge as 350, whereas I was expecting it to be 300 bucks. I then notice their Terms & Conditions on COD which state that if the order value is below 500 bucks, there will be extra charge of 50 bucks for COD. Very conveniently, they decide to use the after-discount value of 300 instead of the original value of 600. They also mention someone will call to confirm the order in case of COD.
I need to use this coupon so I place the order (Order #100105035). I notice a coloring book included in the order which initially confuses me, but then I check the order details and realize it’s Free (Hurray!). An order confirmation email arrives as usual.
Monday, 23rd April (Calendar Days elapsed: 1, Business Days elapsed: 1)
A very detailed email invoice arrives. Its followed by an email that has the subject “ Shipment # 1000xxxxx for Invoice #203130000xxxx & Order # 100xxxxxx” and says “Please find your shipment confirmation and tracking number below”. Strangely, the email doesn’t mention the name of the courier, nor does it have any tracking number. How & where am I supposed to track my courier? Via Telepathy? 

No-one calls me to confirm the order, as was claimed on their website

Tuesday, 24th Aprtil (Calendar Days elapsed: 2, Business Days elapsed: 2)
I call Customer Care and ask for Courier name, tracking number & ETA. I’m told that the item has been shipped by a courier called Delhivery (for some reason, I hear Delhi Belly the first time 😛), and am given a Tracking number. Again, I haven’t heard of this courier name so am surprised, half-expecting the same story to repeat again. [Update 25-Apr:] Delhivery delivered within 3 days, but their tracking is either broken, or babyoye provided me the wrong TrackingID! I also find it a bit discomforting that I’m in Bangalore, and the courier has been sent via Delhivery, I quickly confirm that my Shipping Address is correct. 

I try the tracking number on the Delhivery website and it’s not recognized. I try the Shipment number and it’s not recognized too. I ask the Agent Why and she has no clue, she tries and it doesn’t work for her too. Maybe it’s Rahukalam, or the Website has had a short-term memory loss! She promises to follow-up with Logistics team and get back to me. 

I wait for 8 hours and call them again. Am offered the same tracking number which still doesn’t work. The Agent promises again to check with the Logistics team and get back soon. I ask for the Supervisor Arif, who helped me the last time, but he’s already left for the day. So, I decide to call it a day too, hoping someone will call me tomorrow and just say “Mai Delhivery se bol raha hun Sir, aur aapke darwaaze ke ikdum saamne khadaa hun 😛” (Translation: Sir, I’m from Delhivery and here outside your door/apartment to deliver the courier)

Tuesday, 25th Aprtil (Calendar Days elapsed: 3, Business Days elapsed: 3)

I track the shipment on Delhivery at 1pm, it’s still going Ghajini on me. So, I get back to work. I try again at 6pm, and the Tracking number is still not recognized. The shipment number is not recognized too. I browse through About Us and get some comfort seeing IIT & IIM multiple times on the page. Mann mein hai vishwaas, Courier pakka pahunchegaa, ek din (Translation: I have faith that the courier will reach me, One day)

No-one from Logistics team has cared to call me yet, so I call their customer care number again. The agent as usual puts me on hold, and after a few minutes, the only update he has is that they had sent an email to the Courier company but haven’t heard back. Now, they will escalate! Kursi ki peti baandh leejiye, mahaashaiy … (Translation: Fasten your seat belt…)

I ask to speak to Arif, the supervisor and after a short wait, I get through to him. He assures me that they’ve shipped the order and there seems to be some problem with the Delhivery website. It’s still expected to reach within the time promised, which BTW, is 3-7 working days. Apparently, this time the item has been shipped from their warehouse in Bhiwandi and is on it’s way to my home in Bangalore.

I ask Arif why they use these little-known courier services when they have options like DTDC and others. I’m told it’s owned by the same group. Sounds like a “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours, and meanwhile the customer can just scratch their head wondering when they’ll get their shipment. Besides, they’s no other company covering Bhiwandi. Trivia: The main mode of transport within Bhiwandi Nizampur is the auto rickshaw. There are no intra-city buses as of now running within the city, but the Bhiwandi-Nizampur city Municipal Corporation is planning a bus system soon. Those Auto wallahs must be making a killing there, One and a half meter Sir, Khaali aana waapis! 

So, I was promised by Arif that he’ll reach out to me by tomorrow and provide an update. I promised him that I will overcome my laziness and write down my experience with their website, and share it with him & all my friends. And I’ll just hope it causes someone at sit up & take notice, and things change for the better. So here it is, I’ve kept my promise! 

Meanwhile, the wait continues…
[Update 25-Apr] I reached home after publishing this review and found that the item got delivered around 7:30pm today. So, the wait has ended & the 2nd experience was not as bad as the first one. However, most issues raised in this review still hold true, and I hope they improve on those. In my 2 experiences with, the only positive impression was the customer fixation of Arif, I hope they recognize his good work & hire more people like him.
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8 Responses

  1. This is with ref to.
    Consignment no:R03909330
    dated:December 28, 2012
    Booking Office: Kozhencherry ,Kerala

    My name is Lavanya Sethi I had sent a courier through the DTDC Courier which contains my some important documents, which has still not been received at the desired destination. However the online DTDC tracking site shows in transit.
    When I contacted DTDC they informed me as follows "we regret to inform your goodself that despite of best of our concerned offices efforts, we were unsuccessful in tracing out your consignment and stands misplaced in transit/mention place, as confirmed from our Cochin Branch.
    I filed the complaint on Consumer Court site also but still not got any response.
    Please suggest a solution for the same.

  2. Hi Manik,

    I usually order from and never got disappointed. They send the packages with Firstflight Couriers, and arrives within 3-4 working days to Bangalore. They send coupons and some good offer in email in a weekly digest and I was lucky to get offers and coupons on products that I actually needed (diapers, wet wipes, story books, etc).

    This is the first time I ordered from Babyoye (just because the Chicco kids car seat was cheaper there), now after reading your post, I'm curious when it will arrive.

  3. Hi Manik,

    I echo your sentiments and incidentally (!!!) I placed my order also on 5th April 2012.

    I stay in Pilani (Rajasthan) and there are no good options available for baby stuff. Therefore,I am a regular buyer from various prominent baby stuff websites. I have had very good experience with FirstCry and MybabyCart – both with excellent delivery and services (delivery in two days flat in Pilani!!!). So, I thought lets just try babyoye and ordered a Philips Avent Sipper for my year old daughter. But, that's going to be the last time, as till date I am waiting for my sipper to arrive. I have gone ahead and cancelled my order and I have decided not to order from anymore.

    I agree totally with the choice of delivery channels and partners. In the age of social media, babyoye can't shield from its shortcomings.

    If any babyoye rep reading this, you can corroborate my claim – my order id is #100098237.

    Thanks for a nice, detailed post.

  4. Hi Arunima,

    I'm very glad to know that my feedback has reached the founders of Thank you for visiting & taking the time to comment. I appreciate your response and the explanation.

    I would like to point out that although my 2nd order was delivered as per expectation, the overall experience was less than satisfactory (see points #b & #d below).

    For the 1st order, my displeasure was with the way some of the situations were handled.

    I know I'm repeating myself, but for your benefit, here are a few crisp points summarized:

    a. Transparency: Your site doesn't have online inventory, and doesn't indicate Delivery time per-product. It doesn't show whether you have an item in your own warehouse or will be sourcing it from elsewhere. If this visibility was available on the website, the customer could make an informed decision on whether to order or not. Just imagine a customer placing an order for an essential item like Pampers and getting to know AFTER placing the order that it's not in stock. Wouldn't that customer feel cheated? Even if they had an option of canceling the order, they would get their refund processed after a week. Not to mention, they'll have to go out and buy stuff which defeats the convenience of ordering online in the first place.
    b. Tracking: The shipment email that you send has a Shipment & invoice number. You don't have tracking information on your website, nor do you send it on Email & SMS. So, the customer has to call Customer Care for it. Why? In case of my 2nd order, not only was the tracking information missing in email, but the tracking number given by Customer Care didn't work on Delhivery website (FWIW, it still doesn't work!). Just to confirm: was my item sent via Delhivery or via your own courier service?
    c. Unexpected situations: We all face unexpected situations, it's about how they are dealt with. In case of liquids not being allowed on flight and the shipment getting offloaded, shouldn't your team have called the impacted customer(s) to inform them, and gave them an option to cancel their order? Till the airline issues are ironed out, wouldn't it be more responsible for your team to either:
    * Remove liquid items from your catalog,
    * OR not accept orders from a different city as the warehouse. (You have both customer address and the location of the item)
    * OR show a message indicating liquids could be delayed.
    d. COD policy: I spoke to a babyoye Senior Customer Care person this morning (Sorry, I can't recall her name now) and she told me that the COD charges should've been applied only if MRP Total was below 500. But, your website used the Discounted amount instead and charged me for COD.

    Don't you think it's fair for customers to expect basics like transparency, keeping customers informed & proper tracking from any eCommerce website worth its salt?

    I do hope to shop with you again if & when you fix these issues.

    Have a nice day!


  5. Dear Manik,

    Thanks for shopping with us and appreciate your blogpost and comments. Am happy to see that the second shipment as delivered as per expectations. Would like to address your concerns as below

    1) Why is a product not shipped from a local warehouse. In this case delhi – Manik we have opened 5 warehouses in this country just to ensure faster shipment especially for detergents like you ordered. This particular product the Farlin Clothing detergent is one of our fastest sellers and consumed max in the north. This is one reason why your sister was not able to buy it locally. Luckily we had some stock left in Mumbai for the same. The product is imported by a delhi company and unfortunately because of the rising demand for specialized baby products, vendors are not able to replenish as fast as we would like them too. Infact even a brand like pampers by P&G was out of stock in the country for several weeks.

    2) Choice of courier partners – We only use shipping partners who are sensitive to ecommerce needs and in 2 cities, mumbai and bangalore we have our own last mile. Delivery is an extremely dependable company set up for ecommerce shipments and unfortunately limits service to delhi. Quantium is a singapore based logistics company of good repute and we work closely with not just these but bluedart, aramax as well to improve delivery times.

    3) Your first order unfortunately was offloaded and this is a problem we face with products like baby bath gels, lotions as well as detergents which airlines often offload as liquids are not allowed as we all experience while taking flights. We are working with the airports authority to ensure our shipments do not get delayed for this reason as all our products are sealed and baby safe. This is the only reason why the delivery took 7 business days.

    I do hope you and your family consider shopping with us again as we hope to be the best in customer service and experience.

    Best regards,
    Arunima Singhdeo


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