Snapdeal is known for giving away some unbelievable discounts, but this was a discount that seemed too good to be true. Punjab University B.Tech student Nikhil Bansal was browsing through the site when he came across an iPhone 5S that was at 99.97% off. While others might’ve dithered, thinking this was a technical glitch, Bansal immediately ordered the phone. He paid Rs. 68, or $1, for a shiny new iPhone 5S.
His joy was short-lived though. He waited and waited, but his phone never arrived. When he got in touch with Snapdeal, he was told that his order had been cancelled because he’d availed of the discount because of, surprise surprise, a technical glitch.
Bansal wasn’t pleased. When others would’ve shrugged it off as a missed opportunity, he decided to take Snapdeal to court. He approached the State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission in Sangrur, Punjab after sending many mails to the company which went unanswered. And the courts ruled in his favour – nearly a year after buying the original phone, the forum ordered Snapdeal to provide the complainant with the Apple iPhone at the rate at it was ordered (Rs. 68), calling it a “clear cut case of deficiency in service.” The court also ordered Snapdeal to pay Rs. 2,000 for compensation and litigation expenses.
Snapdeal, though, would have none of it. Realizing that selling off a phone that retails for Rs 30,000 for Rs. 68 wouldn’t help the company’s burgeoning losses, the company decided to appeal against the order. But to no avail – the courts still ruled that Snapdeal had to provide the phone at Rs. 68, and to add insult to injury, asked them to cough up a further Rs. 10,000 fine.
Two whole years after purchasing the iPhone, Bansal finally has his iPhone. And Snapdeal has learnt that no matter how often you approach the courts, putting up a wrong price on your site is a costly mistake to make.