Arun Kumar who lives on Noida Expressway and a big fan of online grocery company bigbasket has decided to stop using the platform. Reason: Frequent delays in deliveries, late intimation of the delay via SMS or email and sudden disappearance of most of the stuff he ordered in the morning for an evening delivery.
Above all, when he wanted to cancel the order, the online cancellation form put the onus on him — like the customer is not at home, or wants to use coupons, or wants to modify the order — and did not offer any option for cancellation where he could put the blame on the company for late delivery or “last-minute order modification”.
Krishna who lives in Keshav Puram in New Delhi has been facing the same issues for months.
“There have been numerous incidences where bigbasket delivery was delayed beyond the chosen hours. There was no intimation that the delivery will be delayed and I had to wait unnecessarily, cancelling my social engagements,” she told IANS.
Ordered things suddenly going out of stock is normal nowadays on the platform.
“The service has become poor. Hope they improve it else my neighbourhood grocery shop has always been there as they too now deliver groceries at home, that too without a delivery fee,” added Krishna.
The online grocery firm aims to go for an initial public offering (IPO) by 2023. It operates in 26 cities and claims to process over 1.40 lakh orders daily.
But its algorithms are somewhat failing it when it comes to so called “operational constraints”, at least in Delhi-NCR.
“In case of order rush on certain days like a Sunday or a holiday, is it necessary for bigbasket to keep accepting offers, only to inform the customer that most of the items selected are out of stock? Why cannot algorithms gauge the demand-supply scenario in real-time?,” asked an angry Arun.
According to bigbasket, a customer has the option to cancel an order at any point, even at the doorstep.
“If there’s a delay and the customer wants to cancel an order, he/she can reach out to our customer support via chat or phone. In such instances, there are 3 possibilities: a customer may want to cancel, accept (if there’s only a 5-10 minute delay) or shift the order to another time-slot,” a company spokesperson told IANS.
However, the spokesperson did not address the IANS query on why the customer has to take all the blame for the delayed order.
The company claims its on-time delivery has been 99 per cent consistent for several years now.
“Also, in the rare instances of delay, we pay the customer 5 per cent of order value as part of our ‘on-time delivery guarantee,'” the spokesperson added.
Funnily, in the case of Arun who had to wait a whole Sunday evening for the order to arrive, the company paid Rs 8 into his bigbasket wallet on an order of Rs 645 as per its delivery guarantee.
“Is Rs 8 all for spoiling my Sunday evening? I received an SMS at 9 p.m. indicating the delay of an order placed for the 5-7 p.m. delivery slot — that too saying out of the 8 items I ordered, they will not be able to deliver 6 items!,” Arun lamented.
The bigbasket spokesperson said as a back-up mechanism, in case the push notification fails for some reason, “an alert is sent to our customer support team, and they communicate the delay to the customer”.
“Furthermore, at any point in time, customers can reach out to our customer support team via chat/call to know the status of the order”.
This is what exactly Arun did, but to no avail.
“Yes, we do have algorithms to determine ordering quantities in real-time. Our fill rates (items delivered as a percentage of items ordered) are consistently over 98 per cent and we are constantly trying to improve this,” the company spokesperson told IANS.