Online marketplace Flipkart has revised its return policy making it tougher to avail returns on many items sold on its platform in a bid to cut operational costs.
The company will no longer offer refunds on products like mobile accessories, computer and camera accessories, office equipment among others and higher-end items such as mobile phones, large appliances and furniture.
"Refunds are not offered. All sales are final," reads the return policy on Flipkart's under these categories.
The e-commerce firm's new policy which has been welcomed by their vendors is seen as a setback for customers.
Some experts say that the company's return and refund policy along with attractive discounts compared to other online players were the reason behind its popularity in India which could now see a hitch.
"Flipkart's new refund policy… can be best described as penny wise and pound foolish. This may temporarily reduce the burn rate, but will alienate customers in the long term," said an ecommerce industry executive reported by The Economic Times.
Contrary to reports, a Flipkart spokesperson said that the company stands by a customer-friendly refund policy across several categories.
"Our customers can request for refunds through the self-service option on over 1,150 product categories of the 1,800 available, which constitutes about two-thirds of all the categories on Flipkart. In fact, Flipkart processes about 25,000 refunds on a daily basis, 60% of which are instant, where customers don't have to wait to get their money back," said the spokesperson, reported ET.
For product returns, the website's return policy says the company will first help troubleshoot.
Further, if a defect is found within 10 days from delivery, a replacement of the same model will be provided.
However, in a case where the replacement product is not in stock or has been permanently discontinued, a refund for the entire product will be provided by the seller.
For products like clothing, footwear and eyewear, a larger window of 30-days is given for any product exchange.
Many sellers on Flipkart have said that according to the company's return policy, an item qualifies for an exchange only after close examination to ensure the packaging isn't tampered and product hasn't been used.
Meanwhile, Flipkart's rival Amazon continues to offer refunds for their products across a range of its categories.