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Government to look into complaints against Flipkart's 'Big Billion Day' sale

09 October 2014

A day after e-retailer Flipkart apologised to millions of customers over its failure to deliver on its promised bumper discounts on a host of products, the government yesterday said it would look into complaints and take a call on whether more clarity was required on e-commerce in retail.
"We have received many inputs. Lot of concern has been expressed. We will look into it," commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters on Flipkart's 'Big Billion Day' sale held on Monday.
"Now there are many complaints. Whether there is a need for a separate policy or some kind of clarification is needed, we will make it clear soon," she added.
Flipkart's sale, that offered steep discounts covering a range of products, had raised concerns among traders that campaigns of the type would have an adverse effect on players in the traditional retail market.

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has called on the commerce ministry to initiate steps to monitor and regulate online businesses, as also probe trade practices of e-commerce companies as regards how massive discounts were being offered in the ongoing festival season.

"We failed to live up to this promise yesterday (Monday) and would like to apologise to every single customer for our failure," the Bangalore-based e-commerce major said in a mail to all its registered users following rejections owing to stock running out in minutes and the company's portal going down for hours during the day-long sales.

The company's 'The Big Billion Day' overburdened its servers within two hours of the sale opening and many users complained of landing on error pages and interruption of their sale process, even as accusations were made about discounts on inflated prices.

The failure of the sale angered shoppers who had been offered items at discounted prices that were higher than what were on offer at rivals such as Amazon and Snapdeal.

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