LAHORE: Incidents of customers becoming victims of frauds done by sellers on Daraz.pk have increased amid the lack of regulation pertaining to e-commerce in Pakistan.
In one incident, Dr Adnan Nabeel, a customer of Daraz.pk, looking to take advantage of ‘Azadi Sale’ on the e-commerce portal ordered an internal hard drive for his laptop on August 4. However, in place of the hard drive, only a hard drive case was delivered to him.
The cost of the hard drive on Daraz.pk was mentioned at Rs8,426. Nabeel’s order was to be delivered at his house on a Cash on Delivery (CoD) basis. “On August 7, I was at my office when I received a message from a courier service intimating that my order will be delivered shortly at my house,” he said.
When Nabeel got home, his order (order number 118918732114613) had already been received. However, he later found out that the seller had dispatched a hard drive case instead of a hard disk. The value of the hard drive case Nabeel claims would be about Rs500 as opposed to the Rs8,426 listed on Daraz.pk’s website for the hard disk.
Nabeel claims that he visited the Daraz.pk service/complaint center located in DHA Lahore to lodge a complaint regarding the incident. However, the Daraz.pk representatives refused to lodge the complaint claiming that the order was not from Daraz.pk.
According to Nabeel, the order had been placed from Daraz.pk’s mobile application and was wrapped in Daraz.pk’s packaging which lends credit to his stance that the order was in fact the responsibility of the company.
However, after repeated arguments and insistence from Nabeel, the representatives at the Daraz.pk outlet agreed to lodge his complaint and asked him to wait for the company’s reply regarding a refund on his order.
Nabeel further complained that Daraz.pk does not list complete information of its sellers on its website or mobile application nor does it have a clear policy for cases of fraud.
According to Nabeel he could only find the name and an incomplete address of the seller on Daraz.pk’s website. The name of the seller was stated as Waqas while his address only mentioned the word ‘Pak-Collection’.
A similar complaint was also lodged by another customer against the said seller. The customer whose order number was 119037542690545 had also ordered a hard drive for his laptop from the Daraz.pk’s application.
“I realized from the weight of the delivered package that it did not have a hard disk so I took it to the Daraz’s customer service center in DHA Lahore. When the package was opened in front of their representative, only a hard drive case came out of it. The name of the seller who had to fulfill my order was also Waqas and his address was also stated as ‘Pak-Collection’,” he says.
The Daraz.pk’s representatives have registered the customer’s complaint which is still in process.
Another individual, Muhammad Qasim, who visited the Daraz.pk’s customer care center complained that he had come to return an order which he had never placed. “Now I am being made to wait,” he said while complaining regarding the customer unfriendly attitude of Daraz.pk’s representatives at the center.
A seller registered on Daraz.pk, while talking to Profit said that he had only provided his National Tax Number (NTN) number and a scanned picture of his cheque to Daraz.pk in order to get registered.
“I was told that I will receive flyers and essentials in three to four days indicating that I am registered with Daraz.pk as a seller. The quality of products that I sell is not physically checked by Daraz.pk,” he said adding that such an easy sign up procedure opens avenues of fraud for sellers.
On the other-hand, Daraz.pk Public Relations and Communication Manager Pireh Shafiq said that she is not sure if the above incidents point towards a problem at the sellers end or at the courier company’s end.
“We have a very long process to register sellers. First their bank details, NTN number and some formalities are completed and then they are registered. We refund where such an issue arises. Training courses are also offered to sellers through Daraz universities,” she said adding that Daraz.pk has taken the seller against whom complaints were launched off of its website.
“Such an incident should not have happened at all and we will resolve our customer’s complaint immediately,” Pireh said.
Moreover, an official of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) while talking to Profit said that “People in Pakistan are turning to e-commerce and are buying online which increases chances of fraud. Consumers are shown a branded mobile phone online but an unbranded mobile phone is delivered to them. The problem in Pakistan is that there is nobody that keeps a check on such online businesses. Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) regulates physical businesses but no institution has been set up for online entities.”
“We have a law and enforcement agency for such cases like FIA, but in order to allow online businesses there must be an institution that licenses all such companies. The government should have details regarding their business volume and the amount of tax that they are pay.”