I am writing this after facing enormous pain from India Today Book Club and its associated market company BAG IT TODAY. In the month of May-June 2010, while I was on travel to Bangalore, their sales agents gave me several calls and offered under some scheme where I was told that I am one of the three assured winners of a Maruti Swift car. But to be on top, I have to buy some product (I have the record of all the calls made by them through my post-paid Vodafone subscriber’s bill). They gave me several calls at odd times while I was busy in important meetings and presentations and strictly told them not to disturb anymore.
But every time some different person would call me and say that I am missing a chance to win a Maruti swift car and I am one of the top three assured winners.
Being a reputed company and publisher of India Today and I being having a high regard for Mr. Prabhu Chawla and Mr. Arun Poorie, made a mistake by placing an order of Rs.7098 (Order No: 0GA100014873) in the first week of May (6th May) for a Microwave (WHIRLPOOL MICROWAVE 25L GRILL(SET) though IVR payment gateway through credit card. Again after few days, I get a call from some other person that my chances of winning a Maruti Swift car is 100% sure, only when I buy one more product. I asked him what the guarantee is. He told me that I am the assured winner and in worst case, I will get at least 30,000 cash. Being cashless at that time and lured by assured 30,000 cash in my account, I was again compelled to buy something above 10 thousand rupees. I offered to get a 5 years subscription of India Today and paid the required amount. But just after few minutes, I was told that “to get the top prize, I need to buy a Whirlpool water filter” by paying Rs. 14749. So again, I paid the balance amount by credit card on phone (order no TELESALES/0GA100020321). The promised delivery of the product (a) Microwave (b) Whirlpool RO water filter was to be made within 3-4 weeks. However, when the product was not delivered even after one month and the date of contest passed (31st July), I got suspicious and I started contacting the customer care at their telephone no. 011-40502424 and spoke to many of their executives, at interval of 7-8 days. First of all they told me that the packet containing microwave has returned undelivered in broken condition due to wrong address provided by me. When I told them that this is absolute nonsense and told the address was very much correct, they told me that the product will be delivered in 2 weeks. I kept on waiting again for two weeks, but nothing happened.
When I asked them for refund first they said it has been approved and I will get the refund within 21 days, but till today I got no confirmation, no mail, nothing. They have even stopped responding to my e-mail.
To my horror, I got a whirlpool water purifier which is a different model costing at least 2500 less. I paid Rs. 14749 for Purafresh Elite model and I was given Deluxe model which costs just Rs.11,393 in the local market here. They had even sent me the product brochure with the pictures and features etc on my e-mail. And to make it even worst, no one has installed even after a week. When I called them I was told that installation is my own responsibility and I have to pay for it!! Generally, water company gives free installation or with some moderate tips to the serviceman. This is just horrible; I can’t believe how India today is cheating common people of this country. By all the above misleading, deceitful gesture clearly with the intention of cheating poor people and their hard earned mony, on the part of BAGITTODAY, a marketing company of India Today Group, I am seeking your help to get the problem resolved by my refund of the money as well as the balance amount charged. I have even paid an interest of Rs. 1800 to my credit card dues as I was not paid the assured 30,000 cash.
In view of the third grade service to the customers and unethical business practices (the product was sold by giving false information regarding some contest and assured prizes...the date of draw is kept on postponing because of some " audit' routines....thousands of customers have been fooled), I and sending my formal request to cancel my order and return the amount to my card. Please help me in filing a suit in the consumer court for mental harassment and agony as well as financial loss and loss of future opportunity.
Bagittoday has their Customer care division at
INDIA TODAY BOOK CLUB,
New Delhi – 110 068.
Thanks & Regards,
Dr. V. Dutta
Rae Bareli Road
Lucknow 226025 (UP)
Lucknow District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum
2A/1 Rana Pratap Marg