Review of Amazon.in Cashback Promotion
If you’re planning to buy something in the next online flash sale that screams cashback, you may want to hold back till you read my full review. Honestly, I have lost respect for the company (Amazon.in) as to what it used to be when it started off in India.
I have been a long time customer of Amazon (Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk) and I was probably one of the very first to buy on Amazon.in in it’s early days because I trusted the company and assuming their standards would be the same. But recent events and the way customer support responded has left me thinking otherwise.
Let me give you an overview of recent events.
In August 2016, there was a flash sale on Amazon.in called the Great Indian Sale between 8 – 10 August. They had a tie up with State Bank of India for a cashback of 7.5% shopped on their website and 10% cashback for in-app purchases.
As any keen shopper looking for a discount, I found it tempting but as a skeptic, I also wanted to test how legitimate ‘Cashback Promotions’ are here in India as I’ve never come across one while living overseas. I read through their Terms and Conditions (which you must too) and bought something for INR 15,269 in-app with a State Bank Debit Card which qualified me for a cashback of INR 1,500.00, theoretically speaking.
Looks pretty straightforward, right? What can go wrong?
When you hear a company as big as Amazon, you are going to trust whether it’s today or a week from today. But I was already a long time customer and I thought nothing could go wrong in the process as long as I meet the terms.
Congratulations! Your Amazon.in order placed between August 08, 2016 and August 10, 2016 using your State bank card entitles you to a State Bank cashback.
The cashback will be credited to your account by October 30, 2016. You will receive another email as soon as the cashback is credited.
Cashback Didn’t Credit on 10 October 2016 Deadline
3 Days After Deadline
Congratulations! Your order placed as part of the Amazon Great Indian Sale from August 8th to August 10th, 2016 entitles you to a SBI cashback.
Your cashback was successfully processed on October 10th, 2016 and it will reflect in your account latest by October 13th, 2016, due to bank holidays.
The cashback should reflect in your account statement as “Amazon Cashback Aug 2016”.
5 Days After Deadline
8 Days After Deadline
Cashback was still not credited into my account. It dawned upon me, perhaps something was not right here.
— Ashish Prasad (@iAshishPrasad) October 18, 2016
I was asked to fill another form from @AmazonHelp and I heard back from the escalation team asking for a bank statement for the 2nd time.
I once again tried replying back to this email attaching copies of bank statements for the escalation team. But the email address itself doesn’t accept any incoming emails, email address – ([email protected])
This is the error message
Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:
The error that the other server returned was:
550 #5.1.0 Address rejected.
— Ashish Prasad (@iAshishPrasad) October 20, 2016
@iAshishPrasad Hi, that’s unusual that you received this mail. I would like to check why this has happened. (1/2) ^ZH
— Amazon Help (@AmazonHelp) October 20, 2016
10 Days After Deadline
It happened finally. I check my statement to find the cashback credited for INR 1,145.17 happens to be 7.5% of the purchase amount instead of the approved 10% cashback of INR 1,500.00. Wait, what ?
Quite a few inconsistencies
- why was I asked for bank statements twice by Amazon representatives when the bank alone is responsible for cashback?
- What exactly is the escalations team for if they can’t fix an issue?
- Let’s assume, if I had not followed up – do you think the cashback would’ve been credited into my account automatically?
- What if I read the confirmation email that said ‘Cashback has been credited’ and never checked statement for proof of the credit (that would be the case with many) ?
- What if the cashback credit is incorrect?
- How does the bank credit the cashback for 7.5% or 10% ? Can the bank tell if a buyer has used Amazon.in in-app checkout or the website to make the purchase? Clearly, something has gone wrong with my transaction.
- Why does Amazon Customer Service use a no-reply email address and ask to ‘reply back’ if there is anything else that a customer wants to clarify. That is just misleading.
Any issue with cashback posting will be entertained only till 10-Nov-2016. Post such date, BANK/SBICPSL and Amazon will not entertain any correspondence or communication regarding this Offer from any person.
A quick poll on twitter and an online search suggested I may not be the only person
— Ashish Prasad (@iAshishPrasad) October 16, 2016
While I was investigating, I came across this tweet that made me wonder how many would check their bank statements as often
@iAshishPrasad whoops. That’s concerning. Also its a very long duration post which it happens like 3 months. Most people forget in such long
— BuyHatke (@BuyHatke) October 17, 2016
If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. In some cases, that includes cashbacks Click To Tweet
Remember that saying? A caution to all online shoppers and also something to remember, don’t be tempted or tricked by these cashback promotions. The terms and conditions could be manipulated just in a way you would be persuaded to make the purchase but the cashback might never actually credit to your account.