So when Moto E was launched, orders were being cancelled automatically for lot of users and every time there tried to order it again, it was counted as a new sale and credited to our account.
It is not acceptable for a company with this high reputation and size to produce sloppy code like this. This is only one case we found, there could be several such bugs resulting from their sloppy code. A friend of mine uncovered another issue, I can not make it public at this time but will update the post when the time comes.
When there are lot of attacks happening on high profile sites like linked in, ebay, and the vulnerabilities that are discovered everyday, there is no place for sloppy code like this, definitely not on huge sites like flipkart. I might even reconsider shopping on flipkart leave alone being an affiliate. This might seem like I’m blowing this out of proportion, but wait till my friends findings are made public.
They sent me an excel sheet with details about the cancelled orders, and I asked for some further information and offered to remove the post if they bring transparency.
Things to note here
- First two users COD verification failed, only they should explain why the orders were credited to my account when verification failed.
- No issues with the third.
- The last user is an old friend, we prepared for JEE together in 2004 and haven’t been in touch all these days. I talked to him about it today and he told me that his orders were cancelled every time he tried to order one, so he ended ordering 10times, and was successfully able to order it the following day. A lead I sent them purchased the product even after their failure the first 10 times, yet I haven’t been credited for the sale.
If this is the level of commitment they have towards their affiliates, why should anyone use them?
Here is the proof of my findings. This is my first screencast with voice over, so thanks for bearing with my voice, and the ummmsss.
On 13th May I was casually scrolling to my Facebook feed on my mobile and suddenly a post caught my attention. It was about Moto E, which was being launched the following day exclusively by Flipkart. I thought it was good opportunity to test and play with Facebook ads. I quickly jumped of my bed to get on my Mac, and created an ad and posted in the pages I own and on my own time line.
I posted the ad before the launch as the cookie life time was 24 hours, and posting the ad 12 hours before would increase the reach of the ad by the time it really mattered.
Here are the promoted posts/ads
As a result of these campaigns, I was able to sell couple of units with in hour of the launch. The final tally before I went to bed that day around 3AM was 12 units sold with a commission of rs 3359.52. This is little less than I spent on the ads, I did not care. I was just happy that my first paid affiliate campaign worked and did not fall flat like a dud.
Everything was good so far until this happened.
I woke up at around 9AM the following day, and the first thing I did was to check the flipkart affiliate earnings. Flipkart affiliates even made it to my bookmarks toolbar yesterday. I was expecting around 25 sales based on how the campaign was doing. I was shocked to see only 3 sales. I immediately mailed their affiliate support and here is how it went.
For this they said that the orders were cancelled by the orders management team. Thing to note here
Their order management team works at night, cool.
We affiliates spend, money, time, and our precious resources to send them leads, instead of doing everything in their power to convert that lead into a sale, they kill the leads.
For this they give me BS, standard answer which doesn’t, say, convey or prove anything.
From here on I was passed as a ball between their order management team and the affiliate team, they did not talk anything that would make sense until I threatened them saying I would write a blog post about the whole incident.
My email to their order management team.
And their order management team asks me to contact their affiliate team, f*** joke.
This is when I replied them strongly and threaded to write a blog post
This is when they started moving their @$$$
If they could not handle the demand why ask us to promote it at all. This not their first exclusive launch, they launched Moto G before this. They should have estimated the demand beforehand.
Then we wouldn’t have invested our time, money and effort in promoting it.
Then this new guy comes into picture, I have to explain him everything. Doesn’t seem to have a clue about the issue at hand or how their affiliate system works.
Ask’s me to provide the order ID’s, how they fuck am I going to get them? He keeps asking the same on the phone.
For those who don’t know, flipkarts affiliate reporting sucks. They do not give any useful data, its highly in their favour to alter reports rig data. Forget getting the order ID’s
This is where it gets interesting, and where they take affiliates for fools. Read on to find out what he says is pure BS.
Later, on discussion about this on phone he told me that the orders were made from 2 account. This is why what he said is BS, and why I decided to stop reasoning with them and write this blog post instead.
- Initially they said that the orders were cancelled as they could not meet the demand. If what they were saying is true, they would have said that the orders were from the same account in the first email itself with out waiting my time.
- Not just me, lot of people in Facebook friends list reported the same when I posted about this.
- For what they are saying to be true there are two cases
1. The product is bought in a single bulk order.
2. The user bought the phone from my link, cleared his cache, then went back to flipkart and through my affiliate link and bought the product again.
This did not happen just once or twice, but six times. To add cake on top of the cake, it wasn’t just one but two users who did this.
If one had happened, then the order wouldn’t have been reordered as only one sale according to their terms.
If in a particular transaction, the customer buys 3 quantities of product ‘A’ and 2 quantities of product ‘B’ the total number of items is 2.
If the same product ‘A’ is ordered by the customer in 2 different orders, number of items would be 2.
A single person ordering a product through my affiliate link even twice is highly unlikely, as according to their terms of services, and FAQ, my cookie will expire as soon as the user places the order.
I won’t say I love flipkart, but I don’t hate them either. I’m happy to see a Indian startup reach such heights.
But things like this shouldn’t happen, companies shouldn’t take affiliates for granted we help them build their business. A message has to be sent, they won’t get a free pass out of things like this.
If you have been scammed by Flipkart affiliate program, raise your voice, share your story in comments, share this article. Show them they can not get away with things like these.
PS: To be fair to them, I mailed them about the article and offered to publish their side of the story if they want to.
Other cases of Flipkart fraud
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