Chinese Handset manufacturer, Gionee has warned customers buying handsets from online shopping websites, that such a move may bring them some inconvenience. The advisory is in tune with similar warnings issued by Lenovo, Toshiba and Dell recently.
Online portals like Flipkart and Snapdeal, meanwhile have assured that customers have no need to worry and their interests are well protected. The latest round of confusion began after Gionee realized that online portals are selling handsets without entering into an agreement with the parent company.
This round is online shopping sites V/S traditional retail offline outlets. Online vendors incur huge savings due to their business model, which allows them to pass on savings to customers in the form of huge discounts which cannot be matched by retails shops. Retails outlets, have their own edge in terms of after sales services and warranty support which their online counterparts are still trying to replicate.
Grey areas are common to both. Retail outlets do shun customers with warranty problems to the nearest service center. Online portals provide some nerve wrenching service while delivering goods to customers. And, what if a true blue retail shop is also selling products on sites like ebay or amazon. Would it come under the advisory of Gionee? Gionee has its own e Store to add to the confusion. And how does it cover warranty management.
Terms of Warranty are an agreement between the manufacturer and buyer. A retail outlet, offline or online is only offering products with various options. Customers choose the best deal, which may include who is offering the best warranty plan.
Gionee claims that certain practices by online portals hurt their brand image and the profit margins of their authorized offline retail outlets. Online portals have revolutionized the way we shop. Service is fabulous, reach is amazing. Gionee is not helping in any way by taking a step back into the stone age.