With the nation reeling under the COVID-19 outbreak, thousands of merchants whose non-essential item orders were cancelled on Amazon India and Flipkart are waiting to get their payments cleared.
This comes even as the online giants have initiated refunds to thousands of customers who had placed their orders of non-essentials before the lockdown, people aware of the matter said.
The merchants associated with Amazon India are said to get the payments when the items will be ordered again. As for Flipkart, the payments that were supposed to be made on 1 April will come a week later.
For the consumers, while some have already started getting refunds, others are still waiting.
Amazon has also temporarily paused its return pickups and has deferred movements of already picked-up products, which is causing delay in few customers getting their refund.
The firm is sending the non-essential products that were already shipped back to its own warehouse or sellers’ fulfillment centres.
A spokesperson from Amazon India, shared, “For cancelled orders with non-essential items, refunds are currently being initiated. Given the guidance of the Government and the volume of orders we could not deliver, there may be slightly longer timelines than usual.”
Meanwhile, a spokesperson from Flipkart asserted, “In the current unprecedented crisis, we are taking the appropriate right calls for our customers, keeping in mind the present situation and advisory from the Government.” It also stated that there weren’t any delays on its part in settling payments with sellers.
However, merchants selling at both these companies mentioned that payments were getting delayed by at least a week or more. They are also concerned about their sales since there has been an indication that sale of non-essential items will still not start after 14 April, which is the final day of the current lockdown.
AIOVA, a group of online vendors, said, “There are payment delays across marketplaces like Amazon and Flipkart. In such situations, sellers are facing credit risks. There needs to be a safeguard in place. Government should not expect sellers to pay salaries during lockdown.”
Meanwhile, Paytm Mall (owned by Paytm e-commerce) has also waived off penalties under the service level agreement (SLA) charged on the merchants. Under SLA, merchants are charged for delay and cancellation of orders.
Additionally, the company has also extended the deadline to ship existing orders by 22 April.