Thursday, July 31, 2014

Flipkart and Xiaomi Could Have Avoided the Backlash With OnePlus One-Like Invites

Both Flipkart and Xiaomi are celebrating the flash sales of the Xiaomi Mi 3 in India - the handset has been put on sale on the e-commerce website twice now, and each time, has been completely sold out almost immediately. According to Xiaomi's official release on the subject, this week's entire Mi 3 stock was sold out in five seconds, and the company has now sold a total of 20,000 units of the phone.

However, a lot of potential customers have been very upset, since they had to pre-register to purchase the phone, but faced a lot of difficulties such as orders being cancelled immediately after being booked, or simply finding that the phone went out of stock in the time it took for the buy button to show up on their screens. For example, one of our readers, Senthil Kumar wrote in via comments: "After reviewing your technical specification, i eagerly plan to buy the phone. Then i have registered on last Wednesday and further i have tried twice but website threw that i was registered already. Finally yesterday & today i got reminder mail from flipkart, then i was eagerly waiting for purchase. Once i clicked then i got the message that i am not registered. Really shocked. Within 2 seconds, i tried to buy again with the same account then i got out of stock message. So, it seems that it's totally fraud sales. please don't encourage these type of business which makes people as foolish. So, please stop updating any messages about flipkart and Mi3 phones further. Both of them cheating our entire nation."

Other readers had similar experiences. Chethan wrote: "These #flipkart crashing & #Xiomi Mi3 out of stock in minutes stories are just bogus. it's their brand building tactics... I mean I was watching the countdown and hit BUY the moment it hit 00:00 & it showed 'Out of Stock'... come on...!"; Santosh wrote: "Its showing Out of stock at 2:01 pm, when the sale was to start at 2pm.. Is it a joke?"; Manoj wrote: "The Mi3 sale on Flipkart is a bloody joke. The phone went out of stock at 14:00 Hrs!!!! Are you kidding Flipkart?".

The frustration that so many people who went to buy the phone are feeling is palpable. In light of this negative reaction, Xiaomi's response starts to look a little tone deaf:

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