Thursday, March 01, 2012 Vs.

I first noticed at World Book Fair 2010 New Delhi. They had a big stall of which I walked past by quickly glancing with the side of my eye since the stall, as far as I remember, had no books and it wasn’t a publishing house. Later I stumbled upon the website after reading a blogpost about it and discovered the unbelievable, plethora of books at rock bottom prices add to it superb packaging and FREE to home delivery.

The love affair with the much applauded and hugely successful website followed before it became the household name. Till recently almost all my online transactions had been through flipkart. The discounts were so tempting that I stopped buying books elsewhere. A person who loves bookshops more than anything turned into a tourist at bookstores. Noting down name of the books only to order them later through flipkart. 

When flipkart went multidimensional selling everything from electronics to books et al. it did pinch me somewhere. It killed the thought of relating flipkart as an exclusive bookstore fanning my fears that somehow it will dilute the book business. Going through books in the books section of say big bazaar is such a sham. It’s there for the heck of it. Colouring books rubbing shoulders with chetan bhagats , shiv kheras, chicken soups and other extremely popular titles. Superficial and skin deep.

Somehow I started ordering computer accessories from flipkart.

Some days before I had to order Samit Basu’s The Simoqin Prophesies for refrence purpose which was for some reason not available at flipkart. I Googled and found a miraculous site which had books cheaper than flipkart and that too by a good margin. It was a like discovering a talisman. A dedicated bookstore with cheapest books I had ever seen. It was then I did it… Ordered the book through on 21 Feb.

On 22 Feb I received the SMS from bookadda intimating me that my order had been shipped from their end through AFL Couriers (who are they?) It’s 29 Feb and I have fairly no idea where my book is.

The AFL website gave nothing to my tracking id telling me nothing except that my courier has not yet been delivered. I called customer helpline number which was few times busy, sometimes unanswered. Finally I could get through the helpline chakravyuh. The call attendant was very professional though and took personal interest in my query. She called back after updating the status of my order with the courier company.

I formally wrote this on the customer feedback section on their website and a string of emails followed :

On Mon, Feb 27, 2012 at 7:36 PM, <> wrote:

I ordered Samit Basu's book from your website which was shipped shortly but unfortunately the courier company AFL has not been able to deliver the shipment promptly.. i had posted about your website on my FB wall and recommended it highly to my friends since it offers better deals than flipkart.... that too after many years of ordering through flipkart.. i cannot receive my shipment details too through AFL courier website by the tracking number which only tells me that my courier has not been deliver (which of course i already know) it's advisable if u your courier company can be prompt and informative it'll help the customers and inspire confidence to order more books on a regular basis. thank you.
User Order Id -
from email -
Feb 28:

Dear Customer,

Greeting from !

Thank you for your mail and order with

As per your mail , we kindly request you to provide us the transaction reference id so that we may check and followup with the courier people for the same, as we are not able to track the order through your mail id.

We are very sorry for the inconvenience caused.


Customer Support Team

Feb 28:
My AFL tracking id is 81592712561172

Feb 28:
Dear Sir,

Our sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused.

We expect you to get the book by today.

We value your feedback & have taken corrective action against the courier company.
While we strive to provide good services, sometimes we get constrained by the logistics eco-system available in the country.

We hope to provide better services to you in future.

We look forward to having you as our customer soon.


I got their sincere apologies but not my book despite complaining. The courier company has taken some corrective measure (pun intended) with now the Status is showing “With Delivering Courier” as if the guy is out there with my book on his way and will be reaching me anytime while in reality the book might be rotting somewhere in their warehouse.

It is sad to see such appalling service in a fiercely competitive market. It might be that the perfect business plan of is being anchored by poor delivery mechanism or that by cutting on price they are compromising on courier provider. Whatever the reason the bottom line is..



Anshul Chaurasia said...

AFL couriers are a little slow. it will come :)

Parv Kaushik said...

i thinks its too late.. and i don't think i'll order from bookadda again..

Anukriti Sharma said...

I'd prefer buying colouring books than any Chetan Bhagat ;)

Bookadda people seem to be enjoying a long "Holi"day... Next time, buy from flipkart.

And yes, thanks for this enlightening post :)

Parv Kaushik said...

@anukriti nice one about chtan bhagat.. wait till you read ravinder singh!!

Anonymous said...

Nice blog mate. Suffered the same fate at the hands of

Wanted to try it out since the book I ordered was Rs. 200 cheaper than flipkart, but little did I know that bookadda is one of the most unprofessional companies in this industry!
Their customer care phone is never answered and the website updates are zilch.
I ordered a book on 27-April and it was supposed to be delivered in 7-8 days. But nothing till date in terms of an update.
Have always been an ardent fan of flipkart for the last 2 years, but tried this one out as an experiment! Bad experiment I must say!
For books, its Flipkart all the way for me!