IFB Industries — fraudulent sale of company manufactured/promoted products
Popooja.kumar on Jan 2, 2018
I am writing this complaint with great disappointment, yet again, from the so-called ‘leading brand in washing machines’ – ifb.
While i let go of the bitterness of my first experience just a little over a year back with ifb and its team; my recent experience – a bad one at that, yet again, has only reaffirmed my initial thoughts of ifb being a brand that, in the recent times, is only living off the goodwill that it had earned for its products and services once upon a time, long time ago. These bad experiences, not just mine but of several others, as are clearly evident from the search results if one were to search google with certain negative keywords together with ifb can only be termed an obvious manifestation of the unprofessional and irresponsible behavior of the company and the people working for it.
It was only a little over a year, towards the end of 2016, that i had had a tormenting experience dealing with ifb – the irresponsible and incompetent technicians, the unresponsive customer care team, and the rude and unprofessional regional service centre team.
And here i am, with a new complaint, yet again; this time regarding the installation of a new washing machine at my parents’ house.
My parents purchased a new ifb washing machine (Model: ifb wm serena aqua sx ldt (6.0 kg) on 1st december 2017. On 16th december 2017, a technician named suresh kumar came over for installation at their home dwarka, delhi.
While any regular installation would be free, my parents ended up paying an exorbitant amount of rs 7340. (See image for bill). This would still have been acceptable had the technician truly, and with complete sincerity, educated my father - a senior citizen – on the actual use and importance of some of the items vis-à-vis the prevalent conditions in their apartment so that he could have made an informed decision on the same.
On the contrary, he ended up paying a huge amount of as much as rs 5080 for several useless items only in the name of ensuring better performance of the machine. None of the three components - be it the water filter (Rs 2560), the 10-pack descal powder kit (Rs 1800), or the 2-packs of ifb liquid detergent (Total rs 720 @ rs 360 each) - fall into the essentials or important category.
Each of these components was sold off by the technician by literally tricking and deceiving my father by making all sorts of false claims.
1. Water filter - the technician, pointing out to the 20-year old ifb washing machine, still in use at my parents' house, specifically mentioned to my father that the ifb machines manufactured in the old days were of high quality, which is not the case with the ones being manufactured in today’s time. And therefore, he is installing the water filter so that the machine keeps functioning well for a long time.
From his statement one can decipher only one of the two - either he is speaking the truth and the ifb washing machines are actually no more of the high quality that they once used to be in erstwhile years.in such scenario, why should one be buying an ifb machine, when even after paying such high costs, one is required to put in high amounts of additional money to purchase equipments to ensure that the machines run well and last long.
Or it is the second probability that he is lying, in which case this is a clear case of duping, a fraudulent transaction, made on the basis of false claims.
And if at all, one was to contest my argument (As being said by tushar, the ifb regional service manager) that the water quality is not good in a lot of apartments in dwarka, therefore the technician installed the water filter, i want to know – did the technician ask my father about the water quality in his apartment? – no. Again, did he conduct any test to check the water quality? No. As a matter of fact, the water quality in my parents’ apartment is absolutely fine. They have been living in this apartment for 10 years now and their old 20-year old machine has been working absolutely well even today in that very apartment.
2. Descal powder - the 10-pack kit of the descal powder was sold off to my father saying that one packet should be used every one month.
It was only after i spoke to the service centre (Upper shell enterprises, rz g-686, first floor, raj nagar ii, palam colony, new delhi - 110077) that i was educated on the use of the descal powder – that it is only after every 30 washes, and not every month as stated by the technician, that one of the powder is to be used.
My father had clearly told the technician that there are just two people in the house i. E. He and his wife. Even in a joint family in today's time, i have not seen a washing machine being used every day. I can vouch for the fact that in a majority of households, including, a family of two effectively uses the washing machine only once a week at the max.
With this mathematics, a household would be able to use one packet of the powder only at an interval of 7.5 months. Also these powders come with a 2-year expiry period, thus making them unusable after 2 years from the date of manufacture.
Considering all these factors, during a 2 year period, one would not be able to use more than 3 of these packets, thus rendering the remaining 7 packets unfit for use, which the service centre person (By the name vikas) too agreed to. 7 packets @ rs 180 per packet amounts to wastage of rs 1260 straight away.
We (My parents, my in-laws and i) having been using different models of ifb washing machines at different locations across india for as long as 25+ years. And never have we ever faced any scaling-related problem so far. All the machines are working fine even to this day.
But the ifb regional service manager – tushar – had an argument to counter this point too. He tells me that he belongs to a small family of three – living with his wife and a little kid and yet, they use their washing daily. Like seriously, this is the lamest argument one could come up with, not to forget insane at the same time, to say the least! Though unimaginable yet if at all i were to, i could only imagine a real rich high class person making such as claim. People like us, the masses, belonging to the middle-class, could never ever afford to pay the high electricity charges, or even have the heart to waste gallons of water everyday. I actually fail to understand if this person was trying to fool me or prove ifb and its people’s inanity with this silly argument.
3. Ifb liquid detergent - two packs of the liquid detergent were sold off saying ifb recommends this detergent in order to get good results in washing. Does that mean that all other detergents are harmful for the machine? Having said that, let me recall, for as long as almost 20 years until as long as 5 years back, ifb has been recommending surf excelmatic as a good detergent for their machines. I can even recall a tv ad to this effect.
But now that they have started manufacturing their own detergent, they are promoting it claiming it to be the best for their machine. My question is – what happened to their earlier claims of surf excelmatic being the best for their machines? Also, a household using an ifb machine for as long as 20 years, would they not know how to take care of their machine and what products to use? Or is it that the ifb washing machines are indeed of sub-standard quality nowadays (As mentioned by the technician earlier) that they cannot handle any detergent, other than their own? My parents and even i have been using surf excelmatic (For front loading machines) ever since we bought our respective ifb washing machines and the machines are in excellent condition.
Justifying the technician’s act yet again i have tushar (Ifb regional service manager). For this issue, he argues the technician must have told my father about the detergent being good, but buying it would have solely been my father’s discretion, to which i can only partly agree.
While buying the product would have been my father’s discretion, compelling him to buy the same is what my issue is.
For all the three items, the technician made false and/or misleading claims in order to create a false sense of insecurity in the mind of the consumer (Here, consumer being my father) that if they do not use these products, the washing machine won't last long or it will get spoilt if he doesn't use these so called 'ifb manufactured and recommended or ifb promoted products’.
This entire experience can be termed nothing short of a fraud. A simple and free installation was turned into a dubious business transaction, raising yet another question on the ethics and honesty of ifb.
Yet, hoping against hope that i might get a good hearing this time at least or that things would have improved since my last complaint, i have been rigorously calling up and trying to follow up on my complaint starting from upper shell enterprises (Rz g-686, first floor, raj nagar ii, palam colony, new delhi – 110077) to, the ifb regional service manager - tushar to the ifb customer care department (#[protected] but to no avail yet again.
On the morning of 26th december 2017 when i visited my parents i saw the entire installation and made a complaint for the same to vikas (Upper shell enterprises, palam colony, delhi). He told me that he would send the technician to take back these items that very day. But around 2:30 pm when i called him up to check as to what time he would be sending his technician, he stated that he cannot do anything on this matter and that he is awaiting a response from his senior on the same.
When i asked him to share the name and contact details of his senior, he gave the ifb regional service manager, tushar’s number to me (Mob: [protected]) to speak to him directly and this is when my ordeal started.
I called up tushar immediately and told him that vikas had shared his number with me regarding the issue, to which he acted absolutely clueless, saying he knew nothing of the issue and that vikas hadn’t spoken to him on any such issue. It seemed like a web of lies - lies, lies and more lies all around. A person at such high position (As i understood from my conversation that i had with a ifb customer care representative later during the week) making such as remark is not what i had expected of a brand called ifb.
Nonetheless, i put across my issue to him only to be told that he would look into the same and revert to me by evening of the same day. But no revert. Since i didn’t get a response from him, i tried calling him up from my end in the evening. But he was either busy on another call (With call waiting facility at his end) or he did not answer my call. The next day again i tried his number and only after several attempts with a number of call waits and an equal number of unanswered calls that i finally managed to speak with him. It was then that he mentioned that he had looked into the matter and if only i had connected with him a few days back, he would have been able to help. He mentioned that my bill was uploaded on their system on 22nd december and that with gst calculations and other such things having been taken care of, it is now difficult for him to reverse the transaction. I requested to him that he look into the matter since it was not a matter of a customer not liking a product or other such reasons, but literally a fraud transaction based on misleading and false claims. To this he mentioned that he would look into it again and revert to me by 3:30 pm on the very same day. Yet again, in the evening i waited for his call, but to no avail. Thinking it might be the case that he might have forgotten to call back i called him up. But as before, all of my 6 calls, at different time intervals, starting 4:00 pm remained unanswered. The next day i. E. 28th december i again tried his number several times and yet again there was no response. The only response that i received for my repeated phone calls at different time intervals was an sms from him stating ‘in meeting. Can’t talk now. Sms if urgent.’ whereas, before and even after this sms, the numerous times when i called him up, his phone was mostly busy on another call. Responding to his sms, i wrote to him asking him to update me on the status of my complaint. But to this day i have not received any response, whatsoever.
Failing to receive a response from him even after numerous attempts, on the night of 28th december, i connected with the ifb customer service number (#[protected] and explained in detail my problem to their representative. To this i was assured that they would forward my complaint to their back-end team to look into the resolution of the same. Upon requesting them to share the complaint number of my issue for my future use, i was told that the customer care centre does not have a provision for taking complaints of such nature as mine. At the same time, i was assured that i would surely receive a phone call from the back-end team the next day i. E. 29th december. And here i am, waiting even today for a phone call from the ifb customer care team for the resolution of my complaint.
It has been more than two weeks since the washing machine was installed, yet my parents have been unable to use the same. If they used the machine, the water filter would get used, which in turn could very conveniently be picked up as an excuse by these people to not remove the apparatus and refund our money.
I wonder what will make ifb, a supposedly ‘leading and trusted brand’, take up responsibility for their actions and inactions. This sort of behavior by the company and its representatives, which is nothing less than disgraceful and despicable, makes one question the values, ethics and philosophy of this company that is supposed to guide the actions of its employees and representatives.
I sincerely hope the ifb people pay heed to it, take the necessary corrective measures at all levels and refund my parents’ hard-earned money that they were made to pay for these wasteful expenditures through false claims and misleading information on the pretext of protecting the machine.
- pooja kumar
[Jan 03, 2018] IFB Industries customer support has been notified about the posted complaint.
IFB Industries Customer Care's response, Jan 04, 2018
Thank you for sharing your details with us. We will connect with you shortly to resolve the issue. Appreciate your patience
IFB Industries Customer Care's response, Jan 05, 2018
We regret the inconvenience caused. You had purchased a descale & pre-filter one month back.As per ypur special request we will take back the descale but you cannot return the pre filter bcz the filter cannot be used again after using. Kindly let us know.
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