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Just Shoot Me

Bala, 28, Gordon Gekko in the making, pseudo-intellectual, cynic, bibliophile, obsessive compulsive ranter...

22 thousand in 28 days

March 01, 2007

IndiaPlaza (formerly Fabmall and even before that Fabmart) announced a price challenge. They claim they have the lowest prices on books and mobiles and offer a challenge - find the same product priced lower elsewhere and they will give you a gift coupon for double the difference. Now this is something i have been doing for the past six years. Back during my college days when my book buying allowance was meager (in my view)i used to compare prices routinely between different bookshops (odyssey, landmark, fabmall etc etc) and this habit has continued till now. Six hours of browsing and several missed crappy TV shows later, i had a list of 120 odd books with a cumulative difference of 11,100 Rs. That works out to be a whopping 22000 Rs worth of gift coupons. I submitted the list to Indiaplaza and forgot about it (crappy TV shows beckoned). Now Indiaplaza has indeed honored its challenge and has offered me gift coupons for Rs 22000. But the catch is they have given me 100 odd small denomination coupons (20 fifty rupee coupons, 30 hundred rs, 30 two fifty rs, 30 three hundred etc) and the coupons cant be combined! - they have to be used stand alone. Add to that they expire on March 28th.

So here i am with 22000 Rs in gift coupons to be spent within 28 days. And i am determined to use all of it. (Personal motto : oc la kidacha phenoyila kooda kudikkanum ). Now all i have to do is find 120 odd paper backs to fit into the gift coupons....

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posted by Bala, 10:04 PM

8 Comments:

Congratulations on being on of the lucky people to actually get the coupon. But, be sure to check that those coupons actually work. I got one for Rs. 1000/-, but it doesn't work. More about it at:
http://innindia.blogspot.com/2007/03/indiaplaza-price-challenge-fake-sage.html

Best luck to you!
commented by Blogger bestofindia, 1:49 PM  
The Price Challenge story is here: Inindia Price Challenge: FAKE

The coupon issue is here:
Innindia Price Challenge Coupons don't work
commented by Blogger bestofindia, 1:52 PM  
The claim of Indiaplaza is unfair. They are not lowest priced but are getting undue publicity for the claim. Cheaper stores are strand, sifymall etc. for books. Many around the corner mobile stores are cheaper too. My uncle submitted several claims. He is a regular book buyer and knows what he is talking about. He tried to follow up but neither got a reply nor a gift certificate! The trick to such nefarious schemes, as I read in another blog entry, is to run it, get publicity and not pay up. They are counting on most people to treat it as a lottery and not follow-up. In the US market, they would have been hauled up in no time. But I guess in India we will put up with it just as we do with corrupt politicians, sloppy service and poor products.
commented by Anonymous Mohan, 11:13 PM  
I agree with blogger Mohan.

The price challenge scheme is quite a fraud. I had made many entries finding a lot of large differences in price. For around 25 entries submitted, I received one gift voucher and that also for much less than the value due. I think they pay in about 1 out of 50 cases hoipng to get traffic on the site. Probably they will calim their decision is final if you questioned them. Not that anyone asked them to run such a scheme. But it is pretty poor value systems to not make good on commitments.
commented by Anonymous VVR, 11:16 PM  
Bala must be either an employee of Indiaplaza or connected to the management or plain lucky (to be the one person chosen to vouch for the sincerity of the price challenge)!!

The price challenge on Indiaplaza is only a publicity stunt. They are counting on the fact that people will generally believe that a company will not make such a public claim unless it were true. The fact is that books are not the cheapest and there are significant differences in hundreds of cases. And they keep such a scheme alive by a simple ruse - not paying up. They do not honour their commitments in most of the cases. A cousin has promised to send a list of over 100 books with large differences in price together with all details. So much for their bragging that it is tough to find lower prices. I intend to post it on the net. Let us see whether they continue to run the scheme with no intention to pay up or withdraw the scheme.
commented by Anonymous SM, 11:22 PM  
>>>Bala must be either an employee of Indiaplaza or connected to the management or plain lucky (to be the one person chosen to vouch for the sincerity of the price challenge)!!

sm,

;-)) . i wish i was the chosen one. Damn i should have asked for more payoff. :-)
I can only give my word that i did win those gift coupons (and used them). I guess i was one of the first movers. They paid up for the first movers and when more people started finding lower prices (going by the others' experiences posted here in comments and elsewhere), they have clammed up.

I know their claim of lowest prices is totally false. Even after giving me the coupons for my findings, they have'nt reduced their prices on those items. And as you say there are literally thousands of books with price differences. The most obivious differnece is the dollar priced catalogue they use for mass market paperbacks. The exchange rate they use for Dollars is atleast four or five months old. The other stores use a newer exchange rate and since Indian Rupee has become stronger in the past six months, their prices are automatically higher than other retailers.

Again, damn i wish i had a payoff, if there is a scandal, then someone should have been paid off right. where is my cut?!!!!
commented by Blogger Bala, 12:26 AM  
I too got some coupons....but all of them were in the range of 100-250.....and the most funny part was i had to redeem it in the electronics section only.....not anywhere.....what do u get there for that amt......shipping cost was huge.....out of some 20plus coupons 10 were in the range of 150 but no use....shipping charges exceeded the value of the denomination.....so with the remaining so called 12 coupons with the value of around 200.....i bought 12 headfones....what do with the crappy head fones which are available in the outside market for 50 rs.....just gave to frends and relatives.....
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 11:58 PM  
Got a Rs. 634 gift certificate from India Plaza for the Harry Potter book purchase. The gotcha is one has to spend Rs. 2500 or above to use it. The gift certificate is useless in my opinion.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 11:49 AM  

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