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If you are a person of Indian origin, Indian living abroad or an Indophile, in general, you most likely miss shopping for “Indian” things (clothing, furnishing, you name it). Well, speaking for myself, I love shopping in India and whenever I go to visit, I end up with ridiculously heavy suitcases. I don’t normally wear Indian clothing – I haven’t ever worn a sari and have only a single salwaar kameez. As I don’t have many Indian friends except those in India, for social functions also, I get away with dresses, easily. But recently, I don’t know, something has changed; I’m falling in love with Indian clothes and how beautiful and intricate they are. And it doesn’t help that online retailers are making it easier for us folks to get easy access to all things Indian clothing. I mainly browse Indian Roots & Pernia’s Pop Up Shop!

So meanwhile, I fell in love with a certain brand of clothing called Nomad from Indian Roots and decided to take the plunge and well, shop away and this is exactly a review of my experience with Indian Roots. My experience, very honestly, was less than perfect and I understand that Indian Roots is a new venture and I hope this review truly comes across as constructive. I want to continue shopping with them, but I want this to be out there, as well.

Very excitedly, I placed an order with them for a skirt I fell in love with. Since I am Canadian, I eventually have to pay in well, Canadian dollars. Indian roots only lists price in US, so when it came to checkout, I was in for a rude shock. Also, no courtesy for free shipping and the shipping is also listed in US dollars – which btw, is kicking my Canadian dollar’s backside in every possible way. I think it would be nice if they’d list the price in local currency. Also prices are highly escalated from Indian prices, which is very unfair, in my opinion. I get it, its a business, but I’m sure your profits would be fine if you charge a more fair price. If anything, I’d be more likely to be a repeating customer, if I’d feel and know that I am getting a fair deal.  Another issue I have is with the website, which cannot seem to get my cart right; it was a complete nightmare to check out, needless to say. The “chat helpers” are really helpful though and try their best to sort out your issues.

And now the meatier part of my rant; they did not process my order for weeks! No, they did check out the money from my paypal account as I placed it, but I did not get a confirmation email until after I took the matter to the paypal dispute. I don’t know what was going on, honestly I felt like I was getting ripped off. But as soon as I took the matter to paypal, I got a confirmation email regarding my order within seconds. I mean, really? Ok, I got the confirmation email, but what exactly is going on with my order? No activity for weeks. Finally, I took the matter on to twitter and demanded an update as to when will I get my order. The social media rep again tried his/her best to help me out and gave me an accurate update of what was happening. He/she reassured me that my order will be on its way. Finally, after a month worth of wait, I got my order and I was so, so happy! But wait, there was a customs tax I had to pay. Gosh, this skirt turned out to be way too overpriced, was I better off sticking with Free People, instead? Anyhow, the skirt arrived and I was so happy. It is a beautiful skirt, though I am not sure whether it was worth the price or the ambiguity of the process. I don’t know Indian Roots, I am not very pleased with what happened. As a customer, I’d like to see these following changes happen:

  • Charge flat in Indian rupees, what you’d charge an Indian person in India. Your mark-ups are ridiculous and unfair. Moreover, we have to pay extra for shipping and customs. This makes your products rather unaffordable to us. I mean, I may as well ask a friend to buy it and ship it for me, right? So much cheaper.
  • Your website could use some improvement. It is a pain in the arse to check out and no, its not my browser/cookies, I shop online all the time and this problem is unique to you.
  • And yes, update the order status promptly. I don’t like being ignored, nobody does, especially if there is money involved. Also, give a delivery time as I pay for  my order, not when I take the matter to paypal dispute.

Please, don’t get me wrong, I love what I got in the end but the service was totally missing except for when I spoke to the reps, who were very helpful. I hope they up their service and are fair in terms of prices, then only I’d want to shop again with them.

Have you shopped with Indian Roots? How was your experience?

*picture courtesy of Indian Roots website.

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31 thoughts on “Retailer Review | Online shopping with Indian Roots

  1. nileshni

    I am sorry to bother you but I had purchased some items from Indianroots.com, order number 300002040, Cage Candle Tea Light Holder – 100000024628, on 22 Jan and received my items in April, after chasing it up several times via emails and phonecalls. There were three items missing, a total of approximately USD $168 which they promisedd to refund my money to my paypal account. Each time I have called them or sent an email, they have said, “we have escalated the matter and you will recieve the refund in 2-3 days”. I still have not receieved the refund and been told again, “allow 2-3 days”. It’s extremely sad because this is my first online home goods purchase with an Indian site and have experienced such loss. The company ahs lost a lot of business with me as I have made over $2000 AUD purchase, shopping online and will not be using Inidanroots again. But I don;t knwo what to do to get my refund back. This is the first step towards an action and I have informed indian roots for taking this action as I don’t believe they will be refunding my money and instead will do evrythign to delay the refund. It’s extremely dissapointing and will only damage the company’s reputation.

    I hope someone can help. Regards, Nileshni Karan

    Reply

    1. Vijay

      To the commenter, take them on in Twitter, make a public post in FB ,, share all your correspondence with them

      To Shivani

      Thanks to your post, I am not shopping with these people, they make everything to order and guess who loses out!

      These operations need to have a escrow involved because they are just acting as middlemen , with money in the bank who cares how long it takes !

      Reply

    2. Shivani Post author

      I called them out on Twitter, so I guess they hurried up the process. I recommend you do the same. It is really a shame how they literally took your money and ran away. I certainly won’t shop from them again.

      Reply

    3. Paridhie

      I agree to you. I Received a torn saree. When I sent photo of the saree, they asked for the photograph of the box it was packed in, as If I have torn my own saree and just having fun with them. They are leaving it no stone unturned to harass me on return or replacement of product. They are polite and cooperative when they want to sell, but equally hostile and cold when it comes to admitting their fault or taking back a damaged product. I am flabbergasted with their behavior. DO NOT BUY FROM HERE is my sincere advice

      Reply

  2. Carol Read

    I purchased four items “for the price of three”–a promotion put on by Indian Roots. My items were: a sling bag, a bracelet, earrings, and an embroidered cotton kurta. I intended to wear the ensemble as a Victoriental Vampire, at a costume party and then re-wear the items separately.. The total cost fell within my budget. (Be warned: shipping and custom duties do add up.) The items arrived within about two weeks. (I live in Canada.) The sling bag was well worth the money, something I’ll get a lot of use from. The earrings were huge and something I’d only wear as a part of a costume. The bracelet is very cute and well made for the money, another item I’ll get a lot of use from. But the kurta…oh my. I ordered a size larger than what I wear. It was at least two sizes smaller than my usual size. I couldn’t get it over my head! I used a seam ripper to cut between the embroidery and got the thing on…it’s way too tight. Worst of all, the shoulders are so narrow I can’t lift my arms. Rather than hassle with a return I think I’ll try some sewing surgery and just write off the kurta as a one-time costume.

    My suggestions for Indian Roots: If you want to sell your clothing to westerners, please understand that someone who takes a larger size may also be, like me, someone who is tall and has broad shoulders. At least, please exercise some quality control and ensure that the items sent out are genuinely the size ordered.

    Reply

  3. Tanvi

    Please Do not order from these guys. I have ordered a lehenga for my enegagement a month back. Delays after Delays still dont have shipping date! They charged me in full ofcourse.

    Reply

  4. doc_walia

    I had similar experince shopping online with indianroots.com. It took me about 2 hours to check out my order and no exaggeration here. The online customer service is kind a helpful, but there is only so much they can do. The prices are way too high and I have no clue when will I receive my shipment, just waiting till my patience is lost.

    Reply

  5. Bee

    I would never ever use them again. Orders not received on time. Items ordered on 14 day delivery still not received 6 weeks later. Event I had bought them to wear to has come and gone. Items not in stock although showing in stock on the website. The like trying to get blood out of a stone when asking for my refunds.

    Nightmare company. Never again. Have also warned all family and friends.

    Reply

  6. pooja batra

    PLEASE PLEASE DONT BUY THIS WEBSITE. i will be reporting about this website. I placed order on the 5th of may still not recieved my items its been two months and they are refusing to refund my money saying processing it. i dont know they need one year to process it or what. very very disappointed with there service. will fight for the refund even if i have to take them to the court

    Reply

    1. Bee

      So my outfit arrived yesterday. Badly stitched. The dupatta has not even been cut straight it has been cut at an angle so when worn on the shoulder it looks awful. Never again. I paid near enough $400 for that. Very very disappointed.

      Reply

      1. Shivani Post author

        oh gosh, i am very sorry. I did not think this blog post would open such a can of worms. Please share this post with everyone, so everyone comes to know of this “business”.

        Reply

  7. Dipti Vaidya

    I’m going through the same pains too. I ordered 2 items and only recieved 1 item.
    They are giving me such a hard time for my refund. exactly like what you guys have described. I am surely going to post this on facebook and twitter if I dont hear from them in the next 24 hours

    Reply

  8. jaws

    Indian roots is a well managed website with zero concern for its customers or delivery.Once you have made the payment your money is locked and other than mouthing platitudes of fake apologies they dont do anything to solve the problem. their business model seems to be to trap innocent customers into purchasing stuff by making payments and then to start praying that the product bought by them is delivered. most of us get conned into thinking that the website would be a safe one which delivers products purchased as it spares no effort in piggy backing on the popularity and the diminsihing credibilty of NDTV.IT is nothing but a very sophisticated and nicely packaged conjob. BUYER BEWARE

    the experience is a nightmare and its a site where one should not purchase even a matchstick

    Reply

    1. ann

      They lure innocent people with fancy website and take your money. After you purchase, they will keep sending you fake apologies about delay. I wish I’ve seen these bad reviews before wasting lots of money. Very lousy customer service compared to other reputed online indian store . Don’t buy from Indian roots and save your hard earn money.

      Reply

    2. Ananth Dalmia Pereira

      To the poster(s) & reader(s) on this Blog: opt for COD. It’s a lot safer. After all you, hard earned savings are being spent. Delivery can be a hurdle. There a solution.

      Ask a neighbour or friend’s house, where there will be someone 24/7 to complete a COD payment. Better still give the office address. There is a solution to every scenario.

      Life is a gamble. Shop & browse on e-commerce sites, with a pinch of salt.

      Reply

  9. Somya Mathur

    They are really the absolute worst about customer service. They sent me a product and the color is nothing like what they show online. The guy admitted that to me and never offered a return or a refund. Shocking how people get into eCommerce with no ethic and a sub-standard, inconvenient level of customer-centricity. Horrid.

    Reply

  10. Pingback: Retailer Review | Update on the Indian Roots Saga. ‹ Adorable On Your Vanity

  11. Meera

    After my first successful shopping attempt, my husband wanted to present me with a gift and happened to buy a $600 worth Jewelry for me and gave it to me. I wanted for a couple weeks and opened it up and you found a black piece of metal that had lost all its lustre. We looked at it together and were surprised to find that we had been completely taken for a ride.

    My husband has contacted customer support more than 10 times and he now remembers every customer support person by name. He bought the Golden and Borwn Embellished 23 carat Gold work Thewa Necklace set, on order number 300010578.

    The discoloration of the set is all around. Forget 23 carat gold, the pendant and the earrings do not look close to even copper. We have bought better items than this in local exhibitions. He paid $600 and on top of it a $75 customs duty. As I stated before, if the item is only going to retain shine during the return period, I think that is a bit serious and I have some very serious quality concerns for goods sold on your site.

    During the whole process (rather very painful), customer support representatives have agreed that the product mailed was completely faulty on your end. I asked for a complete refund since this was not a small amount. They refused to do that and agreed to replace the product for me and also informed me that they started the process of procuring the replacement for me. However they have been harassing me to bear all the shipping charges for no fault of mine. After some haggling they came up with an option to provide a store credit worth the shipping costs after I have provided you the receipt. But, we do not intend to spend any more money and he has repeatedly communicated to them that this was not an option. Instead I am asking for a UPS prepaid mail tag so I can mail it back to you, especially given UPS is a shipping partner of yours. We are open to using other mail providers as well if you were to offer another one.

    Looking back at my emails and all the conversation my husband has had with your team, it seems very cheap and not at all professional to cheat us in such a manner and also expect us to pay for return shipping of the faulty item. We were definitely expecting a much better support on this. I am mailing you regarding this in a hope that you will advise your team to offer a satisfactory solution at your end and retain customers like us at the earliest.

    Reply

  12. Nishant

    They say express shipping are charge for it but there courier partner takes 8 days to deliver goods from Gurgoan to Faridabad. Order lagging 20 DAYS behind schedule .

    Reply

  13. Maya

    Hi,
    I’m in the same situation as you. There are more than a month I have placed an order with Indianroots. When I needed help and advice for the selection of my outfits, sailors immediately answered me (via online chat).
    Since few weeks I harass Indianroots for they can tell me where is my order, no one answered. I find it innadmissible.
    Being in France, I was enjoyed when I saw an online store selling modern Indian outfits. But now I will think twice before placing orders online.

    Reply

  14. Lovelly

    I lived in Canada and I have ordered three suits when they have a 80% discount on all the cloths .so when I got the parcel I was ready to pay the customs on the cloths and that’s fine but when I saw there invoice on the box what I have noticed was that they were not showing the discounted amount which u have paid to them after discount they were showing the original amount so the customs duty have charged me to much due to the high original amount
    So I contacted them but I didn’t received any satisfied answer from them

    Reply

  15. Cynthia Narayan

    I really wish I had come across this post before foolishly spending hundreds of dollars on items from indianroots. I ordered about 12 designer bags. The postage took forever, which is something I wasn’t too fussed about at first since I had placed an early order to get the items by xmas, as they were meant to be presents for the women in my family. When the items finally arrived 2 items were missing and 7 of the 10 were damaged. Damaged, seems to be an understatement here, it was like it had been through war, the thread work was coming out, the base of the bags weren’t glued together properly, the handles were missing, and one was really stained. The list goes on. After taking pictures of all the items and listing the damages clearly in an email to them I’m still chasing after my refund. I had initiated a chargeback through PayPal but indianroots very cunningly told me I had to withdraw the claim in order for them to process my refund, which I did. I have even threatened to take to social media but its like they really don’t care, I really hope word gets out so people are cautious of this website.
    Also some bags were missing labels from the designers which made me wonder about their authenticity.

    Reply

    1. Maya

      We had many complaints about this shop.
      I think if several, and together we complain on social networks against Indianroots they will hear us and at least other people will not be ripped off.

      Reply

  16. rj

    I ordered a couple hundred dollar worth stuff last night :( As everyone I tried to contact them multiple times through phone, email and chat etc to get answers for a few questions I had..but of course no one responded. Now I know why after reading these horrible reviews. I am shocked!! I sent them emails to cancel my order within 24 hours of placing it. Their return policy section clearly states that order can be cancelled with 24hrs. My credit card company is unable to do anything at this point as it shows as pending charge. I am really keeping my fingers crossed that they do not act as they are notorious to act in my case. I would absolutely to pay any custom duty on clothes that I bought at 65%off for my personal use. Does anyone have any experience here in USA, if they were charged custom for under $200 clothing?? If yes how much? Any insight would help. Thanks

    Reply

  17. Feeling cheated

    I wish I had read this review. I ordered a bunch of stuff from them on Black Friday and received my order yesterday. I had ordered 2 silk saris and what I received is a far cry from kanjivaram silk. The are more like cotton saris. I feel cheated and when I contacted their customer care service my mail they refuse to even acknowledge that my complain is valid it looks like the rep just copied something off the website and pasted it. I was trying to call them all day but they do not answer and when I tried live chat the fellow said that I should send a photo of the product and they will determine if it is a silk sari which sounds just ridiculous. Still I did take a few pictures and sent it to them, I’m waiting for their reply. I feel cheated and now I have to spend hours trying to get a refund.

    Reply

  18. MP

    I am currently having a very experience with them. More than 15 days post placing the order, these people send me partial order and ask me to pay for the full shipping charges as per original order. They do not even ask the customer if he/she is interested in taking a partial order in the first place. They do not even have the courtesy to call up and sort the matter. We have been communicating on mail for the past 7 days now. They reply after 12-14 hours. The good thing is that I have placed the order on cash on delivery. So they may be responding to my mail at least. But I feel that NDTV has lot to loose in this venture, if the same service level continues. They are listed company and cannot squander public money on such shady ventures.

    Reply

  19. Shiv Ganesh

    WE HAVENTO WAIT FOR AGES AFTER PLACING AN ORDER. POST WHICH AMSHIT QUALITY PRODUCT ARRIVES. CAN NEVER REACH THEIR CUSTOMER CARE AT ALL. BY MISTAKE YOU REACH THERE WILL BE ONE SOUL CALLED MAHESH WHO IS PATHETIC.
    ASHAMED OF YOU NDTV and Pranoy roy. A very bad venture.
    shiv

    Reply

  20. MP

    I want to draw everyone’s attention to this article –

    Updated: Only 9 fraud complaints against e-commerce firms in the last two years
    15 Dec 2014 by Nikhil Pahwa
    @nixxin ,+NikhilPahwa

    Update: The ministry of corporate affairs has said that the Competition Commission of India(CCI) is going to look into the anti-competitive conduct of online retailers. The retailers under scrutiny are Flipkart India, Amazon Seller Services, Vector e-commerce, Jasper Infotech and Xerion Retails. The government has also asked the serious fraud investigation office to file prosecution under the provisions of the Companies Act, 1956 and the Indian Penal Code against Goldquest International and its group company Questnet Enterprises and Abcindya Networks. The statement added that investigation reports with respect to Unipay2U group of companies and Speakasia Online are under examination. The department of consumer affairs is also considering inclusion of necessary safeguards for protection of rights of consumers of technology-based marketing e-commerce, telemarketing etc as part of the proposed amendment in the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. (Link here)

    The Ministry of Finance said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha on Friday that only 9 complaints regarding fraud committed by e-commerce companies have been received by the Indian government, and action has been taken in each case. A copy of the government statement is included below.

    Three observations, based on the Ministry’s statements:
    1. The e-commerce industry is hiding its problems very well: warranties not being honored, fake goods, non-delivery of products, delivery of bricks, wood and empty boxes. It’s there, but not reported.

    2. The complaints mechanism must be broken: 9 complaints is a remarkably low number, given the number of complaints we see online about fake goods or goods not delivered. Some examples: here, here and especially the fake Rolex case, here. The list appears to be related to police complaints only, and even then, this is a remarkably small number. Do most people give up, or do e-commerce companies deal with the issue before someone can file a complaint?
    Advertisement

    3. Regulation is nigh, but not specifically for e-commerce: Just 9 complaints, and Minister of State for Finance, Jayant Sinha, appears to suggest that action can only be initiated when a case of fraud is registered by a Law Enforcement agency. Importantly, “the Government has also initiated steps for incorporating sufficient provisions for protection of consumers of online shopping/e-commerce under Consumer protection Act, 1986.” However, there is “no proposal for a separate regulatory framework for e-commerce under consideration.”

    Note that given the lack of liability enjoyed by online marketplaces, consumers can be left in a regulatory no-mans-land. We’d explained that situation here.

    Also read: our coverage of Consumer Protection issues related to E-Commerce.

    ***

    Ministry of Finance on: Frauds Committed by E-Commerce (source)

    Government have been receiving complaints regarding the frauds committed by e-commerce companies. The number of complaints registered and number of complaints on which action has been taken during the last two years, State-wise is as under:
    e-commerce-frauds

    Presently there is no proposal for a separate regulatory framework for e-commerce under consideration. Directorate of Enforcement conducts investigations under Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA) and Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA). Such investigations are carried out as and when any credible information, including those relating to frauds committed by e-commerce companies, is received. Action under PMLA can be initiated in appropriate cases where a case of fraud by an e-commerce company is registered by some other Law Enforcement Agency. Keeping in view the increased number of online fraud/cheating cases, the Government has also initiated steps for incorporating sufficient provisions for protection of consumers of online shopping/e-commerce under Consumer protection Act, 1986.
    MP recently posted..IMPS Data: 70.49M Mobile Money IDs; Rs 5,415 Cr Transacted In November 2014My Profile

    Reply

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