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Update: A notice has been posted on Timtara.com saying that false complaints have been filed against them by people hired by their competitors, and that complaints can be sent to  ops1@timtara.com or via +91 9555321321. They’ve asked for information about “the group Timtara request general public to inform to pass on the information about the group who are behind this conspiracy of defaming our company.” (via Techcircle)

The company also says that due to the above circumstances, they are withdrawing all discounts. The notice:

timtara-notice

Earlier: Timtara.com CEO Harish Ahluwalia and Director Arindam Bose have been arrested on allegations of fraud amounting to Rs 12 lakh, reports The Times Of India. The police says they’ve received complaints from around 200 buyer, and three complaints have been registered with the Economic Offences Wing and Janakpuri Police Station. Apparently, payments were made through credit cards, but the goods were never delivered, and TimTara shifted its office (within Noida) and subsequently shut down its call center to avoid complaints. Timtara’s MouthShut review page indicates that there are customers who haven’t received goods ordered for two to five months. Apparently, Timtara was selling a Samsung Galaxy S3 at Rs 25990, and here’s what the buyer has posted: “Today on 19/03/2013 i contact to timtara.com customer support but they told to me that my order is not in their stock and they have not cancelled my order as well as not refunding my money.”

At the time of writing this post, Timtara.com is still live, and still apparently selling goods, and (ironically) featuring testimonials from happy customers. Timtara had launched in 2010, and is run by M/s InfoSecure Consulting Pvt. Ltd. We’ll update with more information.

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The Challenge This Poses

Fraud, as well as news of fraud has a significantly negative impact on a consumers psyche. Lack of timely delivery from other e-commerce players will exacerbate the situation further. E-commerce businesses will have to work extra hard to build customer trust again, because these are customers who might not shop again online, and scare others off. Trust is what was built up over the last three years, and that brought more and more users to e-commerce in the first place, and this should be seen as an opportunity for some of the more established e-commerce players to try and shift buyers to their site. With lack of funding and cashflow becoming increasingly difficult to manage, it is probably time for ecommerce players to rationalize their operations. e-commerce companies will also have to be careful about the reliability of their delivery: the Internet is awash with customer complaints, and this could lead to more users filing complaints. Maybe cash-on-delivery isn’t all that bad an option at this point in time.

Recommended reading:
Sanjeev Bikhchandani: Not Enough Indian Capital To Support E-Commerce In India
– A Rant On India And E-Commerce
– The Funding Environment For E-Commerce In India – K Vaitheeswaran, IndiaPlaza