Nov 18, 2013

Beware of Next Retail (

Next Retail is a well known and established chain of brick-and-mortar electronics stores in India. It is owned and operated by one of the largest business houses in the Indian subcontinent.

Recently, while looking for the best price for a premium branded hot water geyser, I came across a listing of A.O. Smith HSE-SBS-025 geyser on the online shopping website owned by Next Retail.

The product was listed for INR 9,266 as compared to the MRP of INR 11,800 printed on the product packaging. Sounded too good to be true. But I checked on numerous other websites and the product was being sold in for a price between INR 10,000 to INR 10,800.


The product was mentioned to be in stock with a promised delivery time of 5 to 7 business days. I booked the product and made advance payment of the entire amount by credit card.

After that, I waited. Every few days, I called their customer care. Asked them for a status. Every time, I faced numerous lies and false assurances. Every time, they told me that they were very sorry that my shipment were delayed, but would get my product “tomorrow”.

After 2 weeks were over, I started asking them for a full refund. They said they will not refund my money. And kept lying about the shipment status. Since they were unwilling to cancel the order, I could not buy the product from elsewhere and kept waiting.

Finally, after umpteen number of calls and after facing numerous lies, I received the product after 19 days of placing the order. Now I am in full mood to sue them for causing me undue harassment and discomfort. Can you help me?

Jul 21, 2013

Online Shopping Scams

Like everybody else, I shop for lot of things on the Internet. Mostly electronics, but I’ve also tried shopping for grocery lately. I recently came across an online shopping scam on the recently launched website by the world’s largest online retailer. Shocking? Then read on.

I recently purchased a mobile phone on the newly launched Like everybody else, I carefully looked for the rating of the seller on Amazon and chose a seller who had a 5 star rating.

After having received the phone, I left a neutral (3 star) rating for the seller (I was not happy with their quality of service). Soon, I started receiving several unsolicited calls from the seller ( requesting (nee, I should say coaxing) me to withdraw my neutral feedback. I did not comply.

A few days later, I went to to review my feedback and this is what I saw:


I discovered that the seller had removed my feedback without any action on my (the customer’s) part. Needless to say that I am shocked beyond words. How can the most reputed online retailer in the world allow a seller to tamper with customer feedback?

Since customer feedback is the only way for people to verify the credibility of a product and a seller, this kind of backdoor behavior by Amazon India makes this website extremely unsafe to shop. You can no longer trust the seller rating on this website.

As you would expect, only leaves 5 star ratings intact and removes everything else. There is no reason to believe that other sellers are not doing the same. So beware of

May 5, 2013

Broken Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean Update for Samsung Galaxy S2

On January 31, 2013 Samsung released Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean update for existing smartphone models including Galaxy S2.
After the upgrade, my phone has become a battery guzzler and overheats like New Delhi does in summers.

I decided to investigate and discovered that maximum overheating (accompanied by battery drain) happens during voice calls. The phone becomes so hot that it becomes impossible to hold next to your ear.
Looks like the idiots at Samsung have mistakenly shipped an application called “Automation Tester” that runs in the same process as the Phone application.

As a result, as soon as you make or receive a call, this test application starts consuming 100% CPU and drains the entire battery within minutes.

As you can see (above), my phone battery dropped to 82% (from 100%) after just 5-10 minutes of voice calls.

Since I work in the software industry myself, it is hard for me to understand how can any company of global level be so careless that it can ship production software with such degree of carelessness.

If this were my company, I would fire the staff responsible for this extreme stupidity straightaway. Because by the time (and if at all) Samsung comes up with an update for fixing this issue, the phone batteries of millions of people would have been damaged irreversibly due to repeated drain and recharging.
In addition, the phone keeps getting hot throughout the day; the USB mount on Windows OS is broken and there are several other issues like extreme sluggishness and God knows what else.

Shame on Samsung!

Update (7 May 2013): Today Samsung issued a patch for the above issue. I applied the patch and observed that the overheating problem has disappeared. However the Wi-Fi is still broken (i.e. it keeps disconnecting every few seconds).
More Shame on Samsung!