Nothing comes free- well, not always!

Dominos delivers pizzas for free if it exceeds the 30 minutes time frame- that’s a well known fact for pizza lovers. But an online book store delivers a book free of cost that too with a ‘Sorry’ card for a delay in delivery- that’s something unheard of. Well, I stand witness to this event today! Haha…

A long research on the life of Steve Jobs led to me asking my dad to get a copy of the biography by Walter Isaacson. He ordered it online from on December 8 so that it would reach me in 4-5 working days and I could read it while going home on Christmas in the train. The payment had to be done on Cash on Delivery. We waited and waited and waited, but the book never shipped. The homeshop18 people didn’t keep any of the many promises made; none of the threats were paid heed to, and yesterday was the deadline after loads of inconvenience regretted letters from the customer care.

I moved to my uncle’s house this morning. The space reserved for the book in my back-pack was now filled with two water bottles.

In the afternoon I got a call from homeshop18 and they enquired my presence at the shipping address. I gave them my new address and they promised to deliver the book to me by today evening or latest by 4 PM tomorrow. They were shipping it immediately. I asked them to cancel the order in case they are not able to ship it by 4 PM tomorrow. I had my hopes high yet again.

Another couple of hours passed and I got yet another call asking me if I would be available at my home to receive the book around 8 PM today. I said yes. I was also told that I needn’t pay anything for the book when I receive it. I should consider it a complementary copy. I said ok and put down the call. Were these people actually going to provide me a book costing 799 bucks for free?

I told my mom about this new development in the story and added that if this comes true, then it is an amazing make-customer-happy marketing-strategy.

I started the countdown. We had a Christmas party for the kids at home. I passed the time staring at the speed monitor of the torrents being downloaded. I kept on saying ‘1 hour to go’, ’40 minutes to go’, ’15 minutes to go’, ’10 minutes to go’, ting tong…

I checked the door. A man stood with an Oxford University Press paperbag. He handed it to me and said that I should accept it as a complementary gift from I controlled my smile till he left and then closed the door after asking him if I needed to sign anywhere and he denied.

I opened the package and finally after a 15 day wait had the Steve Jobs biography in my hand. Well, there was something else in the package as well. I checked it. It was a Thank You card. Inside it was written:

Well, what else can I say? Be it a marketing strategy or the homeshop18 team’s actual sorry, ultimately it led to a happy customer and an unbelievable experience to boast about for sometime! Wow!

P.S.: I originally planned to write an entry regarding the pressure and tension that waiting for an e-order results in. But, I guess it is an entirely different concept now! Haha…


  1. amazing!!!n u left me in g8 thought that why do i have such a bad/hard luck that i never get such complimentary things!!!u just got an amazing christmas present!!!or say it ur bday gift!!or may be an unexpected awesome welcome to 2012!!:)

  2. @vartika- for bday or christmas or whatever else may be said- it's amazing :)
    and thanks :)

  3. hahahah
    lucky you...piece of advice...use for is very speedy, i got a pen drive in less than 2 days

  4. haha! but may i suggest that you shift loyalties to flipkart?!

    hands down the best online store with lightning quick deliveries!

  5. Wooo...Looks like u had a Xmas gift been delivered. Well I have never shopped wid HS18 so can't talk much about tht. But happy for u. Keep up the book reading and blogging.

  6. @Jayanth- Yeah that's a safer bet actually :)
    @Aditya- Thanks :)

  7. Need the book? Umm...ok
    At least Steve Jobs ke bahane milega to sahi tu! :P

  8. Man!! Lucky Pipsqueak!!

    You won yourself an award. Gimme your email address!

    Comment the id over here, you'll get more info about the award too -

  9. Hahaha, good that you got it late! At least it made your day.

  10. That's so cool man! I have somehow had good experiences with, even better than because Flipkart charges 30 rupees extra for home delivery if the order does not exceed Rs. 200 but HomeShop18 has free home delivery on all amounts.

  11. @Nikhil- Thanks a lot. It's an honour. Commented at the link :)
    @Arnab- Sure it did. Loved the surprise :)
    @Riddhi- I didn't know that. Thanks for enlightening me! :)

    Thanks for your comments everyone :)


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