Online shoppers berate Blue Dart, DTDC couriers for denial of ‘home delivery’ services

Report by: 
ROOPA LALL
Port Blair
10 Jun 2018

With online shopping gaining unprecedented popularity in the past couple of years, residents in Andaman and Nicobar Islands have also changed the way they buy. Be it consumer electronics, fashion apparels or even groceries, people here have become used to mobile apps to purchase their desired products online. But rejection of home delivery services by a couple of courier companies operating in the city is generating massive resentment among online shoppers here.
“Using broadband, 3G services, many residents in the city have installed at least two  or more shopping apps on their smartphones and feel as comfortable and secure using mobile for online shopping. Besides providing intelligent information about the products, companies offer very competitive price with impeccable customer service and return policy. Payment options like credit cards, pay by wallet and the Cash on Delivery have made this medium of shopping a huge success. But courier companies like Blue Dart and DTDC functioning here don’t provide the home delivery services, instead ask customers to collect the consignment from their stores. One of my consignment remained sitting at DTDC for at least four days recently as no one made the slightest attempt to deliver it. While I repeatedly called the office at Dollygunj, no one even bothered to pick up the call. Amazed at the level of "operational excellence" that the company boasts of, I approached the office in person, only to find it shutters down,” said a resident of Dollygunj.
“Online shoppers residing in newly included Municipal Wards are the worst affected due to operational deficiency of the two courier companies. Both the companies offer home delivery services in the city in areas like Aberdeen Bazar, Junglighat, Delanipur, Lamba Line, School Line etc, but not to customers residing beyond Minnie Bay Junction. We’re unable to understand why the two companies are selective in offering the home-delivery services despite the online shopping websites clearly mentioning that the services are available for them,” said another.
The managers of Blue Dart and DTDC refuted the allegations at once. “It’s now more than three years that we’ve stopped our services in and around Bhatu Basti region under intimation to our company headquarters. If availability of services is checked online for pin code 744103, it covers the entire city and suburban area till Ferrargunj. We’re, however, not able to deliver products at home in all these areas using the available resources. Home delivery services is provided to customers till Minnie Bay and for others beyond that, a service counter has been set up at Dollygunj. Our office staff posted there call the customers over phone and request them to collect their parcels from the counter,” they claimed.