October 11, 2014 by ...
Indian customers have been upset with Xiaomi. Their angst revolves around quality issues, poor service and low availability. A major issue was that Flipkart was the sales provider and dropped the ball. Another problem was that not enough units went on sale. Last but not least, Xiaomi has some sever quality challenges.
The following is how it played out in Indian media:
It isn’t surprising that the experience left a bad taste for many consumers. A quick look at some of the comments on Xiaomi India’s official Facebook page is enough to get an idea.
In an attempt to replicate China’s flash sale model, Xiaomi asked interested buyers to pre-register before the sale began. Only those who registered would be eligible to participate on the sale date. Pre-registering didn’t guarantee a user a unit but just a chance to be able to participate in the sale, which started on the noon of July 22. Xiaomi said that pre-registration would give it and Flipkart an idea of the anticipated rush and help them cope better.
As soon as the sale began, it was clear that the pre-registration was a failure. Flipkart’s site crashed repeatedly. Many users who had registered were not recognized by the system. Some users who managed to book the smartphone were later sent emails about their orders being canceled. The end result was a lot of disgruntled and disappointed buyers.
Related: Xiaomi rakes up 100,000 pre-registrations for the Mi 3 in India
Xiaomi closed the pre-registration for the Mi 3 once it crossed 100,000. Soon after the Mi 3 sold out, sources told BGR India that Xiaomi had less than 10,000 smartphones to sell on launch day out of which it had sold 1,000 to Flipkart First customers a day in advance. The actual number of units available on sale on July 22 was closer to 5,000 than 10,000. In essence, Xiaomi had close to 20X interested buyers than the number of units it had available for sale. What went on for nearly 40 minutes after the phone went on sale was the online equivalent of a stampede had it taken place in a physical marketplace.