No more mobile refunds on, offers limited free replacements
No more mobile refunds on, offers limited free replacementsReuters

Amazon India has revised its return policy on purchase of mobile phones, where buyers will no longer receive straight-cut refunds on purchases on or after February 7, 2016. As per the change, mobile phones purchased and fulfilled by Amazon will be eligible for replacements if the item is defective or damaged.

The free replacement criterion for mobile phones is the same as other electronics goods, where customers have a 10-day time-frame to contact Amazon India with their request. But other electronic goods are not included in Amazon's new no-refund policy.

"Mobile phone items that are fulfilled by Amazon will no longer be eligible for refunds. In case you have received a defective or a damaged mobile phone, you will be eligible for a free replacement," Amazon India posted on its updated returns policy page.

Customers earlier had the option to return mobile phones by choosing the "No longer needed" option. With the new change in effect, only limited replacements will be entertained for mobiles. The renowned online retailer also lists several products that are not eligible for returns, which include baby and beauty products, automotives, gift cards, software and video games.

It is unclear what triggered the change, but we have reached out to Amazon India for a comment.

While Amazon has phased out its refund policy on mobiles, its biggest rival in India — Flipkart — continues to offer refunds for mobile phones if customers are not satisfied with the product within 10 days. Flipkart also has some exceptions on returns, such as products in the clothing, innerwear and lingerie categories. This might give Flipkart an edge over its rival.

Snapdeal, another leading online retailer in India, has a return and refund policy in place, but it is not as simple as raising a ticket online. According to Snapdeal's return policy, a document from the brand/OEM's service centre must confirm the item's defect before it can be returned for a refund. Snapdeal lists the criteria under which an item can be replaced, which include damage or defect, wrong item, colour, style, size, quantity and missing parts or accessories.