Few years ago, especially during the rise of the courier companies and its corporate users, India Post was bashed widely and was often considered incompetent in front of the large courier companies. This made several of the young urban users skip the option of India Post and opt courier services including me. We would rather pay 3 times more to the courier company than get into the Post office. This continued for several years until Amazon India came into existence and started tying up with India Post to deliver even in the remotest of the areas.
Fast forward today, it is only because of Amazon’s tie-up with India Post that millions living in the remotest area can receive clothes, machines, food and all the latest gadget right at their doorstep. No, the courier agencies no matter how hyped up their policy and commitment are, they do not deliver in rural India forget, covering the remotest corner.
Had it not been the amazing tie-up with these two companies, today, my family’s sudden shift from metropolitan city to my native place to start commercial farming would have turned disaster. But, no, we could not only start from scratch after a melodramatic separation from my father’s younger brother who thought we couldn’t sustain living in village forget about starting commercial farming, today, we have been doing a commendable job. And it’s all because of India Post. Here’s why –
Where Courier fails, India Post Shines
From Maggi Noodles, furniture, laptop, to the gas regulator, farm machinery, utensils, crockery, bean bags, oven, heater, mixer grinder so on and so forth, you can buy anything from Amazon and the e-commerce site delivers no matter how interior your village is. Once you place your order, it is dispatched either on the same day or the next day. After the product has been dispatched, it takes maximum seven days to reach the rural destination. The postman delivers the item right at the doorstep and we receive it easily just like we receive at our Mumbai address. However, whenever the seller chooses to dispatch our product from other courier services rather than India Post, it is literally a Mahabharat for us.
The reason being, the courier provider stationed at the nearest city which is minimum 50km away insists (rather commands) us to come and pick up the item failing which he resends the item back by claiming that the address was either wrong or the door was locked when the delivery boy reached the place. You know the usual excuses. At times, these courier services even reflect that the item has been delivered which makes it difficult to seek a refund, blocking our money for a long time.
Here’s the screenshot of two products that I ordered, while, the one dispatched by India Post reached me within 7 days, the one by courier never reached post which it was returned and my money was refunded only after a month.
It is interesting to note that the rate at which the parcel reaches a small town or a rural area by India Post is much faster than that by courier. While often it reaches the customer before the stipulated time when the parcel is dispatched by India Post, the same parcel reaches much later if it is sent by courier. This is the reason every time I place an order with Amazon or any other e-commerce site which delivers at my rural address, I insist on India Post. My nearly two-year experience with Amazon and India Post makes we wonder, whether India Post was really incompetent all these while or were we simply living under an illusion.
This reminds me of another courier hiccup. Well, while, major courier companies take 5 days to send a letter to 2-tier cities with charges around 300 plus, the same letter easily reaches the 2-tier city within three days at a minimum price (around 50 or less) if you send by Speed Post.
Lastly, as a consumer of rural India, I would advise other online portals like Flipkart too to start using India Post. After all, rural India is a huge market. It is rather very unfortunate that a foreign company like Amazon could explore it, while Indian e-commerce sites continued to ignore not just rural India but also India Post.