We all have heard of the notorious rumour that through an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM), votes automatically go to a fixed political party irrespective of a voter’s choice. Now the ruling political party (BJP) and e-commerce major Flipkart have come under the scanner for a bizarre incident.
According to a media report, a boy from Kolkata who had ordered a pair of earphones from the e-commerce portal received an oil bottle instead. But when he called at the toll-free number (printed on the courier he received) to file his complaint, the call automatically got disconnected after one ring.
Soon after the failed call, he received a message from BJP team which reads “Welcome to BJP. Your Primary Membership no. is xxxxxxxxxxx. SMS your Name, Address & Pincode (if possible Email & Voter ID)to 09220071111 to complete the process”.
After multiple attempts to contact Flipkart customer care, he received the same message. The boy even shared the toll-free number i.e. 1800-266-1001 with his friends, who also tried from their end but ended up receiving the same message. The NDTV report even claims that some of them had received those messages in Hindi and Bengali apart from English.
Responding to the matter, Dilip Ghosh, Bengal BJP chief had denied any connection with the e-commerce portal saying that “The BJP number is on the website, on Facebook. Anyone can share it. You can also share it. That’s not our responsibility.”
The report further added that the boy then complained at the correct helpline number and in response received a message from Flipkart team that it is ready to replace the item.
On the other hand, Flipkart explained that it had given up the number three years ago. The number was printed on tape used for packing — and some of that packing tape was apparently still out there.
“The phone company must have just re-allotted the number, as is done when a number has been surrendered and there is no activity for six months,” it said in a statement.
Entrackr also tried to recreate the story and received similar messages by dialling the number.
We also found that the toll-free number which was once a property of Flipkart now belongs to BJP. The largest political party of the country has been using this number to increase its party presence in different states through membership campaign (Link1, Link2, Link3).
The only interesting thing left in the story is how BJP managed or coincidentally got the same toll free number as of Flipkart.
Notably, Flipkart which claimed to abandoned the number from its portal has not been able to remove from its blog (Flipkart Stories), where it posts every important event and update.
Update: Soon after Entrackr‘s story mentioning old toll-free number still being live on Flipkart’s blog, the portal seems to have updated the site by removing the conflicted number. However, the image in the article (screenshot) clearly shows that it used to be there until recently.