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  • Writer's pictureAjay Miglani

What is found defective on arrival (DOA) and how can an ecommerce seller manage customer service for it.

Updated: Feb 23

Every factory will have a defect rate no matter how high their quality standards are.

Quality Control of products

For larger products like vehicles, trucks, heavy machinery and bigger equipment a 100% check may be done before dispatching the finished products from the factory.

However, for products like appliances, big and small, televisions, computers, laptops, tablets, vacuum cleaners, mixer, grinders, juicer, oven toaster, air fryers and more the factory may not have a process to do a 100% check before releasing goods for sale

Brick and Mortar is face to face

Many brick and mortar retailers may offer to open the appliance and check it for you once you have made a purchase. This enables you to make sure that the appliance is working before you take it out of the store. At this stage, if it is found that the appliance is not working, the retailer can easily switch the product and give you a working product.

Ecommerce is different

When it comes to ecommerce and online sales, the product demo to check whether it is working or not is not possible to be done before dispatch is done to the consumer.

It is only after the consumer receives the product and tries to operate it that the consumer may find that the product is not working. This is often referred to as DOA (for some it is dead on arrival and for others it is defective on arrival).

This is a common occurrence when sensitive goods like tablets and laptops are sent by courier and they may suffer some damage in transit which may not be visible from outside. It could also be a manufacturing defect that has gone unnoticed.

In such cases, ecommerce companies and sellers and online brands have to setup processes whereby they can resolve the customers issue as follows:

  1. Be available to receive the customer complaint or feedback about your product – through a call center taking live calls or web chat or email

  2. Process to verify whether the case is a genuine case or is a misunderstanding or lack of usage knowledge by the consumer (they could be not setting it up or operating the product properly)

  3. It could also be a factor of electric supply or of the electricity adapter not being working rather than the main device. In such cases the customer has to be guided for first level troubleshooting

  4. After the initial troubleshooting if the brand is convinced that indeed the product is defective or damaged on arrival it is usually understood that the brand or the seller would arrange for a pickup of products. Or may request the customer to send the goods and offer to pay for the courier charges

  5. On receipt of the goods, the seller needs to refund the payment back to the consumer

Here are some of the challenges that the brand may face:

  1. The product may be an expensive product and hence a refund to the customer may only be possible after the goods have been returned back and received in good condition by the seller. This can lead to some dissonance at the customers end as the expectation would be to get a refund as soon as they have handed off the product to the courier

  2. The product itself may actually be working but it could be because of some installation related or other operating issues that the product was deemed to be defective For e.g.; The power supply or the adapter being used for the power supply

  3. In some cases it could also be a few missing parts. For e.g.: a sit-stand desk sent to the customer may require self assembly and the consumer may have misplaced or thrown away some of the nuts and bolts along with the packaging

  4. The consumer may be returning the goods because they did not like what they got and the company did not have an established return policy. Hence, the consumer may indicate that the product is defective whereas the real reason could be something else The above issues are to be managed directly by the brand or seller especially if they are not selling on an online marketplace like Amazon. In case if they are selling on an online marketplace like Amazon, the marketplace itself would have friendly policies with no questions asked and get the product return arranged within the acceptable timeline. In such cases, whether the product was defective, damaged or in good condition on arrival it is very easy for the consumer to return the product back to the platform.

As a company or a brand that has products that are likely to have a certain percentage which end up as dead on arrival or defective on arrival the company must have adequate process in place to take care of such issues.

Ecommerce brands and sellers can use the services of to manage all the processes relating to dead on arrival or defective on arrival products including the call center product pickup coordination and arrangement of a credit back to the consumers account.

To know how can help your ecommerce business as a customer service partner, please do contact us at or whatsapp +91 9324747575 or click here 

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