Dialing a wrong number can often surprise you – whether pleasantly or unpleasantly varies with the situation and how you work your way through the awkwardness it. For a Kolkata-based man, however, it was like a jolt to his political preferences as he called Flipkart but received an invitation to join BJP.
The incident began when the said person ordered a pair of headphones from Flipkart and received a bottle of oil, instead. Infuriated, he called the number printed on the package to complain about the incorrect delivery but the call went through and then disconnected after a single ring.
Before he could dial the number again, he received an SMS, welcoming him to BJP and asking him to complete the verification process by submitting his details, reports NDTV. The message solicited the man’s full name, address, and “if possible“, his e-mail ID and Voter ID to another number and doing so would “complete the process“.
It was after confirming that his friends also received the same response that he came to realize the number (1800-266-1001) belonged to BJP and not Flipkart. We also tried calling the number and can verify that we received the same message as the troubled Flipkart customer, as you can see in the screenshot below.
On investigating, we came to know that the number was owned by Flipkart and customers could give a missed call to the number to receive a download link to the app. The latest evidence, including an official blog, suggesting Flipkart’s ownership dates back to 2015. On the other hand, it was not until mid-2017 that BJP owned the number – or at least marketed it.
BJP’s Bengal chapter has denied any responsibility while Flipkart has said that the number was “given up” three years ago. The number was printed on the packaging tape and some of the employees were still using the rolls of tape with this number on them. “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 insisted.
But a number of questions arise here, the first being – why didn’t Flipkart instruct its employees to stop using the tapes with the older number? The second and the more obvious one is whether BJP knew this and bought the number intentionally. We reached out to Flipkart for a response and are yet to receive a reply from the company.
But as it seems, Flipkart might have traded its number in exchange of a favor from the ruling party (just like Paytm) and while we’re not specifically pointing fingers, our attention gravitates towards the recent Flipkart-Walmart deal. But, that’s liking shooting arrows in the dark and we’ll bring you a more reliable answer once we get a response from the e-commerce giant.