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Dec 11, 2019 12:19 PM 3829 Views
(Updated 25 days ago)

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On 09 December 2019, I received delivery of the Orthtex commode chair I had ordered from Flipkart.

I found so many flawed aspects in the piece that I received that I wrote the review(below), and tried several times to get it put out on the Flipkart review section online, along with the 1-star rating I had given it. Each time I submitted the review, I received a message saying: “Thank you so much. Your review has been saved.”

There was no follow-up message from Flipkart to explain to me, as the buyer and reviewer, what this cryptic message meant, or why my review wasn’t being published online for other potential customers to read. Did it exceed any word limit set for reviews?(No such word limit has been mentioned on the product page).

Since I did not receive the courtesy of a response, or the opportunity to share my experience with others, I reproduce my review, below. I also intend putting it out on other suitable websites online in the interest of disseminating useful product information to consumers.(The seller of this product is Cousins Corporation, based in Ahmedabad).


On opening the package itself, I found a loose screw that was just lying in one corner of the wrapping. On checking the stool, I found that one of the front legs was missing a screw, and that the loose screw was the missing one, since it matched the corresponding screw in the opposite leg.

An attempt was made to fit the screw back in place, but it did not go in all the way, probably because the screw is in some way damaged(worn-out threads?). Because of this flaw, the back legs of the stool remain wobbly and unstable, which poses an obvious risk. I have not yet started using the stool, fearing that one or more legs may give way at any point. Is this the level of quality that an orthopaedic seat should possess? It is meant to aid and assist, not to cause discomfort and anxiety.

And this is not all. The stool legs were smelling of very fresh paint, even from a distance. This could have meant that the stool was a brand-new piece that had been painted just before being shipped to me – but I doubt that this is the explanation because the seat itself had graze marks in several places. It became clear to me that this is a “re-conditioned” piece, and probably one that has been returned by another dissatisfied buyer.

I had read previous complaints on this web page about this stool’s screws coming off, and now I wish I had paid more heed to those complaints, instead of thinking it had happened to only a few people, and not expecting it to happen to me.

I will add that there is a discrepancy between the product description and the product itself. On the Flipkart web page, the product is described as being “(grey, black)” in colour. The label on the packaged product, as well as the Tax Invoice, also falsely describe the colour as “grey”. But the colour of the stool is actually a shade of Midnight Blue. This may seem like just a matter of appearance, and unimportant in this kind of product. But the fact that the colour is consistently and falsely described as “grey’ or “Grey / Black” by the seller and the e-commerce company speak of a lack of integrity and a shoulder-shrugging disrespect for the customer. This point(about the seat in the delivered product being a different colour from that displayed online by Flipkart) has also been mentioned in other product reviews of this commode chair(on the Flipkart web page).

I have considered returning the product which remains unused, but Flipkart’s 10-days replacement policy is cleverly designed to favour itself and not the aggrieved customer. I will mention just two clauses in this policy which work against the customer:

  1. “The product should be in unused, undamaged and original condition without any scratches or dents”.

But how does one return a product without scratches when the seat(as I mentioned above) arrives at the customer’s door with grazes in several places? How is it okay for a product to be delivered in damaged condition, when it is not okay for it to be returned for replacement in damaged condition? Do no responsibility and culpability rest with the manufacturer and seller for making and selling a product in damaged condition?

  1. “The product’s original packaging / box should be undamaged”.

But the commode stool did not come in a box of its own(which, by the way, also leaves a poor impression). It came in a corrugated cardboard packaging, wrapped so tightly around the stool that it was impossible to open it up without cutting and tearing through the packaging(although the label itself remains intact, bearing all details).

But my greatest hesitation about opting for a replacement is that I may well get a piece that is in even worse condition than the present one!

A commode stool is an aid used by people facing a certain level of physical difficulty – because they are elderly, ailing, have disability, are recovering from a Caesarean, etc. It is shameful and contemptible that the manufacturers should treat such a group of people with so little consideration that they try to dump sub-standard products on them. Is the profit margin all that matters?

I believe Flipkart also has a responsibility in the matter. When there are several complaints about something as basic as badly-fitted screws, and as important as stable legs in an orthopaedic aid, should Flipkart be giving a platform to such manufacturers, in the bargain compromising its own reputation?

I will be sharing my above experience on consumer websites. Consumers deserve a better deal than this kind of shoddy approach.

IMPORTANT POSTSCRIPT: I need to add a postscript to my review in view of what happened when I did try to use the chair for the first time(three days ago, on 27 December 2019).

I had barely sat down on the chair for a couple of minutes when it collapsed, the back legs simply folding up. It is a folding chair, but is not supposed to fold spontaneously when you are sitting upon it; and I had definitely taken care to make sure the legs had been stretched open to max before sitting on it.

I fell backward, hitting my head against the wall, with my legs entangled in the legs of the chair. I felt an excruciating pain in my left hip(which is already affected by arthritis), and was in such a state of shock that I did not even know whether I would be able to get up. I was alone in my flat at the time, and could not call for help. It was several minutes before I managed to push the stool off me and literally crawl out of the bathroom.

I need to add that what occurred had nothing to do with overweight. I weigh only 52 kg. My hip is still in severe pain(despite the use of pain-killers), and my mobility is restricted because of the pain.

Before buying this product, I had checked out the customer reviews and found that most of them were positive. But I now wish I had paid more heed to the fewer but very precise negative comments which included the following:

“I just literally fell down, sitting on it… bolts are loose “

“The back legs of the commode fold by itself, and the commode will fully fold suddenly while sitting and person sitting can break waist, hips, legs or hands.”

“When you sit down on a chair, its bases are assembled and person will be fall down… very bad.”

“The chair’s legs are oddly shaped and unstable. My aged mom fell down numerous times. Wish to return this…”

“Chair legs not sturdy”.

“Leg rod bent in just 15 days”

There were several other complaints on these lines, and others relating to scratches on the seat “like a used one”; plastic quality of the seat “very bad”; loose screws and worn-out threads; product colour different from what is shown online.

But, what made me decide to buy the product is the fact that the positive reviews greatly outnumbered the negative ones, using descriptions such as “Just wow!”, “Mind-blowing purchase”, “Wonderful”, “Highly recommended”, “Terrific”, “Awesome”, “Fabulous!” etc, etc … But, on the basis of my personal experience, I have to wonder how many of these positive reviews are authentic. In my mind, now, there will always remain a question mark over that.

Of course, there is no question of my ever using this chair again; it is just too risky.

But, at the least, I hope that my experience will sound an alarm bell to others who may be thinking of buying the product. You do so at your own risk.

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