Flipkart is getting brickbats from consumers in the Apple and Android app stores for partnering with Airtel on the service provider's Airtel Zero platform, which experts contend goes against the concept of net neutrality.
Airtel Zero allows customers to access certain apps and websites without paying data charges as long as the makers of those apps and services pay Airtel for this free access. Airtel Zero's premise goes against the basic notion of net neutrality, which deems that all data on the internet is equal and should not be discriminated against.
After Flipkart CEO Sachin Bansal tweeted in support of Airtel Zero, users have been giving Flipkart's app a one-star rating in the iOS and Androjd app stores.
I'm for #NetNeutrality. I spend time/money helping startups in india. Will never support things which suffocate innovation... (1/3)— Sachin Bansal (@_sachinbansal) April 8, 2015
... 0 rated apps for limited time doesnt go against #NetNeutrality. Costs/competition are very high. Can't be sustained for long... (2/3)— Sachin Bansal (@_sachinbansal) April 8, 2015
... 0rating only reduces data costs for users. Fears of a telecom big brother emerging are unfounded. Choice wins. Always. (3/3)— Sachin Bansal (@_sachinbansal) April 8, 2015
While it isn't possible to determine if this flurry of one-star ratings has affected the rating of Flipkart's app, recent reviews from users all speak out against the e-commerce giant.
Flipkart's rating in the iOS app store was one-and-half stars at the time of writing this report but it was 4.2 stars on Android.
If you want to learn more about the net neutrality debate, read our explainer here or just let the All India Bakchod guys break it down for you.
(The writer can be reached at @PranavDixit)