Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Customer is the dhobi

You know this is what I have noticed lately. Despite all the hungama of after sales services, six sigma, TQM and other fancy terms used by just about every company on the planet, the scenario in our mummy land at least, is ‘p’ for ‘pathetic’! The minute you give your autograph on the credit card bill and the purchase is made, the company wala’s stage a Ghajini act and remove any trace of remembrance they may have ever had of you.

Now though the tag line of the product may say Life’s Good or guaranteed suraksha or lifetime sukh, the company wala’s do just about everything to ensure they make reaching out to them as difficult if not more, than finding a super stud millionaire boy for a crippled Dalit girl.

Here is what the process looks like.

First you need to contact the company, which means finding the manual that needless to say has done the disappearing act right from the day you bought the gadget.

After an hour of searching, you finally find the required papers, with the customer care contact numbers on it and you punch them on your now less trafficked landline. *there’s no telling how long they will ask you to hold the line, you know*. You are almostttt in the mood to celebrate your success at passing one hurdle when you realise the number is busy.

So you try the other number and that’s unavailable, yet another and that obviously has the operator saying something in Tamil which makes you worried if she is unwell.....the translation two minutes later though, makes you realise that the number doesn't even exist! *Panic alert*

Kya kare, kya karee, kya kareeeeeeeeee

One word- helpline.
After telling your name, address and email id for the one hundredth time, answering ridiculous questions like,
'Do you want it for the branch in your city?' *Nahi ji...I was hoping to get one somewhere around Andromeda*.....followed by turning down seductive offers of real estate in Salem, Hosur, Vaniyambadi and a few other unpronounceable God forsaken places, you hang up waiting for the SMS to show up on your phone.
10 minutes later.

Phew! Now you feel like you’re getting somewhere.
With the frisk of a tired winner you punch this fresh set of numbers, hold your breath for a few seconds in anticipation and Voila!
A pre recorded message plays itself for the millionth time to your burning ears.
After the whole- press one, press two, press star, press hash, press my head ordeal, you reach the music stage.

If you are lucky, you get some soothing Beethoven; if however your shani ka prabhaav is bhaari, then God save you! Cos that would pretty much mean you’re stuck listening to some loud obscene Tamil song for the next 20 minutes.

And thennnnn some gentleman or gentlewoman will take your call and even their coarse voice sounds to you like honey. You go wailing about your problems and what do you get? ‘Sorry madam’, coupled with a transfer to another department. The same raag is played a few times until you get hold of the right person who asks for your product number.
If you have it- good!
If you don’t- Buhahaha!

After quoting something that looks like- DSI#37*74#FH49*0FJS#84U, and a promise of 24 hours main service guy haazir, you feel content.

Now wait for the next 10 days anticipating the shubh kadam of this savior to step your ghar ki dehleez.

When he finally decides that it’s time for muh dikhaai, we the product holders are only too happy to have his august presence amidst us. Situation probably demands breaking a few coconuts, asking for chaai thanda, and all that done, when the real work needs to be sorted, this is what you get-

Damn you!

Here are a few real time answers I have received-

*the lousiest service EVER*
Them- Sorry spare parts not available.
Me-HUH!!!!! Now where am I supposed to get them if your company itself doesn't have it?
Them-Try waiting for a few months.
Not even DAYS.....MONTHS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I went to replace the RAM and the guy quoted a price, after which he said if I contacted him outside he would do it for a thousand bucks less.
....and that too such talk in the service centre premises!

Them- Customer care cannot be reached...Try again later.
For An entire week!
They even stole 13 rupees from me!
Will never ever everrrr forget that! Paap lagega, paap!!! :(

Eureka Forbes
Them-Spare parts cannot be replaced under AMC.
Me- But the contract says it DOES include spare parts!
Them- Sorry that is a mistake.
Oh yeah?? Mistake?
Finally wrote an email to the company and they set it right that very day!

Reliance Communications
Me-I broke the teeny meenie antenna. Can you fix it? *sad eyes*
Them- Nope you need to buy a new one.
For 2500 rupees .
Buhooo! Mumme! :(((((

All of the above have definitely become black listed products for me!! Except Vodafone that is.
Waat to still has internet at 98 bucks a month.
Hee some injustices I guess I can adjust with. *sheepish smile* :)


Deepika said...

Agree.. These ppl change color like 'girgit'. They are only caring till the product is sold. Hypocrites!

Rachit said...

Jaago Grahak People should read this post.

subtlescribbler said...

Couldn't agree more...have dealt with Eureka forbes people and the worst of all is MTNL..they make u literally go MAAaaDdd..sarkari hai to sab kuch chalta hai!


Anonymous said...

Just yestrday, I called ICICI bank CC, they told me after N number of punches that the call will be answered by CCE in approximately four mins..
Guess what.. I waited for 'Half-An-Hour' but no reply, I only heard a insane music and lost 30+ rupees for call.. :(

Sadiya Merchant said...

@ deepika- you said it! :)

@ rachit- hehe but dont mistake me for the aaganwaadi behenji ok *watevr dat means*

@ sarah- nevr had to deal wid MTNL! but dats point noted....jaan bachi so laakho paaye :$

@ sayedkhadri- lol. cant stop laughin! tol u! dats y u need to use a landline....dedicated to customer care alone :)

Alka Gurha said...

Once the product is sold, its all over. Sadly customer service is customer dis-service.

Unruly Rebel said...

13rs...i do remem dem... :D

Sadiya Merchant said...

@ alka- hehe...sooo rite...literallyyy mk u beg fr it!...gues dey get a kick out of it :o

@ numsss- hieee! bn sooo long!!! hope u doin all ok! so glad to hear frm u again! :)

MangoMan said...

Bechaari!! Sympathies!! I, on the other hand, have had pleasant experiences all through!

Sadiya Merchant said...

@ mango man- I DONT BELIEVE YOU!!!
i mean not once????? u live in india only na? pakka pakka short memory ka case hai ji! badaam khaaiye :P
flip side, ur one of d lucky microscopic few :)

GvSparx - Inspiring Lives said...

I recall how much money Airtel extorted from me, switched to vodafone now :P

GvSparx said...

I had an HP PC and I got my DVD writer replaced times inone and a half year... that's not all... baaki parts kitni baar replace hue wo likhne lage to post se lamba comment ho jaega :D
I filed a case in consumer court got my amount back...
Well that was an achievement(jaisa ki mujhe lagta hai ) !!

Had tough time with my epson printer as well.. They repaired it some - 14-15 times and it's still not ok and warranty period is over! damn!

Sadiya Merchant said...

@ gaurav- vodafone main if u hav a problem n bug dem na, dats it. seedhe seedhe block kar denge tumhe.
my hp don even ask! had to dump it n get a new system. if ur out of warranty, dats it. samjho lag gayi vaattt!

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