Thursday, January 27, 2011

Customer (don't) Care!

Have been pondering to yell out on this topic for quite a while... in the name of customer care, I've experienced nothing other than harassment. I think majority of you would agree with me in this... I have many such incidents out of which I'd take a couple of them here for the discussion. Incidentally, this is my first post this year and I had no intentions to crib in the beginning of the year :D. And yes after a very long time I am penning an non-fiction as well :).

I use to book my flight tickets for travel. Unfortunately while filling the booking details and before confirming the payment I forgot to uncheck the box which had an option of taking travel insurance. A couple of days later I received a call from TATA AIG insurance guys referring to my earlier travel insurance and said that as a very beloved customer of them and the chosen one among a lot they’d like to offer me a one year long medical insurance for which they’ll debit x amount and the insurance claim is y amount etc., etc., I politely refused. I got calls again for 6-7 times from different set of people briefing about all the blah blah’s of the policy and all my answers has been a “NO”. Finally another representative calls me telling “Thank you for choosing TATA AIG insurance sir.. these these are the benefits of the policy” I liked only one statement of the complete conversation which was “Sir in case after receiving the policy document if you are not satisfied with the policy you can call our customer care and cancel the same and a processing fees of Rs. 99/- will be charged and the policy will be canceled”. A week later I got the policy document. I called their customer care where in I got through an executive who was supposed to help me out. I explained him the complete process I went through and explained him that I want to cancel the policy which I received. My god!.. it started there. He was very adamant with me to know what the reason for me to cancel it was!. I politely said him that I do not need it, the executive who was supposed to cancel it immediately then ate my 4 hours to explain me the benefits of the policy and was almost fighting with me to make me realize that I will be stupid if I let this policy go. After hearing him through all the way I again emphasized that please cancel this! hell of a day it was!....

I have a Max New York Life insurance policy with me, which was offered by an executive who visited my office randomly. He was in desperate need of a customer and to my fault I was looking to get a policy for me. After all the formalities my policy document came and I became the “esteemed” customer of MNYL. I had a few query with my policy which I had to clarify and I was ringing the guy who got me the policy. The guy picks up the phone and answers me, sir I am now not with MNYL, I have changed my job and I am currently with Birla Sun Life, if you have some time, I can get you a wonderful policy with many benefits sir. The one offered by MNYL to you doesn’t have benefit at all sir.. the same guy when he sold me the other policy said this is the best available policy on the market sir.... however the stupidity lies within me who didn’t research before I went for it some how got in touch with MNYL office and asked my query. I was shuttled between 17 different executives on phone before finally someone agreeing to meet me. The executive came to me, had a cup of coffee and when I asked him about the query he had no clue about the policy!... and the point to be noted is before he left my office he did offer me the “best policy in the market available”!...

I also have bitter experience with Airtel customer care always. I had to activate call diverting facility in my mobile sometime ago where in I need to pay to be on the waiting for several minutes before an executive attends it who take me through a step by step procedure after following which the process didn’t happen. Before identify some mistake that happened at their end they’ll make me loose my patience, increase my blood pressure and make me realize that I am an idiot sitting here without knowing how to follow a simple procedure instructed by their so called executive.

Similarly, I can elaborate many such incidents with the customer care of LG, Whirlpool, Samsung etc., etc.,The most disgusting part is many of the executives are generally clueless about the solutions they have to offer., I can hardly remember happy moments with customer care!...

I had to buy a pump in the very popular Chawri bazar market....“Sir ji!.. yeh pump le lo ji.. Hum gurantee dete hain 3 saal ki!”... Which fails the very next day, take it back to the shop he smiles and replies...”ab pump hai ji, har pump thodi theek hote hain.. ab yeh hi lo ji 3 saal se jyaada chalnewali bhi hai.. ek do peice ise ho jaate hai baaki motor ki mein gurantee deta hoon... uski pankhi thoot gaya tho mein kuch nahi kar sakta”.... the only thing I could feel is whether it is local, international or telemarketing...“the word guarantee has no guarantee here”

The best possible thing I am doing now is to stop complaining and be happy with whatever I’ve got!.


Yashwanth said...

Jaago Grahak Jaago!!

Abhinav said...

You are not alone.

This is story of all Indian customers, all over for almost all products.

I had similar crazy experience with Airtel, HDFC, Tata Photon Plus and PVR.

raghu said...

'Be happy' seems to be the moral of the story!

apk said...

Hi Selva,

In my case , while booking flight ticket through, even after deselecting the box they charged money for my travel insurance.

I tried booking and then noticed that the box (do you want travel insurance) was selected by default and I deselected it. But while booking somehow it showed up in the bill.
So I started afresh. I deselected the box and this time it did not show up.

But when it took me to credit card site to charge the bill amount it included fees for travel insurance though it was not selected.

They really cheated me because the option was not selected but it charged money for it..

If I had called Customer care, by the time I pursued it, the flight would have left Bangalore and I would have missed my journey..

Honeymoon in India with customer care is OVER now.

apk said...

I would say this is a virtual scam - stealing "100 or so rupees" from tens of thousands of customers.

The total amount (cumulative over tens of thousands of customers) would run into crores easily..

We have so many such scams where the total amount will become a huge number because of the volumes.

Couple of problems in the society:
1. Lack of enforcement of rules that are available for protecting customers.
2. Lack of awareness on part of customers to fight for their rights.
3. Customers not even realising that they are getting cheated.
4. Careless/laziness on part of customers.
5. Lack of morality on part of shop-owners, businesses etc.

These things are not limited to big businesses/corporates. Its present everywhere starting from small kiran shops to big businesses.

selva ganapathy said...

absolutely true Praveen!... high time that consumers start to stand up to their rights...