Friday, March 28, 2008

Serve us right

If there is one single entity who drives the stock markets, political decisions and literally the whole economy of the world - it's the CUSTOMER. And a customer is rarely served in our country!

Recently, I faced 2 such bad episodes. One with Spencer's, Hyderabad and one with an Electronics retailer in Kolkata.

At Spencer's, if you decide to not buy something as an afterthought or because if you do not have enough money in your wallet, God save you. You OUGHT to buy something once you have got the item to the billing desk and it had been entered into the system. There is NO, mind you, NO way you can go back on the purchase. Or at least the purchased amount. But if you are a graduate or an educated person(you have an advantage if you are an MBA, you can use some jargon) who can shout two sentences in English and inform them that you know about supply chain and billing processes etc, you MIGHT get a credit note, that too after calling up the store manager and shouting at him/her for a while.

Hubby picked a razor which he decided to return once he realized its not so cheap as he expected it to be. But, the cashier just refuses to cancel the bill and return the money. He insisted that we buy something else. When we told him there is nothing else also, he didn't budge. We asked him the store manager's number so we can ask him why there is no provision of cancelling a bill and called him, the store manager informed the cashier to give a credit note. We had to argue and fight for about 15 minutes to agree to spend Rs 150 in Spencer's at some time in future, even if we don't intend to! What a service, I must say!

Electronics just beats them all when it comes to customer service. We bought a Haier A/C from their dealer in Kolkata and the dealer promised to install the A/C at a charge of Rs 1500. Despite we both using all our negotiation skills and expand the pie fundae, the dealer just refused to reduce a penny on the price or the installation fee. Sob. Sob. And, we had to request for 20 minutes to get a slot on Sunday morning for installation. What to do?! We both are working individuals, who cannot return home before 7 PM and the installation engineers work only from 11-4 in Kolkata. It took all our persuasive skills to make them agree to come on Sunday for installation, which too they ended up coming late and took more than informed time to install - spoiling a whole SUNDAY! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah :( And they collected another Rs 400 for some damn angle!!!

Anyways, We are all excited that we are going to sleep comfortably and we suddenly hear water dropping from the indoor unit. We call up the dealer 20 times and hubby threatens them by reminding them that he works for a newspaper and then they agree to come and take a look. An engineer arrives and scared us to death saying we need to get it re-installed and he also offered to do us a favour by charging us just Rs 1000 for re-installation. The reason? The installation was done by the dealer's engineer and the man who came now is the Haier engineer. Phew! A few more threat calls go to the dealer, the engineer who comes listens to all our gaalis and then they realize its just a pipe hose which is wrongly elevated. So much for all the jargon. A 5-minute job is done in about an hour and we are happy again. What about the hassles that we had to go through and the additional Rs 200 telephone bill which I have to pay because of these bloody calls? C'mon, who cares for the customer anyway?! That too in India? In Kolkata?! You must be kidding...

No comments: