Friday, 11 July 2014

LAVA! Customer Care in Chinese style!

Vast Indian consumer market is target of all global players; the recent player in the mobile and accessorizes market is LAVA. There is not dearth promoting partners of their dubious products; one such is MTS,  a  brand well known in ISP sector. They are marketing their 3G wifi internet service and that comes with LAVA dongles, made in China. We know Chinese foods are good but their goods are exactly otherwise. A dongle that came with MTS 3G wifi service has really is an eye opener for me. How these companies  operate in our country taking full advantage of teeth-less consumer laws. 

LAVA dongle did not last for more than two months. It was under warranty. But who cares, they seem to take time eternal to replace it. One of their Service Center in Kolkata is really their perfect match. Ring them up; after a long trial you may hear hello from that end and the reply is limited , our sir is busy or not available , please ring up after sometime! 

Don't love LAVA or anyone who sells their service with their devices. 

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Divorcing Calcutta Telephones; a spoilt-child of BSNL

After a long association with Calcutta Telephones finally I have decided to severe our relationship. I took quit e long time to make up my mind. You know why? I too for a short period of time; had a chance to serve with them. Days were different; STD was yet to come, only old telephone exchanges, with operators to connect your calls; were there in the smaller towns. Of course in Kolkata and at other bigger towns, telephones with dialing facilities were available. Breakdowns and cross connections were frequent.  Cross connections leading to more passionate relationships depicted in many stories those days. Unthinkable now; isn’t it?
Now at the time of cellular phones, smart phones, iPhones and all, still I had a land line connection courtesy Calcutta Telephones, BSNL. The mistake I did, I trusted them and availed there broadband service too. Sometime I think it was a mistake I did; being allured by their phone plus broadband combine connection at a cheaper rate. Initially for few months, though there were breakdowns in both service time and again but when they ran; they were smooth. But I never imagined my satisfaction was so short-lived. After few months either telephone or the internet connection had frequent failure. This continued for 2-3 years. Sometime for 2-3 weeks they remained out of order. Booking complaint brought no relief. My futile trials to contact local telephone exchange’s officials drove me mad! I used to surmise that an organization that sells telephone service, has none to attend their own phones! Visiting them revealed the secrets. What an amazing invisible organic switch the staffs had in their hearing system! The phones rang; even blared right before their noses; they remained unmoved and totally unperturbed! Either chatting with their colleagues on various issues like vegetable price hike or kid’s school reports kept them absorbed. Or more useful tasks like reading newspapers or taking tiffin engrossed them.  I could never trace higher officials like Divisional or Sub-Divisional Engineers; as they remained always outdoors on business (private!). You need great deal of patience just to talk to them keep afar apprising them of your problems. Still I remained stuck to them; after all my once upon a time they were my own brethren.
Little I knew what awaited. Being flabbergasted with my telephone and internet service catered by Calcutta Telephones; I was looking for a channel to address my problem. A friend extended help. She gave me the coveted phone number of CGM (Chief General Manager), BSNL. Doubtful with my new find-out; I rang up. To my utter surprise someone attended. I almost melted with gratitude; could not trust my ears! Collecting myself I explained my plight. She promised help and noted my phone number. CGM is a top brass office and someone promptly attended my cal. This very thought offered me immense satisfaction. And when someone from local exchange called me; really I was delighted. Days of problem are over; I thought. How fool I was! You are must have heard the terms “either or survivors”; it’s used in bank accounts and quite a popular term with users.  But never so with one when using telephone and internet service from same service provider. For me my phone and internet (broadband connection) became alright but only on ‘either or survivor’ basis. Either you use phone or internet. When you use phone, internet connection snaps or vice versa. I complained the problem to CGM again. The local exchange sent their men; they blamed my imported cordless phone and other accessories and left. Thereafter I complained and repeated the action numerous times. Asked them to change all accessories at my expense to rectify the problem. But alas it’s beyond them. This continued for more or less two years! I kept my patience as my spouse encouraged my (sarcastically as I never considered her advice to switch over to other service providers) , that Calcutta Telephone may help me to find a place in Guinness Book of Records. As, most likely I broke all the records of telephone breakdowns in any calendar year of history!
Well finally I surrendered their internet connection ( or my spirit to stuck to them) and watching if my land phone can survive all alone peacefully!

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Courier Service "GATI" or " DURGATI" !

Courier Service in India  is one of the few industries that plays great role in our life these 
days. Most of us rely more on them than our age old postal system. The very thought of Post
Office remind us, long ques, closed counter and the worst was the time you waste for trivial 
postal business. Now postal service also have improved raising their tariff and little efficiency. Though still they are far away from the quality of service the consumers deserve. In it's bliss that Indian consumers are still in dark about what does 'quality service' mean! So, rarely one questions why his mail that was supposed to be delivered within certain hours; delayed by few days! Even if one raise question, they are never answered. Obviously Indian legal system, consumer court advertise "Jago Grahak" but never encourage one to  really 'Jago'. Thousand of cases related to consumer matters lying pending all over our country and our state West Bengal merits special decorations for not appointing judges in the forums.

But Government's postal department not alone , even private, renowned courier servicesare not far behind in catering poor services charging far higher. One is such GATI. My recent experience added feather to their already poor and delayed delivery service.  My son made online purchase of an executive chair that was to be delivered with five days by GATI. However the item landed one day later; that means on sixth day from Delhi to Kolkata. The seller sent a SMS apologizing the delay and specified a date , GATI would make 
delivery.  It was three days after the arrival date of the item. On the day I waited but none 
turned up! Same day , at night I contacted their customer care and lodged a complaint. It worked. Next day a call came someone informed me the item would be delivered at around 2PM. Well, I must appreciate their punctuality.  At around that time a Maruti Onmi, 
with GATI logo parked in front of my house. A man knocked my door. I responded but only
to be surprised! He asked me to come out of my home and unload the item from vehicle, 
since it is heavy. In the scorching summer sun, unloading a package of executive chair at this
age ( I am a senior citizen) shuddered me. He threatened me to take back the item as he
claimed , his duty is only to bring the item to my door. That he did. He brought the item by 
car and that parked 15 yards away in the small field adjoining my door. I felt I was in soup!
However in between my wife took over and requested him to consider my age and extended 
her help.  The man moved  and struggled to unload and bring it to my door. We helped
him to lift and put the item in room. I asked why he was alone for delivery of such huge item.
He did not bother to respond. 

So this GATI, our courier. Contrary to them, I remember few years back, my son in Sydney purchased a watch online for Christmas. The delivery was late and it was delivered on on 26th December. The courier company apologized and reimbursed the entire cost of the watch!  Can we imagin!!

Friday, 4 October 2013

Beware of KENWOOD products!!

Since  90s as India gradually started opening up to global markets; it also became easy target and dumping grounds of several so-called dubious global brands. Many of them targeted Indian consumers as sitting ducks and tried to loot them at one go as they knew with their poor quality and service of products they are not going to last long.

One such brand is KENWOOD; it's a consumer durable manufacturer, selling various white goods like fridge, bread toaster, AC etc. Their products really have good finishing with elegant looks but they are very deceptive! And what more; worse are their after sale service.  In Kolkata, their service centre M/S Baishnoi Service Centre at Lake Town is the worst service centre I have ever come across. They took more than four months to repair a simple Pop-up bread toaster. You will be surprised to know that after  repairing it did not serve even for a month!!  There is none to address your grivance at the company's customer-care.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Painful Painting

Must have watched TV ads; Saif Ali of Bollywood painting wall of his apartment and promoting some particular brand of paints to turn the life more colorful! But my recent experience in this venture to turn the walls with colorful paints deemed not paintful but painful. Considering exterior paint works in my residence put me in search of reliable painters. But first jolt came as none could recommend one! Some recommended casually but they did not sound dependable. At last I decided to contact paint companies like Berger, Asian paints who claim to offer the service under their supervision. I called them one by one; first turned up a guy from Asian Paints, he was kind enough to visit my residence and listen my requirements. His terms of service seemed to rigid. I sought clarification if they  could be little flexible ( as painting the windows and grill after painting the walls); he promised to ring back or make a return visit soon. But he did not keep any of his promise! "Don't bother for anything Sir; we only need money and PANI; rest everything is our headache" was the promise of Berger. I fell pray to their such promise. They collected the advance cheque and a signed contract paper. Stupid I was, later I discovered no where Berger's name was mentioned in that contract paper. It was some Pvt, Limited company executed the contract. I was checking up if their was a mention of 21 days that they promised for completion of work; but no where I could find it! Only the amount and certain number of paints they were going to apply were mentioned. More surprising no where I could find Berger's name! They man who signed the contract; all along introduced himself as Berger's employee! I took up the phone; rang them up to the phone number mentioned in that paper. Clarified that they were not Berger but another company engaged by Berger to execute painting job and Berger is no way responsible for their deeds or misdeeds! And the man who singed contract from was not Berger's employee. I was put at my wit's end. But actual surprise awaited for me when they turn up for the job.

The boys were wearing T-Shirts and caps with Berger's logo; it was reassuring; at least Berger was involved in some way. Of course Berger was involved; they ensured their costly paints were sold. But how they were use; appeared not their concern. They offered one year warranty. Even if you smear your wall with lime it would anyway last for more than a year. So paint costing hundreds of rupees per liter would last in any case at least a year or to be more precise one monsoon. With utmost careless supervision and time overrun they finally finished. By that time their team vandalized my roof garden; as and when they got the opportunity they left the walls with one coating of paints instead of two or more. Pointing it out to those painters fell in deaf ears as they were answerable to their contractor. The contractor is answerable to the person who signed the contract with me. And he is answerable to whom God only know! They give you a toll-free help line, their some customer care personal will take a note but do nothing. So I felt it was a labyrinth; and pray to God for the way out!
All I felt after their completion of work; " All quite in western front"

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Vasan; The Eye Clinic

Have you noticed in our City the arrival of new eye clinic "Vasan". In fact I casually found few of their branches in and outskirts of our Kolkata while travelling by bus or car. But never considered to take a second look or information on them till recently.

However; it was one of their ad in some leading news paper stating 'no fees' for patients above 50 caught my attention.
For the past three or four years every time I visited  eye clinic for fixing my glasses; I have been cautioned of cataract development in my left eye. And all the time they said; it was in early stage and would take time to mature. But how long that none could predict.

So every time I guess I have some problem with sight; it bothers ;I hold cataract responsible for it. May be it's matured and needs surgery for eye sight correction. So the ad of 'Vasan' for free check-up was really soliciting. I grabbed the opportunity. One of their branch on B.T.Road, Kolkata is not very far from my residence. I found Vasan,s set up is really unique. The glistening marbel floor; sprawling reception counter. Sitting there smart ladies as you are used to find them with star hotels. They were prompt to register my name and passed me a slip requesting very politely to wait in lobby. I waited for my turn in their lobby;found they serve  tea or coffee for the free again! Unthinkable any where; at least the clinics I visited so far. After a short  wait I was called for check-up by optometrist. They checked both the eyes with modern machines. There were two more check ups to follow they declared. Next was for fixing my powers by another Optometrist and finally a doctor checked with all reports of optometrists who checked my earlier. I enquired about the status of my cataract; he said nothing.
At 'Vasan' ; they have optical store of their own. Patients get their report or prescription from here. This was something new to me; as most of the sophisticated Eye clinic I visited in Kolkata; you get the prescription from doctor straight. Visiting thier stores are optional. But here it's must. 

So, I entered the store and found it's another cozy store with smart sales men at your service. I had a inkling; the free check-ups with free tea or coffee (!); must have a link with this outlet. One of them suggested me about some special glass ( unfortunately I forgot the term) instead of my bi-focal lenses. I declared shortly I may have to undergo a cataract  surgery shortly and change the glasses again. So better go for the cheaper stuffs; as usual my middle-class mind set suggested. He exclaimed  there was no mention of cataract in the reports! It was my turn to be surprised. Had all those doctors whom I visited for past couple of years were wrong! I cooly left the store collecting my prescription.

I am yet to make up my mind whether to go for new spects according to their report.      

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Bad Credit Loan

The holidays are just knocking at doors and this is the season for gifts, love and care to dear ones. But after thanksgiving and paying off your credit card bills you are not having a fat wallet, and this is already almost end of the month and payday is bit far. So, what to do if you need some extra bucks to buy the gift your son wanted o wife needed? It is already late to go to bank, or you are out of credit card credit lines. But you still have option to get the cash real fast.

Even if you got a bad line of credit then also this information is relevant to you, as you can get bad credit loan. You need to visit firstamerigo and apply online for the money you need. After you apply for the loan, you get instant approval and the money gets deposited to your bank account next day morning. Sounds good, isn’t it?
So, go for installment loan or anything loans and get your money in your bank account tomorrow. So, you will get your money just before new year, so that you can celebrate your holidays with your family and friends.