This is an oxymoron- “customer care”. Finally Bibek Debroy mentions this in Business Standard (which is a fine newspaper, if you ignore the ocassional PR crap that finds it’s way in the news. However, the editorials reflect mature thinking and sensibility, a far cry from the usual financial dailies which only go on to prove that a pen in the hands of these idiots is worse than hugging a Pakistani).
In the initial months, we didn’t use our Idea phone too much and life was fine. But the moment we began to use the phone, our problems started. Every once in a while, the line would be disconnected, with no prior intimation whatsoever. It took several phone calls to figure out what was happening.
Whatever be the answers to these complicated questions, I eventually spoke to a customer executive named Arvind. I am deliberately mentioning this name, in case Idea wants to verify how it loses its customers.
With assorted call centres functioning all over the place, one suspects that companies pay scant attention to how these people respond to customer complaints. The sum and substance of Arvind’s contention was that these were Idea’s rules and if I wanted to use Idea, I would have to lump it.
Let’s see what “wisdom” they spew from their “official” website. They have been titled as “core beliefs”:(Emphasis mine)
The company continuously harnesses the power of wireless revolution to provide world-class products and services. It aims at responding to customer needs proactively by anticipating requirements and providing ready solutions.
Idea Cellular draws inspiration from the loyalty of its subscribers to keep raising the bar, to shape the future, and to change and enrich the life of each and every member of its ever-growing(!!!!!) family of subscribers.
Idea Cellular’s MISSION:
Innovate. Stimulate(They just stimulated this post). Liberate…(They just “liberated” a customer who happens to write in for a respected financial daily which is having one of the largest circulations pan India and Idea Cellular has made an ass of itself)
Through continuous innovation, Idea Cellular seeks to liberate customers from the shackles of time and space(How does it relate to getting my calls connected/ taking care of my billing hassles)?
The corporate crap that they spew (all the while choking on their own puke) is all designed by advertising agencies (the pitch reports as they call it)/ or some really “smart” chap who has a way with the words and wants to curry favours with the CEO’s.
I deliberately highlighted the whole thing because Bibek Debroy makes another pertinent observation (something that I have always mentioned here in my earlier posts):
Instead of squandering resources on press conferences, I wish CEOs of Indian companies would ring up their companies, pretending to be customers. I suspect they would learn a lot….Needless to say, such experiences are passed around and probably cost companies much more than what they gain through splurging on advertisements.
True. Very true. I really wish someone highlighted the sorry state of Broadband Access too. Let it be spread through the media and let’s make the companies accountable for their lapses. 256k? Broadband? Are we kidding ourselves? (By the way, I confirmed that existing cable pairs can easily carry upto 2Mbps without any further upgradation of the existing telephone exchanges. Still, 256k is f***ing peanuts when you compare with South Korea where guys run riot with 100 Mbps).
Some day. I hope that the voices of discontent would be carried far and wide than the limited scope of this blog. Some day, these companies would be forced to act on behalf of the customers; when customer would truly have a choice.