This story now
IN Lifestyle ON 16 Nov, 2016
I want to tell you about some really silly, weird, inexplicable consumer experiences that are constructed for us poor consumers by some highly paid senior VPs etc. in large or small companies thinking they will go unpunished, unwritten and unnoticed. Well, for many of us who might feel the same way, sharing my experience works like some sort of sweet revenge.
To avoid public embarrassment, risk of libel (even though stories are true) and possible fallout on advertising revenues, I would like to refrain from naming these brands. It is up to you to guess who they are. Perhaps one day we will have a contest on that once we truly become a free country.
So, my experience is from the telecom sector which has recently been in the news for whether life is about voice or data. Well, this was when my family decided to shift house. Ours is a perfectly normal family that likes to consume some amount of home broadband on the WIFI everyday. So, we have a connection from a leading brand. But, little did we know we will incur their wrath by deciding to shift our house.
So, I called a few days prior to register the shifting request and I was told it will be done in just a day ! So, I sat back easy and admired myself on having chosen this brand and how much my family will love me for having been able to shift the home broadband with no disruptions.
Lo and behold, the d-day arrived and we all looked forward to settling into the new apartment and taking our connection with us on the same day, give or take a few hours.
However, nothing happened and no one came or contacted us. Huh ?
I called the customer care and they told me a new one this time saying the Service Level Agreement (SLA) set by the company was 5 days to shift a broadband connection when an existing customers moves house.
The question that arises in my mind from this bizarre experience is: How did this large company stumble upon the fact that families...
a) Can live without the Internet for 5 days or...
b) They take 5 days to realise what the Internet means to them or...
c) Take 5 days to shift and thus, they don't need the Internet in the interim or maybe, they were doing some deprivation research at our cost for free ?
I was so frustrated that I decided to try my luck with applying for a new one. Somehow I knew that a new connection would fetch an immediate response from the same company and it did!. I registered a new connection request to the same company and their franchisee who gets a hefty incentive, called me up within a few hours and sent a person to take my documents and a Rs 1000 advance! He told me innocently that a new connection is where the money is and that's why the response. Wow !
I tell you ! Isn't it clear that existing customers are to be taken for granted and new customers mean market share? I have noticed exactly the opposite behavior in a developed country like Australia or the UK where every effort is done to retain and service an existing customer.
In India, with new consumers everyday, who cares about us?
By the way, I kicked up a fuss, emailed the CEO on linkedin and got my old number shifted, but still after 5 days !
While my mind races to wonder as to the complex market research and high IQ team arrived at an SLA of 6 days, I am now the most popular guy in the family back again from having lost the midterm polls without contesting them.
My sincere appreciation to this telecom brand in bringing me closer to the things that mostly determine my status as a loving and caring parent and spouse. In case any of you reading this would like to shift your house, my sincere advicee is pay up the higher rent but drop the decision to shift house unless you too want to experience how life is without internet for 5 days at home !