Tuesday, 18 August 2009

The forces of mediocrity

"Maybe it should be, "the forces for mediocrity"...
There's a myth that all you need to do is outline your vision and prove it, right ? Then, quite suddenly, people will line up and support you.

In fact, the opposite is true. Remarkable visions and genuine insight are always met with resistance. And when you start to make progress, your efforts are met with even more resistance. Products, services, career paths... whatever it is, the forces for mediocrity will align to stop you, forgiving no errors and never backing down until it's over.
If it were any other way, it would be easy. And if it were any other way, everyone would do it and your work would ultimately be devalued. The yin and yang are clear: without people pushing against your quest to do something worth talking about, it's unlikely it would be worth the journey. Persist."

P.S: I don't know where i got this from and who said this. However , its not mine !

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Customer nightmare !

Customer care in India - by Indians and for Indians cannot be labeled as 'care' by any measure of fanciful imagination. Even while we excel at 'outsourced' customer care the same stringent standards are not applied by desi customer care sweatshops for aam janata.
An average Indian, I presume uses a bank, a mobile service provider ,a 2 wheeler and some miscellaneous services like cable TV,landline connection for telephone.Nowadays, all pamplets and marketing leaflets come with 1800------ numbers [tollfree] . God forbid if you ever dial that number !
My experience has been the following :
1. BSNL customer care: No customer care. Hell, nobody cares if you are the bloody customer.
Scenario # 1: You dig,research,beg, make trips to the telephone exchange to get hold of that elusive number.
Scenario # 2: You dial the number. Any or all of the following might happen to you :
a. The phone rings and rings and rings- the customer rep at the other end is waiting for you to hang up !
b. Since you are a persistent fellow: You dial again. The line is engaged.
c. You dial at any hour of the day - the line is perpetually engaged.
d. You finally get hold of someone at the line. He promises he'll come tomorrow.Of course, tomorrow never comes.
You,on the other hand, start again from Point a.

2. ICICI bank:
Scenario # 1: I make a trip to the bank to fill up a perfectly innocous little form 15G. The bank customer reps smile A LOT in the bank. I think those idiots know very little and care even less about customer care so they smile a lot.
Since I'm a suspicious,cynical ,world weary pretty girl I smile back hoping he doesn't screw up.
All the following happened to me:
a. He screwed up . TDS got cut and i went back to the branch.
b. Let me tell you, I did try their horrendous phone banking. That customer rep kept me on hold on a non toll free number [yes, ICICI bank phone banking numbers are no longer toll free. Did you ever recieve any communication regarding that ? No, I know i didn't ]
Its funny - how they bombard our email boxes with their promotional emails but somehow it becomes our responsibility to keep track of changes they make in their services !
Any way, the phone banking guy told me to go back to the branch.
c. I go to the bank's priviledge counter hoping they 'll solve their glitch. I find myself repeating the story again.
The 'priviledge' bank guy keeps nodding his head and calls up the bank's back office. He repeats my story to the guy/gal on the line. I sit there for some resolution. Nobody calls him back with 'promised callback. I sit looking at him for 45 minutes untill i lose it and ask him to give me a call when he gets some answer.
d. Yeah, you guessed it .I never got any call from him !
e. Since i'm lukha at the moment and feeling very persistent i write to customer care .Each time a new person writes to me asking me to repeat what i have painstakingly written in the first mail i've written to them.
f. I've exchanged over 6-7 mails. No resolution of the problem.
g. My mails were bouncing back when i wrote at customercare@icicibank.com. That stunted retard of customer care manager writes to me saying that their email is working fine.They don't admit mistakes and screw ups.
h. Current status: I'm close to giving up.

Moral of the story: Do not expect customer care by the indians for the indian. There is NO such thing. We as a culture work only when we are bribed.
When you buy the service ,pay the service charge to the government and know that money-back, exchange and all other promises on the paper or by mouth are marketing tools. If the broadband doesn't work or your ipod explodes , consider it money gone to waste because of your karma.
Those toll free numbers are to be used at your own risk and they should come with a warning:- 'Toll free or non toll free customer care numbers are injurious to health'
As for me, I have adopted a Zen-like attitude to customer care because i became worried about my blood pressure.
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