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2g, 3g, 4g-customer Care 0g

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Agatha83, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. Agatha83

    Agatha83 IL Hall of Fame

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    It was the day of my 70th birthday which I planned to celebrate it in a quiet way - offering prayers at the nearby temple. As I grew older, I became more philosophical about life. With the knowledge that one is nearing the end of a long innings, the mind started seeking inner peace with God, and celebrations took a back seat.


    That morning dawned with a bunch of surprises, with constant beeps coming out from my phone - congratulatory messages pouring out from all my relatives- no, just kidding, from my lifetime financial partners,the banks. All those lovely messages from the banks wiped out all the bitterness, grudge, I held against them during the time of demonetisation, when I had to stand in long queues for hours together while influential people got their work done in a jiffy. The untold anguish I suffered when I was made to run from one bank to another for getting my adhhaar linked to my bank account. So what a lovely set of messages to start the day with, I thought while getting ready for the temple.

    But there was one final message, that took me by surprise - one from my mobile service provider. The message sent was a congratulatory one, sure, but not for my birthday but for downloading one of their games, as “requested by me’, one word that was hard to digest and one which sent my blood pressure shooting. That one SMS was enough to change my mood from one of happiness to anxiety and anger. When I checked my phone prepaid balance I found it to be reduced by 75rs - while not a substantial amount, it made me look like a fool capable of being cheated by anyone.


    At once I started calling the customer care. But pressing all the numbers on the keypad, along with hashtags, stars, dots,etc, resulted only in my fingers turning numb, with no hope of connecting to a human voice to express my protest over their wrongful charging. Like Kishore Kumar who sang his lost ‘ Panch rupaiya bara anaa’, my mind was crooning about 75rs I lost.


    I forgot my breakfast, my lunch, my trip to the temple- all my plans went in to a tizzy with me staring at my silly- oops - smartphone, unable to find a way out.


    It was then I decided to go to the head office of the service provider which was just a few kilometres away from my place. Not minding the heat wave, I walked the entire distance. With just an umbrella to protect me from the scorching sun, it was my solid determination to get back my 75 RS which accelerated my walk. When I entered the office, the cool air of the air conditioned office soothed my frayed tempers. When I headed to the receptionist a young girl with a beaming smile directed me to the token machine at the corner and asked me to get a token first. I stood in front of the machine, punching answers for a series of questions, which flashed on the screen and when I finally punched my mobile number the screen blinked. Seconds turned into minutes but the token never came out. Those standing behind me were anxious,restless, started shouting at me, with some even giving gaalis and weird instructions. Bewildered I looked back for some help at the officer in charge. The officer came to the machine and found that the machine was defunct. When paper tokens were issued, I was the first in the queue and was delegated to another customer care executive.


    This was a young man in his 20s, who was busy with his mobile talking to some one else. My legs aching with pain, longed for a chair, but couldn’t find one. A young customer sitting next to me, offered me his chair. I thanked him profusely, and at once I knew it was going to be a hard day.


    When the representative finally got out of his serious chat, he apologised and took down my complaint. But after looking at my complaint, he immediately pointed out that since I had made the request for the game, they were not responsible in any way for the debit in my balance. I then asked him to look at the history of all the text messages I had sent to find out where “I” made the request. But even after half an hour of fiddling with his computer, he couldn’t find my request message. Then he took my phone in his hand and started punching the keys, just as I did at home, to no avail. It was then I asked him if I could meet the top person, so I could present my complaint. But with security guards posted everywhere,biometric system opted for getting inside the premises, and with just a handful of Customer care representatives, I found it was an impossible task to meet any top ceo.


    After almost after 2 hours, he finally got a response from the billing department and immediately handed over the phone to me. By this time I was hungry, angry, sad about the humiliation I had to undergo, besides being cheated surreptitiously of my hard earned cash. I vented out all my anger at the executive, for not being ethical, for treating a senior citizen like an under dog, blah blah blah. But he was least apologetic about the error on their part, and like a parrot was singing the same tune, as the young representative before him: just dial this number, hashtag, star and all.

    It was at the same time just another frustrated customer barged in, shouting at the top of his voice, fuming and punching his fist, hurling the choicest abuses at the Public Relations Office, for having cheated him financially by a substantial amount. Amidst all this chaos the Agent’s instructions on the phone were totally inaudible and I handed the phone back to the representative in front of me, with the message that I was not leaving the premises without getting my money back. The entire place looked more like a Kurukshetra war field rather than the head office of a premier mobile service provider.


    Looking at my Kannagi like stance in front of the mighty Pandya King, they got a little bit shaken. The Representative talked to someone else and immediately responded with the answer that my money will be reverted back in to my balance within an hour. After an anguishing wait, I checked my balance, and I found it richer by 75rs. By the time I left the place, the sun had gone down, the cool breeze wiping out my sweat and tempers, and listening to the squeaking parrots returning home, my mind finally at peace. In front of a small Ganesha temple, on the way, an Aarathi was going on, the temple bells tolled, and I offered my prayers. The Prasadam of sweet Pongal satiated not only my hunger, but also put my disturbed mind at peace and restored some tranquility!


    With this song on my lips I marched the long way ahead back home, smart phone in my hand and 75 rs reverted to my balance!


    “I am seventy going on seventy one

    Old Lady it’s time to think

    Better beware, be canny and careful

    Old lady you’re on the brink!”
     
    iyerviji, vaidehi71, muggs and 14 others like this.
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  2. iyerviji

    iyerviji IL Hall of Fame

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    Wow awesome write up as always but my nominations over. Butsad you had to celebrate your birthday like this.

    Anyway you could solve your problem and get back the money.

    Belated Happy Birthday. May God bless you and keep you always healthy and happy.

    For every year you lived you grew even more amazing than the previous one.That means you are 70 times more amazing than the time you were born

    You are now at an age where the mind runs faster than the body and with an intellect like yours, your mind can still run for miles.
     
  3. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    Madam,

    Wish you many more happy returns of your 70th Birth Day.Enjoyed the humorous account of your 70th Birth Day Celebration at Telephone office.At least you were able to get back Rs 75/ back. I am still to get back my my Rs 350/- till date, a facility which I never opted for.I learn that they send SMS while introducing the facility and if we don't send any 'I don't require ' response, our silence is taken as 'approval' and they start deducting .When we received the bill after two months, and checked we were able to find out the wrong entry.By any chance we miss scrutinizing, the amt will be deducted month after month accumulating losses to thousands.BSNL Hungama is one such scheme.Inspite of visiting Customer Care tens of times ,I could not get back and I have written off ignored it as 'vaaraak kadan'.
    Madam, you are lucky.You got back rs 75/congrats

    Jayasala 42
     
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  4. Deepika23

    Deepika23 Silver IL'ite

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    Happy bday mam!!!
     
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  5. kkrish

    kkrish IL Hall of Fame

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    Happy Birthday Ma'am, belated though.

    I loved reading your narration.
    How folks are cheated and they might have thought that you will quaver by their non-action!

    Kudos to you for standing your ground and getting your money back.
     
  6. rgsrinivasan

    rgsrinivasan IL Hall of Fame

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    While I feel sorry about your hardship, I am amazed at your steadfastness in ensuring that your concerns are properly addressed Agatha Madam.
    Wishing you many more happy returns of a peaceful birthdays to follow.

    Regarding Customer Care, I feel sorry, as most telecom companies have that mindset of "Who cares?"
    And I am happy that at last you had a darshan of the lord and found some tranquility in the end. -rgs
     
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  7. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Wish I could write something like this. A supersized *sigh*
    Many happy returns, though belated.
    You must write about your writing career. It will be a lesson for other aspiring writers.
    Rs.75 is pitons when you give to someone on your own. But when you get robbed of that amount it gets multiplied by several times. Years ago I heard a song 'Panch rupiah barah anna' (Five rupees and twelve annas) from the movie Chalti ka naam gadi. I am reminded of it when I read this Rs.75 odyssey of yours. A great piece of writing.
     
  8. satchitananda

    satchitananda IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Agatha, here's wishing you a Very Happy Birthday ( belated though it might be!). You ensured that an aggravating birthday turned into a very happy birthday indeed.

    It is not a question of Rs. 75/- It is a matter of principle (as the Punekars put it, tattvacha prashna aahe). It does not matter whether it is Rs. 1 or Rs. 1 lakh. No one has a right to defraud anybody else. You reminded me of a serial in the '80s called "Rajini" with Priya Tendulkar playing the lead role. She fought against every imaginable injustice and always came out victorious. We need many more people like you who will stand their ground. I also wish the younger generation will learn to stand up for their rights and fight for it, instead of saying it is a small sum after all.

    When I was travelling, I got an international sim card with free local cards and unlimited data. I had hell with it and could rarely connect, and at one point, I had to borrow a colleague's phone to make the local call. This despite having complained so many times. Finally when I managed to get to the person who sold me the card, I told him I had to borrow people's phone and they asked me which card I had, and I had to tell them. That was sufficient. Within a short while, connectivity was restored!!! :)
     
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  9. HazelPup

    HazelPup Platinum IL'ite

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    Belated birthday wishes to you Agatha madam. Excellent writing. Customer care is always dissatisfactiory in our country. No value for other people’s time or money. Really sad.
     
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  10. Agatha83

    Agatha83 IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Viji,

    All the nominations in the world cannot equal your heart felt, warm appreciation. At this age, I not only want to run like a PT Usha, but fly around the world and have a look at this wonderful world. But the body refuses to cooperate with the speed of my mind, resulting in lots of aches and pains. Let me accept the reality and live at peace with myself. Thank you for your good wishes.

    Agatha83
     
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