Thursday, March 27, 2008

Rely on Reliance?

I have tried really hard not to crib, but today’s customer service call with Reliance really made me hot-headed and ready to cry (due to extreme frustration).

Read my story and you’ll know what I mean –

I work out of home (yes, I am a lucky b@$t@rd, I sleep most afternoons for an hour!). It means setting up a home office – basically a computer, a broad band connection and a land line telephone with STD and ISD enabled service. With the ‘vast’ choice of MTNL, VSNL and Reliance, I chose to go with Reliance. Before you wonder, my rationale was that, well, Anil and Mukesh have made millions out of their companies, obviously they must have loyal customers (not to mention that VSNL and MTNL never called back when I asked for these facilities!) So Reliance it was – their installation was admirable, within a day they had installed a modem and a phone line (Telephone calls are an important part of my business). They assured that the Internet services would be activated within 12 hours... and there begins my story of woes.

First the activation took 3 days, next, my broad band was Apple incompatible (I bought another laptop to solve the issue as Reliance refused to make their broadband services Apple friendly!) Then I got a bill for that month for Rs.29.7 and for Rs563.2, and I paid both without understanding which one was the right one. Several other billing issues followed, but I digress.

To cut a long story short, last month, I had to shift my phone line from one corner of the room to the other (as part of my redoing my room!) The Reliance guys were most cooperative, and did it in a day and said I would be charged 500 bucks for it. When I offered to pay it immediately, they said it would be reflected in my next bill and I should pay then. However, I paid my regular monthly bill for February within a couple of days of receiving it. (That is another story, how they send the bill and constantly harangue you as to when you would pay the bill, as if one would run away without paying it off!)

So yesterday, at 5.00 p.m., I couldn’t dial any STD number or ISD number. I called Reliance customer care to complain. Some nincompoop called Sanjay put me on hold for 3 minutes at a stretch to answer each of my 3 questions and then finally told me that I hadn’t paid my bill. I was close to losing my temper then and gave him details of my cheque payment. Again after 3 minutes of waiting he goes, “I am sorry, the system doesn’t reflect it. I have made the requisite changes and within 24 hours you would get your services back, but we shall do it ‘for you’ in a few hours maximum”.

So, still irritated, I held off until this morn when I realized nothing had happed ‘for me’. I called up R Care again to be greeted by silly Vijay who had the audacity to say that my STD/ISD wouldn’t be activated until I had paid the 500 bucks for the transfer of phone line. I completely lost it then, I yelled and raved and ranted at him and asked him to transfer me to his manager, who came on line after the exasperating reliance tune playing for 10 whole minutes. The manager said that I had paid the bill amount, but that wasn’t enough and that I had to pay the extra 500 bucks. I yelled at him too and said it was unfair, I hadn’t received a bill for the same, I wasn’t informed of it yesterday, when I could’ve dropped off the cheque last evening, (Reliance refused to send a person to collect the amount from home, when I suggested that) and that I had an important con call this evening at 5.00 p.m. (it is at 6.00 actually, and is REALLY important!) He then said ‘as a special case’ he would ensure that my phone line is reactivated by 5.00 this evening... and still didn’t seem to get what was wrong with his logic and acted AS IF he were doing a service to me. I hung up after adding that ‘I trusted him’ and I should’ve gone with an alternative service provider.

My backup? Trustworthy MTNL!!

I am still fuming over this lack of logic, insensitivity in dealing with a customer, inability to empathise with the customer’s problems, absurd billing system, incorrect English spoken by the customer representatives and finally, the need to ask for my address 20 times in a call that lasted 40 minutes.

Bah! Relying on Reliance is OUT.

Ps: Feeing better after the rant session... have you had any similar experiences?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008



More than the other side of Rainbow, I have been trying to catch up on life, doc appointments, work, family, holidays and home renovations in the last few weeks. We are trying to create more storage space in the house and for those who know the pigeon holes that pass off as houses in Mumbai, know how tough it is to create that space. And of course managing the carpenters and the dust factor. Sigh!

Despite all this work, there is a lot of excitement in life....I had a miraculous escape from certain death or (even worse)some kind of head injury a few days ago.. I usually sit on the floor with my back to the wall and my laptop perched on a one-foot high 3-legged plastic stool on one side of a room. On Monday, we got a computer shelf made and I moved to sitting on a chair and working on this table in the opposite corner of the same room. On Wednesday evening, I was working furiously to finish some work when I heard a loud crashing noise... I turned back to see that a 5 feet long Italian marble slab(weighing about 8 kgs) that lines the top portion of our window sill had broken into two large and several small pieces and had rained down on the EXACT same spot where I usually sit. I was truly shaken for once in life.

Yesterday, I caught a cold... I went to the kitchen to boil some tea... Just a split second before I lit the gas, I decided against tea and turned away, only to smell something strange. So I opened the garbage cupboard under the sink, inspected the washing machine area, behind the fridge etc. to realize that the gas had been inadvertently left turned on by the maid when she was cleaning it. Gas must've poured into the room for at least 20 minutes. A split second away from another accident.

Call me superstitious or something, but for once I have this desire to go to a temple and thank the Big Man smoking his pipe UP there!

Moving on, given that I have been tagged (saved from thinking about content for another post!), I re-read several of my earlier posts to fill in the blanks. Hey, I do write well sometimes (note 'sometimes'..ain't I modest?!)

The tag reads "Post 5 links to 5 of your previously written posts. The posts have to relate to the 5 keywords given (family, friends, yourself, your love, and anything you like). Tag 5 other friends to do the same. Try to tag at least 2 new acquaintances (if not, your current blog buddies will do) so that you get to know them each a little bit better. Don't forget to read the linked posts and leave comments!"

Family: One post with memories of childhood. Otherwise, several references.

Friends: CP's surprise b'day party and my Bangalore visit.

Yourself: In almost all posts! Most posts seem to be incidents, rather than emotions. My list of favourites.

Your Love: I don't seem to have written anything about my husband, except references here and there. Perhaps, his happy b'day wish?

Anything you Like: I have written extensively about one great love of mine - travel. The entire Leh series, Goa and my recent office tour. Also, about some movies(TZP, Cheeni Kum) and some books.

It was tough going through this listing, but am happy I did it! I tag these people to do it - Nutty, Y not, In Between, and ITW.

Have fun!