Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Stupid Idea!!

I have been on the Idea network for more than 7 years now. And generally speaking their service is not too bad – or more specifically here in Maharashtra, they are probably better than others like Airtel and Vodafone. So even though there have been times in the past when I have had frustration with the speed of the data connection on a 3G network, I have not switched my service provider. Also, I know firsthand that their customer service is better than some others like Airtel and so much better than Tata Indicom (docomo).  Having said that, I do feel that people handling customer service (in general) have been trained to be stupid! Following is my recent communication with Idea, that I absolutely love for stupidity of it all!

My first mail to Idea customer care:

Since yesterday, whenever I make a phone call I hear a message that says that my information with you is incomplete and it asks me to dial a number for details.

First of all, the message is not very clear and I can't understand what number I am supposed to dial to get details.
Secondly, I have been an Idea customer for over 7 years now - so I am curious about what information is not there with you after seven years. And why is it that for last 7 years you didn't ask me for this informaiton.

I then called customer care, and told the person that I want it in writing from Idea, what information you don't have and need from me; he told me he cant help me - I should write on this email adress to get that - that he can't ask Idea to send across the details in email.

So can you please explain to me what information that needs to be with you, is not with you?

Secondly, why can't Idea ask for this in writing, in the first place?

My account details -
 Phone number – 98XXX- XXXXX in Name of Sonali Gogate - I also have a add on card – 98XXX- XXXXX.

No reply from the customer care for more than 24 hours, not even to acknowledge the email. Hence, I wrote again -

I have sent this mail yesterday but I have not even got an acknowledgement from you!!
How is one supposed to communicate with Idea if they do not even acknowledge your emails??
Idea customer care reply:
Dear Ms. Gogate,
Thank you for contacting Idea Cellular Customer Service.
We regret the delay in reply.
This is with reference to your e-mail regarding below given concern for your mobile number 98XXXXXXXX and 98XXXXXXXX.
Further to your below email, we wish to inform you that as per TRAI guidelines you have to submit your documents for reverification purpose at your nearest My Idea.
We request you to submit following documents at your nearest My Idea:
  • ID Proof
  • Address proof
  • One passport size photograph
We have attached the list of My Idea for your perusal.
 We greatly value your patronage and look forward to an opportunity to delight you.
My response to Idea customer care:
Can you please tell me WHY I need to resubmit these documents when I have been an Idea customer for over 7 years?

Also, I finally figured out that the number I was being asked to call was 53596. On calling this, I got the message that Idea has all my valid documents and that if needed they will get in touch with me.
Idea customer care said:
Dear Ms. Gogate,  

Thank you for contacting Idea Cellular Customer Service.

Further to your below e-mail, we wish to inform you that as per the TRAI guidelines the you are required to re-submit the documents at nearest My Idea.

To know the document status kindly dial 53550 from your Idea mobile number.

We greatly value your patronage and look forward to an opportunity to delight you.
Now I was really annoyed and I wrote. (I like to call this Sonali’s attack.:-)) And what is this about "opportunity to delight you" anyways.....???!!!!
So the message I hear when I am trying to dial out gives a different number to call (53596) than the one you are giving in this message. Why is that?
Secondly, when I call 53596, I am told that my documents with you are vaild. But in your message here, you are asking me to submit the documents again!!

There is a MAJOR discripancy in what Idea is telling me!!

You need to fix this - I want to hear a consistent message to BELIEVE that, I need to do that.

I hope I have made myself clear.

Idea’s response: (This is where the training in being stupid was well utilized :-))
Dear Ms. Gogate,  

Thank you for contacting Idea Cellular Customer Service.

Further to your belo e-mail, we wish to inform you that to deactivate your pre tone service request we would need the request from your registered e-mail id.

We greatly value your patronage and look forward to an opportunity to delight you.
I was actually laughing when I wrote this final email to them (Sonali saying “you idiots!!”)
This communication that we are having, is from my registered e-mail ID. If this email thread is not good enough for you to turn it off, I suggest you keep it on.
Anyway, I would MISS it now if I didn't hear the annoying, unclear announcement every now and then!!
Idea (finally) relents:
Dear Ms. Gogate,  

Thank you for contacting Idea Cellular Customer Service.

Further to your below e-mail and telecon dated 5th January 2012, we wish to inform you that the Pre-tone announcement has been deactivated with effect from 5th January 2012.

Kindly note the docket number XXXXXXXXX for your reference

We greatly value your patronage and look forward to an opportunity to delight you.

Idea wishes you a very happy and prosperous new year.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2011 - The year that was...

It’s a new year once more…. At the beginning of the year I look forward to the year with a lot of hope and expectations. I find that I also tend to look back at the year that is over to see what it did in my life…
2011 was really a mixed year.

At the beginning of the year (Jan & Feb), my mother went into the hospital couple of times – she underwent a procedure on her right knee the second time. But from that point onwards, slowly her health improved.

We celebrated my father’s 75th birthday in June. To start with, he didn’t want us to celebrate but we managed to convince him on the condition that we will not do anything religious. So we had a small function where his grandson sang for him, his grandniece gave a dance performance and we had a poetry reading session. A lot of people came over to meet him. Overall, it was a very good function and the celebration was the kind that suited best for the kind of person he is.

My cousin got married at the beginning of December. This was just about a month after my grandmother’s death… We all were coming together just about a month after her death and we kept remembering her… we all went first to Nagpur and then from there onto Raipur – which is where the wedding took place. This was the first time that we all got onto a bus (a bus hired just for us) as the “marriage party” and went from one place to another, in a typical Indian wedding style.  It turned out to be quite an experience! And while we had a lot to complain about in the journey (the bus was not comfortable, the roads were really bad, the driver was driving very slowly and stopping quite often; oh and while returning we got stuck in bad traffic, which meant we reached Nagpur around 2:00 AM etc.), it gave us some wonderful memories of having had fun together. We will be talking about it for years to come… “Remember when we were going to Raipur….”

I made two wonderful trips in 2010 –
In the month of April I went to Assam with Motiya, Girish & Ojas; It was just so awesome. I wrote about that trip on my return (Awesome Asssam).
Then in August, I went on a trans-Himalayan jeep safari and visited the land of thousand passes – Ladakh! This was a trip that I had been looking forward to for years…. I was supposed to go in 2010 but thanks to the cloud burst, that had to be cancelled.  The trans-Himalayan safari was definitely an experience like no other and Ladakh was everything I had expected and more – its a place of start, heart wrenching and stunning beauty. I wrote about the safari (Trans-Himalayan Jeep Safari) and about Leh (Leh). I think I should write about our visit to Nubra Valley – the high altitude desert where we saw double hump camels and the surreal Pangong Tso (lake).

Looking back at the year, it also seems like the year of death… We lost so many well-known personalities from various fields - Just way too many of them. The two deaths that I felt most saddened by were those of Bharatratna Pt. Bhimsen Joshi in Jan 2011 and Yahoo man,  Shammi Kapoor in August 2011.

But the one death that affected me the most was that of my grandmother’s. I lost my grandmother in the month of November, but she had been very ill since the beginning of the year. While I (and others around her) knew that it was time for her to go – she was bed ridden for over 1.5 years –  and while there were times when we all had felt that God should relieve her from her state… when she did go, it made me (and others) very sad. She had been an important part of my life for a long time – and it was such a positive presence! She was someone who loved unconditionally. 
She passed away early morning on 4th of Nov, very peacefully, surrounded by her son, daughters and grandchildren. I miss her so much!! Someone saw an old photograph of hers and said that I looked a little like her. I was so pleased with that! But I wish to be more like her in more ways than just the looks…