Thursday, December 28, 2006

Hello THIS is customer care...

Statutory warning: The probability of you confronting with a similar situation, described below is unity if u are a Hutch user!!!

I finally am spilling out all the filth that I had suppressed within me, for the past 3 days. With exams round the corner, it was a wise decision. I have finally managed to pull some time off to key this issue and share with u all the unshared agony in mine.

It was a minute past 12:00 AM on 25th of DEC, 2006 ... I was busy messaging R, updating her abt the status of my exam preparation. The day had witnessed some ruthless messaging by me and naturally the free sms count was nearing zero. Unaware of an an unforeseen 'calamity', that stood hiding to strike my account balance really hard, I kept messsaging. As usual, I got the reports from hutch abt the prev call/msg details. Since it usually costs me .5 Re/- per msg after finishing my 100 sms quota per day, I paid little heeds to the post delivery report. But soon I realized that the reports were texted differently. There was something fishy about it!!!

There u are ... I checked my account balance, only to find that every message sent to any local network was costing me 1 Re/- I uttered, "What the hell?". Without any delay, I called up the Hutch customer care (I doubt if they really do care?), to enquire regarding such an unprecedented action. I really was fuming coz, my current balance wasn't really enticing. Finally after 10 mins of continuous attempts, my efforts paid off and I got connected to the Hutch customer care (or rather don't care...).

Here is exactly what the convo went like, with the customer care execute -u ....

CC: "Hello sir, this some 'XYZ', how may I assist u?".

Me: "I wanted to know why I am being charged Re 1/- for every message I sent from 12:00 AM onwards."

CC: "Sir, (watch his words) we have been directed by the TRAI, to bill every message sent to any local network on national holidays @ Re 1/- to avoid 'congestion'. So every message sent from ur cell to any local network, will cost you Re 1/-"

Me: Phew! (Hey wait.... I have heard of this word , 'congestion' in computer networks and I know something abt it...). I was very irritated and so continued to bug him. I said, "Well, in that that case the TRAI should have imposed the same regulation on other GSM/CDMA service providers as well, isn't it?"

CC: Yes sir, (quite confidently) its true. This billing applies on all the national holidays, to all the service providers from here on.

Me: "Okkk!" Though not fully convinced, I didn't have any other source to cross check the veracity of his claims.

CC: "Sir is there anything you would like to know?"

Me: I uttered, quite subtly, "No thats enough for the day!"

CC: With his stereotyped concluding statement, "Thanks for calling HUTCH ...." I literally disonnected the call, coz I knew I wouldn't have a gr8 day ahead !!!

Now to the investigation phase of it.

I did a bit of enquiry with all my friends, the next morning, who have subscribed to different service providers (That covers providers from 'karlo duniya mutthi main' to 'Aisi azadi aur kaha?'). I was really shocked to know that none of them had been billed (or rather bullied) as per the so called TRAI regulations!

Now thats so cheap! Mind you, u can't have employees @ Hutch customer care passing on this 'bad news' (which is nowhere close to truth) to all ur subscribers and fooling them all the way! I decided I had enough of it...

Now why I am so much worried abt? Is it suchha big crime to hike the billing on spcl occasions to aid smoothening of traffic? Is it not the 'real' way of providing customer care? Blah Blah....

Thats enough of a substantiation! I got a few questions to Hutch as well. Lemme c if they are liable to any satisfactory answer?

1. If they are so very concerned about customers, then they should have intimated to all their subscribers a priori, regarding such a change in billing, probably with a note for the reason to do so. They bug me with all sorts of crap messages abt contests and others. Why did they not do it similarly regarding the change?

2. Why was I lied about the TRAI's false regulations imposed on all service providers?

3. If their networks aren't able to handle the projected traffic on a given busy day, I say, "F**K off" with ur service, who the hell needs it? Call it off, its more of a trouble than a service!!!

4. If other subscribers india can give the desired service, on even the busiest days, without having to layoff or deviate from their billing norms considerably, why can't Hutch do it?

5. If Hutch is so customer centric, it should have ensured that its floating user traffic was well within congestion levels or atleast close to a good QOS, even on so called national holidays, when its most needed! (mostly to wish ur near and dear ones).

6. If Hutch customer care executives can mislead its subscribers so convincingly, the days are not far, when the customers will switch over to other service providers, who are on their toes to grab the pulse of the market!

With reports around that Hutch is on an offering and there are powerful bidders going for it, I just hope to get a better QOS in the future.

PS: My final take on this issue. A couple of days from now, the new year celebration will be in full swing (precisely after 12:00 AM, on Jan 1st). Now i just hope, I don't get the same crap reply from the CC, "Sir, its a National Holiday blah blah....!", after wishing my friend a happy new year!

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5 comments:

Nirmal T V said...

This has happened to me too..not with hutch, but with airtel. All mobile phone operators are here to cheat ppl and make money..is that right... :-)

Suresh S said...

I guess its the same with most of the service providers then!! The same tale repeated today, on the eve of New year!

Nirmal T V said...

Yea its the same with all providers, they dont inform customers about price hike...but keep on sending crap msgs abt offers....

ಮನಸ್ವಿ (view photo blog too) said...

Mobile companies have taken aproval for charging to sms on national holidays, Trai have said companies that it must and should inform customer whenever there is no free or discounted sms! but companies...(they think rule made to break)me too suffered lot from these mobile companies
recently i too wrote a post..

http://adibedur.blogspot.com/2008/07/blog-post_2638.html

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