Saturday, October 9, 2010

Organised systemic cheating

You can call it cheating or disrespect purposeful ignorance, but certainly not innocent. A lot of big companies say a lot of big stuff but when it comes to practice, they are trying to shortchange you and certainly not what they promise. Recent experiences of Nokia, Tata Indicom, pizza shops and hotels prove this.

My new mobile from Nokia went dead in two weeks and I gave it to their service center at Mumbai. After a week they tell me that the mobile which was repaired in Delhi has come back and it is still dead. So they will send it back to Delhi. The next week they promptly tell me to come and pick up my handset. After waiting for half hr in the line, I see them inserting the battery into a phone whose colour is different from the one I had given. Now I have asked for the same couloured repplacement or I am not taking delivery. Are they doing door delivery service or rather their disservice? I am still paying for my time and money spent travelling to their service center and waiting in line, not to mention the time spent to configure the new phone.

Tata Photon plus is even more slower in service. They cancelled a post-paid to prepaid connection change as they wanted an address proof. They have the address proof in the post paid and yet wanted another one for prepaid. After a month and threatening them to take them to consumer court, the issues have been resolved (for the time being).

This is something I fail to understand. Why do companies prefer to have an old incorrect address rather than have a new address where the customer is verified when they operate an all India network and distribution facilities?

Another instance where the dongle (any usb internet access device) sellers cheat is that they sell you the dongle and wont refund the money for the dongle when we close the connection. My friend tells me that he read some TRAI regulation that they should reimburse the money when the device is returned back, but the low down company people will only say, taking back is not part of company policy.

Some hotels and many a Pizza shops are a great set of cheaters. They charge service charge on their bills of as high as 10% of the bill. Some bigger cheats put this 10% on the amount after tax (which means they are charging service tax of 10% on the tax amount too). Scam of the first order. Only governments can charge charges on the tax. Fortunately, someone I distantly know has approached the high court and the pizza company has been ordered to change their system and not charge service charge on the tax amount.

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