What a lousy feeling it is, when you hold shares of a company, whose customer you have been for more than 2 years and have paid everyone of the bills in time, and when you have an issue, you are brushed under the carpet!That’s what happened to me today.
I have been with Airtel (cell phone service provider in Chennai, India - for the uninitiated ;)) for the last two years. I had an automatic debit facility enabled. In January, the credit card I had enabled the auto-debit facility on expired. Airtel, promptly disabled the facility and disconnected my service asking me to call customer support. Well, I tried to do just that, but you know what?, the call to customer-care wouldn’t go through coz they disconnected me!! Wonderful!
I travel to Pondicherry in the weekends, and incidentally it happened just after I boarded the bus on Friday. I managed to find an Airtel connect that was open on Saturday and paid my bill. However it took the whole of 3 working days to enable my account again! So much for being on a corporate plan!
Now comes the best part … (hold your breath ;) ). I wanted to enable the auto-debit again and guess what you need to do? This being the age of the paperless office, you need to fill a two page form (about 30-40 fields in all), attach a photocopy of your card and submit the form at Airtel connect or you have the option of calling your corporate customer care executive to collect it from your office. Now that seems simple enough… Except that it takes four calls to person concerned and loads of cajoling to get him in the vicinity of your office, but then ofcourse he/she chooses to disregard your plight and ignore you. After the ignominy of such sorts, you brave to drive to the nearest Airtel connect office, which incidentally has been so well dispersed across town, so as to avoid proximity to any office building! (Good design always pays off you see)
You get there, finally after the torture of Chennai’s traffic (see my old article on Chennai’s traffic) just to find out that you are late by 30 seconds and you have to do the whole trip again. By this time, you are so fed up that the guy across the counter decides to leave his seat coz it gets really hot with the steam that is the result of your brain getting cooked, thanks to the wonderful, delightful service rendered to you after paying your bills in time for the last two years, having invested in the company coz your thought it was professionally run!
What you learn out this life changing event - STOP USING CELLPHONES - THEY ARE INJURIOUS TO BODY AND MIND!