The web site gave lot of information about the products, services rendered, branch network etc etc. It was quite impressive. That was why I decided to buy their product. The start of the service by selling the product was really a smart operation by a very professional team of sales personnel. Later I was given a post sale/ pre usage tutorial. Initially for a few months the service was trouble free. I fixed a voltage stabilizer though the company had claimed that there was no need for it.
The troubles started from the second year after I came back a long vacation in USA. First of all I looked into the warranty card. It was for only one year. And that too was not available for certain critical parts....!
I tried contacting the dealer who supplied the item. He told that the contract of dealership with the company has since been terminated. He politely told me that for annual maintenance contract and post sale servicing I could contact a separate centre. He gave the number of the service centre. When I contacted the service centre, he immediately noted the details and sent a man to my house. He made a thorough examination like a doctor and listed out a few things for replacement with and estimated cost of about forty percent of the original cost of the product itself. He also cautioned that the company was planning to discontinue the model.
My next move was to contact the company direct. There were a few toll free numbers in helpline. The trials to reach these numbers always met with hardly any success. Though the numbers were reportedly 24*7, they were inactive for the said period.
After a marathon trial for two hours, I got the connection on the third day. The reply came as if it was from a machine.....
"Hello. Welcome to the twenty four hour customer service ....for English press one, Hindi ke liye do dabayen......etc "
With a great feeling of having achieved something great I pressed one.
After a few seconds came the reply. You have not pressed any choice. " For English, press one, Hindi keliye...... " the whole thing was repeated. Thinking that the language had to be chosen only after all the choices were told , I waited till end and pressed one. After a few seconds came the reply. "You have not made any choice . Thank you for calling us." I tried telling ....." No , no I have already pressed one .... ". But there was none to listen to me.
I again tried the number with a vengeance. After about twenty minutes of continuous effort I got the connection. After the initial talk regarding the choice of language, I heard a peculiar signal from the phone. Now the villain was the cell phone service provider. ......Mine was a prepaid connection. The fees paid were of two kinds one for talk time another for the validity. Though I had three hours of talk time left , the signal was to caution me for the end of validity which concluded the previous day.
With help of my wife's cell phone the phone was rejuvenated. Having started the call chase in the morning before breakfast, one can imagine how nice my temperament could be. Like the spider of the Robert Bruce story, I tried again to reach the call centre number. This time I was lucky to get the connection after the twelfth trial.....!
I put the phone on loudspeaker and pressed the numbers carefully. At last I could reach the sweet voice rendering choices of services in English. " For product details press one, for warranty service press two, for other services press three, to talk to our executive press four, to hear the choice again press five, to close the call press six...." I didn't want to make any mistake this time. It was almost like Neil Armstrong taking his first step down the ladder from his capsule.
I heard the choices once again and made my choice by pressing five. I wonder whether I took so much time to say " yes " after the so called " girl seeing" of my better half years back.
Then chose to talk to executive by pressing four. " All our executives are busy. We value your time . Please stay online...." Came the response. Then a music similar to swan lake opera started which lasted for about next five minutes. In between the message " we value for your time blah blah " was played about two three times.
There was a gap of about four five seconds, when I thought the executive must be preparing to talk to me, the advertisement about their product started. You can well imagine how I patiently (?) would have heard the advertisement on the same product which I was suffering from....?
My intolerance level was fast reaching the crescendo. The cost of the cell phone which was at the back of my mind prevented me from banging it.
At long last , the executive came on the line. He was very polite and sweet in his talk. But he had no solution for my problem. My request for extension of warranty was not feasible as it was against the policy of the company to cover products which have been selected for tapering out.
I closed my call and ate a cold breakfast and a drank the coffee reheated in the microwave oven....
I had a couple of missed calls during the previous calls. One was from my friend regarding my opinion on buying something based on his search on the net. He asked for my opinion.
I said " if you want my response in English press one , Hindi keliye do dabayen...." He banged the phone..........