Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Not a good idea sir ji

 This article represents how inspite of the popular adage ‘customer is the king’ the customer is actually a sufferer to the whims and fancies and large scale multinational.

I have been a staunch supporter of one popular cell phone service provider, Idea and as soon as number porting became a reality I switched from my old provider.

At first it was hunky dory and the reduced bills were surely a welcome sight. The few glitches in connectivity etc were overlooked. However I rounded a rough bend the day I lost my mobile. My number was registered in all my bank and credit card accounts and hence all transactions and passwords came on that number. Also it being a smart phone had confidential emails and the service was on. Any attempt to change my numbers on the accounts would mean the details would go on this phone.

Hence I called up Idea and requested that they shut off the number. To my shock I was informed that the customer service could only debar outgoing but not shut off the number completely. I was astounded. Shutting of the number in case of an emergency is the first service that any mobile service provider should provide. I was unceremoniously told that I had to go to an Idea shop to shut off my number. Since I had lost my phone at 9 in the night, I asked which shop of theirs will be open at 10.

Also I was flying out early next morning. However I was told that I could not shut off my number in any other city as the number was of this city. When I asked if a relative of mine could shut off the number, I was told yes if he carried a valid photo ID of mine.

The next day however when my relative reached the Idea shop not just with my photo ID but also a FIR report, he was told that the person who lost the mobile had to be present. When he said that the customer service had informed that it was not mandatory, the shop attendant said the customer service was wrong.

Hence I spent one week checking my phone number daily to ensure that no one had activated the number and it continued to come as ‘switched off’. I also refrained from using my account as the details would go on that number. Attempts to change my number from the bank accounts online were also unsuccessful as the passwords to change kept going to my previous number.

When I came back and went to the shop on Saturday, they were closed on account of Republic Day. The next day, though the shop was open a highly rude attendant informed us that their systems were shut on Sundays and they could not help me.

Finally on Monday I had the good fortune of meeting a higher up in Idea who helped me out and had my number shut off within seconds.

What I could not understand that if it was such an easy task why did Idea make me run in circles, why did I have to use contacts to have a simple job done, how could they not shut off the number even when they had a FIR document and what would happen if I did not have this contact?

Idea spends crores on its television ads but sadly they have not spent where it is most required, at the point of contact for customers.  


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