who the hell coined this idea of a customer care on phone.
for the last few months i have had encounters with a quite a few customer cares associated with prime brands and let me tell you they havent helped me the least.
the latest in question is Vodafone (yes the new version of hutch). lately they have also started with a ‘happy to help’ ad for their co-operative customer care executives. but my experience with the Vodafone people has not been good.
it happened thus …
recently i went for a postpaid connection of Vodafone. a Rs.444 plan sounded quite attractive to me as there was 444 minutes of free local or STD calls on this. i expected my bill to not cross Rs 600, which otherwise too i was shelling on prepaid voidafone recharges.
but when i recieved this bill on the internet, i was taken for a shock. it showed a figure of Rs 1171, much higher than what i had called and expected.
it was when i recieved the itemised bill that i figured out one local call that has suddenly boosted my bill amount. there was a call to a special number called 777 for 100 minutes. since this cost Rs 6/call, the vodafone people had charged me Rs 600 on this account.
- what angers me is the fact that i haven’t done this call. in fact i didn’t even know what is this number for
- also there is no such number in my phonebook, so no chances of it getting dialed by chance
- also there can’t be so much coincidences that 7 got pressed for three times and then the number got dialed, by chance.
- last but the most important, the call is for a total of 100 minutes, i.e. more than an hour. how come i didn’t know this number was accidentally getting dialed, that too at 9.50 in the morning.
unended calls to the vodafone customer care has not helped. some of the problems i have faced while talking to them are:
- each time a new person takes up the call and you have to explain him/her the entire thing from scratch.
- the vodafone CCEs seem little educated than speaking out those usual hi and hello.
- they are least trained on problem solving skills. each time you call vodafone customer care, they will tell that they will keep you on hold so that they can consult their seniors, which never happens.
- They will keep you on long holds. also there is no indication that there will be someone to take up the phone sometimes. finally you will yourselves cut the call.
- only 2-3 days ago, the personalised customer care of vodafone has started working. prior to this, each time i pressed the button to connect to a Customer care executive in person, i was once again brought back to the main menu.
- lately, a few smart customer care people also gave me fake complaint numbers. when i pressed a customer care guy for complaint number, he gave me one. on later checking with another guy, he told there was no complaint number by that number
- also they lodge complaints on their own. one of the guys himself lodged a complaint on my behalf to deactivate my number.
- one of the girls from the collection department directed me to pay the bill, except for the disputed Rs 600. i forgot to take the complaint number from her. but when my brother went to the vodafone center for paying the remaining bill, he was told to make the entire payment.
the present status of my complaint lodged on 30th march, 2008 is that there is still not any resolution in sight. also the vodafone people have barred my outgoing calls. don’t know when they will axe my incoming calls as well.
today, one of my colleagues took the initiative to call vodafone customer care on her own. since she was once associated with the brand, she knows the tactics a bit.
one bashir took up the call. only after deeply interrogating this guy, my colleague was able to get this information that the vodafone people have agreed to reverse the wrong amount of bill. the complaint number he gave me for this purpose was xxxxxxxx
when i insisted for a written assurance, he told me that no such written assurance can be given from vodafone. however a SMS will be forwarded to my number. the complaint number for this was xxxxxxxx.
he said he would be arranging for a call back within a few minutes. when the call didn’t come, i rang up vodafone again. this time yet another guy took up the call to tell me that i need to have the bill number first in order to talk any such thing.
hoping to talk to the vodafone people tomorrow with the bill in hand.
but one thing i am very sure of. i am not going to pay the bill unless i get a written assurance from vodafone that the Rs 600 will be waived off from my bill.
so if vodafone is hell bent at creating trouble for me, i too am well prepared.