Monday, April 12, 2010

Me and cellphone providers -a saga of frustration

A while back I'd put up a post on a super annoying incident I once had with my lost sim card. I had tried to make a joke out of it since I was done being angry about it and clearly being angry about the incident did nothing for me. I found no redemption whatsoever. That account, for those who perhaps missed it is here - 'My run in with the wind guys'.

I would perhaps have let it go, except for the fact that this time around, I was again at the receiving end of painful customer service from another cellular services provider. So the wind guys frustrated me and made me swear never to use them again. (Ages ago, when I first started using cellular services hidden costs of the 'wind' guys cost me 3 months' pocket money. Yet, wiser and with a keener eye for fine print, I adopted them again only to be made to run and beg and scream when I lost my phone.) Nevertheless, now we talk of the 'thought' guys. So on a rebound from the 'wind' guys I ran into the open arms of the 'thought' guy. Thinking newer entrants would be more keen to provide sterling service.

Things were good for a while, till soon I realized that though business functions at the speed of thought, thought itself is rather sluggish. Other providers, at least the 'wind' guys, all else notwithstanding switched to international networks instantaneously. Yeah, a call would cost a bomb, but at least the service was available. But the thought guys were not like that. While in an alien country with sky-rocketing crime rates, when people back home were anxious over the safety of my life and limbs, here I was desperately trying to get through to them and the mystic 3 lines signifying a network were absent. Yeah I had been spoilt by the 'wind' guys, and that was perhaps my folly. But they never said that that service would not be available. But then again, they never said that that service would be available either. Note to self - absence of a negation of something does not necessarily imply positivity of the same. Sound profound, right? Well, at least profundity is the outcome of my flustered moments!

Then came part 2. I had to discontinue a connection with the 'thought' guys. I looked up their site. No link. I called up a local call center. A highly annoying IVR yaps into my ear asking me to choose my language of preference. I do. But not before listening to the same statement being translated into the various languages. Other IVRs usually move to the next level as soon as you choose your option without making you wait to hear all the options. Makes life easy if you know the options or if your option comes earlier on. But here, no. I had to hear 'Hindi ke liye do dabayein' and 'Marathi saathi teen daaba' despite me ferociously hitting 1 for English. Then I navigated to all the other menus, chose my options went all the way till finally the IVR said that my call may be recorded for training. And then the line got cut. So 20 minutes and an annoying IVR voice later, nothing. Period. And I did the whole thing again, went the distance only to end up at the dead end again. And again. And again. I mailed the guys - No response. So though technology may be advanced, face-to-face screaming is an absolute necessity to get things done in India!

So the net result is - I guess I am jinxed with cellphone companies and customer service. So all my thoughts were blown away and starting tomorrow, I need to start trudging towards the physical thought place to get my job done. I wonder what howlarious account this is going to produce. Perhaps No, Na, Nein, Non - part 3??? Watch this space for more...

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