Tuesday, March 30, 2010

MobileStore India cash-back offer: A story of how internet helped me get my money back!


Read comments in the end to find out how I got my cash-back…


Mobile Store Cashback1

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Mindless blogging….


It is 8:05 pm IST and I am waiting to go out. It has been a “normal” weekend.. and suddenly Kalpana interrupts. It is escalation time again and I quickly attend to Sanishcha’s needs. BURP she goes and it is mission accomplished. That took about five minutes and am back to blogging again.


I am still seeking for excitement. I don’t know why there is a sudden rush of energy in me and I would want to spend my weekend doing something worthwhile. Tomorrow starts a hectic on call week till Tuesday next week and though I am excited to get behind the steering of my new i10 on 25th of March, yet I don’t still have the same feeling of fresh happiness.

Why is there a feeling of incompleteness? I don’t know why am blogging about this state of mind. I would call it Mindless. Perhaps I need a break from the never ending wants… Perhaps  I need to read a book.

The other thing that crosses my mind now is to setup BSNL broadband in the new house. I have been twice to the office and now they have been telling me that there is no DP box for the building and it would take a week to come. And as I am on-call, I need to get some arrangement done.

Okay…now I need to go out and will write this post once I am back (8:19 pm)

Back at 9:02 pm

I wanted to have an evening ride on my old Activa Honda. She has grown old.. 3+ years and 33k kms done, she is still the champ though not with the same power and pull. Still reminds me of the picture I took on her after the buy at 256/15- proud owner and with a distinct L on the front and the rear. She reminds me that priorities keep changing in one’s life. She was ever there and though it was scary to ride a two-wheeler in Bangalore, she was irreplaceable. And now with Sanischa coming to our lives, she has to be play a second fiddle to the car.

Anyways…So what is next for the week? Hmmm… Get a wireless internet connection or wait for BSNL. If I wait for BSNL, then I have to be at office from 6:30 in the morning to 6:30 in the evening. It is difficult but manageable. Set up the “final”(?) bit of wood-work for the new house(the Puja altar and the bookshelf).

Here are some exclusive pictures for my audiences:

Srimitra Signature Flat 102



Call the cable guy again and get the cable connection done(I thought the deal from Hathway at 220 channels, 1 free set-top box, 2 connections at Rs. 200 was damn good).

What else?

Start hitting the gym… Will I …Won’t I .. . ahm…..

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Eureka Forbes customer feedback.


Here’s another one and the only one where I possibly went wrong in the end and tendered an apology.


I purchased a water purifier system(WPS) sometime in January directly from the Eureka Forbes(EF) office in KR Puram. Though there are lot of  WPS companies available, yet, I chose EF simply because of the number of its service centers in India and the brand name. The team lead Satheesh PM(name unchanged) promised me a free re-installation anywhere in Bangalore within a period of 3 months. This was my pre-requisite for buying the WPS. My experience with customer service from people over the past few months has/had been dismal so I thought of getting it hand-written on the purchase invoice.

So, when my new apartment was almost ready, I called up Satheesh and politely asked him for a free re-installation. He informed me that I should be calling him a day before I shifted. So when the day arrived, I called him up. However, even after twenty odd tries wherein the phone rang, I received no response. The next day, I received a message saying he was out of station. I was fine with it and since it was already weekend, I thought it would be best to call him on Monday. On Monday, I called him again and this time he picked up the phone and noted the new and old address. Also, he seemed to remember his promise of a free reinstallation and informed me that the technician would be notified and gave me the number of Narayanamoorthy(NM) who could be contacted to get the details of the technician. I called up NM the following morning and enquired about when the technician would be arriving. He gave me the date and time and then informed me that it would NOT be a free service that Satheesh promised but a paid one. I argued that Satheesh had promised me a free-reinstallation and that I had the written proof for the same.

Now Mr NM informed me that he had spoken with Satheesh who said that he had never promised any customer and possibly the technician(guy who installs) might have written that on the invoice. So, I called up Satheesh again but could not reach him(Phone rang but he doesn’t pick up). By this time, I was already pissed off and so called up Mr NM and asked him on who should be contacted for escalation. Mr NM directed me to Mr. Ali who also had a similar line of NO-FREE reinstallation. I blasted him about Satheesh’s broken promise, EF’s service and threatened to create a ruckus and report in the internet if they made me come to their office. I believed this had no impact on them.

So, I sent an SMS to Satheesh informing him that I would escalate the issue to his higher superiors and that I had a written proof and would report in the internet about EF’s failed promise. Thereafter, Satheesh replied stating he was in a conference somewhere out of station and that he would look to ensure that a free reinstallation is done.

The SMS had worked and the next day, the technician was there at my old residence to shift the WPS. I had also asked for a clamp stand for the purifier’s wall mounting and of course, I was ready to pay the price. Since I was caught up with some other work, I directed the technician to my residence and became busy. After about an hour, when I returned home, I was informed that the base of the WPS had a crack and that the technician had left in a hurry after installing the wall mount without testing if it was working fine. By this time, I was furious and sent an SMS to Satheesh who replied stating that Mr. Raju, the service manager should be contacted.

Raju was quick to act on the request and I could hear him shout at his technician over the phone on the second line. After several calls and in about 2 hours, the technician was back and he cooled me off with a single line. “The WPS was full when I emptied the contents at your old address. If there is leakage now, then its my problem and if there is no leakage, then it was already in that condition”. That made sense and I waited for him to pour water on the empty WPS. And as he said, there was no leakage. It appears that Protec+(the WPS) has a hollow space between the actual system and the base. So, even though the base had cracked(God knows when?), it hadn’t leaked.

Immediately, on realizing my fault, I apologized to the technician who bore the brunt of his manager’s wrath and to his manager Mr. Raju himself who had done the work with great sense of customer support.

The entire episode ended with mixed feelings for me.

Raju did a great job but Satheesh-the architect of the chaos failed me repeatedly. The technician was just and deserved a pat for his thought.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Cane furniture(including cushions) for SALE, Banaswadi, Bangalore- 2+2+1



For immediate sale. Price: Rs. 8000/-. Contact mailforsachin[AT]gmail.com.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The faulty booking system of Makemytrip.com and lessons learnt

Situation: You are in urgent need of an airline ticket and you think of using one of the supposedly famous ticketing service to get your bookings done. The journey  between x and y is long and since your kid and wife is travelling, you are looking forward for a) a direct flight b) a direct flight with one stop or c)a break journey(in that preferred order). Login to the booking portal and select the flight. Proceed to the payment gateway and do the booking. Then, comes the message- the transaction FAILED. Now you need to wait for 7 days to get the refund back and what’s more worse, you don’t get back the money you paid for the insurance.

What actually happened:

The search was for a flight from Bangalore to Bagdogra. Though there were other options available, the fact that the flight was a “one stop direct flight” attracted me to do the booking. Note the lure in circle.


Then, I proceed to the gateway and for the second time in six bookings, the transaction failed with a generic message.


Customers can never understand why transaction fails because the company never tells you why it failed. All that I know is that my money is gone for a week. The last time I had a failed transaction, I had to make a last moment effort  and was forced to get my dad a train ticket instead from CCU to IXB.(See snapshot above). To my ill fate, one out of the two flights for the destination failed in the payment gateway.


I could neither cancel the successful one because the cancellation fees is quite a sum nor did I have the courage to do a direct booking because the price was exorbitant. Was the system faulty right from the onset? I would never know! A jet flight from CCU to IXB at Rs. 1800 during festive season- AMAZING. Reminded me of the Air Deccan days!!

Now, let me come back to the investigation of my most recent failed transaction. Bewildered after being a victim of the faulty system for a second time, I checked Yatra.com if the flight existed. Yatra didn’t list the flight at all. I grew suspicious and then went and checked the airline website.

And if I am to believe it, there is no direct one stop Spicejet flight from BLR to IXB. (Snapshot below)


Imagine if my family was travelling for the first time with an infant and I put them in the flight because it was one stop same flight.

The story doesn’t end here”-

I receive a message that the refund will be done in a week’s time but the money that I “purchased” insurance with will not be refunded. I would have understood if  I had cancelled the flight but how can the stupid company with a faulty payment gateway and its third party CANNOT have a SIMPLE mutual understanding? Common folks, a FAILED transaction is not the same as a CANCELLED transaction. Leave aside the TOC’s if the clause is specified there but for heaven’s sake, you cannot charge insurance money to a customer for a failed transaction.

I wrote to the customer support and through my interaction, I have come to realize that the insurance money will not be refunded.

Valuable lessons learnt:

a) Use services such as makemytrip.com ONLY to find out which is the cheapest airline and why not?

b) Never book tickets from online booking portal such as makemytrip for flights from A to B where C is the stop-over and journey from A to B involves changing the plane at C.

c) Booking directly through the airline website seems to be the wisest choice.