Monday, June 30, 2008

What an !dea? Seriously, a ****** !dea..

I don't know whether to laugh or cry at that point of time. I have gone mad for a minute or so. I had a mixed feeling of humour, frustration, harsh, confused, etc.

It's around 23hrs30 mins.. almost midnight and everyone in my house are in deep sleep. I usually don't wakeup unless until someone wakes me up very hard or atleast an earthquake is required to wake me. "Wo chali Wo chali, dekho pyaar ki gali...." suddenly started and My dad gave a serious push on my head. I opened my eyes as if there was an earthquake and he said, "Your mobile is ringing. Take the call or just switch it off." I searched for it and finally found it under the pillows. I pressed the green button on my mobile and took it towards my ear. The mixed feelings, I was speaking about started in my mind for a while. Can you guess who called me at almost 12'0 clock in the midnight?

As the phone touched my ears all I could hear (in telugu) was, "Now you can make any local call/STD for just one rupee. !DEA brings you a wonderful offer. An !DEA can change your life..."(Ippudu meeru okka roopayike local call cheyyavachu. !DEA meeku samarpisthondhi oka adbuthamaina offer. Oka !DEA mee jeevithanne marchesthundhi....)

Can you just imagine about seriously getting up in the middle of a deep sleep at midnight to take a pre-recorded call from your cellular service provider. I am frustrated since few days with the pre-recorded calls from !DEA customer care. I have been getting such pre-recorded calls twice-a-day since a month or so. But after this call at the midnight the frequency has increased from 2 to 5 calls per day increasing the frustration level. I tried to contact the customer care already but, when I dialled the toll free number 9848012345, all I could get on that was:

“Welcome to !DEA prepaid customer care. To know your balance, please dial *111# after you finish this call and the details will be sent to you as an SMS very shortly. Now you can know your tariff plans through SMS. Type PLAN and SMS it to 3147. And the line goes dead saying "network busy." This went on happening for a long time.”

After repeated calls and trials, I heard the same message followed by:

Press 1 for PUK number
Press 2 for New information in !DEA
Press 3 for Recharge options
Press 4 for Dialler tones, GPRS & Value added services
Press 5 for Language change
Press 6 for Last recharge details

I waited for a while to get the 7th option of talking to a customer care executive to register a complaint about the problem but, couldn't find any. It seems that !dea has moved away from the option of using customer care executives. Now, I don't have an option to register a complaint and I left it like that only as it is only 2 calls per day. But, now it has reached 5 and I thought of moving ahead.

I checked out the !DEA website and could get a redressal mechanism for a complaint.(Refer Template 1 for exact mechanism description). As per the info given on the website I wrote a mail to the Nodal Officer describing my problem.(Refer Template 2 for my exact mail). And the reply was "Interscan MSS has quarantined a message-Content Filter." With no option left before me, I mailed the authority above the nodal office, i.e; appellate authority and can you expect the reply. It's the same reply as stated above. Now nothing left to do, I mailed the DOT (Department of Telecom) authority as given on the website for redressal. This time I haven't got any reply through mail but, got a call the next day.

The call is from New Delhi from the side of DOT, asking for my details to make sure that my problem is solved and from that day onwards, the pre-recorded calls are gone. Finally, it's a bit of relief for me.

Though I have been out of this problem, I couldn't understand why !DEA cannot maintain a process to register a complaint through the toll free number. The Customer Care department at !DEA needs to remember some basics.

1. Every customer cannot have internet availability to send an email to the nodal officer or cannot run to the nearest !DEA showroom always for such things. As soon as this happened, I tried out Reliance, Tata Indicom tollfree customer care numbers from my dad's mobile and Vodafone, Airtel from my friends mobiles. Your competitors are perfect in terms of having an option of talking to an executive to register a complaint. And of course, !DEA too has this facility in some places and it doesn’t follow the same in all the places. I checked out with the Delhi circle. It has an option 9 to talk to an executive but the Andhra circle as well as the Maharashtra circle(not Mumbai) doesn’t have the same.

2. You must atleast have a better checking system. I still wonder what has been "profane" in the mail I wrote to the nodal officer/appellate authority (Check Template 2 for mail) that a filter could see and is invisible to human eyes. I still beg you people to let me know if you see something profane in my message.

3. Never cross the limits of advertising. It doesn't matter much to many customers if the advertising through pre-recorded calls or SMS is within the limits or doesn't disturb them. It's a simple logic that noone can bear 5 pre-recorded calls per day and that too daily. And this is too stupid and crazy if you go with these calls at night times.

4. Try observing your customer behaviour. Many of these pre-recorded calls come from one or two specific numbers daily. And a large percentage of these customers cut the call as soon as they hear it as a pre-recorded one or they do so even without listening to it, as they already know the numbers. So, try observing your customer and try to switch the mode of advertising instead of these useless costs on the calls.


If you say, "What an !DEA - An !DEA can change ur life"

The customers may grasp it as, "What an !DEA - An !DEA can change my life as well as my connection too"

Template 1:;jsessionid=Lj9HnnDl1dvg5JtgnkttxRyg8pKlQ06hCFgP94qfKDWNvX3v2PNR!-1770988926?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=IDEA_Page_Consumer

Consumer Grievance Redressal Mechanism

To ensure timely resolution of any grievance that you may have, we have setup Toll Free Call Centre numbers at each of our circles. You may register your grievance at our Call Centres and we will ensure timely redressal of your Grievance. Toll Free Numbers

Incase you are unable to get a satisfactory resolution to your grievance on approaching our call centre, you may get in touch with our Nodal Officers in your circle. These Nodal Officers will ensure resolution of your escalations within 10 days. For any escalation being reported by you, we will provide you with a unique docket number as a future reference for the same. To get more information about our Nodal Officers, please click here

While our Nodal Officers will be ensuring resolution to your escalations, however, incase you are not satisfied with their response, you may in writing make an appeal with our Appellate Authority in the attached format. For more detail, please click here.

IDEA Manual of Practice for Consumer Grievance Redressal

For contact details of Public Grievance Cell setup by Department of Telecommunications, M/o Communications & I.T, please click here

Template 2:

"Dear Officer / Mr. Nandan Kumar,

This is Sajja Praveen Chowdary(9848XXXXXX), a pre-paid customer of IDEA Cellular Ltd. I have a problem with the pre recorded calls that I get from your side daily. Till some days back, it was like 2 calls a day that I get from you.
But now it has reached 5-6. I get 5-6 pre recorded calls from your side. And the worst part of it is that some times I have been getting this calls around 10'o clock or 11:30 in the night. It's absolutely rubbish and it annoys me in a big way.

I tried to contact the customer care through 9848012345 but it doesn't have an option to talk to any of the customer care executives to complain regarding the same. All the 6 options that I get in them are about language change, new plans, last recharge, etc. Sorry to use these words but still... What an Idea? What a bull shit idea it is? in not having an option to register a complaint or to talk to an executive for information.

I don't want to listen to any pre-recorded calls from the side of IDEA from today. Please resolve this matter immediately or let me know whom should I contact to get this done.

Thanks & Regards"

Open for Comments


Hakuna Matata said...

long but interesting post. And yeah prerecorded calls from service providers are truly irritating.

Soumil said...

I can totally relate to ur despair ! Only in my case, its Airtel who keeps calling me using a different number almost everytime and tricking me into receiving the call when i am 'roaming' ! i must hv been a millionaire had it nt been fr the 'Airtel' tax !

UnpretentiousDiva said...

you can change your service providers if you are feeling/eperiencing problems.

There are many in the stock to provide mobile services.
And if some private service provider doesn't suits the bill of consumers, it will face losses.

sajjapraveenchowdary said...

@ soumil : Hahha.. I can feel that am atleast lucky to the extent that I get repeated calls from the same 2-3 numbers.. and it is too disgusting to get such calls when people are on roaming.. I think you too should try the same path of talking to the customer care..

@ unpretentiousdiva: It isn't possible for people to change the service suddenly. Some of them like me might have been maintaining the number since a long time like 4-5 years.. and the number might have been a fancy one etc...

shekhar said...

after getting buggered by airtel for two years, I finally smsed them to start dnd service and their reply read :
"your complaint no. is so-and-so
all promotional calls will stop within 45 DAYS."
and since then somehow the call frequency has increased.
i have finally learnt to live with it. sigh.

sajjapraveenchowdary said...

Hey shekhar,

DND doesn't have any connection with this pre-recorded calls most of the time. Their definition of DND is different. It's about calls from some organizations which you are not a part of or customer of. i.e; calls from insurance companies, other mobile companies come under DND.. so, u need to register to ur customer care abt this bugging from the side of Airtel.

Karthik Murali said...

that was a nice post..
and i also wanted to say , in reply to ur comment in my blog, that
Yum Brands is not owned by Pepsi Co
and was sold off 11 years back itself..
pls check my blog :
u mite find my reply in the comment section

anyways thanks for visiting

bestabhi said...

could have cut short.. long blog but yes would appreciate the interesting way of describing.... i agree that prerecorded calls are quite irritating.....

sajjapraveenchowdary said...

@ Karthik: Thanks for the comments & yes, I accept that it's wrong..

@bestabhi: Thanks. If cut short the description might not have been that interesting. nywayz it's a continuous process of learning what I believe in and would try to combine both in the upcoming posts..

Mihir said...

just end the damn call then and there.
No point arguing wid those idiots.
they're just "doin their duty"
atleast wrong numbers are hilarious sumtimes.
and I dont understand why the recorded voices have to sound so horny :P
happens every time

PSYCHO said...

airtel has been the best experience so far, relatively speaking

sajjapraveenchowdary said...

@ Mihir: I am seriously unable to understand the actual maening of ur comment

@psycho: I will not comment on this abt airtel bcoz I haven't used it before but, might not support ur view totally as u see shekhar's comments above...

Gagan said...

lollx !!

really very interesting post !!

salonib said...

I find it very hard to believe whether a person is completely satisfied with customer care services. I am really disappointed with the kind of experiences I have had. The main thing by which I am getting pissed off is the long long waiting time to get the final number. Firstly we always have to go through the long list of numbers for one single purpose. Like for an example if someone wants to talk to the employee of the company then to approach him/her the person has to go with various stages of automated voices and press this and that etc. I have been wondering since long time if we can cut this time and directly get the destination number. At least we can save our time by not listening to that stupid music and selecting number options. If someone has some views and experiences regarding this, plz share….