We’ve been watching जागो ग्राहक जागो (consumers please wake-up) campaign. How often do we fight to get an issue resolved? It takes little extra effort to get a faulty product/poor service corrected. But most of the time we prefer write off the losses and move on, mainly due to laziness or for want of time/proof/lack of knowledge.
This post presents few incidents where me and few people I know got some poor product/service issues fixed. Not that we’re perfect people who never suffer a loss-the only idea behind this post is to exhibit that we can get compensated for a faulty product/poor services-most of the cases all we have to do is just ask.
1. Faulty Colgate Zigzag toothbrush
A Rs 20 Colgate Zigzag medium soft toothbrush, which I’d purchased sometime back proved to be of very inferior quality. Lots of bristles came off right on first use.(refer image) I could have thrown it away and used another one, but felt like complaining. I promptly wrote to email address that was mentioned in the packet: email@example.com However, after few days and several attempts, Gmail informed me that delivery to this email address has failed permanently.
As a next step, I took it to the departmental store where I had bought it. Luckily it had store sticker on it. Without any hesitation store manager asked me to pick up some other toothbrush. All I had to do was surrender the product and give a written complaint, which I happily did.
2. Unwanted Oil Change at Honda Service
Manoj Bhat, an engineering student in Bangalore shared an experience yesterday regarding his bike service. When he gave his new Honda Unicorn bike for its free service, Service centre staff changed oil, billed him Rs 300 extra. Manoj found that oil change was not required for this service (as per specifications) and promptly complained and got this excess payment back. Honda guys missed a chance to make some extra money, but I am sure there’ll be many others who won’t be complaining. (An old post on Unicorn)
3. HSBC Credit card hidden charges
I suspect HSBC has got a dedicated department who’s sole job is to come out with innovative ways to rip off unsuspecting customers. Recently they introduced a policy wherein bank will charge Rs 100+ service tax if credit card payments are made via cash or cheque (collected from drop boxes/customer places). This new policy change was not communicated to me (bank claimed they’ve informed-I don’t have any alert on this in my email/SMS records). For October dues of Rs 218, I ran out of chequebook and went to their branch in rain, made cash payment for Rs 220. When I saw a Rs 110.3 charged in next month’s statement towards cash payment, I felt cheated. It was unfair that I was charged more than 50% penalty for the trouble I took in going to their branch all the way and paying in cash. If I’d been warned earlier or at least staff at counter had informed me while collecting money, I would have thought of some other mode of payment. Upon complaining bank refused to refund and I promptly opted to surrender my card. This is when wheels started moving and I was offered 300 bonus points, which are equivalent to amount I was charged in cash.
Earlier last year HSBC had charged Rs 3000 in annual service fee, which was reversed after a fight. HSBC is getting more and more secretive in its operations (sent mails records can’t be seen in online banking, old emails are deleted promptly after few months and so on) (an earlier post on HSBC)
4. Aircel poor customer service
Ram had a bitter experience with aircel customer service over faulty SMS settings. Very frequently, the SMS he used to send were not reaching the recipients and he was not getting any delivery failure errors. He would know that msg has not reached only during subsequent interactions.
He promptly called customer care and complained, but even after a month the issue was not resolved. Repeated telephone and email interactions with Agent Mr Soloman and Radhika, team leader Mr Vineeth didn’t result in anything useful. Finally escalation to a Senior Manager Ms Farah at Nodal office and a threat to sue them legally (for denial of service and failure to rectify it) ensured that concerned teams got on their heels. Technical people visited his home and have got this resolved for now. (Keep an eye on Ram’s blog as he may write about this in more detail)
5. Faulty electric heating coil
An electric heating coil (Rexona brand) which stopped working after 2 months was promptly replaced by store. All I had to do was take it to the shop, show the warranty card. Store owner asked me to come next day and next day I got a new one as promised.
6. Unwind Music school
I’ve mentioned in an earlier post how we’d to fight and collect our money back from Unwind school of music
There were several instances in past when I couldn't get my due compensations either because I was lazy to go and complain or couldn’t produce evidence (like a cash receipt/warranty card). Have decided to be more careful in 2010.
Also read be careful at supermarkets *