Tag Archives: Funny story

Customer’Scare


Perhaps you wouldn’t agree if I say…”Had Gandhi been here he would have been elated to finally see the India of His dreams. An India where we “Hear No Evil. See No Evil. Speak No Evil.”

NOOO?? You don’t agree??

Well let me then tell you my story and you certainly would nod an emphatic yes.

This is the story of a customer, who was one amongst the million many to be lucky enough to avail Customer Care. So then…

One fine day my salary arrived from home. These were hard times and such days were momentous indeed for poor chaps like me. The feeling of being rich atleast for a while made me conveniently forget the sole motto behind that money flow.

Rent—- Later. Bills—- later . Books— Later. Shopping— Need of the hour!!!

My ATM card, the symbol of my All Time Money  All time Misery shove me into  a nearby ATM. My card belonged to SBI while the ATM machine belonged to HDFC. And there started the catastrophe. Each time I would insert my card, it would ask me to wait for the cash and then POP!!! ‘Your Session has expired’.  I would start the process all over again. But after the third try, I quit.

I thought this was an indication by Dear Lord to put aside the street shopping and raid on some classy chic place where I would swipe my card straight away like a rich girl and jump home loaded in luxury.

But little did I know that I was already swiped off onto the streets where even street shopping wouldn’t be affordable.

Unlike the usual times I didnot receive any sms alerts about the deduction of my balance and so I basked in ignominy. But the tremors hit me horribly hard when I decided to clear off some bills online. They had deducted the balance three times from the poor fellas account without as much as an iota of hint!!

I called up SBI customer care. None of the toll-free numbers picked.
Then moments of surfing led me onto a random number that turned out true.
Press 1….Press 2….. Press 3….Press 4..aaaand just go on pressing…
until Press my throat was all I could understand!
but with God’s mercy and squandering away my cell balance, waiting and waiting… I got to ‘talk’ to an employee out there.

They asked where and when and how. They confirmed my loss and that the   HDFC was the culprit. So what next?? I was asked to file a mercy petition to the culprit so that the wrong could be undone!!! and the phone was hung up. Bang!!

I was shocked and scared in disbelief.
I began pondering…
Well Books could be put aside for a moment, with them or without them chances of passing were one in a zillion 😉
But Rent loomed large on me 😦   What If I beg once more for an immediate bail out package?? I could adjust with scanty in the next month…or perhaps I would return when I got back the money…perhaps

But Daddy won’t believe..he would think I straightened my hair again at some expensive salon 😦

So I tried Customer Care once again. This time there was a lady. She set me thinking…English, Hindi, Odiya is all I know…So which Language is she talking in???

I figured out that it was a rapid fire version of Hindi..and some intensely, thoroughly and severely practiced version of English which I was unable to comprehend. Whatever I asked there came the same answer, more often than not, not the answer to the question I asked. Perhaps my English wasn’t as good as hers

I thought. The only way out is to not to let her speak at all. I explained my woe, first in English and then patiently in Hindi. A volley of questions followed...errr …Pardon..Sorry I couldn’t hear you….Pardon I don’t get you….
I summarised my issue all over again.This time in her language, and it worked!! Customers must understand the language specially customized for them. THIS is called Great Customer Care!!

I was asked my Account Number…then  some 11 digit number. Then some 19 digit number… some random number on the ATM receipt and on and on!! How could I ever be grateful to them for considering me not a mere mortal but a supercomputer!

The issue remained unresolved and umpteen calls followed for 2 days. Finally I was asked to go to my nearest bank branch and collect THE Number with which I could file a complaint, which would again be a number with  which I was to inquire about the processing of my request, which would then generate a number…..Ohhhh forget it…!!!

I located the nearest branch. My discretion said it was far. I took a rickshaw and dumped a friend along. Oh don’t tempt me to describe the ease with which we located our destination! THIS is called Banking at the doorstep–Financial Inclusion, so to say.  🙂

We were scared what if it was the lunch-hour and they ask us to wait or come later?? But then there was one consolation. In our banks lunch-hour starts right after break-fast when the office opens at 10 and continues precisely until tea-break at 4, intercepted by just a bunch of more tea-breaks. So any hour in between would be lunch hour… so there wasn’t any point worrying.

We took a deep breath and went inside. Too many counters confused our cerebrum. We decided to randomly try our luck at one.. anyhow we would be tossed like a volley ball and thrown from counter to counter.
And our expectation was proved beyond doubt.
After having repeated my issue to nth people in nth counters in the most patient and polite manner possible then, I decided it was time.

We glanced at each other and rushed straight away into the Branch Manager’s Office. The Lady seemed to be working hard. She looked at us, a tinge of surprise and before I could mumble my issue she took my pass-book and scribbled a number onto it. Yeah she was busy. No time to Hear, See or Speak. I seemed glad until she said I had to call customer care and site this miraculous number and THEN would they file a complaint. I asked why couldn’t I file a complaint here. To which the reply was, ” Madam it would be faster”….Ooooh what a relief!!! THIS is called Fast-track redressal of customer grievance!!

I had to thank her for her mercy and hopped out.

But the way back home was full of hardships. Pretty dresses on the display windows lured me to take them home.
NO! NOO! I would have restrained myself, I swear. But it was my friend who compelled me  and with such easy loans coming one’s way, how do you expect vehement resistance, haan???

Those came home. Some snacks and lemonade also came along…apart from a few other tit-bits.

I came home beaten and battered  and begun jotting down the expenses of the day…this was a habit I took to as survival instincts. 🙂
Oops!! it was 1/10 th of the amount I was hopeful of getting back.
A trip more to the bank to retrieve my lost money and it would eliminate the whole point of wanting it back ever 😛

The series of calls started again. And mercy came my way. She asked me a number and my job would be done. It was my Account number! I was shocked. The miraculous number I had toiled so hard to get wasn’t even of use! My complaint was registered and the next day I got back my lost money 😀 😀

Hoooorrray!!
Rent was paid and dues cleared!
With sheer joy I cheered!

And of course I had to throw a Treat for getting the lost treasure back!! 😉
I was ashamed to note down the expenses of the treat in my log book. What if it fell into Daddy’s hands?? That would be my doomsday!

A day passed and I sat down to pay my internet bill online. Annnd as HisStory repeats itself, HerStory repeated itself too! I got a mail saying ‘Transaction Failure’. I was scared to try again but that was the last date following which a penalty would be charged. So I proceeded again. This time they kindly accepted my regards. 😉

But Ooh! to my surprise I got a mail again saying the 1st transaction was a success as well. I immediately checked my account. It had been promptly debited twice. I waited a while expecting a regret mail from Reliance, my service provider and could have waited eternally had I not called them to report the theft.

The story started taking the same flavours. I nearly screamed with disgust.

I rung them up and they said I would have to prove the undue deductions through an email.

So I did. and here’s how…

Soooo! Didn’t I prove it well?

but they said there would be no refund rather they would be kind enough to adjust it against my next bill. This implied their cheeky assumption that I would continue availing their service!! Reliance on Reliance had proved to be a risky affair 😦   I was reminded of the times they had happily fined me for being late by a single day. I wished I could do the same as well.

But as fate would have, I was on the other side of the table and expecting the tables to turn, to have the odds in my favour was like expecting to sprout wings and fly. So I decided to lie down with patience…with the calmness of an ocean bottom and wait…

But there was a greener side as well. 🙂

 I learnt the Customer Care Sign Language.

 I developed as much perseverance as not to scream while sitting on a frying pan. 


I learnt to put on my best smile even in the worst possible circumstances.


 I learnt that ours is a truly disciplined country where “The Rules” are followed come what may, even if that means bending, twisting and changing them altogether, but yet sticking onto them forever.

 

 So what more does one want!!

NOW don’t you agree that Gandhianism holds true more today than ever before? Just that “The Rules” have been altered a bit. 😛

And we say…

” Hear not Anything.  See not Anything. Share not Anything”.

Now THIS is called CustomerScare!! Ooops Customer ‘Care’ 😉

Cheers!!!

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Gone!! :( :(


They said it grows back. They said Its just a matter of time. They said its just a few strands of keratin after all… But a month passed by and not a hint of their promises visible yet.  I know Hair Goes. But Hair Never Grows. 😦

It was not just keratin.. It was my hair!! M Y   H A I R!!!

The sea level may rise 0.10 metres in a couple of decades..but my hair grows only 0.001 millimetre in a decade !!  And this very fact makes me feel rotten and decayed 😦

It had accepted a long journey from being shoved off in a Boys Barber Shop to being treated with overpriced spas in Lakme…From being bent, rolled, curled with Hair stylers from Paris …to never being combed for days together… From Hair grown, Hair fall, Hair loss…and now to Hair Gone!!! A long journey indeed.

At three, I could hardly wash my hands clean…But I knew too well to roll the drier like a beauty queen. Those were from Paris..gifts from my Uncle…and My Mummy didn’t know how to use them…so I was “forced” to take lead. 😛

After so much of struggle in becoming a self-taught hair stylist…I would be devastated every week when My cruel Granny and My Brutal Daddy would drag me by my arms to a barber’s shop and chop off my Head…Sorry.. I mean My Hair…But they are equivalent though :).. .. and that was when My Mummy had gone away to do her Masters…

School passed away…studies took over style and physics over fashion…My Head got preoccupied with what was In it rather than what was On it…

College started. College finished . I went unnoticed. The waves had given way to noodles then and four years slipped away intertwined in them.

JOB came . MONEY flowed….PRUDENCE followed …FRUGALITY seeped in and ASCETICISM creeped in.
Even the cheapest shampoo would seem utterly expensive after all the Cost Benefit Analysis…“so many ml..for sooooo many rupees!!??!!”  DROP IT!!

And there then I was crowned with  a Nest!!!…and this time I went from being unnoticed …to Ignored.

One Day The Bird woke. The Nest Broke.

I left the Job. Took up what my heart yearned to do.
I guess the best part of my life had started. I enjoyed being a Student..not just with wisdom but with wits as well.

Money was gone BUT  Charity came on. 🙂
I realised why so many people in India beg—Salary flows but Charity Overflows!! Gosh!!!
and I realised how there is always a difference between Daddy’s Money and yours.Asceticism vanished and materialism conquered… 😛

LAK ME…Take Me…!!
And they did!! The discount tempted me to ultimately do it….I Straightened my hair!!

It cost me  a fortune from my charity fund… But the joy of having it long and lusty…made me smile into the mirror for a almost a month… 😛

Spent Sleepless nights..lest the straightening would go away with the karate shots I practised in my sleep…Not so much for the look as much for the rupaiyah they took!!

Those days I felt like Brains with some Beauty as well 😀
For the first time what was on my head exponentially enhanced what was in it as well. Confidence,Cognizance and Compliments!!!

Results of a life defining exam were out. and there was Celebration as well!
Aaahh Life was a bliss!

Months passed. Strands curled.
I realised I had carved my niche in the world.

Results of another exam were awaited…
as split ends appeared unabated..

With daddy building a Bungalow, charity hit an all time low 😦
Austerity measures struck me hard.
I forgot those Expensive shampoos and conditioners I once had.
And with no money inside my wallet..
i decided to grow into a middle class mindset!!

Split ends cried for a long waited hair cut…
but empty purses screamed ‘if’ and ‘but’..

I thought..Giving away my precious hair with my precious money to those salon people??!!
Naaah..never…!Too profligate…
At Home. I thought..i would try my fate.

I convinced my PG aunty somehow…
But who knew the fateful day would be such fated now… 😦 😦 😦

Poor lady!! she mistook the short flicks at the face for the real length…
Aaaaaand….with a whish whush whash…. half of it was gone….

I felt…she had cut a little more….
but when I glanced at the ground…Oohhhhh came a roar…

sweat ran down my forehead and hers as well…

we both ran to a nearby Salon…my head covered in my jackets hood.
The knowing seeped in “Everything is destined my friend… The Salon… They can cut my hair..but I can’t cut their daily bread.”

She chit chatted more than she did her work…about how I was prettier than most other girls of Odisha she met… x(

I wish I could believe that… But her shoddy job with my already shoddy hair, devastated me beyond repair 😦

I came back home. Couldnot even scream into the mirror…lest my aunty would be guilty. It was certainly not her fault. I had faltered to give proper instructions…Ofcourse she didn’t know about any razor-laser stuff 😦
I silently wept myself to sleep…

Results of the exams followed….Pathetic. I had flunked :(:(

with the straight hair gone and creepy curls making way…I was sure to convince Daddy for some more Generous grants for another straightening session…But that was before the results. 😦

He didn’t know what the first session cost me yet… Mummy and I had fooled him then.

What he knew was, it was “high”…and that if somebody kidnapped me in total…he wouldn’t pay that much to get ME back…let alone my hair!! 😛 😦

But what he didn’t know was my definition of “high” was 10 times his!!

Dear lord…with hair gone,
Fate torn….
Exams screwed
and daddy rude..
what more??

I told daddy…”straight hair was my lucky charm…perhaps if I straighten it again I might pass the next test soon??!!”
But NO! NO NO NOOOOOO!!! None of it this time!!

I am told to stop being a beauty freak and start being a geek!!
Perhaps that would save me.

until then should I go on…??

Curly hair… Very fair..Teachers pet..is that you??
yes. Yes. YESS!!

No! Naaah! Never!!!

Rather…
No hair… Utter despair…Cursing your fate..is that you??
Oh yes!Yes!!Yes!!!

P.S: Tell me how many of you suffered this plight..so that I know I am not the lone cry baby!! 😛