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Why this Kolaveri?

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Dhaleta Surender Kumar, Deputy Editor, Pitch

Everybody seems to be asking this question? And as this column is supposed to be a rant, I could easily rename this from ‘Who Cares!’ to ‘Why this Kolaveri?’ I seem to partly know the answer – do service providers care? Are they accountable to the pains we go through when they fail to deliver on their promise? And ‘Kolaveri’ goes beyond ‘murderous’ when the Customer Care executives after keeping you on hold for more than an hour and making you listen to their stupid signature tunes and the big lie – Your call is important to us, please be online – don’t solve your problem and still insist: “Thank you for calling… Have a Nice Day!”

This time, the reason for my Kolaveri is ICICI Bank. A gentleman from ICICI Bank called me up offering to upgrade my ICICI Gold credit card to Platinum. I got into the trap. The ordeal started after I wanted to register my upgraded credit card for ‘Verified by Visa Secure 3D PIN’ for online transactions. I would reach a page each time, where it would tell me that “Email cannot be blank”, even though there was no option to put the email id. I dialled the Customer Care number. The ladies and the gentlemen couldn’t help me out. After half an hour of struggling, they took my complaint and gave me a complaint number with a promise that the problem will be solved within five working days.

A month later, I tried to register again. The same problem… and I find myself dialling the Customer Care Number again. I am informed that the problem was solved and I had been informed by them by calling me up. Did they have a conversation with my ghost? After being put on hold for about five minutes, I am told that my email id is not registered with them. What the hell? So how am I receiving my Credit card statements by email and their stupid mailers of the benefits of being a ‘Privilege Customer’? I am put back to the main menu, to register my email id, which goes to another gentleman, who tells me I cannot register as I will have to generate my ‘APIN’ first.

He puts me back to main menu… Oh did I forget to tell you, I don’t get an Option to generate an APIN. So again another lady comes online, who tells me that when I am asked to fill my APIN, I should skip that. Then the IVR will ask me to fill my birthday… skip that too. Failure and back to another lady. Each time I have to explain my problem from the beginning. And each time, I am passed around to another Customer Care executive, I am asked my name, the last four digits of my credit card, my address, my mother’s name for verification purposes. Frustrated, I ask my card membership to be cancelled. Yet again, after 10 minutes of hold and being passed around, I am told that my membership cannot be cancelled till I pay my outstanding dues of Rs 6,000 something.

To cut the long story short, the problem has not been solved. I cannot use my credit card online and nor has my card membership been cancelled yet. It still remains a Kolaveri for some another day. Is somebody listening?

And no wonder the ‘3’ song is such a hit, and has fake versions in all forms… girls’ version, kids’ version, Kolhapuri, Sindhi, Tamil, Himachali, Telugu etc.

As we move into the New Year, I want to sign off the old year on a positive note. I could have ranted against the inedible food I got on-board – Jet Airways. Well, that’s a story for another day. For now, I want to shower my bit of praise on Indigo – the airlines that while does address the ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’ still, but has started addressing us – the ‘Girls and Boys’ too. I love their uniforms, their mostly on time take-offs and even in-flight branding and packaging of paid food. I am sure it’s V Sunil’s job. Well done V Sunil. And keep it up Indigo.

The views expressed here are of the author alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Pitch

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