Amalgam of Thoughts

"Cogito Ergo Sum" - I think therefore I exist
-Rene Descartes

24 March 2006

Hello! How may I Hell you?

A major pie of the call centre outsourcing has been coming the way of India. Some say, it goes to show how benevolent Indians are. But are they as benevolent to our own people? Satwik just got a whiff of incompetent customer service from Airtel - one of the more popular cellular service providers here in India. Read his story (Nandan's comments display the irony I speak of!)

The Helpline employees of most of these Call Centres spend hours and hours on speaking fluent chaste English. But they forget to learn what they have to speak about. Just place a call to the Customer Service and ask some simple questions, you will be sweetly guided to wait for some moments and while you listen to some boring tunes, the customer service employee digs for answers on his terminal.
What was more ludicrous in Satwik's case was the attitude of the Service employees, who went as far as saying "Go ahead and complain to Airtel Head Office. Tell them people out here are incompetent". You dont know if you have to be enraged at the situation or pity them. So much for Professionalism. And Airtel's punchline is - Express Yourself

I've faced such un-professionalism with Hutch too. After having cancelled one of the Hutch connections at our office in Dec '05 we still keep receiving bills for that number. Last month, after visiting the Hutch shop to lodge a complaint something truly amusing happened. One of the irate customers started censuring one of the Hutch employees for misguiding him. Panicked, the employee ran behind the counter. The executive dealing with my complaint went to attend the enraged customer. After waiting for half an hour when the irate customer left, we could finally see the meek employee pop his head from behind the counter. I didnt lose the opportunity to lambast the executive who wasted my precious time.
It turns out that the Billing software most of these cellular providers use is utterly disgusting. The very fact that, after having disconnected Satwik's phone and our phone 3-4 months back, the bills kept being generated regularly goes to show how bad the software is.

Seeing all this incompetency one begins to wonder if Privatisation is after all the best answer. Ofcourse, it provides competition to Public Companies, but it is only in terms of Price. The ease of registration, Billing, Customer Service in these Public companies (e.g BSNL) is truly unmatched, least by Airtel, Reliance or Hutch. They have a lot to learn from BSNL or MTNL.


Blogger Nandan said...

Hmm, I guess helpline people are 'phony' :). Jokes apart, it will be a serious drawback in the future as more and more jobs will move from manufacturing sector to the service sector.

10:03 AM  

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