Monday, April 8, 2013

Happy to help…yeah right!

Picture Vodafone and you picture the animated, cute, fluffy things called zoozoos; you hear ‘you and I, in this beautiful world…’ playing inside your head. But reality is far removed from the utopian picture that tv commercials paint.

If you’re using Vodafone, you realise that neither is the customer care service cute like the zoozoo, nor is the ‘You (the customer) and I (Vodafone) waala world beautiful. There is no green grass, no blue sky. There’s only frustration. Lots and lots of it.

My facebook posts testify how much Vodafone has harassed me. Many of my friends pinged and commented saying my boundless love for Vodafone has been spamming their walls for a long time. I agree. I might have been going overboard with my posts. But listen to my story and you’d probably try and put yourselves in my shoes.

It’s filmy. Or maybe soap-y. Like the K-soaps. There’s a Parvathy, and there is the Vodafone Vamp. Parvathy is virtuous, but vamp…vamp tries all she can to escalate Parvathy to her tipping point. That’s just a gist of the story. Here’s how it happened.

I have a blackberry and I subscribed (read: fell prey) to Vodafone’s unlimited BBM services pack that burnt a hole worth 450 bucks in my pocket, every month. Now, for me and for the world and its wife, unlimited means unlimited. But looks like Vodafone’s library stocks a dictionary complied by some cheap, illiterate cousin of the Wren and Martin duo. I was shocked to see Vodafone chopping off money from my main balance. Next step, call the customer care executives. That step was, but of course, fail, EPICFAIL!
They could neither speak English, nor could understand what I was saying.

After explaining my problem non-stop for more than 10 minutes, I could hear a beep, beep, beep on the other side. I tried calling again, and some Aunty kept on repeating: Your time is valuable. Our customer care executives will assist you as soon as possible. Bull shit! The call never got answered. I kept on trying like a fool and after almost 45 minutes, my phone protested and went on a hunger strike. The warning on the screen kept flashing in red: LOW BATTERY! Several attempts later, I started yelling at the guy who received my call. I said I wanted to speak to someone senior. I was put on hold, with the same “you and I’ crooning loudly on the other side.

Another spooky thing that was happening was, my network switched from EDGE to GPRS all the time!

My next fortnight was spent dialing 198 more often than my hubby’s number and explaining my problem to asses in the guise of customer care executives. They were rude! When I asked one of them, “Is this the way you’ve been trained to talk to customers?” pat came the reply. “Yes,” she said and banged the phone on my face!
I decided I’d taken enough of shit and I marched my way to the customer care centre. “Madam, pliss take token, then wait. We will read token number and hear to you. Ok?” Ok!

After having endured the trauma of recollecting and ‘explaining the situation’ all over again, I was reassured that my problems would be ‘taken care of’. They registered a complaint (1489809812) and the ‘happy to help’ people packed me off saying I’d receive a call within the next 48 hours. Looks like Vodafone either lives in a different time zone or has no idea of time. Two days later, I received a message from Vodafone, saying, “Your request could not be processed.” Beat that!

Almost a month and a half passed, but there was no way I could stop Monster Vodafone from eating into my balance unnecessarily. I posted complaints on various forums including one that claimed to the ‘consumer forum’, but no action has been taken so far. Vodafone also managed to block me from accessing 198, funniest part being, I could reach the customer care executives from other numbers, not mine!

Two-and-a-half months later, I deactivated the Vodafone BBM pack and received an acknowledgment of the request on 28.3.2013. Now, I have no internet access on my phone, I don’t fiddle with anything, except making calls and receiving them, but still, Vodafone happily continues deducting money from my balance, amounts including 10p, 50p, Re 1, Rs 2.60, Rs. 5. It’s gone from bad to worse today (8.4.2013), with amounts of 10p getting deducted every 5 minutes! I cant give missed calls or send messages, because apparently, my ‘network is out of order’!

I’m terrified of even touching my phone, for Vodafone could very well come with the excuse of ‘you touched your phone, so we deducted money.’

I’m really clueless as to how to deal with this issue and make Vodafone pay through its nose! Over Rs 300 have already been deducted from my account and there seems to be no one to explain why! Any feedback or suggestion is welcome! Is someone ‘happy to help’?