The following letter was sent to an executive working for Hutch South a month ago. I did not want to publish it. But since they still haven’t responded satisfactorily, I care zilch about them.
Before you discard me away as just another grumpy customer, please read the following experiences I have had (endured) with your Customer Service (or the lack of it) over the past few days.
The latest bill (December – January) I received from Hutch indicated that I had been charged for the 100 free minutes that I am entitled to when calling local mobiles. I promptly called up Hutch Care on Friday morning, and spoke to a certain Mr. Vivek Kumar, who informed me that I had been migrated from my previous plan to a newer plan, under which I was no longer allowed any free local minutes.
Mark this as complaint number one. I am wondering why Hutch migrates users across plans without even displaying the basic courtesy, decency or propriety of informing them that they are being migrated. That all customers have been informed by an SMS sounds a lame excuse. A plan change is, in my opinion, requires to be communicated in a more ‘serious’ mode. Sending it via SMS, when I (and other customers) are already subject to a barrage of junk “Would you like to download this ring tone?” messages from Hutch every day, makes the message liable to inattention. It is not so much about the 50 or 100 extra rupees that I need to pay in addition. It is about the nonchalance, even indifference the company has in its treatment of customers, amply evident from the above, and deeply annoying.
If an automatic plan migration has happened, should the customer not be informed by regular mail? I do not want you to wait for me to approve of the migration. At least Hutch could have specified the same in the bill. Even a divorce requires a written document, Sir. Is this how you play around in a ‘relationship’?
I had registered my complaint with Mr. Vivek Kumar, who assured me that since Friday was a national holiday, he would arrange for a Team Leader to call me back in the ensuing 24 hours. It should have been 11 AM when I received this promise.
Saturday. 12:30 PM. No callback. Customer care?
I called up Hutch Care again, and was responded to by a lady executive (I forget her name; should be either Ms Philomena). She told me the same things that Mr. Vivek Kumar told me, but she was informed that I needed a TL to call me back immediately.
Ten minutes later, a supervisor from Hutch’s Customer Care team (I guess her name is Antoinette) called me up. She took a more legal angle to the issue, citing that Hutch was merely complying with TRAI’s regulations not to give me local minutes. I wonder if there is also a TRAI regulation barring the company from informing me of the change in plan. My question to her was just that, for which I didn’t receive a satisfactory answer. It is also surprising to note that just a couple of days ago, Hutch executives were hawking more free minutes in my company’s premises. TRAI? What TRAI?
I requested the supervisor to put me onto someone who could solve the problem. Which problem? Just how many? Problem number one was the lack of intimation. Problem number two was the inability of customer care to resolve the issue. Problem number three is the inability to customer care to live up to promises. Which problem would be solved, I wonder.
The time frame that was requested of me was 24 to 48 hours, for a relationship manager to contact me. This was promptly denied, because the issue was already into its second day with no resolution in sight. I demanded that ‘that whoever’ who was supposed to call me should do so in the ensuing 30 minutes. This was assured. The time was 1 PM, Saturday afternoon.
Saturday. 7:30 PM. No callback. Customer care?
I called up Hutch Care again. This time, Mr. Mohan responded. He sincerely apologized for the fault of his colleagues, but could not find a resolution. I do not blame him for this, because he was unable to solve something his supervisor could not. He assured me that a strong complaint had already been registered, and that a relationship manager would definitely call me back and resolve the issue in the next 24 hours. I also requested Mr. Mohan to inform the supervisor to call me, because I wanted her to calculate for me how many 30 minutes had past since she had assured me of a callback from the relationship manager.
Monday. 3 PM. No callback. Customer care?
Even assuming that I granted your supervisor her 48 hours to arrange a callback, it is past that time. With every passing hour, only the number of complaints I have and my increasing diffidence in your ability to solve them are rising.
For all this, I should be among the first 1000 customers of Hutch in Chennai. For having stayed with your service for almost 5 years now, I deserve to be treated like this. Let me also inform you that it makes no economic sense for me to use a Hutch connection. Most of my friends and colleagues use an Airtel CUG connection, and every time I call them, I pay. The only reason I stick to Hutch is the fact that I have been using your service for a long time. You call this a relationship, Sir. Is this how you respond to customer loyalty? I wonder if fidelity in relationships is such a crime.
Thank you for your patience, Sir. And since mine is almost exhausted, I rest my case. I have decided to surrender my two existing Hutch connections. Would you please be kind enough as to indicate the procedure involved in the same?
I also plan to send modified versions of the above to a few newspapers, my blog, and to Reliance Mobile too. After all, for someone who demands to be intimated, I should inform you myself, shouldn’t I? And I am suprised why Reliance and Vodafone are queueing up for a stake in your company. 19 billion dollars? For this kind of service? God, have mercy on them.
P.S.: If you intend to call me on this number, please do so fast. The card would not be in use for much longer.
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