07th Jun 2016
The summer heat does weird things to the human brain. I am sure some of you might have gone through my thoughts about the websites and apps that we approach each day for our daily portion of news, views, reviews, interviews and all of the rest that attack or attract our senses (In case you missed it, here’s a chance to get swayed... one way or another).
Well, the summer just got worse in and around the National Capital Region (NCR), forcing people to stay indoors under artificially created Arctic conditions. Since ennui was setting in, I thought the best way to distract myself was to take a crack at yet another humour piece.
This time, it is the turn of the ecommerce and e-services companies. I am sure all of us have bought something or the other over the net and have our own happy experiences as well as horror stories to tell. I am equally certain that each of the companies in question also has its own process for dealing with customer complaints and redress them assiduously. Having said that, here are some of the gems that I have experienced:
1. Where is my gift voucher award? Obviously goes to www.amazon.com. Having bought the Moto 4G from their website on ‘deal’, I am still waiting for the bag of goodies that I was promised, which included some Rs 15,000 worth travel vouchers, Rs 1,000 worth ebooks and so on. The best part is that I have no way of figuring out how to even ask for them? Do I refer my Moto 4G PO or do I write in with my registered ID? The website is deafeningly silent on the same. However, I will persevere. Are you listening Jeff Bezos? Of course, there is the bigger question – Why must I or why must he?
2.The most difficult to buy from award will be received by www.irctc.com. You can’t do online booking from 8 AM to 12 Noon. Their website downtime is quite substantial. There is no return ticket facility in a single booking. They have restrictions on the number of tickets that can be booked in a month. If you want to check the tickets status, you have to remember if you did so on the app or on the desktop version, as the former doesn’t show up in the latter and vice versa. Considering that the government is best foot forward with ‘digital India’ program, this is one website that the ministry would be well advised to reboot, and fast.
3. The black hole award: www.housing.com. I have personally sent several enquiries, across three cities, as have many of my friends. I haven’t got a single response to even one, not one. I have no idea if you send an enquiry and are also supposed to follow up energetically. Irrespective of home or office, the response is very consistent. After all Silence is pretty consistent! I am sure there are people who rent or buy real estate online, but given that it is such a high involvement purchase, some amount of pro-active behavior may not be a bad idea. IMHO, the portal has been more pro-active in the management shenanigans than in doing the business it was founded for. Aroraji, are you listening?
4. The responsible follow-up award: This is a good ‘un. www.makemytrip.com. The peeve is that sometimes their desktop version just doesn’t go beyond ‘make payment’ tab. Just stops. No amount of clicking will goad it into activity. They also have been having some problems with ICICI payment gateway. Having said all this, even if your reservation doesn’t happen, you will get a call and their CSE walks you through the reservation process and completes it. Of the lot, I have personally had the best customer experience in MMT. Niiiiice. But please, can you move beyond the ‘make payment’ page and ensure that your website doesn’t freeze? Also, resolve the gateway issues with ICICI? Pleaaaase?
5. The irresponsible follow-up award: www.cardekho.com. I made a mistake of listing my car in cardekho and boy, was that a mistake. Since then, I have been getting a call EVERY SINGLE day. I mean it. EVERY SINGLE DAY. This is over and above the notifications that they send on mail, which anyway moves to my spam folder I mean, I like people who are concerned about my car, but so concerned? I am now beginning to worry. No I am worried. And the biggest scream here is that you get a call on Monday morning at 10:30 AM, just when your week has just started getting crazy. You are in the middle of a weekly roundup and they call. However, I do admire their perseverance. But, this is just not cricket.
6. The maddening follow-up award: www.policybazar.com. They start their follow ups 3 months before your policy is due (Yes, three months). While that may be admirable, what is certainly not is that you will have three, if not more, executives, who will give you competing quotes for a single policy, from the same set of companies. I am not an expert in insurance policies, but I find it confusing that the same company is offering three different prices for the same product. And each CSE tells you conspiratorially, “sir, we are giving up our commission also’. Why? The most maddening part of the experience is that one month AFTER you have renewed your policy through the site, they still will call you and enquire about your renewal. IRDA, did I hear a WHAAAAAT?
*The author is the Founder and CEO of Trivone Media Network, which owns and operates Techtree.com. All views expressed here are personal and the Editorial of Techtree.com may or may not subscribe to any of it.
The Summer Of 16 Awards – It’s E-Commerce And E-Services This Time
Having reviewed the news websites and apps, we thought of looking up some of the hot favorites this season – in more ways than one!
- Noise announces its new Qualcomm Powered Bluetooth Neckband
- Skullcandy Launches Noise Reduction Earbuds at RS. 7999
- Zebronics launches TWS earphone “Zeb-Sound Bomb”
- HiFuture launches the longest battery true wireless earbuds in India
- Digisol Launches Smart Switch for Smart Cities
- Airtel announces Revised Tariffs for Mobile customers
- Portronics launches iLUMI, an LED lamp with inbuilt Bluetooth Speaker
- Toreto launches its Remix Series of “USB Wall Charger” with Built-in Bluetooth Speaker
- Launching FINGERS LivMusic Wireless Neckband - Live, Breathe and Absorb Music Non-Stop!
- Techno Launches New Smartphone at Rs.8499