Sunday, 27 November 2016

Customer Care (?!)

Customer Care - The Reality

In India, as in other countries, consumer goods companies have a customer care department. However, the purpose of such departments is never really fulfilled. 

The issues as I see it, in India, are:

  • The technicians who visit are not very well trained. They only know what is in "the manual", whatever that might be. If a problem matches something that they have been trained to handle, then that is a good thing for the customer - the problem gets solved. However, if the problem is not in the technicians' manual, then the customer is in for a very frustrating time.
  • To add to the above bullet, it is a rare situation when the technician actually wants to solve your problem, rather than getting his case closed and brownie points earned.
  • The managers in the customer care divisions are not always inclined towards solving the customers' problems. They usually start focusing on getting the customer out of their way. One needs to escalate the issue to at least 3 or 4 levels until someone in a position of authority gets them to listen to you - properly.
  • The manufacturers, themselves, want to push through their goods and then disown all responsibility when the hapless customer runs into issues.

 Given the attitude of Indians to take everything in stride, these companies have a field time. Those Indians who choose to fight, have to go to consumer court. Going to consumer court needs three qualities:
  • A firm and unwavering, almost manic desire to stand up for your rights and win what will be a long battle
  • Patience and more patience
  • And more patience
Let me take you through my story. Hopefully there will be something inspiring in here - which will enable you to look these people in the eye and claim what is rightfully yours.

Meanwhile, look up : - this is where you can get year-wise details of different cases that have been fought in the consumer court and the judgements passed. 


We wanted a refrigerator. A nice, big one with a lot of space, where we could put a whole load of stuff. We were willing to pay for it. Having saved up for this, we went to Girias, a vendor of electronic/electrical goods like refrigerators, TVs, and the like, and bought an LG refrigerator, a huge one.

A few months passed. And one day we found a crack at the bottom of the refrigerator interior - just where the vegetable basket boundary ends and over which the door closes. We were, not surprisingly, annoyed, agonized, and shaken. 

This led to a flurry of phone calls, to Girias, and not surprisingly, they either did not respond or, in just one case, told us to approach the manufacturer - LG.

The Travails Begin

The LG customer service logged a ticket, and sent over a "technician".