Hey… I know, I know, my next post is supposed to be about the car… but I am going to postpone it… AGAIN.
My parents have always been careful with money, just like any parents of their generation. They try to extract a deal where ever possible… saving a rupee, driving a bargain. My parents, specially my dad, always asked for a discount. Sometimes it was embarrassing and we would tell dad ; “What are you doing? Nobody will give a discount HERE”. This is something I have picked up. If you don’t ask, you shall never receive. It works more often that not. Its not just about money, even when it comes to service. Service levels in India are definitely better than in USA (from what my sis tells me) and is getting better by the day. I think a local outlet is much better at this than a MNC. MNCs/Indian companies are too stuck in their systems and processes to focus on customer. The processes are for their benefit and not for the customer. This is not just for customers but even employees. I feel like all rules are for the benefit for the one driving them and not for an employees’ convenience. 3 years back when I had joined my company, I was shocked to see there was no parking. There was limited parking which was given to the higher management. This is true for most companies but in my previous organization there was an alternate arrangement. I had called the admin guy in the HO and told him my problem. His reply; “Thats the way it is”…
Me: But… but… where do I park my car?
Him: Not my problem
Me: How am I supposed to come to office?
Him: Not my problem
Not kidding. I parked in the nearby mall and paid 100 bucks per day. I also spent lesser time in office- 5 days in a month.
But, I am digressing.
Here are a few instances where in tough dealing got me a good deal- monetary and non monetary:
- So, I bought a Honda Brio. It struck 1000 km mark last night and I have to get it serviced. On calling the workshop I was told charges for pick up and drop service are 150 bucks. Menial amount except I have never paid for this service at Maruti. Yes, the workshop is behind my office… yet… I called another workshop which has mentioned on their website that they give this service free. Guess what? I was told the same charges. Bugged and determined to get it free, I mentioned the website.
The lady on the phone said- I need to ask the manager. Why don’t you give me your address till then?
Me- Nope… first confirm its free and then I will give any further details.
Her- But we charge for it
Me- Then why does it say “free” on the website. I wont pay for it
(Calls back in 5 mins)
Her- Ok, we will not charge
- In 2009, all the employees were given Bose Wave Player as gifts for meeting sales targets. BWP is basically a portal CD/Ipod/FM player. Its an ok device… not something I would spend money on. Many employees sold it off but I kept it as memento.. after all, it is Bose. I can count the no of times I have played it. Problem is it plays only original CDs and I do not believe in paying for something I can get free online. Anyway, during the shifting the remote was misplaced. KC and I searched… and searched… and then gave up. At the showroom, I was asked to contact customer care to buy a new remote. The spares are not sold in shops. I found that convenient… after making the payment I waited to receive the delivery. 2 days later, Bose called to tell me my IP address does not “match” and so payment will not go through. I called the credit card company… they said Bose has not claimed for it and so payment has not been done. I cancelled the transaction and paid from a different credit card. Same problem happened. I may not be a technical genius but I get by. I have never heard of “IP address not matching”. I told Bose guys the same thing. The problem is at their end… I just want the damned remote. The guy on the phone was very condescending.
Me: I just want the remote soon… I don’t have time to waste. There is no such thing as IP address matching while making an online payment
- There is a popular market near my house. Getting a parking is a big problem in the evenings. Sometimes I have to take 2 rounds to find some space. A lot of times, people park on the road even though there is space. Basically, they do park in the space and block it off for anyone else. Its a pain… also, arrogant (people here are filled with that emotion) and insensitive. I am ok with drivers doing that ‘coz they are in the car and will move whenever you ask them to. But a lot of people park and leave. I came across the same thing today. Thankfully, the guy was in the car itself but my honking did not have any effect. I rolled down the windows and asked him to move the damn car.
Him: I have parked
- I used to shop in Spencers… they have the whole range and take Sodexo vouchers. But twice they billed me incorrectly and now I prefer the local outlet across the road. On confronting the cashier, he offered me a credit note. Unbelievable… first they over charge and then refuse to return my money
Me: I want my money back