Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Convenient Customer service

I am sitting happy two days before I have to fly to Mumbai. Feel lucky to have got one of those cheap tickets in the low cost Air Deccan. While I make big plans of what to do with the money I have saved, I get this call from a cheerful Air Deccan executive.

I attend the call hoping that it's just to confirm my ticket. I couldn't have been more wrong. The non-apologetic female mentions casually to me that the flight I was supposed to take was cancelled due to some technical reasons that she can't reveal. I get mad at her and Air Deccan only to realise after a couple of moments that it's not gonna get me to Mumbai.

An hour later, after calming my racing heart I decide to shell out more dough for a seat in Kingfisher.

My date with ugly lady bad luck was not over yet. I still had to get the refund on the Air Deccan tickets.

Somehow I get this feeling that it's not going to be easy getting a refund from them. Anyways I tell myself to be positive and make the fateful call.

Time is 7PM.

Operator - "Thank you for calling Air Deccan. Your call is being monitored for internal purposes. Press 1 for blah blah, press 2 for rescheduling, blah, press 3 for ticket related queries and refunds...."

I press 3.

Operator - "Press 1 for ticket related queries, Press 2 for refunds...."

I press 2.

Operator - "Sorry, kindly call us back during working days between 9-5 for refunds."

I wait for the next day and call them again at 11AM.

Operator - "Thank you for calling Air Deccan. Your call is being monitored for internal purposes. Press 1 for ..."

I press 3.

Operator - "Press 1 for ticket related queries, Press 2 for refun........."

I press 2 a little impatient.

Next thing I hear is the busy tone. They cut me off!

I thought maybe this was some technical glitch and go through the calling routine once more. Cut off again.

I tried again. Beep Beep. No luck.

Finally I decide to somehow get to an operator and choose an option other than refunds. I explain to him my plight. He was far more apologetic than the person who conveyed the news of the flight cancellation. After exchanging all the information and after listening to their hold music for more than 70 minutes, the call center executive asks me to call again the next day!! And he reminds me to press 4 and not to choose the refunds option!!

I ask him why and he tells me matter-of-factly that since it's a busy day they usually don't take the refund calls!! What he meant was that they would rather try to get money from people rather than return it!

Maybe Air Deccan should change its brand tag from
Air Deccan - No.1 for low air fares
Air Deccan - Cheap by all means

Does low cost mean they can get away with shabby customer service? Have decided never to dirty my hands dealing with Air Deccan again.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

He & She

He - "Hey your page rank is 5 and mine is 0. No fair."

She - Pppppbt!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

IIM Kozhikode has 100% reservation.

Were you surprised/shocked by Mr. Singh's proposal to increase the reservations in IITs/IIMs to 49.5%?

Did you ponder for awhile about what would happen to the quality of students churned out from these institutes if it was allowed?

Did you have long and heated discussions with your friends and family about what was the problem with our system and how we should fix it?

Did you opine that the government should start from the 'grass-root' level?

After all the hungama were you tired of all the noise generated by the media on this topic and wish that someone/something would put an end to it?
I did! But it doesn’t look like we are going to reach anywhere soon.

But while all this was happening under the spotlight of national media, while the movers and shakers of this country were churning out opinions about what should have been done, somebody in a corner of the country had already started turning the wheel very quietly. And now it has gained quite a good momentum too.

I am talking about the Centre of Excellence initiative of IIM Kozhikode. It's been there since 2002 and has been working very successfully with help from Kerala state government. It's an ambitious initiative to help the SC/ST students in the state by imparting specific skills to them and by helping them develop their personalities. Most of them, empowered after this 5 month course, go for higher studies or take up well paying jobs. Now doesn’t that sound a little saner and more practical than just increasing reservation in institutes-that-are-darn-tough-to-get-into?
You might want to read more about this novel initiative by IIM Kozhikode, published by Outlook India here.

Well, one thing to note here is that CeX has a 100% reservation for Dalit and Adivasis from Kerala. Now do I hear someone shouting about how there should be reservation purely on merit?

Saturday, April 15, 2006

He & She

He - "What did you wish for this New Year?"

She - "To live with you happily ever after. And what did you wish for?"

He - "For your wish to come true."

Friday, April 14, 2006

She & She

She - "Granny, me going to my friend Mary's place. Will come back soon."

Granny-she - "Let me tell you one thing. We, Tam-brahms should not make so much friends with Christians. Don't go their house. Listen to me."

She - Dumbfounded.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

He & She

She - "If I ask you to cut your hair really short, would you do it for me?"

He - "Hmmmm......maybe, maybe not!"

She - "Hmmmmmmmmmm. How about a tonsure so that I can caress your bald head."

He - "Sure. But here's another idea. Why don't you just assume that my tummy is my bald head and caress it?"

She - "Boys!"

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

He & She

She - "Do you know that you are a part of me?"

He - "Of course. I'll always be! I love you!"

She - "Hey mister, let's not get into heavy duty stuff. I just meant that He is in She" :)

He - "oh. You and your PJs."