express yourselves you Moron !!!

The world is so dreadfully managed, one hardly knows to whom to complain.

~Ronald Firbank
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A friend of mine was a frequent user of a popular telephone network,and was running a telephone booth with coin call phone machines and was greatly inconvenienced when the phone went out of order.

Repeated requests for repair brought only promises.

After several days, the phone company was again contacted and told that there was no longer a rush.The phone was now working fine, except that all money was being returned upon completion of each call.

A repairman arrived within the hour!

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The official website of Airtel ( a leading cellular service provider in India)says..

The vision for Bharti's mobile business is “To be globally admired for telecom services that delight customers.”......

Let me begin out of my delight which has led me to admire the brand and their services that has made me finally accept that there are situations where the patience (that mothers taught us) pays...

I have an Airtel Mobile connection...So what?... Many of us have right.. the RED and WHITE logos and colours sojourn in our mind the moment we hear Airtel ..the mind soothing rendering by the Maestro A R Rahman( a leading play back and cinema music director and a youth icon) sends us to a sort of ecstasy.......very powerful communication indeed...

Now the little master ( I wonder why people still call him little ????..) is the brand ambassador among others... and Airtel claims through them that "Your world of communication just got simpler"....

Now back to my Airtel connection.... Last week I recharge it for a mere 50 rupees(rs)... and still find myself in the predicament of being unable to make any calls....

Call 121 ....said a friend....customer care...

All lines are busy....claims some inconsiderate female voice...

Message to *123# ..says another friend... you will get to know the balance..

Done....Your balance is -19.35 rs..says the message... you read it right...Minus 19.35 rs.....

Minus ...? I fume.... How come????.. I just recharged for 50..I should at least get 30 rs talk time...

Talk to customer care....again someone recommends..

121..123..9895198951....many numbers ..all the permutations and combinations...the customer care wouldn't care...

Some even give recorded answers that reminds me of Glasbergen cartoons..

If you want to press1, press 3
If you want to press 3 press 4.....

10 hours now since I got that -19 shock...still I am simply not able to find out where MY MONEY has gone....

Unable to talk to some one who can give me an answer, I got vexed and cross over the apathy with which my long term CSP is treating me..

Unable to sleep for want of a reason as to why this day light robbery occurred, Unsympathetic human voices which asked me and guided me for everything which I did not want ....

Morning I gather some nerve, pray that something happened today and venture to call 121..123.... and all those host of numbers...

At last a human voice..not the same old ghastly record... a real human voice...I flashed a smile ...
but it didn't last long..

Sorry sir... You have a pre paid connection ..we here deal only with post paid... WE offer various value added services to our esteemed customers..would you like to know more about...?...

Stop that holy shit... I thunder as I exude my anger throwing my poor unsuspecting mobile handset..

no use...... I fume and smolder at office when one more attempt to talk to a dealer turned out to be another futile exercise.....

They would have subscribed you to some "value added services" like miss call alerts..says one colleague..

But how...? the Idiot in me is still wondering.. they never asked me...

The guys around me laugh... Why should they ask you...?

I know some one at Airtel...offering help ,another colleague appears...
He is into HR but a big guy..should be able to help us.....

The HR guy sounded reticent and often withdrawn...He didn't offer any promise but I felt relieved having able to tell my problem... vent the agony and fire to some one at Airtel...

Nothing happens.... I call the HR man again, this time sounding apologetic for disturbing him .....

No problem he says... and gives another number.... He is my friend...He is into Customer relations... call him he will help you..The HR guy assured..

Hello.. I call the customer care guy ,this time some one with face and a name....

After hearing to me, lending his ears to this exasperated customer with smooth " aha's", "Oh thats bad's" and "thats not fair's" which led me to believe that finally my persistence is paying...

Give me some time ..Finally he says... I will get back to you...

He did not.. No prizes for guessing it ..eh.. I had to call him after some 5 hours...

Oh ....my.. my... he enacts a drama.... I was into so many things you know... so sorry... but you can do one thing...You can call this lady and tell her my reference..she for sure is gonna help you out...

There I am explaining the whole -19 story to this beautiful lady ( how do I know..?..well in this trauma called life, such guesses do keep us going ....right?...)

She too is too compassionate to listen my heartrending tale to its inconclusive end after which she says...

Oh it is a prepaid connection... right?...

Yes.. I mutter

Sorry sir..I deal only with Airtel landline customer complaints... For Prepaid customer care I guess you will have to call 121....

Ohhhh..I heave a sigh as slowly the reality started sinking into my senses....

The -19 effect is only for me.. not for Airtel....no one bothers there...

I think I have 'learned to accept in silence... the minor aggravations, cultivate the gift of taciturnity, and consume my own smoke with an extra draft of hard work, so that those about you may not be annoyed with the dust and soot of my complaints'.

I cursed David Ogilvy for telling me and making me believe that marketers have actually started believing that the customer is not a moron, he is your wife.

I cursed Philip Kotler for the theory of customer centric organisations and marketing practices that he propagated through the text books....

I wonder whether some body from Rediffusion.... (Airtel's ad agency) is reading this.....?

And if yes would still be saying the same old things through the advertisements that they make for Airtel.....

One last time.... I went to Airtel website.... it says..

Express yourself...( that is their motto)

Is it just a coincidence..?

Or is it a cruel joke?