Strong words! I agree. If anyone else had gone through my experience, they would have used Foul Words. That way I am at least decent enough!
Now to my complaint.
Date : 3rd May 2010
Location : Vikhroli, Mumbai
Purchaser - Me :-(
Sellers: Brand - Tata Indicom.
Sellers : Dealers (so called!) - Vriti Infocom / Vriti Interactive / Vriti Marketing (I still haven't figured out their right name...not just me! Even Tata Indicom Gallery at Ghatkopar West is not aware...neither do their call centre, nor their Marketing Department who come up with this offers! WOW. Amazing, isn't it...Just wait to read the rest. You will fall off the chair. I guarantee!
Sales Person's Name : Nikesh Kumbhar, Phone - [protected].
Product - Tata Photon+ Wireless Modem
Method - (a) Online confirmation (response to the email sent to me by Tata Indicom by one another marketing partner - Petronia.com), (b) TeleSales person calling me to confirm visit by a sales person, (c) sales person visiting me personally.
Offer - FREE 2N/3D Holiday to Goa (* Offer brought to you by Vriti Infocom, an online partner of Tata Teleservices)
Speed Thrills, but it also Kills - how many of you have read this? I went for Speed! Just then the Nightmare had just begun. Read on...
The sales person visited me and collected all the documents, filled in the Customer Application Form (CAF No.Sr.No.MHMUM-[protected]) on the 3rd May. I wanted immediate connectivity. He promised instant connectivity. I also enquired about the Goa Promotional Offer. He was not aware. He made some queries with his colleagues (he didn't even know the marketing promotions going on?!!!) and then said I will receive a call. I did get a call from one Tata Indicom sales person in Noida! (Gets interesting!) and confirms me the goa Offer. I ask the terms and conditions, knowing well the hidden terms we all are used to under one simple "Conditions Apply!". He did NOT share the same. I asked his how is this applicable. He says "I will email you the hotels where this is applicable in Goa. You will get a coupon confirming the same after you purchase. It is valid for one year from the date of purchase."
I then tell him that since it is from TATA (among the Most Trusted Brands? sigh...not for me anymore!), I will agree to purchase, since i believe it will be as he promised. He said "No other details. it is a simple holiday offer!"
I asked the mode of payment to the sales person who is in front of me. He says "with Cash, you get instant connectivity, with cheque you have to wait for 3 days". Since i didn't have enough cash and I need the connection urgently, i take him to the ATM, withdraw cash and handover to him. I ask for a cash receipt. He says, the CAF itself is a receipt. But no mention of the amount anywhere!!!(What accounting systems do TATA have...believe me, dig in deep, we might unearth a larger SCAM! I don't have time though! Have better things in life to do...)
The CAF does not contain the dealer stamp...nor their name.
He hands me the Modem. I ask if I have to sign somewhere..to acknowledge I have received the same. he gives me a "ahemmmmm...who cares" look! Interesting, I say!
I come back and open my email - I find the Goa Offer Coupon. If I had the guys in front of me, I would have done something unthinkable. The Offer has so many "Terms and Conditions" that a sane person will not even attempt to avail the offer. I am FRUSTRATED and TIRED! Where did these terms and conditions appear suddenly?
How can TATA promote an offer online without mentioning the terms and conditions in public! Isn't it unethical? (Is TATA really known for ethics...come on!). Isn't it ILLEGAL to sell something and then later display/communicate the terms and conditions...it is LICENCE RAJ still? See the Links below and try it yourself. I have for Consumer Case/Claims reasons copied, saved the Printscreen images...lest TATA add the terms and conditions later and claim it was there earlier!
(There are no promotional brochures; the Sales person is ignorant of it; The Marketing Call Centre doesn't know about their own promotion; Support Call centre doesn't deal with Promotional offers...claim ignorance! What's Happening here...is this a company or a Baniya operation?)
Now the real trauma...it is 3 hours now since I bought the Modem. I happily take my Laptop, install the Modem driver and then start activation. The modem is still not activated. (Mind you, Promise was 1 hour...it is 3 hours. Someone said sometime back during the Nano Launch...A Promise is a Promise...Do we know their Promise Kept %ages?)
I call the sales person(Nikesh) back. he says "Call this number Activation Dept. No one picks up.
I call the sales person again...he says Speak to my Boss. Dinesh Sharma ([protected]). Turns out is is one Pankaj and not Dinesh. He is travelling by train. Says he will speak in the morning. DAMN IT! I wanted the connection NOW and paid for it!
I call the sales person back. He is not picking.
I call the Call centre [protected]) and an amazingly annoying ad (looped up) is on play. No Help.
I call the Sales person again. He has switched the phone off...It is 11.15 in the night by now!
I curse the entire TATA family and go to sleep expecting a better day next.
Next day Morning - 4th May 2010.
I call the sales person back. He does not pick my calls.
I call Pankaj - he picks up gives me one number of one Mr.Pawan in Noida. "He is the Boss and he will help solving your complaint".
The Number is wrong. I call back Pankaj. He does not pick.
I SMS him back that the number is wrong - No Response.
I call the Call centre - The lady at the other end (Manisha, by name) confirms she has not received my CAF and hence activation is still pending. I am FURIOUS. I ask her about the Goa Offer. Support Call centre doesn't deal with Promotional offers...claim ignorance!
I next call the Marketing Call Centre ([protected]). They are not aware of the offer. The Call centre assistant (Yogita, by name) is adamant there are no such schemes live! (Is Tata SCHEMING?) Blasphemous isn't it...Promotions run by the company is not know to them!
Then I write a complaint to the Nodal Officer through their online complaints. I get a reply stating my complaint is accepted and they will respond within 24 hours. The state of mind I am in now, I don't have 24Hours! I call them straight away. Suguna Shetty on 022-[protected]. I speak to one Khalid (pretty helpful) and he says he will get back to me within evening. It is 4.30 in the evening now. Day 2. Still no news on Activation. Neither clarification on the offer.
I call everyone back again. No success. I give up. Now I DON'T WANT THE TATA PHOTON/GOA OFFER and anything to do with TATA henceforth.
Day 3 - 5th May 2010.
I call the call centre. "We have not yet received the CAF sir. So we cannot tell you about the activation timelines. You can visit the nearest TATA Indicom Gallery and check for yourself.
I resolve to FIGHT.
I stop all my work. I take an auto to TATA Indicom Gallery at Ghatkopar West. Reach there at 12.10pm.
Meet Shiney in their Consumer Grievances cell.
I explain the whole episode and demand my cash back. Want to return the whole box.
The most frustrating (and smirking with joy in some way...I told you so!) thing is that Shiney tried contacting Nikesh and gets a cold shoulder. She is furious and calls his boss, Pankaj. He disconnects. She is now feeling 1% of my pain...
I show her the umpteen calls I have made - the numbers, the timings, the names...she is empathetic and tried helping me. But she does not get any support inside. TATA indicom team does not know who this VRITI INFOCOM is! neither about the Offer! I told you earlier...this is only re-confirming the same...
She calls Nikesh back. He picks up and she asks him why he is not responding to me. He has no answer. She asks him why the line was not activated...an Insta-photon connection! he says some problem...not able to coherently explain. She calls Pankaj. Pankaj gives a Noida number. Noida guy by now(One Mr.Ankit calls me on my phone at 2.05 pm and says "Sir. your modem has been activated. Can you check". I say I don't want the connection and give the phone to Shiney. She confirms and he disconnects).
But no clear way forward. She lets me know I can get the cash back in 7 days...What the Hell...I think. For sales they knock a hundred times..post sales, they dont even acknowledge and now 7 days to retun the cash! These guys must be crazy.
I force her to speak to Suguna and get a solution. Suguna confirms it will take 48 hours to let me know anything next...I CURSE that the whole TATA goes down the drain. I tell them I will file a cheating/harassment/mis-representing/illegal trade practice complaint and go to the consumer courts...
To the TATA management : Pay me my money plus little damages...immediately. I have been harassed enough. ELSE will have to go to the consumer court.
Additionally, if you were such ETHICAL people as you portray (I don't believe so, anyway neither does it matter), you should SACK Vriti interactive and your Product Managers for such irresponsible marketing!
NDTV - Please look into such harassments. Do some TEHELKA type sting operations. You will get more from these than you can ever dream off! You will make this nation a better place to live in. Under the guise of the Great TATA, these are SCAMS operated...cheating innocent public. Imagine, I had the access to education, internet, and knowledge on what to do in such situations...what about the common public? Why does such companies like TATA CHEAT?
I will wait till tomorrow afternoon (6th May 2010. 12.00noon. If I don't get an answer from TATA, I will go ahead with my formalities starting with a formal complaint through registered post! I have enough and more proof).
Complaint for misrepresenting / Illegal trade Practices - TATA and Vriti Interactive
Complaint for Cheating - TATA, Nikesh and Vriti Interactive
Pardon my long mail.
Mahadevan N V