Service? What’s That?

Huh! It’s raining again. There’s no telling about the weather in Bangalore, I can assure you. Today, after one full week of heavy, grey skies every day, we woke to a bright, clear sky and warm, welcome sunshine. The few puffy white clouds on the horizon didn’t look like trouble. But it’s just after 2 p.m. and it’s raining already.

Before I could finish complaining about it, it’s stopped and the sun is shining again, but I don’t trust it any more, fickle creature that it is.

Spent the morning doing mundane things like picking up my bike from the service centre and giving my phone for repair. The blasted thing has stopped vibrating. Do you know how awkward it is, to walk into a crowded service centre (sorry, Care Center, I should say) and say out loud, “My vibrator isn’t working.” Luckily, if you say it nonchalantly enough, in Bangalore, not too many heads will turn. Phew.

Service centres suck in virtually every field that I’ve had reason to test them out. Maybe it’s the price you pay for a population that crossed a billion several years ago (and shows no signs of slowing down); maybe it’s the price you pay for having won over a large percentage of the market to your particular brand of whatever; maybe it’s just chronic Indian inefficiency, but for whatever reason, after sales service sucks. Big time.

The Honda guys, who usually only make me wait half an hour to 45 minutes to pick up my bike, outdid themselves by losing my Job Card and taking half an hour just to find it. Then, they took equally long to find the bike. Then, they claimed to take it for a “test ride” and two guys (two? why do two guys need to test it?) got on and drove off and after 15 minutes, only one returned – doesn’t take a genius to see that that test drive doubled over as a drop-off service.

The Nokia Care Center was worse. I reached a little after 11 and there was a list of 40-odd people ahead of me. I added my name to the growing list and was told (by another irate customer) that they had only “processed” 15 customers in the last two hours, so I calculated on a four-hour wait. “Luckily” I was called after a mere two hours. I noticed that it was not that the people were either lax or chaotic in their work. They worked patiently and systematically enough and miraculously there were no raised voices or fisticuffs. What I don’t understand is why they don’t speed up the process – I could think of ways too boring to describe here – and at the very least, document by the use of decent signages, what the process is.

Thank goodness I’m unemployed – it would have caused me major angst to waste two good hours on a working day or, worse still, on a Saturday sitting in a large, crowded hall on extremely uncomfortable moulded plastic chairs in which my feet don’t reach the ground. (As an aside, I wish chair designers would realise how short many Indian women are and start designing chairs that might occasionally not result in deep vein thrombosis after a couple of hours.)

At least everything got done and I got home before the brief spell of rain.

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