Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Not Just the Fine Print.....

It is not just the fine print I am having a problem with.  The big and the bold, is what I am unable to comprehend. 

We have a Tata Sky connection.  Remember the milkman ad with Aamir Khan?  Where he says the cow does not know the consumer has gone on a vacation.  So you pay for the milk even on the days you are not in town.  And then of course, the ad ends with the promise that Tata Sky gives you a subscription holiday .  You pay only for the days you use.  

The ad was telecast so many times.  It stuck in my mind and when I was indeed going on a vacation, I called up  customer service.  The guy  listened patiently and asked me the days I would be away.  He repeated the dates for me.  He had got it right.  I wanted to be extra sure. I asked him to reconfirm the dates the connection would be temporarily disconnected. He tells me the dates.  ‘But that is only 10 days, and I am going for three weeks’!.  He gave me an explanation.  I really did not understand. Neither did I have the time.

Oh well, I should have known, I must have been too busy watching Aamir Khan.  I must have missed something.  I just let it pass.  Till yesterday.  While I was back talking to customer service again. 

I had received an alert.  The annoying yellow envelope that pops up on the TV screen.  Subscription due.  But it also said – Receive a Rs 15/- bonus when you recharge on time.  Anyway, I thought why leave it to the last day, I might just forget, and so I got online and recharged the account. And immediately receive an SMS.  Account recharged. NO BONUS

The Rs 15/- was hardly an issue.  But the caps stating NO BONUS, was rankling.

It was night, and so I shot off a mail.  The call came early the next day.  Ma’am – you renewed last month on the 28th of June at 9.25 pm.  This month you renewed again on the 28th at 8.50 pm.  So I said, ‘Yes, 3 days before the due date!  Why no Bonus

It appears that the Bonus is applicable only once in 30 days and I had recharged half hour too early!! 
That was just too much for me to digest.  I must have sounded exasperated.  The girl on the line asked me to hold on so that she could speak to her superior.  She came back and said that the bonus would be credited to the account.

My daughter, to whom I narrated the story, said Good Show, Ma!   After all she has never ever seen me bargaining at the market. I  always end up paying more than the others, and here I was leaving no stone unturned to get that silly Bonus!                                                                                                                 

I reckon if big companies with celebrity endorsements want me to part with my money, they will have to work a little harder.  After all  *Conditions Apply.  


  1. Aaah.. this is not an unusual story.Who has ever done anything they promised? It is all in the ad..and nothing else.But then if they dont deliver what they promise,one can go to the consumer protection.

  2. Good. You saved Rs 15. That means you can buy a candy worth Rs 15. Happy eating and viewing. :)

  3. @Nona - I worked out the mathematics. They are not giving anything free. You end up paying more. So no candy!

  4. Why small prints, why deceptions,why celebrity ads when the celebrities would never stoop to use such products, why misleading claims of superior quality,why tricky ads giving comfort of a better interest rates in different formats when all products command the same rate, why big container for smaller content inside?The list is endless.Caveat emptor,buyer beware is the guiding principle unless you are willing to haul them up before consumer courts.
    Nice read, Radha

  5. I like that you were proactive. So many just let it go.
    We purchased our dining table with a protection gaurantee. When I called them about a few discolorations, they asked me how old the stains was. Not once but in a roundabout way she got me to say that the problem was a few months old. Guess what? I was supposed to call them within five days of finiding the prolem! It was written on the warrenty card but I never saw it.

  6. I think each one of us would have similar experiences with every other company. They very well use "* Conditions Apply"

  7. See this is how the big companies make money.. Nothing happen automatically you have to ask for it.

    See we tend to forget to ask and they get away with it :)

    they will do anything to lure people, since i use to call india all the time I had this aircel or tel something fone card which promised cheaper calls to india, so i bought and i can tell you all the money went waste on talking to the customer services only , hardly made one or two calls ...

    always a good thing to ask..


  8. Until we buy the product, they will be polite. After the product is sold, their true colour comes out. My son had a long argument with TATA Sky for the same Rs.15, last month and he got it! Once they announce the bonus, they should not try to cheat, he says!

    I am happy for you, Radha! You need lot of patience to go through these cheaters!

  9. @Dr A, @KP - For 15/- it is not worth it - going to the Consumer Court. Right?

    @Desisoccer Mom - I know, the amount was small, but I thought if even I don't get the Bonus, I should atleast get my view across.

    @ Rajesh - All of us have this experience some time or the other.

    @ Bikramjit - No harm asking, right? Time they knew there are people who do not want to be taken for a ride.

    @Sandhya - glad your son did not give up either. At least two success stories!

  10. Well done! Glad you didn't give up!

    It seems that companies are always out to loot the customer these days...

  11. You did right..even I fight for these things, because its not the amount but their words.

  12. @Renu - I think we should. Though sometimes the amount is not worth the time and effort. Atleast to get the point across.
    @Indian Bazaar - Thank you :-)

  13. Oh God. Dealing with these things can be so frustrating. Just recently my husband purchased coupons online which gives you some 15% discount at a big hotel. The system is that on purchasing, an sms will reach you with a number that you show at the hotel. Well guess what-the sms did not show up!! We called the helpline and the guy said it must have reached - as if we do not know when an sms does not reach! After much yelling and shouting, we had no option but to log into the online account and take a print out.


Would love to know what you have to say:

Related Posts with Thumbnails