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Wednesday, November 15, 2006
New phone connection from Hutch Shop in Ansal Plaza, New Delhi
First, let me be very clear. The purpose of this post is to hit back, however small the offence may be.

I do not like being promised stuff (especially when I was not very keen on it) and then not being given it when I was supposed to get it.

Okay, starting from the beginning...

I just moved from Mumbai to Delhi. Okay, not JUST. That was 2 months back, and my natural laziness and a bit of diffidence with my Hindi kept me from locating the nearest Hutch shop and getting a new Delhi number for my phone. So, for two months, Hutch definitely made a lot of money - 4 times my normal phone bill - from my two mobile phones. Stupid of me, I know.

Anyway I decided enough was enough and went to the Hutch Shop in Ansal Plaza. This was my second trip every to Ansal Plaza - and as a Mumbaikar used to small cramped spaces, Ansal Plaza looked massive to me. I like massive :-)

Open the door, and a 50-year old man smiled at me and asked me what I wanted to do. Told him about the number change, and he issued me a token. Then, I paced for a full 20 minutes in the shop since there was no place to sit. Tried my Hindi on the man again with a smile, and he looked quite happy in response. If not my Hindi, at least my smile is working.

So finally I was called to a counter. Sumit Sethi was a young fellow - aren't they all young? - and he told me to take a seat and said "Sorry about keeping you waiting, Mr Mathew". Or did he say "Thank you for waiting, Mr Mathew"? Anyway, he probably alternated between those two for the next 30 minutes.

Why 30 minutes? It was not his fault, definitely. All I had to do really was to get my existing account's Mumbai address changed to a new address in Delhi, deactivate my Mumbai phone numbers, and issue a Delhi phone number. Seems this is not so easy, despite the high tech systems they all use.

The Delhi Hutch shop can't deactivate my Mumbai number. They can't change my Mumbai address to a delhi address either. What they can do is to give me a new account, and even that involves filling out forms, pasting photos, getting xeroxes of my lease agreement and PAN card, and issuing a new number. Poor man, Sumit Sethi did all that, interspersed with a lot of "Thank you"s and "Sorry"s and "just one more minute"s. Even I tried casually chatting with him in the middle, all he could do was give me a casual but harried smile. Probably instructed by his bosses at Hutch to present the bland and friendly Hutch face to all customers. Why not have a computer instead, if that's the way someone has to talk? Behind me, the Hutch man at the Hindi counter welcomed someone with "intezaar karne ke liye dhanyavaad". It sounds stranger in Hindi.

Thing is, the entire process could have been accomplished by the customer himself online. Hutch already has my photo, they just need to copy it for the use of the Delhi office. There should just be a button on their website requesting change of address and new phone number, and then they could just send someone over to the customer's house to verify that he has in fact moved here and collect documents then if necessary. Instead, now the customer goes to the Hutch shop, hands over the documents, signs here and there, the executive spends time filling out the forms.. Man, its just 5 minutes online work otherwise. The way it is now, it takes Hutch 30 mins. And they still have to send someone over to your house to verify the address!

But Sumit Saab, I don't like one thing. You promised me that my numbers woyuld be activated in 4 hours max. It is 14 now, and they are still not registered or activated. I called up Hutch call center numbers at 4 hours and 14 hours, and they tell me it could take 24 hours max. Why oh why did you give me the wrong information? You are a great employee I am sure, but you could have easily avoided this bit. I didn't even want it in a hurry, but once a promise is made, it should be done, right?

So there. Hutch, make it all an online process, at least computerise it, so we all save a lot of time and a lot of Thank Yous and Sorrys. Why make something so simple such a pain?
posted by a correspondent @ 7:54 PM    
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