Monday, May 12, 2008

Is Reliance stupid?

While I was in India, I was using a Reliance mobile phone. As opposed to the US, in India we have the prepaid cards so once the money runs out, you no longer can initiate phone calls. In some cases, you no longer can receive phone calls either. Another thing to note is, each of these prepaid phones have what they call validity and talk time. Validity meaning they will not give away your phone number to someone else as long as it is valid and you have made the payment for its validity. The validity period could be anywhere from a few months to lifetime depending upon the amount of money you paid for it.

Since the phone I was using also had a prepaid account, every so often I had to add the money to the account as I ran out of funds. So as usual, this once I had a cousin of mine go to local Reliance office and add Rs. 200 to the account so that I can continue to use the phone. Little did I realize and know that the amount will be one rupee too short.

In general, with Reliance after the money is added to the account, the phone is sent two text messages - first one stating that you are trying to add talk time to your account and the second one saying the amount has been credited to the account so now your talk time has been increased by that new (increased) amount minus some taxes.
Now after the payment of Rs. 200 was made to the personnel at their office, I got the first text message saying you are trying to add the money. Fine. I waited for the second text message but it never did come through. I thought may be since I was traveling right after the amount was added or the phone could have been on roaming or whatsoever reason may be... but it was taking longer to come through. Guess what! the money never made it to my account. Why? Because Reliance has this stupid rule, if the amount you give is Rs. 200 then they add it towards the validity of the account vs. Rs. 201 would be added as a talk time. This I found out after more than 24 hours of charging the account and by that time they said it was too late to reverse the transaction. Moreover, I was no longer in the city where the account was charged so it became increasingly difficult to get any of my money back. Also, my cousin who helped me charge the account was no longer available to visit the same office again to reverse the transaction. They had not even given a receipt for the transaction so how can you even show a proof that you just gave money at that office? Headache!

Irony is, the phone I was using had a lifetime of validity and those idiots don't have a computer system that shows what services the account already has to add yet another Rs. 200 to the account towards its validity. To make the long story short and on with the rant, the whole thing was a mess and I lost my Rs. 200.

My question is, why would Reliance do something like this? How stupid is it to assume that if it is an even numbered amount it must be applied towards the validity and an odd numbered amount towards talk time? I thought Reliance guys were better. So much advancement yet so little common sense. Why is it so hard to do simple little things? Why do they make it so hard? Even though you are ready to pay, you do not get the service. I found it very frustrating. I am still ticked off at quite a few things about this whole experience I had, but may be I am overreacting... I don't know. I still don't understand this ridiculous rule of Reliance. Can someone please explain?


Nemo said...

I had a similar experience - of losing money, but I don't remember what happened exactly. The service is poor and they don't care sometimes. So your complaints often go on deaf ears. :(

Jaydip Mehta said...

Reliance services are truly bad. Though I have never experienced it but I had came across many people who has experienced it.
No idea about how they decide rules. But that is the case with all services providers. If you do 221 rupee recharge, you will get full talk time. If you do other than 221, tax will be deducted!

To be on safer side, state your expectations and end results twice to them before recharging. Honestly speaking, reliance is not in fault at least here.

chinmai said...

hey i guess that was purely front end persons problem .. he/she must be a fraud.. other wise he.she should handed u the receipt of payment .. reliance has best in class technology but the problem wid them is they ve very bad front end ppl.. and at times wid wrong schemes

Kumar Ahir said...

don't know why but Indian post sell services have always been worst.

Stupidosaur said...

I think you should thank Reliance instead of going all short circuit.

Look at this way:
First you had a lifetime validity.
The company must have been expecting that they would have to serve you for another 70-80 years at max (that is if their own stupid company survives for that long).

But now, they have added even more validity to your connection. Your life expectancy has gone up girl!

Long live Kanan!

Kanan said...

Prajakta, right you are. I wish they did something about the poor service though. May be increase the salaries of those representatives or give them rewards for outstanding customer service at the end of each fiscal year.

Jaydip, I wish I knew about this rule before the account was charged. The information is there, but not easily available for those seeking it.

Chinmai, true, but doesn't that front end have anything to do with actual Reliance? How can that be possible? Those are the employees making an impression to aam junta about what Reliance is and if they are this bad, I'd say Reliance better be ready to face some bad news. What good is it to have an excellent product but no good sales or marketing guys? This is where they can make their product look good or bad, regardless of how the product actually is. I am not sure whether these offices are Reliance employed or not but I think they should seriously do something about it because it's just showing them in bad light.

Kumar, why is that? any ideas?

Stupidosaur, thanks! :D "their own stupid company" brought a huge smile.

All, don't get me wrong guys, I think Reliance is doing excellent in these recent years and can go a long way, if they really want to. But having poor representation of the product and unhappy customers is not going to get them anywhere further. It is the reputation that they make over the years that would keep them up and ahead of everyone, if they want to keep up with this rapidly growing market. I'm just disappointed that they are ignorant about such crucial issues.