Saturday, July 4, 2015

An Unforgettable Anniversary Gift

[Disclaimer: I always like the disclaimers to be at the beginning, it allows uninterested audience save a couple of minutes. Coming to the actual disclaimer; unlike the title suggests, this post has nothing to do with tags such as #romance, #feel-good, #love. I think this is enough of a spoiler alert and do not wish to reveal full suspense as yet.]
Having been a happy no strings attached “Pay-as-you-go” mobile phone customer all thru, I guess I was bored of having a normal life and made this stupidest decision of splitting the phone cost and going for “Contract”.
I hate playing chess for the sole reason of it being a game where you need to think a thousand permutations and combinations before each move (we were given a chess board to play, me and my friend Mastan invented a really-rapid file chess game called Chess-Carom where you knock off the chess pieces by striking action of caroms. Apologies to chess lovers, if that breaks your kings’ heart :P). Being such a lazy thinker from the beginning, I never thought twice about this decision I made, only to realise ten days later I would be spending a whole Saturday morning writing a repenting article. To add to the misery and make me feel more gutted about, I chose this to be Tin anniversary surprise gift for my wife.
Unlike any other day, I just happened to open the Carphone Warehouse website (the only reason to choose: it is on my way to work and hence I can pick the phone up on my way back home), selected iPhone 6 model (this could probably be another reason why I am in such a pity situation; I do not belong to iSheep community, but thought my not so techie wife would be happy with the quality of pics and really cool Slo-Mo video). Out of all that were in the website Vodafone 24 month contract sounded really good deal and within my budget. All happies, did a check out like I just bought a water filter refill from online store. I knew it would take a day to get the phone and hence ordered it a couple of days in advance just to make sure I have the phone for the anniversary with all the delivery hassles or me being late from work and store closing down, etc.,. Well, the inevitable happened and next day I get a mail stating my online payment was declined and I had to phone in again and redo the payment (Phew! Well thought about! What if I hadn’t booked it a day earlier? Self-appreciation for using my miniscule brain to avoid delays) and ensured with the support guy, the phone should be in store tomorrow for pick-up who doubly reassured “Yes, Mr. Mohammad, your phone will be at store tomorrow evening”. In a few minutes I get a text and email confirming the order and next day pick up in store. (Woo hoo! Well done!!)
The next evening, I started from office just at the stroke of 5 rushed into a flower shop picked up a small bouquet and enquired at the store (after nearly 45 minutes of wait) to find out the order was finalised very late the previous day and hence it did not arrive at the store today. ‘Damn it!’ I thought, gave an unapproved smile to the equally helpless lady at the counter and returned home. Rest of the day just happened to be very normal but I was deeply disappointed although she was so content with the flowers and blessed that I remembered the date.
Unfortunately, the tragedy did not end there, next day I got the phone and I managed to pull off a real surprise with another flower bouquet and this time with the all new iPhone 6. With a lot of excitement, we opened the box, inserted the Vodafone SIM (tadaah!!!) the iPhone started. After a while of flowery circle prompting me to wait patiently, it just displayed “No Service”. I thought I should restart and I did, but still no use. ‘May be we should give it a day to set up the account’, we thought and day finished there.
It has been 10 days since this happened and my wife’s iPhone still shows the same “No Service” message. I would have spent fairly 3-4 hours on call waiting, 1-2 hours of my other phone minutes, 10-15 calls to both Vodafone and Carphone Warehouse to at the least let me know what the issue is. Strange enough but not surprising to someone who has worked on CRM Call Tracking for a while to realise they do not have a clue of what they are up to. When I call, they assure me every time that it would be set up in a day’s or two which never materialised and when the phone gets disconnected I am just an SLA put on hold or customer inputs awaiting or whatever their state model diagram indicates them to push my call to be answered after only god knows (maybe) when.
I thought may be social media should work, like it did when my Sky broadband was down during last Christmas season, tweeted @VodafoneUK @CPWTweets stating my problem. Oh yes! Definitely got the response in a day but it just ensured the problem is back to square one. After exchange of 3 tweets and 3 personal email conversations , the Vodafone representative emails me asking for the contract papers (apparently he could not locate my account in his system). Really? Is your CRM so bad that you dispatched a phone and SIM card and you don’t have trace of it? Or you have no clue what you are doing?

Alas! All I realise at the end of a grilling 10 day period. I am just a speck of dust in the dumping yard named “Customers”. I guess I am still under 14 day trial period and will cancel the contract as the Monday strikes and back to Pay as you go where I can just dump the SIM card if I don’t like the service. A quick note of thanks to Vodafone UK and Carphone Warehouse who made me realise what I am worth for them. 

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