The Shoat Statements

Random musings by the multiple voices inside my head.

Occasionally, government offices pleasantly surprise you. I went to renew my vehicle registration and given past experience, took copies of everything in triplicate. When I arrived at the Divisional Secretariat, there was big bold sign stating that vehicle registration renewals were to be done between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. The time now was 12.15 p.m. I walked in anyway.

A rather crotchety looking lady looked at me from the counter. I told her I had come for renewing the vehicle registration, and I saw her immediately looking at her watch. 'Give the papers,' said she. I put on my dumbest blond smile, and asked for the form. 'What form?', she asked. Apparently, everything was computerised, and one needed to only give the NIC, previous registration and ownership document along with the money.

In less than 10 minutes, I walked out with my renewed registration certificate, followed by a gentleman who was almost as stupefied as I was due to the speedy and simple process we both just went to.

Occasionally, our government offices actually do find ways to improve themselves and provide us with a better service. Lets hope the good work continues.

That was our agency's line for this famously difficult company when we used to do artworks for them (12 changes within 2 hours says a lot). Thus, I never regarded this company too highly, even though I had a Dialog connection for almost 7 years now.

Sometime yesterday afternoon, I found my mobile had been disconnected, with no warning whatsoever (though last November I had received a letter from them stating that my credit limit was being increased and that my number would not be automatically disconnected without adequate warning). I decided not to make a huge fuss about this, and paid my outstanding amount, plus an extra thousad, at Cargills. I asked the cashier about 25 times wheter the reconnection would be immediate, and she assured me it would be. This was at precisely 5 p.m.

By 6.45 p.m., I was still sans a working connection. So I hunted for a landline, found one at my landlady's, and proceeded to call customer service. After being kept on hold for about 15 minutes, I finally got to speak to an agent. I explained that despite making the required payment, my number had not been reconnected for almost two hours. The agent took down all the relevant info, down to the receipt number from Cargills, and put me on hold for another 10 minutes. Here onwards, the conversation went as follows:

Agent: We've registered your complaint, and someone from Billing will look into it. Thank you for calling.

Me: Wait! That doesn't solve my problem. When will you reconnect my phone?

Agent: I'm sory, we haven't received confirmation of payment from Cargills yet. Once we do, it'll be reconnected.

Me: And that would take how long?

Agent: About an hour.

Me: So I have to wait for three hours after making payment to have a phone that works?

Agent: I'm really sorry m'am, but we haven't received confirmation of payment from Cargills yet. Once we do, it'll be reconnected.

Me: That is really between you and Cargills, isn't it? You should have appointed better payment centres.

Agent: I'm really sorry m'am, we haven't received confirmation of payment from Cargills yet. Once we do, it'll be reconnected.

Me: (frothing) AS I SAID, that isn't my problem, and I refuse to be penalised for it. What's your name?

Agent: XYZ

Me: Ok XYZ, I want to speak to your manager.

Agent: But m'am, I've followed all relevant procedure. I'm really sorry m'am, we haven't received confirmation of payment from Cargills yet. Once we do, it'll be reconnected.

Me: If you've done all you can, I want to speak to someone who can do more. Your manager, please.

Agent: But m'am, I've followed all relevant procedure. I'm really sorry m'am, we haven't received confirmation of payment from Cargills yet. Once we do, it'll be reconnected. (I swear, she kept repeating herself, much like a parrot).

Me: In an hour or so, right?

Agent: Yes m'am. You can try in about an hour, and if it still isn't reconnected, you can call me again.

Me: So I have to call you twenty times because your relationship with Cargill isn't perfect? Believe me, if I have to call Dialog again on this issue, some people will be in a lot of trouble, and I'll be starting with your name. An hour you said, for the phone to be reconnected, right?

Agent: In half an hour.

Me: So suddenly an hour became half an hour? (My landlady was rolling on the floor at this point)

Agent: M'am, I'll ask them to expedite it.

Me: Let me get this straight: ten minutes ago, it was Cargill's fault, you couldn't do anything, and it was to take an hour. Now you're going to ask someone to expedite it, and it'll take half an hour.

Agent: Yes m'am. Try again in half an hour, and if it doesn't work, you can call me.

Me: Ok XYZ, but if I have to call again in half an hour, I'm liable to call Nushad instead of your manager, ok? Good bye. (No, I've never even met Nushad in passing).

My phone was reconnected in exactly 20 minutes.

Dialog GSM - Anaganne Adai...

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