Got a burning complaint? Send an email.

This is something I have cracked after filing a series of complaints with various technology service providers and manufacturers. The quickest way to resolve a complaint is to send an e-mail.

For most of us, toll-free numbers and call centres have not really measured up to great customer service. Spending ten minutes navigating a remarkably dense caller menu or listening to brand advertisements at the expense of your own airtime, does not exactly elevate your mood. Then, once the cust. service representative finally comes on line, with tech issues, it's a hit or miss whether he/she can figure it out, resolve it or fix it. Mostly you end up with a complaint number and a vague promise that everything will be fixed 'on priority'

Here are some cases where sending an e-mail actually helped the issue to get sorted out ASAP. And, I spent no time and no money.

1) MTNL : I have a pre-paid broadband and I was trying to re-charge it online. During money transfer from my ICICI Bank Account, the transaction failed to go through. The money had been deducted from my account but not credited by MTNL. I immediately called the Triband helpline and spoke to a clueless woman who made me repeat everything and then asked me, "how can a payment fail if the money has gone through?" How indeed. I wish I knew. My MTNL account was inactive and at zero balance. So I wrote an email on Sunday evening to the MTNL Helpdesk ID providing the relevant account details and asking them to investigate. And then I prayed.

I was pleasantly surprised when Monday morning, I found that a person at MTNL had actually replied to my mail and marked it to the accounts team. Before I reached home from work, my MTNL account was active. Sweet.

2) Tikona : I was in a horrendous situation when I foolishly took a Tikona internet connection and then stewed for 3 months because my apartment did not get the wi-fi signal from their access point. I think that horror story should be the subject of a separate post. Anyway, after months of screaming at customer service and not getting answers, I checked the Tikona website and wrote to both customer service and HR email IDs displayed on the site, describing my problem. Sure enough, within a day, a senior person from Tikona called me and stayed in touch with me till my problem was resolved.

3) Tata Indicom Broadband : If you are a user of this remarkably down-time prone internet service, and want to complain about it, log into your account and search for the 'contact us' link. You should see this page;

The drop down box lets you select a nodal officer for your city. I recommend that you drop him an email and your problem will get attended to.

I suspect that email complaints are documented and therefore get taken more seriously by the team, as they have to show that they have resolved it.

This has worked for me in most cases, and especially with serious problems. True, I miss the pleasure of venting my frustration verbally. On the other hand, I am able to state my problem clearly and obviously its easier for customer service to grasp if it is in writing.

I'm interested in hearing if it has worked for others too.


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