More/Zopnow Cash Fiasco

On a recent trip to More Hypermarket, I figured that they have an online shopping option too. I decided to give it a try and ordered some grocery. I paid online, as I usually do. Because scrambling for cash at the time of delivery is usually bad enough. And in these times of demonetisation, one doesn’t even want to think of it.

Now, as it turns out, More’s online delivery partner is Zopnow. When they came to deliver the product I was asked for pay Rs. 26/- in cash. I didn’t have anything other than a 2000 Rs. note on me. I had paid online precisely to avoid this. They won’t let me pay later, or pay online. If I didn’t pay the cash, the delivery will not be done.

I complained about it online and they sent me an explanation that the in-store price had changed. And I hadn’t been made to pay extra.

Sure, but I had something to tell them. And since the mail had come from an email id that didn’t accept the e-mails back, it has to go public. Here is the mail I sent them (which bounced).

When somebody has chosen to pay online in advance, not being ready to deliver the product because of your backend problems is outrageous. It isn’t about 26 Rs. so much, but consider this.

  • I didn’t know I had to pay cash (because in my mind I had paid online).
  • I didn’t have the cash on me (because in my mind I had paid online and hence did not need to pay for it).
  • When I asked to be allowed to pay online, I was told that was not possible. I must pay in cash. I can’t even pay later. They would take the product back if I didn’t pay.
  • Sure you would have refunded if you took the product back, but why I had ordered it online in the first place? Because I needed it by a certain time at a certain place. I didn’t want the money, I wanted the product.
  • So what did I have to do? I had to scramble around the office to get cash. And when I got 30 Rs. the delivery guy didn’t even have the change to return (Again, it isn’t about 4 Rs. but given the experience, I suppose you would excuse me if I wasn’t exactly in the mood to pay a ‘tip’)
  • So then I have scramble around the office again to get change.
I had paid you 886 Rs. in advance for the product. And you won’t trust me to pay 26 Rs. later. Especially when the entire fault lay with your system. I hadn’t asked to pay less, had I?
No need to send any further explanations to me. If you care, forward it to your management or tech teams if want to fix things.
I already avoid ordering on zopnow because of these cash collection issues especially while ordering vegetables. This time I had ordered on More, hadn’t even ordered vegetables and you spoiled that too.

 

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Call me Sexist!

P. S. moved up: If you know someone looking for a job whom we can hire as an office executives, please do refer them. They need to have a two-wheeler license.

The last two office executives we hired both had the same problem. You just couldn’t rely on them. Once they went outside the office for any work, there was no saying when they would come back. When I or one of my colleagues would go on the same errand, it would take us one hour (we had to do it often because the first one was taking too many days off!). When they would go for it, it would take them half a day. And what would they do in that extra time? Hang out with friends. We’d manage to get a confession, try to talk them into being responsible, warn them, shout at them, but things won’t change.

The second one is still working, though I don’t think I can deal with him for too long. The first one had been around for over a year and I had given him more responsibilities than just chores, along with a salary hike. So, he was responsible for buying stationary and packing material (from the fixed vendor) and managing their inventory. He also did the packing, so it made sense. When he left, we cleaned up the packing area and found rolls and rolls of packing tape in all kinds of unlikely places, one of those being the space behind a door that was almost never closed. He had ordered new stock just a few days earlier claiming that packing tape was over. He wasn’t stealing. He just wasn’t responsible enough to keep them properly. I’d have to remind him four or five times before new books or stationary stock would be shelved at its proper place. He wasn’t so busy. He would be watching youtube videos all day long. But keeping a few things in place he won’t do. And although he rode his own scooter he won’t get a driving license because of some bet with his friends.

This guys was the brother of our cook, about whom I have written earlier. She is one of the best we have had and we took him in at her recommendation. Over time she even took up the maid’s job with us to supplement her income, with which she is bringing up her daughter, managing her good-for-nothing alcoholic, wife-beating husband (yes, that cliched!), and even helping her family. The family includes an elder sister whose husband committed suicide few years ago and her school-going children. They stay with our cook’s parents, who themselves aren’t well off. The two sisters never got to study; they have been working in houses since their childhood. But this brother, our office employee, has been educated till PUC. He even owns a scooter without which he would refuse to come to work (once he didn’t come back to office after lunch because a friend had taken his scooter!). He was doing a course in French when he joined us and we had agreed to him going away for couple of hours to attend his classes. These courses don’t come cheap. And he didn’t have any idea why he was doing the course at all, except that a friend suggested it. The course got over in a couple of month and he indeed did nothing with it.

Why? Why does he have everything the family can manage and beyond, while his sisters had to work hard, first for their parents and now for their husbands and children?

We know the answer, right? The son! He must study and be the support of his family. Daughters are good to work since their childhood to support their brother.

I don’t know much about this second guy’s family. But his aunt is the cleaning lady at our office. Aunt’s mother-in-law also works in houses. Even if they aren’t in as dire a circumstance as the first guy’s family with a widowed daughter and her children to support, they can’t be too well-off. His aunt, who referred him, is again a wonderful employee to have, much like our cook. But her nephew is turning out to be even more irresponsible than the cook’s brother. He has lied through his teeth about bills he was supposed to get, even about little change he wouldn’t return, and of course his whereabouts when he was sent out on errands. We have given him our scooter to use for office work, because he doesn’t own one himself. And he has been too busy showing off to his friends. Meanwhile, he has failed his PUC supplementary exam in Kannada. (Back home, nobody failed in Hindi, but probably the world has moved on since I wrote my exams.) We had agreed to let him go at 5 in the evening so that he could attend his evening college. But it doesn’t look like he’d be getting an admission at all.

The reason I started writing about them is not to rant about my office problems (there are too many at any given point of time – one more won’t break things apart!). But because he and many other young boys/men like him incense me with their undeserved sense of entitlement and resulting irresponsible behaviour. They bring out the worst in me. I can’t help feeling that being doted upon as the sons in the family has turned their heads. They don’t understand the realities of the world. What do they think would happen in their lives? Are they expecting their parents (mother only?) and sisters and aunts, with their meagre means, to keep clearing their paths life-long? To keep putting food on their plate and to keep finding them jobs they don’t deserve and to keep paying for their hangouts with friends?

I don’t come from a wealthy family or anything, but my economic circumstances were much better than theirs is. Still at their age (and even now) I thought about my life and my responsibilities. The women in their family are thinking about it and working hard for it. What are they doing, not even managing to keep a simple job that has been offered on a plate to them – thanks to the hardworking sisters and aunts and mothers?

They are not a generation that has to go wayward for want of opportunities. Not in a place like Bangalore. Not if they have a sense of responsibility and willingness to work hard. I am not claiming that jobs would always be a bed of roses. But to begin with, they’d at least lend a helping hand to the uneducated, even illiterate, women who have been feeding them and paying for their education and scooters!

We can talk about teenage rebellion and youth’s restlessness and all that. But why should such things afflict only men and not women? The only reason I can think of is their upbringing as a favoured child over their sisters. It has gotten to them. They think that the world owes them something, like their families. And probably they have trouble in our office because they have to work with women bosses all the time.

Call me sexist, but I sincerely hope that poor parents would start educating their daughters instead, and help her get a two-wheeler license and buy her a scooter if they can. She would make much better use of all of this. I’d be happy to hire her and she would grow beyond being an office executive.

P. S. If you know someone looking for a job whom we can hire as an office executives, please do refer them. They need to have a two-wheeler license.

The tyranny of local businesses

They make you feel like they are doing you a favour by serving you. After you have paid them through roof.

The bad memories of dealing with a local furniture shop came back to me. And this time the situation is more nightmarish! This time we are talking of a leaking cooking gas cylinder. Yesterday evening when we entered our home after coming back from the office, the smell of leaking gas was unmistakable. Of course, we checked for the stove knob, pipe, regulator etc. first. It didn’t take long to zero down on the cylinder. The bubbles formed way too clearly. We moved the cylinder out into the balcony and called the dealer. He came fast enough and we thought he cared. He replaced a rubber valve and claimed that it is all right now. We were almost ready to sit back and relax, but we decided to test again. Guess what? The bubbles were still there. But it was only a “little leak” according to him and nothing would happen. Even in the five to ten minutes that we argued the rate of leakage was increasing.

After much insistence and shouting, he finally left saying he will bring back a replacement. After that we have been begging him to at least take the faulty cylinder back, but he is disconnecting our calls, when we call with a different number, he mistreats us, keeps telling us he will come in the morning, an hour later etc. etc.

Jyothi Gas has a website with the number of corporate headquarter listed. The problem? It doesn’t work.

What do we do about this tyranny? This time it is a matter of safety and it can happen to anyone. Who will be responsible? Should I go the police? The stories of how the police treats non-Kannada speakers, especially against their Kannada brother, are even scarier.

And somebody wants me to care that these local retailers will go out of business due to bigger companies/FDI. I don’t fucking care. Let them all die. I know bigger companies have their own share of problems, but at least there is a chain of command and you can try to move up through them. These guys just leave you helpless and hopeless with their unprofessionalism.

Even more on Airtel Customer Service…

I can’t trust a word those guys say any longer. After their last call the GPRS still did not work. So, I decided to give up on this 249 blackberry + Free Unlimited GPRS plan and decided to reactivate my old weekly plan. So, I called them up today and asked them to cancel the blackberry plan and guess what did the guy tell me. That it has already been deactivated as of 2nd May. Deactivated? The same day I wasted trying to call up all their different departments to make it work! :O

I am appalled, I am speechless, I didn’t know if I should shout out my frustration at that guy. I merely confirmed, “Are you sure?”. He was. Good. I asked about how to activate mobile office. He told me. I did that. Now, I really, really hope that I don’t get a bill for both the services.

Sigh! Airtel – तुमने मेरा दिल तोड़ दिया। Shahrukh Khan – are you listening? (In case you are wondering where did Shahrukh Khan come from – he endorses the brand!)

More on Airtel Customer Service

As if what happened last week was not enough, I missed a call from a number I did not quite recognize today afternoon. When I called back, it started giving me all the latest ads of Airtel. So, kept the phone. In the evening got the call from the same number. It was somebody apologizing for the problem I had, told me that it has been fixed, and that this was a confirmatory call from Airtel and whether there was something else he could help me with. No, there was nothing else. Thanks so much for fixing it. You mean, I can access GPRS now. Yes, that’s what he meant. Cool. After that, I thought of trying it out. But to be on the safer side, decided to switch on and off the phone. And you can guess the reason I am writing this post. The GPRS still isn’t working. Grrrr… I am scared of going through all their departments again tomorrow. I guess, I would give up the greed of cheaper unlimited GPRS and just go with my older plan. Those were such peaceful days.