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Feb 25

tata sky logo

We have reviewed Tata Sky and its services many times before on this website and usually have good things to say about them. This time however, I am not very happy.

So Tata Sky had this everywhere TV application which I decided to install on my laptop. Since I was out of the country it would not let me watch anything and I promptly forgot about it. I would log onto my parent’s account every once in a while and would see the package as 0 rupees per day. So I let it remain there.

Fast forward to February, I am in India for vacation, I log into Everywhere TV and the quality is so pathetic and I don’t even watch it for 5 seconds.

Fast forward to 3-4 days ago, I just check my parent’s statement purely by chance and see a deduction of balance from Tata Sky for 61 rupees :

Everywhere TV deduction

I fire up the Tata Sky customer service chat interface hoping for speedy justice from a company that supposedly charges a premium for great customer service. I was in for a shock.

The customer care agent instead of empathizing with me and issuing a refund straight away (I know, Amazon has spoilt me), started arguing with me, as if the balance if refunded to me would be taken out of his pay. The chat applet is hard to copy from, so I cant paste it here. But it was like he kept telling me it was my fault, even though I sent him screenshots of the package page:

 everywhere tv 0

He insisted I should have known about the deduction and the plan name itself would have free for 1 month. This was true for the online statement, however as you can see the package page does not tell this and only tells me that the cost is 0 rupees per month. I did complain as soon as I saw the online statement page. I find this odd instead of trying to help the customer the customer service in India is trained to argue, fight and harass the customer.

He totally refused to help me, I asked for his supervisor at which point he reluctantly agreed to file a ticket.

2 more days and nothing and today I received a call from one of Tata Sky’s employees. The employee listened to my ordeal and explanation (he had no idea about my dispute or access to the screenshot already shared). After listening to me, he empathically declared the charge wont be reversed (charge toh aapka rahega). He told me it was my fault and I should notice these things when I am refilling my pack. I refill when I see the balance less and don’t look at the statement, maybe stealing by Tata Sky is such a common occurrence that I should routinely lookout for it.

I told him, no way am I agreeing to that resolution. Some to and fro later, he still didn’t budge but agreed to reconsider if I would share the screenshot with him. The email Id he gave me helpdesk at Tata Sky.com doesn’t even work so I sent the message across to the generic email for customer service.

I still felt like I needed to share this ordeal with people, Tata Sky is super expensive, and for the premium I expect premium service without the kind of crap pulled on me for 61 rupees + this month’s rent.

If anyone knows someone who can take decisions at Tata Sky , please forward it to them. I am sick and tired of being told that yes Tata Sky deducted the money but its my fault for not noticing.

Update 1 :

Tata Sky has not replied to any of my emails, to my messages on social media I got the standard we will get in touch with you. What is more disheartening is that they even removed a SR which I had filed online, that’s right, its not closed, its removed. So their CRM system apparently allows for manipulation of tickets etc. Hmm, fraudy !

The net loss to be would be around a hundred rupees, not enough for me to goto consumer court over, but definitely hoping to cause more than a hundred rupees loss to them for cheating us off money by dissuading people from getting Tata Sky.

Update 2:

Looks like someone senior from Tata Sky finally had a look at the issue and returned the money deducted improperly. Thanks to everyone who supported this post on Twitter, Reddit and Facebook.


Feb 24

Air India

I had the opportunity to fly Air India after around 5 years. 5 years ago I was a flying returns member, however I stopped flying them after they would always not track my journeys for frequent flyer miles and then subsequently would make me go around in circles to get the mileage claim. This time on my India visit, I had to visit Bhopal and only 2 airlines give DEL-BHO flights, Air India and Jet Airways. Air India was a bit cheaper on the date I was looking for.

Anyway, the opportunity slowly turned to misfortune. So sit back, relax and enjoy the flight as I narrate my experience with India’s national airline.

Continue reading »


Feb 22

I feel sad for my race and India. Being out of India for some time I had not realized the state of the Internet and social media in India. The Viral fever’s latest Arnub video had something of the likes of scoopwhoop, I was wondering what that is.

And a few days later I know.

Its India’s Buzzfeed, a site which publishes a series of mindless articles day in and day out which deliver little value to the user but have shock/lure elements to ensure they laugh their way to the bank. Its one of the few times you can feel yourself becoming dumber while reading something.

All of it is clickbait and nothing else. Incase you dont know what clickbait is, Urban Dictionary very elegantly defines it as :

An eyecatching link on a website which encourages people to read on. It is often paid for by the advertiser ("Paid" click bait) or generates income based on the number of clicks.

I wont link to any of their pages to demonstrate how stupid their articles are, but in their fashion, we have :

5 headlines you wont believe articles could ever have !

 

5. 22 Times When Shahrukh Khan Was Possessed And In Need Of Exorcism

Yes, being possessed is a real thing, and this article was complete with Shahrukh wearing a nose-ring with a highly pierced goat. Bet you never thought you would see that one too.

4. If You Feel Your Butt Is Plotting Against You, This Ad Might Just Be What You Need

Wow, do you feel your butt is plotting against you, what about your colon, and your kidneys, surely your Adam’s apple is plotting against you. At this moment all I can feel is that my eyes are plotting against me that I have to read such shitty headlines.

3. Ever Wondered What Happens When A Car Ingests A Viagra Pill Accidentally?

Yeah, there is nothing wrong with you if you wondered that, everyone wonders what happens when a car ‘ingests’ (sic!) a Viagra pill, that too accidentally, stay there while I call the mental hospital.

2. Girl Calls Up Her Ex And Cries On The Phone. Her Pain Sounds A Lot Like A Snoop Dogg Hit

And the article is accompanied by a photo of a dolphin jumping next to next to a dancing Snoop Dogg. If this isn’t clickbait, I don’t know what is.

—-

And last but not the least, this isn’t humorous but just sad. As if it was not enough that a fame hungry actor has been exploiting the poor and making videos of them without any regard to their privacy and dignity, we have creepy sites like Scoopwhoop promoting shit like this via even worse clickbaity headlines :

1. Watching This Child Labourer Eat At McDonald’s For The First Time Will Break Your Heart

 

I hope you understood the reason for this article, stop clicking on stupid posts in facebook and sharing them. Sites like these only serve to insult your intelligence. An hour spent reading this crap is so much worse than say an hour spent on Quora or reading your favorite book or even watching TV.

So the next time you see a ridiculous post, resist that temptation to click, remember the other person is just trying to make money off you by insulting your intelligence.


Feb 20

iSmooth 3ft lightning cable

In the May of 2014, I had bought a lightning cable (ignore image, for representation purpose only) from this seller  called AFFLUX on Amazon.com. Incase you get bored and don’t read further, don’t buy anything from these guys. They are a third party seller on Amazon.com

It was an iSmooth iPhone 5s charging cable (3ft), not very expensive, however the cable was always very buggy and often would complain that the accessory is not supported. I battled through it, standing on one leg, re-attaching the wire etc. every time it would happen. However as time passed the wire became more and more unreliable. So much so that it became impossible to recharge using this cable.

I remembered that the cable was iSmooth’s and on their website they claimed a 10 year warranty on their cable products. So I tried to get in touch with AFFLUX through Amazon asking them if they can help in this matter. To my surprise they did not even reply to my complaints.

Next, I contacted ISmooth who offer the warranty, they asked me for the invoice from Amazon and promptly told me that they will not honor warranty as AFFLUX is not an authorized reseller and they are following up with Amazon and AFFLUX. I am currently following up on them regarding a replacement since their warranty terms don’t mention anything about purchasing from them only. However not much I can do if they refuse since its too small for small claims.

I filed a return request with Amazon and this time AFFLUX was super fast, they immediately declined my claim and as the return period had passed Amazon was cool with it. So I am in this bind, the manufacturer says the sale is unauthorized and the seller is AWOL and only responds when I file a claim. That too in the negative.

Anyway I contacted Amazon and they told me since this is by a third party seller they cannot refund me the money but have offered me a promotional credit. I will follow-up with ISmooth and update the thread on that replacement. They have however claimed that the super buggy cables are bound to go bad again.

In the meantime, be careful when buying stuff from Amazon’s third party sellers. This was a fairly low price item but I doubt Amazon would refund $500 after 9 months in such a situation. So that’s the lesson learnt.


Feb 20

Reddit India had this photo posted by an eagle eyed user with a note that even Flipkart uses Amazon’s own services :

 Flipkart using Amazon's package

Then Reddit India cheekily tweeted this. To this, Flipkart responded in a way you wouldn’t expect :

Flipkart tweet about amazon

Something tells me we have not seen the end of this yet, more so because Flipkart still has not explained from what they got delivered to them.

Amazon Response

Modified to include Amazon’s response above.


Feb 20

 

SR-64HXA

Sony in a move that has been criticized around the Internet have released a revolutionary new product (yeah right !) , its a $155 64gb micro SD card which Sony has annotated with ‘For Premium Sound’.

I love to do reviews however I will never spend $155 on this piece of shit. The for ‘premium sound’ seems to be the only USP for this overpriced gadget. How much a micro SD can really improve the quality of sound is anyone’s guess. Every time I head ‘for premium sound’, I chuckle a little.

SR-64HXA_pkg

I remember when I was a kid, we would go to buy a TV in India, Sony’s Trinitron would be significantly more expensive than say an Akai TV, but we would buy the Sony for quality. Then a few interactions with Sony’s super duper shitty customer care in India and we promptly switched loyalties. We don’t blindly buy stuff just because its Sony. I am still a bit ashamed to say we have a Bravia. But in the US we have a Sharp Aquos LED TV. Sony should realize it cannot milk customer sentiment by launching such products at obscene price levels. During a good sale in the US, you may get a nice micro SD card for $15-20 from Amazon.

SR-64HXA_Adapter

However coming back to the point, Sony is a company with lots of legacy and the burden of being a legend. Lets hope it innovates instead of launching these products aimed at gullible people with deep pockets. The loot starts on 5th March 2015.

Also don’t snicker at this article if you bought a Bose/Dr.Dre headset, you are also a gullible person with deep pockets :)