Here I am, writing about how a company rides rough-shod over the individual rights of a person, and I’m not even a customer of that company!
This evening, at the rather late hour of 8:40 p.m., one of my two mobile phones rang. Vidya, who normally uses the phone, picked it up, and in a few minutes, was in a flaming temper. Apparently some guy identifying himself as being from ICICI started speaking to her in Hindi. When she asked him to speak in English, he started lecturing her on how Hindi was the national language, and she was not patriotic as she asked him to speak in English. He then proceeded to inform her that this is not Britain, where everyone speaks in English. Vidya gave him a earful, partly in chaste Hindi, but mostly in English.
I took the phone from her and asked the caller, in the politest of terms I could muster given the circumstances, who he was, the company he was calling from and the object of his call. He refused to give his name, said he was calling from ICICI, and asked me to identify myself! When I asked him how he had got the number, he mumbled something about it being generated by a machine. When I asked him again he said that he had been given the number by someone. When I pressed for the name of the agency he worked for, he just hung up.
The number he called from was a Mumbai number – 91 22 56018043. I called the number, only to have someone slam it down on hearing my voice. After a couple of minutes, I called again, and this time someone answered. When I asked what place it was, the person who answered, very brightly, informed me that it was Mumbai. Patiently, I explained to him that I knew it was Mumbai as I had dialled the number, and I just wanted to know what office it was. It was then that he told me that it was an ICICI Lombard office. When I told him about the call and wanted to know the name of the agency, he very reluctantly told me that it was the Mahalaxmi branch of ICICI Lombard in Mumbai, and that he was a Team Leader called Samir, and that he would see to it that the “bullshit person” would be fired. Though I knew this was a pack of lies, I rang off, as there was nothing else I could do on the phone.
Next, I called up ICICI Lombard’s Chennai Customer Care number, and attempted to make a complaint. The executive who attended my call was patient and pleasant, but pleaded an inability to take a complaint on this matter and advised me to write a complaint to the generic firstname.lastname@example.org email address. So that was what I did, and that is where matters stand as of now.
Eternal optimist (fool, in other words!) that I am, I signed off my email to them with “Expecting expedient action.”
It is time to wait and watch!