Landline Telephony.

This post has been inspired by this fascinating report in The Guardian. Having used these Phone Boxes any number of times during my visits to the UK, I can relate to the writer’s take.

I have a landline connection from BSNL. I have had the pleasure of using this number since December 1990 when we moved into our current home and it is a simple number to remember. I have two instruments, one fixed and another with a portable handset kept conveniently close to my recliner chair.

Unfortunately however, except for one friend who too has a landline, nobody other than the phone company ever calls this number.  Many of my friends who used to have landlines have surrendered their connections for various reasons.  I use it to call landline numbers of shops and establishments from where I need some service but, even these are simpler to reach through my mobile phone.

Cable TV, WiFi providers, water conduits and drainage chutes all fight for underground space and inevitably, the landline telephone cable gets cut repeatedly and it takes for ever to get repairs done to it and so, most of the time we are without a landline connection.

I have been nostalgic and am also more comfortable with the landline but, the sheer convenience of the mobile phones and the fact that most of the time the landline does not work, has made me also to reconsider my position. So, I tried to approach the BSNL to surrender my connection but find no way of doing it online and perhaps will have to go personally to their office to do so. I am however determined to get it disconnected one way or the other.

Are you still using a landline telephone? What is your experience?

Bliss Thanks To Excellent Customer Service.

From the time that Covid hit us more than two years ago, the one luxury that I have had to forego was my monthly pedicure and foot massage. Except for one brave outing after the total lockdown was lifted,  I was hesitant to go out for one and depended on my son to trim my toenails which he gladly did but,  could not very well be asked to do the rest of the rigmarole.

For the past two weeks, I had been toying with the idea of venturing out for a pedicure again but have been put off by the heat and humidity. The day before yesterday during our evening chat, my wonderful daughter in love suggested that I try a home pedicure. Considering the daily temperatures above 40 deg C, I readily agreed to give it a try and she booked for one online.

The slot that was allotted to me by The Urban Company, the service providers was 4.30 pm. The pedicurist was bang on time and rang the door bell exactly on time. On my asking him if I needed to provide anything to help him carry out his job, he said that he just needed a plug point to connect his foot bath and a tap to get some water.  He was wearing a mask and throughout his time at home, he did not remove it even once.

He then proceeded to unpack his goodies from this case.
He then opened the bag of tricks and pulled out this stool on which he was to sit on.
He next pulled out this foot bath.
Next, he pulled out a small case from which he took out all the tools of his trade and spread them out on a sheet.
Next, he filled the foot bath with water, plugged it in to heat the water up and proceeded to trim my nails while sitting on the stool that he had brought with him while I sat on my easy chair.

Once the water was hot enough, he had me soak my feet in it and proceeded to carry out the rest of the pedicure with efficiency and care. I was more than satisfied with the treatment.

He finished on time, just short of an hour from the time that he started and packed everything in his bag and left with a cheerful “bye bye sir!”.   The total cost including the tip that I gave the young man came to just a little over what I would have spent with my regular pedicurist.  I have no complaints on that score.

I am sold on this company’s service which offers many other services too and have decided to not only use more of them but, also refer my contacts to them.

Do you have a similar service available where you live?

Computer Language.

The Blog world knows Chuck as Shackman. He spent many years with the Radio Shack and is quite knowledgeable about computers.

On the other hand, I was a textiles salesman and know very little about computers and / or its jargon. I depend on my son and daughter in love for help.

So, unsurprisingly, this exchange took place between me and Shackman in the Comments Section of my blog post, Customer Service 4.

Shackman – “Been there, done that – usually in my case it was a hardware glitch.”

YT -“Frankly, I don’t know the difference between hardware and software glitches but, I am not surprised that you too have had this problem. Some very capable geeks that I know get quite frustrated with poor mechanised customer service.”

I therefore have great pleasure in dedicating this post and the following cartoon to Shackman.

Customer Service – 5.

Nick commented on my post Customer Service – 4 as “I’ve had a lot of problems with online ordering. The screen freezes or I can’t work out how to get onto the next page or I want to amend something I’ve entered but can’t. Now I avoid online ordering unless there’s absolutely no alternative.”

SAW as”Just this morning my husband had to call a place half a dozen times to leave a message – the phone program would just hang up on him!”

Mike as “I’ve had the same problem with my phone company’s website. I just use them for the internet and have had the line go out several times over the past several years.

When I try to contact them via another internet access method, I can’t get through to customer service. Very frustrating.

Then I remember that their customer service doesn’t work well with the browser I use, so I try another one and, shazam, it works.

I just need to remember that the next time I need their customer service. I prefer contacting via chat, if possible, because it always seems to take forever when I try to get them on the phone.”

These comments reminded me of this cartoon.

Customer Service – 4.

I wanted to buy a book from an online seller Flipkart just a while ago.

I found the book and tried to place an order and the screen simply froze after I entered my email address as required. I tried this a number of times and finally in exasperation went seeking help.

That was another nightmare as this particular problem is not listed in their alternatives of problems listed and there is no way to talk to them to explain. The only way I could contact them is what they call ‘the old fashioned way’ by mail.

I simply gave up in disgust and found another online seller.

Customer Service – 3.

In the process of trying to get my Health Card, I discovered that my Aadhar Card was not linked to my telephone number.

My son decided to get it linked and went to two places to find that I personally had to go so that my biometric details can also be updated. One of the places was The Kotak Mahindra Bank within our neighbourhood to which I could go as I did not have to climb many staircases to reach the counter.

I duly went there escorted by my son and was promptly attended to by a very friendly person in charge of the operations. Despite considerable problems with the software used to register all my details, he persisted, and got the process completed within a few minutes.

He was polite, considerate for my physical limitations and very efficient. To say the least, I was very impressed having had bad experiences with some other banks in the past.

I hope that someone from the Kotak Mahindra Bank reads this and passes my appreciation and gratitude to the person concerned and their own excellent ambience and organisation.