Planet M, Poor Customer Service, Low Quality Products and more..
Over time I have grown to understand that despite you being careful, companies always find ways to dissatisfy you! With more companies laying effort on improving their goodwill through good customer service, there are companies who rarely care about the consumers after they have been looted for their money! In this post, There are two companies that I’m going to talk about, and therefore it goes without saying that it may end up being a long long post! Diving straight into the topic I’ll be first talking about a consumer friendly company Gillette, and the second, A (not so) popular music store in India, currently owned by videocon called Planet M.
Impressed by the 5 min mein Zatak se clean shave with na katne chilne ka tension(5 min clean shave with no cuts and burns), I decided to by myself a 40 bucks worth Gillette vector plus razor, and a set of 5 blades. I never had really wanted to buy a ready to shave razor, but this one impressed me because not only was it cheap for a Gillette, but also because my dad insisted! Rs. 63 was it all that cost me!
The next morning, I pull out one and start shaving, zatak, no feeling of a single hair being cut. Second Zatak, no chance! May be there wasn’t enough cream, as i went on to apply more cream i felt something slimy on my skin. Yes, Gillette gave you a aloe strip to help the razor glide over hard skin. It did what it was supposed to do, but it also helped it glide over the facial hair. Three more Zatak’s and I was starting to feel that I was cheated! May be the aloe is the problem. I used a normal blade from a razor that i regularly used to strip of the aloe. Zatak, hmm the shave was happening. 100 More Zataks and I had a clean shave. It wasn’t the best one that I have had. May be it was only a demo blade. I used another one from the 5 peice case that I had bought, only to see it smoothly glide over my skin with it not shaving the hair! I was feeling unhappy and dissatisfied!
I knew that I wasn’t going to get a good response from my local retailer so i googled up “Gillette India”, the Indian site was down, but I was able to connect to their USA website. A click here and a click there, I landed on their contact page and found myself an email to write to. I wrote to them requesting a replacement, also clearly explaining why I was writing to USA instead of India.They did forward my email to their Asian region and in a couple of days the phone rings! It was from Singapore, their Head of human resources talking to me directly, solving my problem! I would have accepted a replacement, but Gillette insisted that I take a cash back for it. All this, without one single document like a bill. He thanked me for the feedback and assured me of quality products in the future! He gave me his email id to write to if the cheque didn’t arrive in 45 days. It was there, on day no. 40! I wrote a thank you email and this blog post as a dedication to their dedicated staff ensuring quality products to the full satisfaction of the consumers!
The transit for the cheque would have cost them more than the value of the cheque, yet they insisted i take it! Well done Gillette!
The second, and a one that is completely opposite to Gillette, welcome the newest member of the do-not-even-think-about-a-purchase-from-here list is “Planet M” India, Mobile, Music, masti and more.. but only a good 20 emails and 100 phone calls give you the idea of ‘more’ in their tag-line 🙂 I received Planet M gift vouchers worth Rs. 1200 as a winner of a blogger contest run by a popular deals site in India. I go to their store looking for a branded mobile phone with an intention of redeeming the vouchers for a discounted price. Sir, We cannot redeem these vouchers against electronic items, it’s against the company policy! Is it? Why haven’t you put this behind the voucher? It must be there. At this point the store manager goes through the 7 Terms and conditions behind the voucher, and after he does not find one “Sir we sell these to corporates at a discount, and since there is not more margin on the electronic products, we cannot help you with this.”
No, He really said that. Since they have low margin on certain products, it’s not redeemable! I was rolling on the floor laughing about it. It’s the same in all the stores, they will tell you about the margin as the reason for not redeeming! Haha. I recovered from the burst of laughter to tell the manager that, they were not really a gift, they were vouchers that were paid for their value in full cash! We cannot help you sir! Here was my first experience of bad customer service. Instead of trying to talk to me, or help me talk to a higher level manager, the store manager decided to refuse acceptance!
[Update: Planet M store has now agreed to redeem my vouchers for all mobile phones! This, after i had threatened the company with reports to popular news editorials! Sometimes, taking a stand against the company does work! However, Planet M is off my shopping destination list forever!]
I wasn’t going out without a fight! I ensured that they registered this as a complaint and followed it up with the people at head office. 5 days later, I hear nothing from them. I followed up, after a good 10 mins of argument, the store manager finally gives up and directs me to their merchandiser. They then request me to write an email to be forwarded to the head office. Another 5 days go by, I follow up again, “We haven’t received the email yet! You must have not sent it!”. This guy sounded harsh again! I wanted work done, so after another round of arguments I give in and forward him the email again. This time I ensure the email delivery with another call.
Another 5 days go by and a stupid, not making any sense email drops into my in-box requesting details of the purchase. I promptly reply to it and continue waiting for a response. They would never call, I give them a call and the manager: “Sir, you have received an email stating clearly that under no circumstances is the voucher redeemable for electronic goods!” What? I didn’t understand a single thing he said, and requested a direct email from the head office. The manager hesitantly has accepted, now lets see if they reply.
This may not sound too bad to you, but here’s more. You cannot connect to Planet M website, yes, they have one! There is no way to connect to the head office for issue resolution, all of it has to happen through the store, and if the store manager is not responsive or adamant of not bowing to the customer, your complaint will never get through. I luckily found a page on facebook and twitter, after ensuring their activity was on a daily basis, I posted a complaint there. The response was prompt (probably outsourced), another email forwarded! What happened after that was not so shocking. NO REPLY! And now, I have also been blocked from joining the Planet M page on facebook! I’m pretty sure, I’m on their ignore list on twitter too.
At this point with No contact info searchable, unresponsive customer service people, adamant store managers, brainless merchandisers, I rate planet M as the worst in terms of Customer care, and quality of products! The mobile phones are overly priced and the merchandise is something that you wouldn’t even gift to your enemy! All in all, never buy anything from the store! At this point, I’m putting my 1200 worth Planet M vouchers for sale on half price. Interested parties can leave me an email on kunal dot janu at gmail dot com 🙂
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