Is Times of India walking its talk?

Today, I was surprised to see how unethical Times of India (TOI) is. On one hand, it talks about removing corupt politicians and on the other it forces its advertising agencies to pay 24% interest.

We were supposed to make a payment of Rs. 28,000 to Times of India by 30/4/2009. Somehow, I forgot about it. One of TOI’s executove reminded me and I immediate sent the payment. This executive told me that I should add 24% interest before sending the payment.

First, I agree that since it was our fault, we are liable to pay interest but not 24%. In the last 12 years that we have been dealing with TOI, this is the first time we have delayed the payment. Charging 24% is exhorbitant and not fair.

Second, they have never informed us that they will charge such exhorbitant interest. I think I would call this dadagiri and cheating. If they had told us this earlier then we would have also demanded 24% from them for the payment they had taken in advance because of no fault of ours. I do intend asking them to pay interest to me on Rs. 1,00,000 and kept it with them for a couple of months.

Third, is this the way to deal with a customer who has had an impeccable payment record for the last 12 years? Can most of us charge 24% on late payments from our customers?

I was not in a mood to argue with the TOI’s executive so I have paid the amount. However, I will take up the issue with them.

I think that TOI should stop its campaign Lead India 09 and talk negatively about the politicians, honesty and fairplay. Is charging 24% interest fair? Is charging 24% interest without informing the us fair? The problem with TOI has been that they seldom walk their talk.

Avinash Narula

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