Do politicians think that we are all fools? I think so.

Yesterday, I read in the papers that all the M’s, That is, the PM, FM and TM put their minds together to resolve the loss of Rs. 40-50,000 crores loss to the exchequer and came up with another idea to hoodwink the public. They are proposing to have a 3 year lock-in period for the sale of a promoter’s stake. Will this help or resolve any problem. The answer is NO. The reason is simple. The value of Unitech will remain whatever it is whether the funds are brought in as equity or as stake sale. The fact remains that Unitech with an investment of Rs. 1632 crores will become owner of company worth Rs. 11,000 crores in 10 months for the spectrum it holds which was sold to it by the government for peanuts. Some may argue that at least the promoters so not make any immediate cash gain. This is not true. Promoters can always raise the money against their stake in the company to use in the telecom venture or any other venture.

Keep your customers informed of the level of service provided by you

I had read quite sometime back that service providers should regularly inform their customers about the level of service they are getting. I believe the reason behind this is that customers take the level of service that they are getting for granted and they sometimes do not appreciate the efforts of the service provider. Also, the effort you have made to serve the customer is also sometimes not visible to the customer. I think this is true of my experience also.

Government should not approve Unitech’s deal.

I read in Mint today that the telecom ministry came out with a press release to respond to the flak it is facing for selling spectrum so cheap. I believe there is an attempt to cover up a planned effort to favour a group of companies. Since none of the ministers like the finance ministers are saying anything, it means that they all knew what was going on. How it is possible that a number opf people applied just before the government decided to allot spectrum on first come first serve basis and that too at 2001 prices. I also cannot believe that this scam has happened without the UPA government knowing about it. If Minister Raja has done this without the other people in the cabinet knowing about then it is a fit case for Minister Raja to be sacked. This clearly suggests that he is incapable of handling the complex issue of the spectrum and where government assets which huge value is involved.

There are actually people who keep their word to customers

On Diwali, we bought a dining table from LifeStyle Furnishers, Kirti Nagar, New Delhi. The name of the salesperson was Diwaker Sharma. Before delivering the dining table, he called me and fixed a time for delivery. The dining table arrived bur need a little bit of touching. So I called him and he promised to send his people after couple days as he said they were busy with the Diwali rush. He told me that he will call me. I thought to myself, haven,t I heard that before. When have sales people called after making a sale. Well, I was surprised. Two days later he called me to set up an appointment so that his men could come and do the required touching up. It was a pleasant surprise that his people came on the appointed time and everything worked out smoothly.

Finally, Economic Times gets it right as well as wrong

Finally, Economic Times (ET) gets it right as well as wrong. What did it get right?

Innovative ways for customers to complaint helps

Yesterday, I received a call from a freind and client who has read my book titled “Customer Math.” His company is building a new automobile showroom in Delhi and he was having trouble getting the vendor from whom he is purchasing the lift to respond to him. He finally got tired of calling him and adopted the method that I had adopted with a newspapers some years back, that is, write him a letter “Gandhigiri” style. I am reproducing parts of the letter with the theme “I apologize” below which I wrote to the newspaper:

Govt gives spectrum for peanuts. Unitech hits jackpot.

I normally read the business papers in the morning and the general newspapers in the evening. Yesterday, in the morning I read about Unitech selling 60% stake in its telecom venture for $1 billion to Telenor ASA and I started writing this post in the evening. Yesterday, none of the business newspapers had commented on the this story from the perspective of the tremendous loss to the government and the profit that Unitech made from this sale. So I started writing my post to comment on this yesterday evening but didn’t complete it. However, when I went home I found an interesting articles in Times of India by Shalini Singh on the similar lines that I was writing this post. I must praise Shalini for hitting the nail on the head. But what I still find surprising that none of the business papers have discussed the issue and none of the newspapers have made a hue and cry about the profit that Unitech has made at the expense of the government. Let me explain what I am talking about.

Vijay Mallya – King of Unaffordable Goodtimes

Within a week of Jet and Kingfisher airline illegal alliance and firing drama, Jet and Kingfisher airlines get government’s help in geting better credit terms for purchase of fuel, more time to pay for their current outstanding with respect to fuel outstanding and also in the ATF prices which will now be revised every fortnight. Now let us look at what is wrong with this picture.

Even Chidabaram questions Airtel’s service

We are all fed up with poor service of telecom companies including Airtel. I have been billed for Hello Tunes and caller identification charges on my phones without my permission. I keep getting robo calls. Now even the finance minister Mr. Chidabaram is fed up with drop calls. He was so dissatisfied that he lodged in a complaint as an ordinary customer with the Airtel customer care and even asked Airtel’s chairman Sunil Mittal whom he met at the NDTV Profit Business Award function on Oct 7, 2008, “When will the calls not drop at Lutyen’s Delhi?” Mittal’s response was, “We are constantly trying to fix our network. It may sound very boring but spectrum is an issue especially for cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkatta and Hyderabad where intensity is high.”

Buy HP laptops at your own risk because tomorrow will never come

I have always maintained that companies do not treat their customer as “king.” They keep saying it but they do not walk their talk. I had problems with HP Laptop and it took quite an effort for me to get justice. I have talked about this in brief in the “Tips” section of my website or for complete details you can read my book “Customer Icebergs.” I had used an innovative ploy, that is, I had made a request to HP (Hewlett Packard) that I would like to return the laptop to the HP CEO along with my family and that we will not say a word. We will just leave the “lemon” laptop with him so that he can realize what kind of product he was selling. Ultimately, my problem was resolved but they tried every trick in the trade to avoid settling my problem. But I am a persistent guy.