Sunday, August 22, 2010

UK motto-Consumer is THE donkey

Well, you would think that as an advanced capitalist consumerist society [bankers can legally eat the rest], consumer rights will be pretty strong in this country. However my experience has been pretty bad. I could get much better service for my rupee in India than with the puffed up pound [with some economic slump down bruises] here. Back in homeland, if you threaten a company that you will take them to court, they will treat you with a bit of respect and will try to fix your problem. Here [well from my limited experience] they will laugh at you and ask you to go and sue them. Since they have enough money to run law suits on my family line from Adam onwards, wouldn't name any. However, here is a small but representative list of how things have been.

1. It starts with the supermarket god which sells you the daily essentials of life. Well, when a particular supermarket chain says that their veggies or hummus will last till say 23rd August, they expect you to subtract a few days from it. I have had carrot bags with rotten bits in it while the tag said it will last for a week more. Another minor supermarket god has a penchant for selling milk cans with seal open [u will realize once you reach home and open the cap.Now do you want to walk in the rain again to exchange a 45p milk can?].

2.Well, the phone company I was using was bought by some one else. The name of the provider is still the same, but I will no longer have my mobile number. From now onwards before buying a sim card will studiously read business pages to scan for the chances of the phone company getting eaten by bigger fish.

3.So went ahead and bought a sim card from the biggest fish in the sea. Since they are kind of uneatable, the cost of daily calls is quite steep. But then, heaved a sigh of relief that at least your phone company won't go bust in the air leaving you with no number. Then, on a rainy Sunday night tried topping up online. After giving them details about everything ranging from my grand father's pet name to all information related to my bank account [so that some minion in the company can have it all when he is in the mood for some little fraud] I was told that 'due to unexpected error' I cannot top up. After complaining got an automated reply from the company saying that they will reply to me after 48 hours.

And, unlike in India, you cannot call the call centre for free and scream at some poor devil "connect me to
your supervisor #####". Calling the call centre means you will  be charged premium so that the company can make more money out of any complaints you might have about them.

4.It meant spending all my possible savings for quite a bit of my life time. So now has a fancy computer from one of the venerated techno gods whose name need to be taken with a prefix of worshipful. Then found that the techno god has sold keyboad and mouse which requires battery. Well, when you buy a desktop what you require is 'wirless' keyboard  and mouse [so that you can taken them out for a walk while your desktop sits on the table like a sitting duck?], so goes the wisdom of the techno god. After doing quite a bit of Indian classical dance at the store, they agreed to give me stuff with proper wires. However, once I reached home, realised that they changed the keyboard and not the mouse. Since self didn't want to do a repeat version of the classical dance, decided to live with the mouse which regularly cries for costly batteries.

5.Profession demands that self must have a hard drive. So, gave whatever remains of self's runined bank account to the corporate giants with the most flashy ads and deeper  pockets. In return for my hundred and whatever pounds, was given metal scrap which screeches like a mouse on a cat's mouth every time you plug it to a computer. The 'customer service' told me that my wiring, my computer or my head might me responsible for the fault. And, if I didn't believe them and wanted to send the product back to them under the warranty scheme, I will have to bear the shipping charges. Once more, I had to go to the store which sold me the crap to do more classical dance. After I manged to scare away one or two customers, the scrap metal was taken from me. It was replaced after a month and more at no additional cost. Well, I was harddriveless for a long time but then, you can't be complaining all the time.

Well, there are more stories, but one shouldn't be such a whiner. So, self has decided to be positive and keeps on googling for lawyers who will take up these cases for free in return for the fat sum they could extract  from the multinational gods. But I guess, most of the lawyers are working for the gods.So, the only other option is to be good on the environment and try to buy as little as possible. With the size of my pocket after all  the expeditions it wouldn't be such a tough motto to follow

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