Taking forward the idea of online services communicating with the user in a better way also helps in bringing transparency. No service is perfect. Softwares act grumpy. Things go wrong all the time. But let the user know about it and promise to help him out as soon as possible. That’s good customer care.
A friend once told me this funda of a visitor being restless when he is new to the place and takes a taxi to an address unknown to him. He will feel comfortable if the driver keeps all the windows open and let the passenger have a look around the places. On the contrary if it is all closed the passenger will be restless and having doubts all the way even if the driver is taking him in the right direction.
My miseries with Fabmart.com (Fabmall.com) dates back to the early 2000s. I had to always call them up after a long wait after the order. Once it went on to a very bad story of an expensive order of mine not coming to me for almost two months. After a lot of calls and emails exchanges when I finally got the thing it was not the one which I had ordered for. Then I had to call them again to take it back and give my money back. Some how after a lot of painful back and forth, I got it done and that was the end of me using Fabmart.com.
Years after Fabmart got rechristened themselves to Indiaplaza.in and have come up with a new face and new selling techniques like competent pricing etc. I decided to give them a second chance coz I had to redeem a gift certificate a friend gave me. They normally say that their delivery time is 3 days but they continue to hold high their culture of being late. And that too after two or three calls. I tried two more times later to buy books but the second time it turned out to be too expensive.
I had ordered for this book and after them not showing up for two weeks I called them as usual. They told me that the book will be delivered in two days. The website showed my order status as “Ready to ship”. After waiting for three days I called them again and came to know that they don’t have the book in stock. I was told that my money will be reverted back and it’s more than a month now after the order. Nothing has happened. I called them a week ago and again two days back to know the status and both times they told me that their system was down and it will take some more time for my money to come back.
First of all it’s so bad that they didn’t know that they don’t have the book in stock. I had to call them to find this out and that’s when they might have also realized. I don’t know otherwise how the order status ever got changed to “ready to ship”. Then their system (or whatever) failure; how could they expect me to wait till I get my money back without having to hear a word from them?
Ideally Indiaplaza should have called (or mailed) me in three days after my order and let me know that they were out of stock. Then if they had also been unlucky to encounter a system failure they should have again told me about the problem and I would have been good enough to understand it. That’s what I mean by the user being comfortable if things are transparent.
I don’t know if I will ever get my money back but needless to say they have lost me as a customer. I strongly recommend against using indiaplaza's services. It sucks big time. Or may be they need a real computer system in place which will help them to manage the orders, stock and to track the whole process.
Oh btw Cleartrip customer care rocks. I have two good experiences.