I have always been a stickler for product and service quality. The latest in my fights with brands was against Voltas air conditioners. The remote controller of my AC fell down from the hand of my one year old and I requested the customer care for a replacement. I informed them that the problem was due to the misuse of the product, and did not claim free replacement.
I was informed by the service centre personnel that a replacement of the same type was not available, and they only had a universal remote which could be used with all Voltas ACs. I was not happy about this idea, but wanted to give it a test. The technicians brought the remote, but failed to pair it with the AC. Then the area service manager wanted to check another remote. But when I learnt that all functions of the AC may not work with the universal remote, I discouraged that. I demanded for the replacement of the same type as the original one, with printed bill as my proof of purchase. They said they were unable to procure one as remotes for replacement were not manufactured by the company. Strange reason!
I informed them of my rights as a customer. I told them clearly that the company was bound to give me a replacement because the product was in the warranty period. Since mine was a case of misuse, I would need to pay for the product but not for the service. In any case, they had to issue me a replacement. After 45 days of phone calls, emails, and escalations, the state service head informed me that they procured one finally. I demanded for the printed bill too, but he said he cannot give a bill, but if I wanted he could give me a receipt. I told them that I would not accept the product without a bill. Finally they yielded to my demand and issued me the remote along with a printed purchase bill.
I am sure Mr Murthy of the Voltas commercial does not know that the company struggles to perform in their service department! What made me laugh during this episode was the claim of the state service head that the replacement remote was taken from a sealed AC package and hence they could not produce the bill. Needless to say, he did not have any answer when I asked him, “If the remote was taken from a sealed package, how can you sell that AC?”! On a lighter note, Malini Bhupta wrote on Business Standard last month an article about Voltas titled “Voltas: A breath of fresh air in troubled times”; yeah, I truly missed the breath of fresh air in those 45 troubled days! 🙂
Photo: Mr Murthy of the Voltas commercial.