Reader’s Digest – Mercy Please!

I’ve been an avid reader of the magazine in my college days. I still remember some of us challenging ourselves with the ‘Word Power’ in the classroom. I didn’t have a subscription but I had an uncle (super kool house owner) who did. He was retired as a doctor by then and read Reader’s Digest (RD) monthly along with few other medical journals. His daily newspaper was The Times Of India.

After I started my career and moved to a different place in the city, collecting those “previous month’s” RD from the Doctor Uncle became a tough task; I wanted to subscribe a copy for myself.

I tried a few ways but for some reason RD never honored my request.

  • I filled up the Subscription Form that is included in the magazine and posted it to them; subscription not successful.
  • I tried the post card that is included in some editions requesting to paste a sticker ‘YES’ and drop it in post box – without stamp if in India; never heard back.
  • I visited the website and subscribed online; never received a copy.
  • I followed up the ‘Sweepstakes’ initiatives a couple of times, once even offline through snail-mail;  neither did I win the money, nor I received the magazine.

The complete Sweepstakes campaign obviously is to sign on more subscribers. When I’m trying in every which way possible to get a subscription, I wonder why RD hesitates so much.

Today, I saw another such email from RD. I thought, just for fun, I’ll document it. Needless to spell out, this is another attempt to get on the subscribers list. All but the last screen appears to be in place, where it raises questions.

Here are the screenshots.

Reader’s Digest email in my Inbox.

Reader's Digest email in my Inbox.

The email that explains how lucky I am. Not just the subscription (not mentioned by the way) but the amount of money I can win! 🙂

The email that explains how lucky I am. Not just the subscription (not mentioned by the way) but the amount of money I can win! :)

Getting Started with the sweepstakes journey. Confirming the name and email address.

Getting Started with the sweepstakes journey. Confirming the name and email address.

A quick gamble to win money.

A quick gamble to win money.

 

That’s how much I can win!

That's how much I can win!

A certificate, wow!

A certificate, wow!

Once in a while, I receive this warning, the chance to join this guy (previous winner)

Once in a while, I receive this warning, the chance to join this guy (previous winner)

Not just cash but also a car for me yaay! 🙂

Not just cash but also a car for me yaay! :)

I clicked on the first key and see what I could get? JETTA!!

I clicked on the first key and see what I could get? JETTA!!

Now, finally somebody is talking about the magazine. Nobody has ever looked forward to a sale so much!

Now, finally somebody is talking about the magazine. Nobody has ever looked forward to a sale so much!

Read it? It’s a guarantee! 🙂

Read it? It's a guarantee! :)

Address confirmation. It’s a matter of a crore rupees, after all.

Address confirmation. It's a matter of a crore rupees, after all.

I have a web reference number to follow up with! Not the first time, though.

I have a web reference number to follow up with! Not the first time, though.

The last and the final stage. This confuses me a bit. Why take me to a subscription page again??

The last and the final stage. This confuses me a bit. Why take me to a subscription page again??

Dear RD,

If you’re reading this, please digest the fact that I’m interested to receive a copy of your magazine every month.

If you can send me the money and the JETTA, am not going to say no.

Thank you,
Viv.

Jeeves – Thumbs Down

Jeeves

Jeeves claims to be your one stop service point for all electronics, electrical and IT products.

I first heard about the company and the services offered two months ago on a Radio ad. When I checked out the website, I liked the idea. I wanted to give it a try and my V-Guard Storage Water Heater gave me an opportunity soon enough.

Interaction 1

My first interaction was with a representative on the Toll Free number. She was polite. She asked for details and took the repair request. She mentioned that the request number would be sent to my mobile as SMS. She was also king enough to give me an estimate of the repair time and cost. Wonderful, so far!

She promised that the technician would visit the next day. She informed me about the charges as well: INR 150 for visiting, and INR 150 for repairing. If any spares would have to be purchased, that will obviously cost extra. I liked it.

I waited for two days and the technician never showed up. I didn’t receive the SMS either.

Interaction 2

Again with a lady who answered my call to the Toll Free number.

One, she has no information about the technician’s scheduled visit.
Two, She can see no records associated with my mobile number.

I opened another request with this lady. Again, I would be notified of the request number in SMS. Charges explained.

Interaction 3

I didn’t receive any SMS the second time too, but I got a call from the technician 2 days after my second request.

Well, not the best I as I expected but something was better than nothing.

Technician inspected the appliance and confirmed that the heater filament and thermostat were damaged and needs replacement. As per the process explained to me over the phone, he would get those parts and I pay him the charges.

He then asked for the INR 300 for visiting charges. It took good time and energy, and few calls to the Toll Free number to convince him that I would pay INR 150 only for visiting, and the remaining INR 150 after the repair is complete.

He called me the next day with the price of the spares. He quoted INR 1650 for the two parts. So, my total repair would come to INR 1950 including the INR 300 for visiting and repair.

Just to be sure, I called V-Guard service directly to verify. The technician from V-Guard was able to replace the parts and bring my Water Heater up and running in 24 hours.

Total Cost: INR 1150 (includes heating filament, thermostat, visiting charges, repair charges).

For a first time experience with Jeeves, the process took longer, would have costed 60% more and had to call twice to get my complaint even registered.

Thumbs Down.

iPhone 4 to Windows Phone 8 – My 30 day review

Four years and two iPhones (3G and 4) definitely changed me for the better. Without any doubt, iPhone was the best gadget I used so far.

I’m now on a Windows Phone 8. Nokia Lumia 820.

Why did I move away from iPhone?

  • Mishap – I shattered the screen last year on a road trip and getting a replacement is expensive (authorized dealers quoted 9K). After struggling for a month with broken glass, I settled for a sub-standard off-market screen (3.2K). It was never the same. Many ask me the reason for not clicking/ sharing photographs for some time now. It’s this. I wasn’t enjoying my iPhone as much with a ‘duplicate’ display.
  • Price – The latest iPhone would be great, as a logical move, but it’s damn expensive. I don’t argue with people who say it’s worth the price. It probably is; but I can’t afford 45K for a phone. I spent 30K for the last iPhone 4 and my target was to find something in less price than that. Lumia 820 cost me 26K.
  • Comparision – I did some quick comparision on geekaphone.com (iPhone 4 and Nokia Lumia 820) and Lumia won! Wow! So, a better phone than the one I used, at less price; kool.
  • Battery change/ memory card/ back cover – Unlike many smart phones (read: iPhone), Lumia 820 allows me to open the back cover (btw, Lumia 920 doesn’t); add memory in the form of MicroSD card up to 64 GB; and change battery if needed. Good options!
  • Windows 8 – I recently upgraded my Sony VAIO to Windows 8. With an Operating System from same vendor, it HAS to be easy to exchange data, and play around with mobile on laptop in general. It’s no secret that Apple forces us to use certain ways to get content onto iPhone that are not straightforward.
  • Fresh look – I love iPhone interface; Android, not much. Windows Phone interface is different, simpler and new. Worth a try!

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To hell with you – Jabong!

*** If anyone [still] shops with Jabong, here is a coupon for INR 100. This is what I got in return to a mess up from Team Jabong. My fad is over and they screwed up a second chance too. So this coupon, or for that matter Jabong itself, is worthless to me now. May be you can use it and pay INR 100 less on your next order!

SoRRyqw5jojjC (now invalid)

Dear Jabong,

Though the name ‘Jabong’ sounded weird, I liked the idea of an online shoe store. It’s the ‘online’ that excites me, not ‘shoes’. I know you sell a lot of other junk too but I’ve seen the TV commercial for shoes and hence my association. I use converse, all black, Size 6. Current pair is wearing off. I need a new pair and you sell them. Perfect.

While I was still thinking, I bumped into your promotional offer of INR 2000 discount (INR 500 discount on each spend exceeding 1500). I finally decided to give Jabong a try.

I found the shoes, picked Size 6, added to cart and placed the order. I wanted to avail the discount, so added a Garnier shampoo and a pack of Gillette MACH 3 cartridges to ‘exceed’ INR 1500. And I received the INR 500 discount. Happy.

Order Number: 120414881006176.

I wasn’t home when the shipment arrived, so I didn’t get a chance to scream like you do in the commercial. Sorry if I haven’t adhered to your protocol. Is that why you screwed up my two orders?

My mom signed for the package in the noon and when I went home in the evening, you had a surprise waiting for me. I like only pleasant surprises, not otherwise.

The shampoo was good, not leaky or sticky. Nice packing, by the way. And nothing was wrong with the Mach3 too. I received what I ordered. However, the shoes weren’t as expected. Remember, the main contents of this order were the shoes and I didn’t get what I ordered. I ordered Size 6. You sent me Size 7. Not pleased.

I sent you an email, informing the mix up. You didn’t care. Ironically, your email address is care@jabong.com. 🙂

I called you to work this out. A girl explained very clearly about the return policy. I failed to make her understand that I am not returning anything. I was just looking for the product I ordered. I tried hard but failed to convince her to send me Size 6 and take back Size 7. She had only one solution for me – return the product, and order again. She made no promise that the next order would be shipped correctly.

I liked one of her troubleshooting thoughts though – “Is one number difference too big that you can’t wear them? Can’t you use Size 7 just this once?” I guess she was being practical. I was not in the mood. And she went on wondering “Are you sure you need a Size 6?”

I realized there was nothing else I could do. I told her that I will keep the shoes untouched for a month, in case you want to fix it – give me Size 6 and take back Size 7. I ain’t gonna fill up forms and chase you for your mistake. That defies the purpose of ‘saving time and effort by shopping online’.

And then, I wonder why, I gave you a second chance. I placed another order. This time, I was clever enough to choose ‘Cash on Delivery’. That will give me a chance to inspect the contents before I pay.

Order Number: 120428645356114.

The shipment never arrived. Instead, I received an email with that Teddy’s sorry note. I was even prepared to scream this time, dammit!

And, after waiting for more than a month, the duration I promised to keep the shoes untouched, I finally wore them today. I know it’s Size 7. Am being practical too! 🙂

Dear Jabong – There are only a handful items that fall in the intersection of “I use” and “you sell”. And now, let alone my shopping, am not even going to let anyone I know use Jabong for shopping.  Not at least until these Size 7 converse shoes wear off.

To hell with you, Jabong. To hell with you!
Viv.