Monday, January 21, 2013

The TATA Circus

The emails I keep getting from Tata Teleservices Customer Care states that

Tata Tele Corporate Services Tata Teleservices today stands certified as ISO 27001:2005 which means our services are best in class at par with international benchmarks.

I must say I BEG to differ on the matter. Either ISO has lost all sense and credibility, or Tata is taking customers for a ride. This is my personal experience with Tata Teleservices.

I began preparations to get the Kolkata office up and running at the beginning of December 2012. As part of the process, I called up a couple of internet and WLL service providers looking for someone to get me a quick landline and data card connection for business use. I was impressed with Tata, because they got back to me instantly, after I left a query on their website. This was unprecedented and unexpected, given my experience of and impression of Kolkata work culture, and I must say I was very happy. This was the 5th of December.

Sadly, their efficiency ended with visiting the office and collecting a purchase order. After that, it took TWENTY days to actually process the orders… for 4 Tata photons and one Walky. However, the agreements were finally signed on 20th December after days and days of chasing and asking. And the actual instruments were delivered a couple of days later. One would think that would be the end of my troubles, but sadly it was the beginning. Activation of photons and Walky should take a couple of days at worst. In my case, one of the four photons started working the next day, but three remained obstinately unconnected, as did the Walky. After days and weeks of chasing, and a much begged engineer visit, I was told that three of the four photons were faulty, and had to be replaced.

By now it was the first week of the New Year. More chases followed, as Tata does not seem to believe in calling back and informing the client about the progress of their complaint or connections. After calling and calling and calling them the faulty photons were finally replaced. Two were immediately assigned to employees and work began (about 30 days later than it should have). in the meantime, the Walky continued to be dead to the world. My company website, which was in the process of being designed, had to be put on hold, because the contact number on it was the one assigned by Tata to my walky, and I could not go live with the site until the line was activated. After another couple of days, when I assigned the last remaining (replaced) photon to a consultant, it refused to work (AGAIN!). More chasing and cursing of Tata followed after which the photon was finally activated, about 30 days after it was first purchased.

As for the Walky, some 25 days after it was bought, and 30 to 40 telephone calls and two engineer visits later, they finally told me that it was faulty as well, and would also be replaced. However, they assured me that the number assigned to me would not change. Unable to wait any longer, because every day without a phone meant loss of business for my firm, I finally activated the website, with the number they have given me.

As I write this, it is the 21st of January 2013, 47 days after first contacting them and issuing a purchase order, and 31 days after the contract was signed, and I STILL don’t have an active landline. When a client or prospective customer sees my site, letterheads, visiting cards, and calls on the number, they will get a message that “this number does not exist”. What that is likely to do to the reputation of my firm…you can very well guess. And the business I have lost over the last 31 days or continue to lose with each passing day is not likely to be compensated for by Tata. Neither is Tata likely to bring back the clients I am losing because they think my company is a fake/fraud. The amount of money I have spent over the last month and a half, calling Tata is not going to be reimbursed either. They STILL don’t call me back to tell me what is going on.

The latest info, after I applied a LOT of pressure from higher up, is that I now have to apply for a NEW number…which will probably take another 31 days… not to mention changing the site, letterheads, cards, … all added expense and hassle, and loss of business.

All I can say is TATA SUCKS.