September 22, 2005

Stupid PR-speak

I don’t like people using incomprehensible English as a shield designed to confuse anyone who tries to understand what is going on, like lawyers for instance. But I can accept that. What I can’t accept is false politeness, writing in a sugary-sweet manner while saying absolutely nothing at all.

Take for example Sify. They didn’t have Heroes Die in stock, so they cancelled my order. Infuriating yes, but what was more infuriating was the way they did it. Here’s the first email I got:

This refers to your order no. deleted which you had placed on us. As per your instruction to Sifymall we have cancelled the following items from this order. This mail is just to inform you of the same. […] We hope you enjoyed shopping at Sify and will come back for more!

Thanking you and assuring you of our best services at all times,
Customer Service @ Sify Shopping

WTF! I hadn’t cancelled anything. When I wrote to say that, I got:

Thank you for contacting Sify Customercare. We are writing to let you know that we have received your mail and it has been allocated tracking number deleted. Should you need to contact us again for followup on particular inquiry, referencing this number will help us to assist you better.

Rest assured that our Customercare team will reply to you within 24 hours.

Thanks again for writing in to Sify Customercare.

And then:

With reference to your mail, we wish to inform you that the order for the item ” Heroes Die” has been cancelled due to non availability of stock. The rest of the titles has been delivered to deleted on 23rd august,2005. Do mail us incase you need further clarifications.
Warm Regards. Customercare@sify
ISO 9001:2000 Certified
Thank you for shopping with Sify!

Note the pathetic grammar. I was getting really pissed at being ‘thanked’ all the time. The mail (gasp!) didn’t clear anything up, so I wrote again, and very politely if I could say so considering my situation:

It’s understandable that you could not deliver an item due to “non-availability” of stock. But I’ve already paid for the book “Heroes Die” via Netbanking. The total order was for five books worth Rs. deleted. I’ve received four books, which are worth Rs. deleted.

So if you cannot deliver the book (Heroes Die), I want a refund. Which comes to Rs. deleted.

Secondly, you could be more clear in your ‘customer-care’ emails. The first mail I got stated that I had cancelled the last item, which I certainly did not.

And lo behold! More annoying prose:

This is with reference to your mail, we wish to inform you that we have forwarded your request to the concerned team and will do the needful.The reference number for your request is deleted. Kindly mention your order number and reference number when you contact us again pertaining to this enquiry. We request you to kindly bear with us in the interim.

Thank you for giving us an oppurtunity to serve you!

Finally something readable after another day:

Thank you for shopping at Sifymall.

We regret to inform you that we will not be able to process order number : deleted as the title ” Heroes Die ” is out of stock. We would therefore be canceling the said title and reversing the charges to your account . You can check the same in your next billing statement. We apologize for the inconvenience caused.

Thank you for giving us an opportunity to serve you.

But there’s only so much politeness someone can bear. Any suggestions on how one can deal with these people without losing one’s sanity?


akshay said...

Who the HELL gave them an ISO 9001 Certfication?

Ankit said...

Just what I thought!

humbl devil said...

welcome to customer care, indian style...
we Indians don't have it in us to serve people honestly, or even if we have, the people serving us turn out to be sadists...

Ankit said...

Not so sure about that... A couple of my friends work(ed) at call centres, and they were good.

humbl devil said...

yup, can't deny that,
a few good men...
save the day

The Unrest Cure said...

Heh...So Sify's incompetence isn't just limited to their Broadband operations. Do check out . Ankur's suing Sify Broadband, and there are people from all across the country giving him moral support...250+ comments.