March 2014 – I was surfing the net to see if I could get a deal for an iPad mini retina. Croma, Flipkart, Amazon were my preferred websites.

Just when I had given up, Bam an interesting email from Landmark dropped in, offering 10% off on Croma if booked online. I immediately tried it out, but to my chagrin it did not work, the code kept showing expired. Wrote to customer service expecting an answer immediately or at least the next 24 hours. And therein my mistake.

8 exchange of emails and similar number of tweets with a constant template answer – ‘We’ve escalated it to the concerned team and are awaiting a reply’ or ‘We regret the inconvenience and request you to bear with us’

After a month, I finally gave in and forwarded the mail to Ajit Joshi CEO of Croma who has interacted casually with me on different industry forums sharing my thoughts.

In less than an hour he responded, apologising, marking a copy to the concerned person; received a call from the relevant head’s assistant who asked for details, since the Landmark mail was not supposed to come to me but to closed community etc.

A day later, code was given that would provide the discount. Alls well that ends well! Sort of, given the constant back and forth etc, my wife who was buying it for me, worked out a deal – better one at that with another retailer and picked it up.

Did it affect Croma – Probably not. But given the fact that they asked me to record the good also on Twitter and I did so, there is some listening mechanism at play. But some thoughts –

1) Why does it take more than 30 days to escalate? Even if you do not want to accept or give new coupon, be upfront
and say so.
2) Given the brand name, 100+ stores there are bound to be mistakes, isn’t it good to accept with grace and try to
move on?
3) Product is the same everywhere, it is the Service experience and recovery in this case that always remains in
mind for the Brand, which was bad and has been for many other people also.
4) Yes the % ratio of complaints to sales may be within required reason.

Having said that, it is always recommended that a closure is done, in this case no follow thru of non encashment or satisfaction query. But I guess that is the company policy. But, they have definitely lost me as a customer.

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Written by AD
ex waiter, angadia, travel agent, dotcomer, dukaandaar, marketeer, people watcher. appreciates single malt, food, friends