Sunday, November 10, 2019

Can you correct my name please ?

At the end of last year - 2018, I joined a tech company that allowed me to reimburse all food bills as long as the bill had my name on it. For the first few days, I started gathering food bills from all around me. All my friends knew that food bill have to be in my name. 

I am still a loyal zomato user, however, for the first time, I tried using swiggy to order my daily lunches so I can claim the same from the company. Hence I went ahead and created an account on swiggy. The only mistake I made was an incorrect typing of my name. A simple misspelled letter. I thought a simple email to swiggy should rectify the misspelled name.

So on 3rd Jan 2019, I dropped an email to swiggy to rectify the spelling of my name. I received a reply on 4th Jan that due to tech issues, they are unable to fix my name. 

Greetings from Swiggy.

I am sorry for the inconvenience caused to you regarding this issue.

I would like to inform you that due to some technical issues we are not able to update the name. Hence, I would request you to please wait for sometimes that we might provide an option to change the name on your app itself.

Thanking you for your patience and understanding

I waited for a month, and followed up. And on the same day, I was told that the best minds are working to fix my the spelling of my name. I was impressed. 

Please accept our sincere apology for the inconvenience caused.

I'd like to inform you that we have highlighted this issue with the concerned team and our best minds are working on the issue to come up with a resolution as early as possible.
We are sorry that it is taking longer than expected time to help with the resolution for this query. Hence, we request you to allow us some more time that we might provide an option to change the name on your app itself.
We appreciate your patience and understanding.

Next I shot an email marking all the VP & above people in swiggy and explained my problem. 

However, still nothing happened. I was surprised that such senior folks ignored a customer. I have been startups & e-commerce & I know how important it is to communicate to the customer. Ignoring a customer is not something that I would do or even allow anyone from my team to do. 

After a long chain of emails, I was told that there is no visible timeframe for them to fix their technical glitch. 

​Thank you for reverting us.

We understand that you would want to update the profile name in your Swiggy account.

We would like to offer our deepest apologies for the trouble you had to experience with Swiggy. We understand how disappointing this must have been as this is not the service we want our valuable customer to experience. 

We regret to inform you that we are unable to update the profile name due to technical glitch. However, our concerned team is working on this issue and it will be resolved soon, but we do not have a time frame.

We appreciate your kind understand here.

I am writing my rant today almost after 11 months of the initial email. And surprisingly Swiggy does not have a solution yet. 

In hindsight, when I think what could have gone wrong? Was the database design so poor that the team was unable to fix it? Are the tables not properly normalised? Are they not using micro services? Is their micro service design flawed? Is there no ROI in profile updation feature? 

I have built a few products in my career & for me insert & update is a single micro service with an endpoint that supports multiple http verbs. 

This is a use case of why it is important to engineer the database & application in a loosely coupled fashion. And use design patterns which enables easy addition of new features & fixing of bugs.

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Should I take a car loan ?

l got my first car at the age of 27. I "had" money. I got a car worth 7 lakh INR in 2007. I took a huge loan of 5 lakh INR (1 Lakh = 100,000). And paid an emi of around 10,800/- for the next 5 years. The interest itself costed me 150,000/- extra. Which means for the car which I got for 700,000, I paid 850,000. 

And a car is a depreciating asset. Which means, as the car grows old, its value decreases. And 7 years later, when I sold my car, I got mere 150,000 INR for the car. Which means I lost more than 700,000 INR in owning & maintaining the car.

Instead if I had invested those 200,000 that I paid as down payment in large cap mutual funds, I would have received at least 400,000 after 7 years. However, I do not feel sorry about the fact that I blew 700,000 INR on the car, instead I repent the fact that I paid 150,000 in interest for a depreciating asset.

The question is - do you want to spend that much on the car you love? Keeping in mind that the life of a car is around 3 years max. After which its maintenance & old age becomes visible. And no matter how expensive the car is, you cannot run if for more than 10 years. 

The answer is for you to decide. If I ask myself the same question, in hindsight, I may reply that instead of spending lavishly and getting an expensive car on EMI, I should have got a smaller car on downpayment. And created a SIP of the EMI fund which will help me getting an expensive car in future.

Saturday, January 05, 2019

My struggle with Dominos - again

I did not learn any lession from my earlier experience

Let us see how frustrating is it to get a duplicate invoice from Dominos. Question - is Dominos fudging its records to avoid Tax.
I ordered a lot of pizzas for my kids party. It was a bulk order placed on phone and the payment was by cash.
I called back the next day to get a duplicate invoice, which i can use for corporate reimbursements - my organization has this policy and I still had some budget pending. I was told that Dominos cannot generate a duplicate invoice on the next day. So, i raised a support ticket at with an email to .I was given a reference no 7897434. And i got a call where i was connected to the restaurant to get the invoice. The restaurant again denied giving a invoice. And my call was disconnected.

This was my first call.

My second call went like this:
Dominos - Would you like to place an order.
Me - I have a concern for which the ticket no is 7897434.
Dominos - Can i get your phone no ?
Dominos - Order no
Me - 33
Dominos - Sir, when was the order placed
Me - XX-XX-2018
Dominos - Sir, we can generate duplicate invoice for orders placed on that day only.
Me - But, i need the invoice.
Dominos - Sir, but we do not have it.
Me - Connect me to your manager
Dominos - Connects me to the restaurant. The manager Mr Anil from park plaza restaurant, indirapuram comes on the phone.
Anil - Sir, we can give you an invoice on an A4 sheet paper - come any time in afternoon & collect it from Mr. Gyan in the restaurant.
Me - Great.

Next day, I went to the restaurant to collect the invoice.
And i see Mr. Gyan - who again refuses to generate the invoice. I ask him to call Mr Anil, and Mr Gyan is reluctant to do so. Maybe he was thinking about his appraisal. BTW, I call up dominos at 1860-210-0000 and it was at this time the ordeal got rougher.

3rd call
Dominos - Would you like to place an order.
Me - I have a concern for which the ticket no is 7897434.
Dominos - Can i get your phone no ?
Dominos - Order no
Me - 33
Dominos - Sir, when was the order placed
Me - XX-XX-2018
Dominos - Let me put you on hold while I connect you to the restaurant
Me - I am standing at the restaurant.
Dominos - Sir, let me connect you to the restaurant. [It seems the guy has hearing or understanding problems]

While i wait for the "tune" and they connect me to the restaurant, my mind starts thinking...

Why do i have to keep repeating my complete history everytime i call. Dont they have a CRM? Where they know what is happening with their customer. What f***ed up organization runs their IT. I looked it up later and it seems they do not have a face for their technology team. I can see a Mr Anand Thakur. Maybe he should think about having a CRM
The phone behind me Rings. The lady at the phone picks up. While I am standing just behind her - she talks to me on the phone. When I tell her, that she is talking to me - she disconnects. And i am again redirected to Mr. Gyan to get my invoice. Mr Gyan again denies from generating the invoice. My brain is now on fire. A very simple task as to generating a duplicate invoice is such a hassle for Dominos. Why cant they generate duplicate invoice ?

4th call
I again call up their central help-desk no. Again play the 10 stupid questions game.

In the mean time i somehow convince the "Appraisal Man" - Mr Gyan to call up his Boss.
Reluctantly Mr Gyan calls up his manager Mr Anil - who is not available. He is enjoying his holiday without giving any instructions regarding his promise to a customer.That is how little these guys think about a customer.

Somehow the 10 questions get over and I ask for the supervisor. Now comes this super busy lady Ms Upmeet. She is also unable to connect to the Manager Mr Anil. It seems the manager Mr Anil, purposely gave me an afternoon slot for a visit to the restaurant. He would get his portion of sick pleasure to see a customer bang his head while he sleeps at home. Mr Upmeet connects to the restaurant and talks to someone about giving me the invoice and then abruptly disconnects.

5th call
Thanks to jio, we now have unlimited talk time at very cheap rates.
Mr Gyan is conveniently ignoring me.
As soon as the call is picked up - i ask for Ms Upmeet. But Ms Upmeet  [I will call her Ms Busy] has moved into a meeting.
I again play the 10 stupid questions game - [ Mr Anand Thakur - I will help you to get a CRM for free - i think ]
Just then the shift manager Mr Pankaj arrives. He somehow convinces Mr Gyan [ who is still ignoring me ]  to copy paste the order on an A4 sheet and give me a hand made invoice.
The game of 10 questions is now over and the call is again disconnected.

6th call
I again thank Jio and make my 6th call.
Mr pankaj [My saviour] has finally been able to create a hand made invoice with his sign and company stamp. I think this should work.
The call is again picked up by someone - and I ask for Ms Busy.
Me - I want to talk to Ms Busy
Dominos  - Sir, can i know your concern.
Me - This is my 6th call - I have played your game 6 times now. I cannot play anymore. I was talking to Ms Busy, and the call got disconnected.
Dominos - Sir, let me check with Ms Busy.
Me - okay
Dominos - Sir, Ms Busy has moved into a meeting and will not be able to attend the call.
I know Madam Umeet that you saw a frustrated customer and ran into a meeting to avoid talking to the customer.
Dominos,if you have such managers who are either unavailable or hiding from customers, your organization life span is very short.
Dominos - Sir, I will arrange a callback from Ms Busy.
Me - I know that I will not be getting the call. Ms Busy has fled the battle of words.
I thank Mr Pankaj for the handmade invoice and return.

All this for generating a duplicate invoice.
My afterthought is that If I order online, my invoice is emailed, smsed to me - since I am making the payment online. The question here is whether Dominos stops generating invoice for cash orders - that will help them avoid tax on cash transactios.
Food for thought for all of us who still make cash transactions.