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.