It was that time of the year…the time when annual subscriptions of services we depend on to be renewed.
Top of the list was Cable TV subscription, the primary source of entertainment of our family.
I recalled last years’ experience of renewing our subscription; it was far from pleasant as I had spent 10-15 minutes on the phone. I was hoping this time it would be different.
I noticed this time on their advertising channel – the irritating one that comes on every time I turn on the set-top box. I simply cannot fathom why can’t I be taken to channel I was watching before. That’s another story.
Anyways on this channel they were selling annual subscription pack big time. Given the sorry state of our economy one would expect companies to ramp up efforts to signup customers for longer term contracts.
The instruction was simple – one has to just SMS a short given text to a given number and they would call to help. I was quite excited this meant I did not have to call and wait.
So I sent the SMS message and I promptly got a response that I would be contacted shortly.
I waited for 2 days since I received no phone calls I re-sent the SMS for which too I received another identical message.
A week past and I complete forgot about it. One evening while watching TV a messaged popped up informing that unless we extend our subscription in 2 days services would be disconnected.
I did not want to give up and call their call center so I logged in to the website – well nothing absolutely nothing including the year in the copyright message (showing 2005) had changed.
Finally I ended up calling their call the center just like last year– spent 15 minutes on the phone. What a waste, of time and infrastructure.
If they were to call me they could have called me when the volume of calls was low. Better still in this age of mobility with most people using smart phone a simple application on mobile phone would empower the subscriber to manage their accounts. These would cost significantly less.
In this day of age one would expect companies – at least the new ones like my cable company to be Business Technology savvy.
During tough economic conditions one would expect intelligent use of Business Technology to reduce cost. Given most cable TV companies in India are yet to turn profitable would make focus on reducing operations cost to be on top on the agenda.
At least for my cable company one of the largest in the country it does not seem to matter!