Stop Cheating Startups, Indians?
Companies start to make your life better, to save you time, rescue you from inconvenience, and in that pursuit, they sometimes end up making mistakes. Almost, every company knows that while offering their service or product they can unexpectedly make the customer face discomfort. So, Large Customer Support System with thousands of employees are set up. These representatives job is to hear customer concern and make an appropriate decision, mostly favoring the customer (Cause a Happy Customer = More Business)
But, the problem starts when you take advantage of such systems. I’ve been to the USA, and if I get a defected laptop through Amazon, I just need to make one simple button click, and my order will be taken back. No questions asked, no need to send pics, no need to provide details. (Although, such scenarios are gradually changing now in the United States)
The problem with India is There are a lot of abusers to this system! People don’t want to play the “Be honest” game. Instead, they would like to burn holes into the pocket of so-called establishments that are making their life better.
Yes, Companies make mistakes, they could send you a defective piece, they could charge you extra money, they could deny you service inadvertently. It happens! And for that reason, this big support group exists whose prime job is to assist in case of an unpleasant situation.
Take Uber and OLA for example. They have changed the dynamics of commuting in India. A few years ago, we had to stand outside waving our hands to cabs passing by hoping someone would stop and take you to your destination at your preferred price. But, that was never the case, they never let you in that easy. First, you’d have to negotiate the place then negotiate the price, and there wasn’t any way to give input on how was your experience.
Amazon and Flipkart changed the way we shop. If you had to buy something, first you would have to move out of your house, if it is rarely available then go around different places in search for it and then haggle. This aspect quickly changed with the emergence of Online Shopping.
Zomato and Swiggy changed the way we eat. If you value time, then you would want to save it in every little way possible. Sitting in an office, home or wherever you can now order food without the need to move out.
Without the need to halt your work or to interrupt productivity.
My intention isn’t to talk about how startups are making lives better and impacting us or discuss predicaments of the past. But, to point out activities that are conducted by our own kind that is destroying the startups.
Here are few of the things people do and take advantage of startups. How do I know? I’ve got this information from friends who work in Support centers.
Call Amazon and say their order didn’t get delivered
One of the most frequent cases, Amazon takes utmost care of their customers and would never like to make them feel inadequate about anything.
Many try this out, and in fact, I know few people who bragged they do this for their living. “I get free stuff from Amazon… I use different id’s and try to rob them off” with a sense of pride.
Many times the evidence clearly favors the company, but they would still refund. Reason? Why dispute with a customer and lose him.
Spill liquid in the Shopping Bag.
Order a good amount of food supply, above Rs 3k from an online grocery store. Spill liquid on top of other foods and claim it was delivered to you in that very condition, blame the delivery boy for not handling the items properly.
Verdict? Get a refund, and you get to keep those things. So, basically, you got them for free.
Cancel at the last minute
Change your mind? Found a cheaper ride? Cancel it! I have seen so many people who would order Uber and at the last minute cancel it and fight over the Rs 100 penalty and threating never to use it if they don’t get a refund.
Sometimes to reach the pickup destination, the driver covers more than 5 kms in heavy traffic and learns the ride has been canceled. Think about how would you feel.
Give the wrong Review
Although this doesn’t affect the company in general, it spoils the experience for others. I’m not sure if it is an isolated practice or this happens quite often. One of my friends met me after completing his Uber ride. After a while, he took out his phone and saw uber asking to rate the ride. He rated One Star. I was incredulous. I asked him Why was it bad? His response “I just did it for fun”
What? Really? You know how much that affects the driver. Uber basically will now be questioning the driver and might even suspend him. The “just for fun” ratings affects them.
Unless the driver misbehaved, took a longer route, drove harshly, there is no reason to rate him less than 5. When you rate 5 stars the driver get incentivized. Think about this giving him extra without burning your purse.
The rating system is built so that companies can identify who are unqualified to have a job. Rate poorly only when you genuinely feel dissatisfied with the service and feels the responsibility heads on to the delivery guy or driver.
Ignoring Calls cause you are now no longer hungry.
Order food and then disappear. Don’t answer calls and let the poor delivery boy wander around your location hoping to get a response. Eventually, make him pay for your Burger and Soda.
I may have missed on tons of ways people abuse the system and startups pay a heavy price for that. The power of compound injures them terribly.
I’ve started this post by describing how startups help our societies to be better and if we keep messing up the system then stringent rules will be followed to stop them from losing money and combating abusers.
Something that we “Indians” should advocate for in life is honesty. India culturally rewards tricksters and oppresses corporates. This is a major problem.
On the other hand, most corporations have learned to handle this. They bake fraud into their business model. Like they expect about 10% of all loss to come from fraud and they have built this business model around it.
Yes, there are also instances where genuine customers are cheated by startups. However, I will leave that discussion for some other time.