It is always a heartening feeling when a customer gets his due from an organisation who had decided to treat him like dirt in the not too distant past and it is even more so when that change of heart is brought about by the efforts of our publication India Opines – this feels like the beginnings of an internet based consumer movement in India. The regulars would be aware of the story that was reported on Aug 28th, 2013 titled ‘ACER India – Poor Customer Service Laid Bare’ which chronicled the harrowing time that a consumer had had with the customer services department of multinational giants ACER. For those who had read it would remember the remarkably indifferent fashion in which the customer services department of ACER had treated a genuine service request .
At the time, India Opines took an interest in the matter 33 days had already been consumed by the company without making any progress in their quest to replace the mother board of the laptop computer in question. Once all the documents including e-mail exchanges were handed over to us, the story took shape and was published within a few hours; since as you can imagine, time was of vital importance. However, merely the publication of the story was not enough since we had to make every effort to ensure that the reluctance of ACER to help the consumer in any way should be known to as many people as possible.
In this regard, social media came extremely handy as the link to the article was shared on Twitter as well as on Facebook. However, one of the most vital things to mention in this regard is that the link to the IndiaOpines article was re-tweeted by none other than advertising guru Suhel Seth, which meant that at one go more than 200000 people were made aware of the story.
Additionally, the link was posted on ACER’s official page as well which meant that the company’s PR machinery suddenly became aware of a problem that remained as just another unimportant incident for the customer services team till a few days ago.
However, the effects of the article were soon evident when the customer was contacted via a direct message on Facebook regarding his grievances and the wheels of redemption on the part of ACER were put into motion. On the same day, (it was late on August 28th), the customer relations team of ACER got in touch with the customer via e-mail and informed him that his case would be handled on top priority. An excerpt from the e-mail has been produced below:
As per our discussion over phone……..
Your case issue it has been already addressed and its on top priority for us. unfortunately the part issue was there because of that we can not ful fill our commitment.
We got the confirmation from warehouse team that part will available by 3rd of Sept 2013. So we can hand-over the machine with repair and ready by 4th Sep 13.
In case we fail to ful full our commitment we will take a call as special case.
CC: Dear XXX,
I am arranging this part in priority with help of SLH team, make sure to close this case by 04/09
Thanks & Regards”
There was a clear sense of urgency within the ranks of ACER to get the job done as quickly as possible to control the damage that had already taken place, although the representatives of the company had failed to provide the customer with a definite date just 2 days back. This time ACER stuck to their word and delivered the repaired laptop a day in advance (surprise! Surprise!) on the 3rd of September. The customer seems to be happy with the way in which his issue was solved within 6 days since the day India Opines started fighting for his cause and a thank you note from him has been sent to us.
This was well and truly an occasion in which the a consumer won against a multinational corporation who seemed to be blissfully unaware of their own duties. However, it needs to be remembered that there might be thousands of such cases taking place everyday where a consumer is being treated woefully by corporations, which shout from the roof tops about their exemplary customer satisfaction. However, this incident proves that they are not always true to their word and one often has to go a few extra miles to get his due. The only question that remains is this: – Has ACER redeemed itself? The answer to that is a difficult one since they decided to act once the proverbial push came to shove. But the bigger question that needs to be pondered upon is this- is this the start of a consumer movement in India – a movement where better service is demanded and where the customer is always right !