Fine Blanked.

While I was writing the previous post, thinking of what to write about and all that, I thought I would write my recent shopping experience.

We bought a microwave to replace the old one. The old one, an LG 25ltr, was over a decade old and finally gave up its life. The new one we bought is an IFB 23ltr convection (23bc4). And how we regret the purchase!

Now, let’s talk a little about the brand. IFB (Indian Fine Blanks) has been in India for over 40 yrs, and its home appliances division has been around since the 90’s. They are (supposedly) one of the most trusted brands in the country.

Now our plight. This is the one that started our headaches.

IMG_20160418_191102[1].jpg

It comes all nicely packaged and has such a good look to it, doesn’t it?

We bought it from Girias, Mahalingapuram, on Sunday 17th April. They were rather nice and helpful. We even asked if the company had good customer service and they said yes. At the end of the transaction, they informed us that the product would be delivered the next day and the technician would be around within 24 hrs to install and show a demo.

Like promised the product was delivered on Monday evening. And then the wait began. After 24 hours, we called up customer care (in case you didn’t know IFB Customer Care numbers are 1860 425 5678 or 1800 3000 5678). Then we called them afterwards twice a day every day. These people finally gave us numbers of some guy in Chennai who handles these things. I called him up and he said, it would be done today(which was Friday), then tomorrow before 12pm (Saturday). And on Saturday evening, this person didn’t even pick up the call.

Now, it’s Monday Evening and still no one has come by. The thing is, IFB sends you a ticket number first when you buy, which was our reference until today. When we called this morning, to our dismay we were told, that since there was no response on our end, the ticket was closed. How can you close an issue, if you have not resolved it? What sort of moronic response is this?  One gives a landline number, a cell number, and multiple times declared that there is someone always at home and this is the response that is given! After talking to them again today, there is now another ticket number we have for reference. The longevity of this is, again if the experience is to be repeated, questionable.

Normally, I don’t judge people for their language skills. Being multilingual, it is easier for me to talk to people in the language they are comfortable in rather than English if it is not their cup of tea. The IFB customer care fellows have, I can shamefully say, tried my patience on that issue as well.

If the purpose of calling a CC number is to gather information not available by other machine generated means, I want to talk to someone who has that info. These guys, on the other hand, have a standard response.These being –

  • Please note down our technician’s numbers
  • They will surely come Today(if you call in the morning)
  • They will surely come Tomorrow(if you call in the evening)

Now, that is information that can be relayed by a machine.

  • Press 1 if you are a customer ->
  • Press 1 if you want English ->
  • Press 1 if you want a Technician’s number
  • Press 2 if you want a standard response.

Honestly, at this rate, you can get things done faster with a Government office than with IFB.

How can a brand like IFB with the presence and customer base that it has been so callous when it comes to keeping these same customers happy? In our example, as first-time customers of the brand, we are very disappointed and will never again buy an IFB product again. And for sure we are not going to recommend IFB to anyone as well.

You know, perhaps they have named their company well, Indian Fine Blanks. Once you buy an IFB, you may as well have a blank expression.

Making Fine Blanks of Indians for Decades!

You can also refer their Twitter page @IFBAppliances or any other forum to look through many such issues. Some unresolved issues dating back months even.

UPDATE: Finally, they came on 25 April. Installed and Demo was done. FINALLY!!!!!

 

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