RamsThoughts

July 23, 2009 6:42 pm

Closed Credit Cards… feels lighter :)

Filed under: Banking,Customer Service,Finance — ramsblog @ 6:42 pm
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hehe, I had a bunch of credit cards and not all of them were being used. Looks like as the economy got tighter, the credit card companies have started looking into each account in further details. I have at least about 6 credit cards including ones from Citi Financial, Chase bank.

Citi had actually kept sending me the upgrades from silver, to Platinum to Diamond and finally a Diamond Preferred card. However, this was one of the cards I had not used for couple of years now. Last October, I received a heads-up letter saying this was going to be closed by the end of the month and I could give them a call if I had any questions or if I needed to keep the card. Well, I didn’t take time to call them at the right time and I received another letter mid November saying the account was closed.  Well, one card less in my wallet now. It felt a little lighter :)

Last week, I received a letter from Chase, and this time around the letter was a bit improved or advanced. It said, due to no transactions in the past 2 years, the account WAS CLOSED. So, there was no chance to talk to them before it was closed, and it was assumed and closed by the credit bank itself.  It is another card less to carry in my wallet, and perhaps brings my wallet to a smaller size :)

The size of my wallet (used to be) – with all the available credit cards, debit cards, memberships cards, drivers license, a spare car key, etc…

 image

and now i have switched to another smaller one just to keep 1 credit card, 2 debit cards, drivers license, fitness center card and a spare car key [I tend to leave the car keys inside and lock the car at times:) .]

 image

September 25, 2008 5:51 pm

Fried rice with No Nothing… !!

Filed under: community,Customer Service,Food,Travel — ramsblog @ 5:51 pm

Vijay‘s Twitter message about Fried Rice with No Meat reminds me of an instance at the Thai restaurant. I was at the Thai restaurant for Lunch on an office event. Looking at the menu, I somehow managed to find something I could eat, but with some modifications. I requested the waiter, “Could you please get me Fried Rice with No Meat, No Fish, No oyster sauce, No Eggs, No Mushroom, No cauliflower, No steamed vegetables, No Salt, No Ketchup, No Oil&Vinegar”?

He nodded his head as though he understood what I said and wrote down in whatever code language the staff could understand. Anyways, when I received the meal, it still a warm vegetables (looks like steam cooked), with salty taste and something I was not supposed to eat and couldn’t eat.

Ended up fully paid for the dish and picked some vegetables which tasted no salt in it. :)

This was a Thai restaurant in the US, It makes me wonder how Vijay manages when he is in China.

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September 17, 2008 5:34 pm

$4 off or $5 off ?

Filed under: Communication,Customer Service,Marketing — ramsblog @ 5:34 pm

I noticed this on a local news paper. It is interesting to see this ad. I don’t know what most people would choose out of this ad. Buy 20lb bag to get $4 off or/and double it to 40lb bag to get $8 off OR buy a 50lb bag to get a $5 off?

image

 

What is your interpretation? Or did I miss some fine prints there? ;)

September 10, 2008 9:52 pm

Metro Transit experience today …

Filed under: Customer Service,Miscellaneous,Travel — ramsblog @ 9:52 pm

I don’t know if there was something wrong with this bus route or if it was my luck today :)

I started off for a bus at 4:35pm and was a few minutes early around the bus stop, however, when I was at cross roads and about 50ft away from the bus stop, it just flew away. I decided to walk down to my 3yr old’s school which is approximately about 4miles away. It was a good walk, though it was tiring since I haven’t done this in a long time now. It took me around 45 mins to get there, I rather hurried up so that I could pick her up and get back to the bus stop for the next bus timed around 5:39 a block away from her school.

Reached her school at 5:21pm and it took about 5 minutes get her out. She was also excited to go in bus for the first time. we walked down to the bus stop within about 6 minutes and waited for the bus. Although it arrived a couple of minutes late, he didn’t stop the bus. My daughter was disappointed for a moment that he didn’t stop but not realizing much, she just stayed with me. Now, with no choice, we walked back for another mile or so for another bus or perhaps walk down towards home for other 3 miles or my wife would meet us somewhere on the way if she noticed us on the way. Anyways, we got onto another bus after walking for a mile from her school and reached home.

I don’t know if it was me or the bus, and it was not a good experience with the bus today – well, I think things happen for good at times (a) I got to walk for 4+ miles today :) (b) noticed my 3yr old’s attitude – she remained calm and enjoyed a walk with me, I guess.

May 28, 2008 11:45 pm

Shuttle from new Airport in Bangalore…

Filed under: Customer Service,Travel — ramsblog @ 11:45 pm

Thejesh twittered about a shuttle service from Bangalore international Airport – http://www.airliftonline.com/ – that’s cool of having WiFi for the longer commute that’s going to be between devanahalli and any other remote place in Bangalore city. I believe, I am going to have to ride about 2 hours or more between the airport and south of bangalore when I arrive there… :) It took me about 55 minutes to get to the HAL airport a month ago. Anyways, free wifi for the amount it stated on the website, I don’t know if it is for real. Any one tried yet?

-Ram

May 27, 2008 6:24 pm

Acronyms Acronyms Acronyms….

Filed under: Communication,Customer Service — ramsblog @ 6:24 pm

I don’t know why lot of professional organizations still use the Abbreviations (acronyms) in their application forms, and still expect people to fill in right. I understand the the communication jargon when people talking the same language ( i mean, people from same background or profession or industry), but how would other people know.

being from software industry, I understand if some one say the words like  C#, VSTF, ASAP, VSS, CGI, FYI, etc etc .. that we normally use, but if I go to a banker and say, “provide your documents in jpg format” or “would you mind exporting data into CSV format?” , he would be puzzled.

At the same, I don’t understand, why lots of banks use the terms like HLST, pur of prop, HL, EMI, HFC, PAN, APR, GPA, GPF,  etc etc.. –> what in the world are these terms mean? these are the ones I noticed on a bank application form. I could make out a few of these, but not all. Very few organizations have the foot note or the glossary page to describe these acronyms – thanks to those organizations, but not many of them do.

I don’t know if that’s the norm across the industries, however, it is hard to the customers to understand, at least to fill in the application forms legibly. Agreed, there are few acronyms that are widely used across the industries, and that is perhaps okay.

One of the key tips taught at the professional speaking course, Toast Masters, and such organizations, is to avoid using the abbreviations, or in case those are used ( because, at times those short forms make more appropriate) then say what it stands for, several times during the early conversation so the audience could understand the talk better.

April 10, 2008 7:27 pm

Fever Reducer please…

Filed under: Customer Service — ramsblog @ 7:27 pm

We were in Seoul Airport on transit few days ago. My 3yr old daughter built up fever on first leg of our flight. We had a little bit of Tylenol with us but that wasn’t enough. I looked around the stores to find a medical stores. went around different stores and asked couple of store representatives and they said they didn’t know and directed me to the Information desk. Waited at the Info desk for some one to help me. I thought I stood in the Queue, apparently other people just leaned over on the desk and asked their requirements in regional language and I still waited. anyways, went ahead and asked for any medical stores around. She pointed me to duty free information desk. Went there in another queue again and she directed me back to the Airport Information Desk.

At the end of the process, a person at information told me airport doesn’t have any pharmacy around and renovation was going on. I did not find the fever reducer (Tylenol or any thing) at all. It was then the time for us to board the 2nd leg.

Surprisingly, I noticed the message like “2007 best airport worldwide” –> I am not sure what the criteria for evaluating as a BEST airport – where it wasn’t easier enough for me to get the information right away. Having Food, Pharmacy, Rest rooms, etc are the basic requirements, I think. When someone is hungry or sick, I don’t know if things like L’Oreal, Chanel, Guess, Timex, Marlboro or any Duty Free items would help. (note: food stalls Wellys was open though) :)

SeoulBestAirportSeoulBestAirport1

April 6, 2008 11:08 pm

TIPS: Tipping for Services offered…

Filed under: Customer Service,Professional skills — ramsblog @ 11:08 pm

I was recently browsing few blogs I normally read, this post on Nita’s blog caught my attention.

I am confused about Tipping and computing the percentage. I didn’t know about the word tipping while I was in Bangalore although I was born and brought in Bangalore and lived most of my life there until I came to the United States. Although, I remember at times, in the smaller restaurants, the people with whom I went along, used to leave a rupee or so while getting out of the restaurant for the boys who used to wipe off the table after we left – but never knew the reason.

Anyways, after coming to the States, I left the place without tipping and one of my friends pointed me about that and provided me a list of guidelines for tipping – x% at restaurants, y% at salons, z% at so and so place for so and so service offered, etc etc… well, since then I have started 10 to 15% at the local salon I go to, but it varies between 5% – 15% when I go to the local restaurants.

Tip before or after?
        It is interesting that we usually tip for service offered and leave the place. We may never ever go to that place or even if I do the frequency is much longer and perhaps the individuals would not remember me at all. So, what is the purpose of Tipping? Is this to get a better service while we are there or pay for the service offered? It is a fine line, I think, from the customer point of view. However, thinking on the other end, ideally, the waiters at the restaurant need to do the duty to the best possible and the results come in much better way in some form from the Customers. Customers do observe the service being offered anyway. Two recent instances as I remember:

  • 7 of us from my team went to a lunch at Red Robins recently, when I was paying by credit card, I placed a question to the table as to what % of tip would be ideal for the service offered. There was a mixed opinion. (a)for the reason that they served us fairly quicker (though it could have faster) 10% is fine. (b) we weren’t even asked for water after the 1st cup they offered when we entered here, so 6% is fine. –> Although it is recommended (and at some restaurants they include 15% gratuity in the statement, but this restaurant did not include this time) 15% for a group of 6 or more, we made it 10%.
  • My wife, myself and my 3 year old were in local restaurant one night. We were there for 105 mins for 10 mins of eating time. hmm… my wife was hungry when we went in, but by the time we got our food, we couldn’t eat what we ordered. hmm… tip? we usually don’t see even a smile on the staff – it is probably their personality – but I am surprised pretty much each staff is like so. At times, the same staff replaced the choice if we didn’t like what was served.
  • I stayed a 5-star rated hotel for few weeks in Hyderabad, India several months ago. While I was checking out of the hotel, I came down to a lobby for a paper work. During the process, I mentioned that my bags were still in the room and had to be brought down to the car. A person who works there volunteered to go get them but did not return even after 10-15 minutes. So, I went back to the room, since it was getting late and I had to get to the airport in time. What I noticed was, my bags were still there and the TIP amount I had kept was gone. I brought my bags myself. This was in-spite of offering tips several times for the service offered during my stay at the hotel. However, the service during my stay was pleasant, the staff was very courteous, respectful, and few people went beyond their roles.

I think it is really a thin line as to when to TIP an individuals for their service.

February 25, 2008 8:05 am

Is there anything I can help you with, sir?

Filed under: Banking,Customer Service — ramsblog @ 8:05 am

I am not sure why some customer representatives ask this question, when they don’t really help me with my series of questions. I had informed a banking institution about a mailing address update in mid 2007 and have also received the confirmation on both the addresses confirming the change accordingly. I was happy that they finally took care of. I have been going through this in past several years now. However, in October 2007, I received a forwarded mailer (annual statement) that was sent to the address I had provided when the account was opened several years ago. I was confused again. I called that bank yesterday, and mentioned about these. The CSR kept saying about sending in the change of address form again. I am not able to understand, why I need to send in the COA for several times. Unfortunately he did not have answer to it. For Privacy or whatever reason, They DO NOT say out the address they have on their records when asked for it, in spite of giving them my vital information to somehow Prove I was the same person. He asked me to say out all the addresses I had provided since the time account was opened. He kept saying “No” for all except for my current one (which is correct). Then, How in the world, they sent an annual statement to my very First address.

Well, He did not have answer to it. He said “is there anything I can help you with?”  I said, well, this has been a mystery, I hope it gets resolved soon. Can you send me a copy of my tax papers? He said it has been mailed out? I asked to which Address? He says, ” I think to the address we have on record“. Again, I am keeping my fingers crossed, and hope it will be delivered next week. CSR wasn’t definitive on where and when it was mailed out to me. *sigh*

CSR: “Is there anything else I can help you with?”
Me: I am somewhat disappointed that I didn’t receive the answers for my questions yet.
CSR: “sorry, is there anything else I can…..

I said, ok one last question,
Me: I have a question about availing a credit card, since I am traveling couple of months from now, would you mind point me to the phone number that I can call?
CSR: We don’t know the phone number, I don’t have it.
Me: Well, I understand, but can you help me providing the information on where I need to contact for credit card division?
CSR: No, we don’t have that information
CSR: Is there anything else……

I am so confused. They have several products and services. I understand not everybody would have the information all the products and services. However, They should at least know the resources and redirect customers to the appropriate source of information.  I was asking about the same bank’s products and not others.

I think I need to make a visit to this bank when I go to India and get these answered in-person. I hope they would be courteous enough to spend few minutes to explain this to me.

I think, CSR training team needs to take this phrase off from their material and not disappoint their customers further….

February 13, 2008 12:02 pm

Oh! my poor Tilt!

Filed under: Customer Service,Gadgets — ramsblog @ 12:02 pm

My At&t Tilt! is dead now. I bought a new Tilt and switched to At&t service about 75 days ago. It was working ok although I used to have an issue speaking with a speaker turned On. I installed/ setup GPS service last week and installed Live Search to leverage the GPS features inbuilt in the phone. Coincidentally, It has stopped communicating out since last Saturday. Calls went through for that day, but later on Sunday, it completely stopped even getting the calls through and receiving calls. I am out of phone now.

https://www.wireless.att.com/devices/medium100x110_att_tilt.jpg

I went to the AT&T store on Sunday evening and got a number to call. Back to my car and borrowed my wife’s phone to Call at&t customer service. They asked me to go back to the store and have some one talk to her from there. Why? My phone’s IMEI number did not match the phone number to identify I was the right person or if it was the right phone for my number. that’s interesting. Anyways, since i was closer to the store, went back and had some one help me with that. They both talked over phone and went through few check points. Confirmed the phone was in in the good condition with no liquid spills or damaged.  After all this, customer service gal talked to me and said she would ship a replacement phone. I am awaiting a replacement phone device.

Sad part is AT&T sends a refurbished phone and not a new phone. I am very disappointed with that. Although I thought At&T is a great service, but it disappointed me with this transaction now. :(

(posting via live writer)

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