Thursday, October 31, 2013

Indigo mistreats critically ill patient

My mother-in-law, a critically ill patient, was referred from Neelachal Hospital, Bhubaneshwar to Global Hosptials, Hyderabad and was taken from BBI to HYD. She was referred to speciality treatment for "Acute Liver Failure." She had about 5 hours to reach the next medical facility and was on life support drugs for the period of transfer.

On 29th of October, our group of 6 people, including the patient on wheelchair, reported at Bhubaneshwar Indigo airlines terminal at about 9 AM for physical checkin. The lady at the counter looked at the patient and asked for medical "fit to fly" certificate. The "fit to fly" certificate that stated Acute Liver Failure, transfer certificate from one medical facility to another, and complete medical records were immediately shared with the lady facilitating the checkin.

This is where the hell broke loose -- she refused to check the patient in stating that Indigo policy does not allow these kind of patients to fly as she is suffering from a "communicable disease." After arguing, she went to ask the Indigo airport manager. The manager came out and argued again about not letting the patient fly as she is suffering from a "communicable disease."

We asked about the staff's medical competence and further asked to give access to either Indigo medical doctor or the airport doctor. We were clearly told that they WILL NOT give access to anyone either physically or on phone and they cannot let the patient cannot fly. They also in clear terms told us that "Even a class 1 student knows that this is a communicable disease."

In the meanwhile, the patient, asked us "will they let me die here at the airport, will I not be able to go to Hyderabad for treatment?"

They kept refusing to let their/airport doctor talk to the consulting hospital, they kept arguing in harsh and loud tone based on their understanding of the disease, while we kept arguing to consult a medical doctor. About 40 minutes had passed by then, the patient was suffering and the whole family was in tears that they might loose a family member.

My wife on the other hand called the patient's consulting doctor, a leading gastroenterologist in Bhubaneswar, on his phone and told him about the problem at the airport. When the doctor wanted to talk to the airport staff, the airport manager initially refused to talk, but when my wife insisted in louder and harsher tone, he reluctantly talked to the doctor.

We along with the patient, kept waiting while the airport manager made some more calls. Somehow, magically on the 11th hour, just a few minutes before the aircraft closed doors, they issued boarding passes while passing a lot of judgements.

The otherwise peaceful signing of mandatory "Indemnity Form," came alongwith extreme threatening tone from Indigo that they are not responsible. Anyway, we understand that Indigo will not be held responsible for any mishap, but the tone was uncalled for.

We finally could board the plane just before the door was being closed, about 50 minutes from the time we started to check in. The patient was transferred to a speciality care facility in Hyderabad on time and is recovering now.

The critically ill patient suffered and had given hope. The family suffered as they were faced with irrational, ill-behaved, did not want to follow SoPs, non-caring, Indigo staff.

The customer care heads of IndiGo seem not to reply to mails and probably do not care too. Do not fly IndiGo if you have a suffering patient because IndiGo does not care!

Monday, June 22, 2009

LG Customer Care-less!

Here is the mail that I sent to Mr. Santosh Das, Head of Customer Care, LG Electronics India for not carrying out repairs on my LG washing machine. Within 8 hours, the machine was repaired and several calls followed about quality of repair. This was after a week of not   showing up!

I am not sure if they are really serious about service. Read on, it might give you ideas...


Dear Santosh,

I understand that you head the customer service at LG India. I must congratulate you and your brilliant team for providing timely and  quality service to clients.

I have a washing machine out of warranty and I called CS in Hyderabad pretty late in the night. They recognized me and took my complaint,  however as the CSA probably did not understand the product well, I had  to explain a simple complaint (broken front door hinge of the front   loading washing machine) 10 times, with washing machine model number. Kudos to your team that they finally got it right!

Thanks that the engineer turned up, and without calling, but isn't that the right way? I am sure they have been trained to not disturb  their clients and land up at their places without calling. The  engineer was well prepared to see "what was wrong with which  equipment?" He also offered to replace the part the next day.

I think as a courtesy, he or any one else in the service center did not disturb me for many days after the visit. Think they forgot about  the complaint -- sometimes humans do forget, don't they? So, I thought  I will remind them that a part needs replacement. They also sometime   forget to tell clients about the status.... human beings!

I called the omnipresent call center. They were very helpful in not letting me know the status as they usually dont have a status --  convenient for them I suppose! They were very helpful in pushing their  problem to the service center, also forthcoming in giving out service center head's mobile number. I also believe that the number is changed  (Anjaneyulu 09703217681) as he is not picking it up for quite some  time -- probably he is a busy man and customer call is not a priority  for him.

Today, I called up the service center to check the status, they replied that they have no clue as the part is not there and they will  not forward the call to the supervisor. I like this attitude of   service people -- clear and concise -- no ambiguities! Atleast he said that he has no clue about service delivery date.

Anyway, I wanted to tell you that my 1.5 year's son's clothes and our small family's clothes are piling up and not been washed for more than  a week. I think I will take leave from office for a day and wash all  clothes.

I am writing to you so that you can send your service team to my home tomorrow to wash all clothes manually. It will be a great help. I  think your team is good at washing clothes as they have demonstrated  limited servicing abilities. Thanks in advance for sending your team,  I will send you washing session's pictures tomorrow - you might want to include them in your newsletter telling how far you guys go to  service a client!

Looking forward to your team's visit to my home to wash all clothes.

And, if you really think it is possible replace a part, I am pretty sure it will be impossible to backtrack my complaint number from the  limited information on this mail, so here it it is S9C 6100 5885.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

7 Mantras for Profitable Rural Mobile Applications in India

1. Literacy: Don't make me read anything except numbers. Think voice and human interfaces.
2. Trust: Payment to humans. Don't try self / machine payments.
3. Lock-in: Ask for payments only when needed - don't lock me in, and I don't understand plans.
4. Customize: Services or products must solve my specific problem.
5. Exclusive: The information must not be available thru other means: word of mouth, media...
6. Timely: Product/Services/Information must be available when needed, shut off when not needed.
7. Self-service: Self service apps must be designed & usability tested after ethno research.