What a month in Gurgaon can teach you? Thanks to CocoBerry, Domino’s and Airtel

We have been moving around lately. After spending few years in London we moved back to India and found ourselves jobs in the communications industry in Delhi. Dwarka seemed like quite a spot to live in and we called it a home until recently when we decided to move to Gurgaon to be closer to our offices (and not spend long hours at the Gurgaon toll) and that’s when all the hell broke loose.

The Starters- Week 1

We moved on June 29 , 2013 in an unfurnished apartment and decided to order for an air conditioner. Cheque was delivered and so was the air conditioner to our apartment which is on the second floor with no lift to it. However, the dealer and his people refused to have it installed and for 48 hours kept debating about its mechanics. Their favourite reason- “The stairs are too narrow and badly made.”

Okie. We cancelled it and after lot’s of argument our cheque was returned. We ordered from Croma that very day and they had it delivered the next day. All this while I had started to believe that stairs had a mind of their own and have been narrowing down ever since we shifted our double beds and a refrigerator to the second floor.

Croma

1 minute and 30seconds, is all it took for the two Croma guys to lift it up to the second floor and have it unwrapped.

I love my stairs- it’s a good exercise excuse!!

Reason for this behavior from sources at the company- “dealer wasn’t happy with the commission he was getting from the company. So, it’s okie for him to throw tantrums”

Advise: Always keep an old fashioned cooler nearby. It might make it humid but you won’t die of dehydration by excessive sweating.

The Main Course: Week 2

We were hungry and decided to order Domino’s. That’s my favourite any time of the day, so we went ahead and ordered online and they delivered too- Well, almost!

The delivery guys called us to say, “Mere pass app ka order hain and main 0.5 km door hoon but hum aapke location pe deliver nahi karta hain. Main wapas jaa raha hoon.”

Domino's pizza

Now can you beat that!

Domino's Pizza Confirmation

Domino’s Pizza confirmation that was never delivered

That started the endless calls between their sector 29 store and DLF store. Each claiming that the other store  has the mandate to deliver.

They ordered us to “pay in cash and only then they can deliver and we will get a refund. Just wait for the SMS with details.”

No SMS came. Calls were being hanged up. Rude people shouting from the other end. During this I tweeted to Domino’s handle. Thought they would say a hi at least.

Finally sec 29 store guy said you will get the refund in 7 days. DLF store manager said “it will take 14 days”. Sec 29 said wait for the SMS cancellation confirmation and then I can pay cash once it gets delivered. I agreed, way to go.

DLF store said we don’t send such cancellation SMS’s.

Finally, we agreed to pay cash once DLF store manager confirmed that we will get the refund. YIPPIE!!!

We kept waiting. No pizza was delivered!!!!

I am no longer  sure about the refund either.

Advise: Frozen parathnas always save the day. Stock them to full while in Gurgaon or even traveling through it.

The Entertainment: Week 3

Well, every one needs an internet connection. We applied for one through Airtel. Their executive Sunil (9717127829) came and we finalized the plan. 14 day free trial and free WIFI router was a super add on.  Rs 500 was paid as advance and receipt taken.

This was July 13, 2013.

No one bothered to come back after that. On July 22, I called back on the mobile number but it was switched off. Finally, I called the landline (0124-4030040) through which I had got in touch with them initially. That’s the reply I got each time I called:

Complaint on Airtel India's Fb page

Complaint on Airtel India’s Fb page (click to enlarge)

Call 1: “Let me check the details and we will call you in 5 mins”

Call 2: “Let me check the details and we will call you in 5- 10 mins”

Call 3: “Let me check the details and YOU can call me in 5-6 mins”

After nearly 5 hours (not 5 mins) when nothing seemed to move, I asked for their manager – SHIV (9717197282). That’s the reply I got:

Call 1: “Let me check the details and YOU can call me in 5-6 mins

Call 2: “Let me check the details and we will call you in 5- 10 mins

FInally, I was told I can’t be given the 4 mbps plan that I had paid the advance for as that is not feasible in the area I live in.

“Didn’t you check it before you took the advance from me?” I asked.

Reply: “You gave the advance to Sunil. I am not responsible for him. It’s my closing time and I am very busy. We can have 2mpbs installed if you still want it”

I said Yes.

48 hours later and all of Airtel went into radio silence once again. I called again.

Reply:  “Actually, we can’t give 2mbps either.  We will give the refund by tomorrow please SMS me your address”

SMS sent. No refund yet (Aug 2, 2013 and counting).

Here is how the complaint on their Facebook page is dealt with. (snapshot above)

Advise: Don’t bring work at home and you won’t need an internet connection. Internet connection is for the losers 🙂

The Dessert: Week 4

Well, thanks to Coco Berry (Galleria Market, Gurgaon) we had a wonderful one on Saturday- July 27, 2013.  Also,  wife’s purse went missing from their outlet. It’s a gated outlet with very few customers.  How is that possible?

Is it Gurgaon or just us?

cocoberry

cocoberry

The manager Hem Raj (9971201219) helped us find the nearest PCR van. The policeman there Harish Chandra (impressive name, ehh?) gave us a lecture on deteriorating social structure and directed us to nearest Police station of sector 29. He though did not even bother to leave the comfort of his PCR van and do something (anything?). The final advise from him –

“Kissi pe shaq ho ya kuch pata chale toh batana main zarur kaarwayi karunga”

Hilarious or ridiculous!!!!

Hem Raj was in a jolly good mood as always and couldn’t stop smiling all this while.

SMILE Please. Cocoberry

“We don’t have a CCTV footage, it’s all recorded in the head office” *SMILE* “Monday ko milegi” *SMILE*

So we left for the police station, narrated our story and the policeman incharge Jitender along with one more promptly agreed to come on the scene of the crime. Impressive, we thought.

Though both of them had interesting observations to make while on the way and we started to wonder if their promptness is worth anything.

Few employees of Coco Berry were interrogated on the spot and then we were asked to come back to the Police station and showered  with the final suggestions from Jitender

“FIR darj karogei toh mushkil main pad jaaogei. Soch lo. Hamei pratical karne do.  App dono shaadi shuda ho kya, lagte toh nahi.  App inke sath kyun aaye ho. Friend ho kya?”

“App ke sath hi nahi , hamare sath bhi aisa kai baar ho chukka hain. Zamana bada kharab hain”

“FIR darj kar k kya karogei, hamein pratical investigation karne do”

“Galti aap dono ki hi hain waise toh”

P.R.A.C.T.I.C.A.L

(what does that mean as far as Indian Penal code is concerned? Any experts out there?)

Well, back at sector 29 police station it was time for practical. He disappeared handing a piece of paper to another policeman- {Hari Chand or Nek chand, can’t seem to remember. Let’s assume HC for now). Now this guys was baffled at what had happened and his set of questions started.

“Mujhey toh pata hi nahi hain ki kya hua hain. Poora samjhaao”

“Galti toh aap dono ki hi hain”

“FIR mat karo, missing documents ki darj kar do”

After a 3 hour long wait some paper work started and for that he took us from the main reception which had not seen any working bulbs to his residential quarter (within the compound).

Well, talk about working from home and this lad had all the comfort!

While another police man sprawled on the bed. He started asking questions to two of the CocoBerry employees who were summoned. The Manager Hem Raj was there too and so was his *SMILE*. He loved to drop names of policemen he knows and that seemed to have some magical affect on  HC.

They were let go for the time being and the CCTV CocoBerry footage was awaited.

He quickly wrote the report of all the missing items in the purse- RC for the car, PAN, Driving License, Jewellery….. STOP

“Jo likhna hain likh do,  agar pehle kabhi kuch chori hua hain toh woh bhi but hum paise aur gehno ki report nahi likhte hain.”  (write whatever missing documents you want to report but we don’t file FIR for jewellery or money theft).

Of course, you are Gurgaon Police. How can you?

Had he agreed I would have reported Kohinoor missing as well, I thought. What an opportunity missed?

So the lost document report was done sans the jewellery and money.  We didn’t see a point arguing with him. That would have meant spending even more hours there. He dictated in Hindi/Haryanvi and I wrote in English. He wanted me to write “losted FIR” mentioning  “Khaana Khaa rahe thei at the dukaan.”

Premature advice: Not easy to explain what a frozen yogurt is to a  Gurgaon policeman and the difference between a  dessert and the main course. Especially when you have to narrate the same story to 3-4 of them. Here is the recipe in case you end up in a similar situation – http://www.refinery29.com/frozen-yogurt-recipe

The Real Dessert Story- COCO Berry style

Starts here.

On Monday they never called with the CCTV footage details. When I enquired they said (not to mention with a *SMILE*),

“we don’t have it recorded for a week.. …wait, no it was a glitch on that day only between 5:10 to 5:35PM… I am  not authorized to share any more details.. contact Bhupinder Satija our area manager”

Well, may be I was expecting too much from  a reputed company like Coco Berry.  No one expects them to have armed guards outside their outlets (even though it’s Gurgaon), however, the least they could have done is to keep their CCTV’s in the working condition or at least share a believable excuse.

Will they compensate? I doubt. An apology, highly unlikely considering that they haven’t even bothered to follow through since the incident. And of course their manager “knows people” so why bother.

It’s ironic that other than the documents in the purse we also lost one of the wedding rings. The pair of identical ones we gifted each other for our engagement some time back. To top it all it’s no where even mentioned in the FIR and Coco Berry doesn’t even gives a damn (and yes, a bucket full of frozen yogurt in case they try to offer as apology isn’t acceptable anymore).

Advise: Don’t bother raising your red flag and shouting slogans for your rights. No one cares. I have given up!

Welcome to India 🙂

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18 thoughts on “What a month in Gurgaon can teach you? Thanks to CocoBerry, Domino’s and Airtel

  1. neha saini says:

    Man, you are an expert on life in gurgaon now. Not surprised at the experience at all but really feel for you , especially the wedding ring lost. And i could give u another amazing story in case you want to write about what life teaches you after a freak accident in delhi or how to contest two court cases simultaneously in delhi with the help of Delhi police . U bet it will be better than this one.

    Like

  2. Intekhab Aslam says:

    Not surprised, we have dealt with such crap every single day. From branded retail outlets in South Ext market in Delhi, to a so called Online Fashion Portal, all of them are thieves and nothing more, plus they ‘know people’. Wat more can u say! Welcome to North India. *I just moved to South, not sure how it’s gonna be. Let’s wait n see

    Like

    • Rajveer says:

      Well I can tell you about Bangalore at least. I joined Oracle there with a batch of 30 freshers in Aug 2011.
      First news came within a week. One of us was coming back to hotel after searching for a flat at around 10:30 PM. The auto-driver robbed him of all this belongings, including mobile, wallet and watch at knife point. Then he was left alone in a deserted location with no money in the middle of the night.
      Advice: Don’ travel alone in night.

      As everyone else I wanted an internet connection and I filled a form and paid 3000 INR in advance to an Airtel guy who came to my office. His mobile was switched off the next day. Airtel office told us repeatedly that they will refund and I am waiting for it since August 2011.

      Then we two more from our batch got their phones pickpocket in local buses. One was Galaxy and other HTC.

      After few months, one day I was returning home with my friend and his brand new S2 got pick-pocketed while getting down from an AC-Volvo bus. The bus driver told us that it’s very usual thing and he even recognizes the gang members who board at White Field and get down at Marathalli but he can’t help. He narrated an incident in which a bus driver was murdered because he reported to police about the gang. The next day we took leave and went to Marathalli police station and they told us to go to White Field one apparently because we boarded the bus from White Field. As usual they didn’t register his FIR and advised him to just write a complaint that he ‘Lost’ (meaning no crime just his carelessness) his mobile phone so that police is saved from the trouble of starting an investigation and we are also saved from trouble of attending court.

      There is more but I think, it’s enough to give you an idea.

      Like

  3. Priya says:

    I share the general mood that the blog captures. However, I happen to know one of the staff at the Cocoberry outlet, as I visit it often and I can tell you that after this incident, the manager and others went through a traumatic time with the police, because they were accused of stealing the bag. The manager certainly did not `know people’. Also, cameras in stores like this are to monitor the staff behind the counter and not the customers. Staff operating late at night suffer from the same kind of problems highlighted in the blog and we need to spare a thought for them too.

    Like

    • @wvishal says:

      Well, I would really like to know about this traumatic incident they faced and when. Police asked them just once and they were let go. No one approached them after that.

      No one from the company so far has bothered to contact me to discuss some ‘traumatic incident’ that we had gone through with them and the police. Good to know that you are in such good terms with the manager and know who all the people he knows.

      As far as cameras are concerned, I have a copy of the email, manager mailed his IT department asking for the CCTV footage, and this one is for monitoring customers. There are 2 cameras installed which are supposed to be working. If they were not then the company is liable for the safety of customers while in their outlet. And they have not even bothered to contact us and share why this happened. Least they could do was proactively help us look for the culprits but they are not bothered. Really shameful!!!

      I would suggest if you are posting comments on behalf of the company then it’s better to have some disclosure.

      Like

      • Priya says:

        Vishal, It was not my intention to argue with your post or defend anyone. Indeed I go through much the same problems (I lived abroad before moving to Gurgaon). It was therefore unfortunate that you have made assumptions about me, which are not correct. I obviously don’t know all that happened in this incident, nor do I need to know. I was sharing a point of view based on what I knew. Anyway I’m not commenting further.

        Like

  4. Amit Kumar says:

    Its very sad state of affairs..cant all be bad luck…n yes it becomes problematic for those who DONT KNOW FEW IMP PEOPLE around ! yes Id circulate it around …its a matter of shame…:( sorry for u guys…wish u better luck…n hope it doesnt happen to anyone else…

    Like

    • @wvishal says:

      Thanks Amit. I don’t see a solution to the problems we faced. Even if it all becomes alright for us, tomorrow same thing is going to happen to someone else. Issue is the attitude and the rut of the system

      Like

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