Services

No Life without wife

1:25 PM

For the past couple of days I keep having that silly song called "No life without wife" in my mind, you know the one from the movie "Bride and Prejudice".

Maybe it's because of my recent Kenstar incident, but the fact remains that in India the wife matters!
DHL/Blue Dart, UPS, Fed Ex, pick any of those, and more do deliver more and more courier to homes around India than the regular post office, but delivery persons have the nasty habit to expect someone home, and when they don't, instead of leaving a note, directly send the mail back to the sender. I had that happen several times with my pay cheques and other small mail. Who on Earth can decide arbitrarly that you have to guess in advance whether they will come or not? If they are smarter they will try to find a neighbour of yours to sign the mail in, but then it's tricky because the neighbour might sign for something not even knowing who it is supposed to go to, and forget to investigate.

Magazines, cable and newspaper bill follow the same route, the guy come, you pay cash and you are done, but hey you need to be home, fortunately those tend to have a better understanding about the fact that doors can't open all the time and if they don't see you there once they'll come back later.
And then there are the repairmen such as my Kenstar guy, the company send them at whatever time they want without warning you, so when the call center agent tells you "He will come on Monday" it means that you can start waiting home on Monday until he comes, which more often than not isn't on Monday but 2-3 days later.
Once DH and I got bounced back on a washing machine service because we weren't home, and the phone number we provided rang busy, so the technician instead of trying again, just chalked us off the list, and that's only when we called LG 2 days later wondering what happened that we've been told that since we weren't home and the phone was busy, the appointment has been cancelled!

Maybe this whole approach to service comes from the fact that the Indian family is traditionally joined and that there is always a person at home, even if it's not the wife, it's the grand mother or mother that will answer the door.
I personally find that this system has more flaws than strong points. I always thought a mail was a personal matter, and not something just anybody can sign for, and repair men are at your service so why not simply conform to a schedule, make the appointment to a specific time that arrange YOU customer and not the other way round?

When I was living in Switzerland, I used to have all kind of stuff delivered to my place from Amazon, and what not, and each time I could not be found at home, I would get a note in my mailbox (which by the way in Switzerland has your name on it and come with it's own key so that you and you only can open it) telling me DHL or Fed Ex or whoever came but couldn't find me home and that I had the choice to or pick up the parcel myself at the local post office or reschedule a new delivery time and place. I even remember that once I got DHL send me such a note, and I called them pronto to ask to have the stuff delivered to my office the next day instead of my home address, and that's just what they did.
When something broke in my house, I would call whoever was able to fix it, make an appointment, then tell my boss about it and bang on time I had someone come over, meaning that when I told my boss "I will come to work one hour late" this was exactly what happened. In India you tend to tell your boss "The pipe in my bathroom broke, I called the plumber, he will come today, so I'm taking the day off" Simply because they can't commit to a specific time, not that they can't it's simply that they never had to really bother about the eventuality of loosing a contract because of a closed door, as the wife is often home.

I wonder now how things will go in the future though as there is more and more nuclear families with dual incomes living in big cities, who clearly have less time making sure they are at the disposal of the people they hire to do a job.

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