Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sloppy launch


The Tata DoCoMo service was launched in Chennai on Saturday. There were full-page advertisements in The Hindu on Friday and Saturday.

But even till evening, the DoCoMo retail packs were not available anywhere in the city except with a handful of retailers.

What is the point in ‘launching’ a service with fanfare if the product is not going to be available at the stores? Shouldn’t have Tata DoCoMo sent out the retail packs to dealers and then advertised?

Moreover, the retail packs are just cards and do not require huge logistics support.

The customer care was not also helpful. I asked if I could get it anywhere in Mount Road. After a minute’s search, the customer care asked me: “Sir is it St. Thomas Mount?”. I said, No, Mount Road. Or try Anna Salai.” “No sir, any other area?”. Did she want me to go around Chennai looking for retailers?

After five full minutes, I got the names of three retailers. They were small non-descript shops. How do I find them? Does Tata DoCoMO have phone numbers of the retailers so that I can contact them? “No sir. We don’t have it.” Very helpful indeed.

There was a small surprise in store after two hours. I thought I would ask for another area near my house. I rang up customer care and asked, “Any shop in Gopalapuram?” “No, sir. There are a few in Teynampet. There are a couple of them in Anna Salai.” Anna Salai? Just an hour ago, I was told there were none. She gave me two addresses. Again no phone numbers to contact the shops. For those who don’t know much of Chennai, Anna Salai is one of the main arterial roads that stretches for almost 10 km.

I now have to go and hunt for them. Can marketing and customer service get so sloppy?

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