Society : Getting Service.

Just because you have paid an individual or an organisation to give you a service does not mean they will. Just because it is your right, or the social norm, it does not mean that they will. You often have to fight to get your dues.

At the base of any service,  manual, automated or hybrid is the human mind that influenced the algorithm.That mind could be cunning or honest, greedy or generous, service-oriented or profit-oriented.

Yesterday google would not let me connect to an open network I trusted – the guest network at ICTS, even though ICTS let me register on it. Google tracks my every move, it offers to remember all my passwords, it uses my internet bandwidth to show me ads. And it decides who I will trust.

I booked and paid for lpgas online 3 – 4 weeks ago and paid for it. Those who booked using IVRS got it next day and paid cash. I am waiting and following up for them to deliver the gas cylinder. You pay more for convenience and get inconvenience. After more than 3 weeks of denying they had the order, it transpired today that they have been checking their gmail account instead of the gas company account. Now they are glib and fobbing me off. “It’s in the system.. we’ll send you. We’ll call you back.”
An online spectacle company made me wait for two weeks after order and payment each time saying they would dispatch the order tomorrow. And when I gave up and cancelled.. they say they have initiated their refund process and keep closing the ticket. It doesn’t matter to them that I don’t have the money yet. There is no customer protection process that charges them interest and fines them a penalty. I have to keep following up. 

Cashbacks on online shopping are another thing you have to keep following up on. And they are promised after several weeks. So you have to put them in your calendar and then follow up.

My bank systematically prevents me from spending or transferring the money I have in my account. Through cheque, credit card or NEFT. Small amount or large. I keep having to follow up.

The taxi-aggregators try to incentivise us witb discounts and cashless payments and comfort. We have to beseech drivers to switch off radios, switch on ACs, not talk/text on cell phones, follow good navigation and very often to show up on time. They are busy playing games with other drivers either blocking them with false requests or helping them reach incentives with false requests. They accept your request and have meals or refuel on time. We have to keep following up.

Buses are known to arrive late or completely skip stops. Only when a conscientious citizen follows up and complains, do the buses show up.

Garbage, pollution and dogs are deterrents for walking to destination. I don’t know who follows up on this.

And the telecom companies will give you data and connect/drop your calls at will. They keep subscribing my mom to VAS inspite of complaints. So she never has any balance left to make an actual call. And only short validity – high data plans connect properly.

In Bombay, now mumbai, an elderly house-wife taught me that “peecha karna pađta hai” – you have to follow your domestic help about – if you wish them to actually clean things nicely. Otherwise they’ll just make a pretence of it.

How many things can you follow up in a day? 

I have a limited amount of follow-up energy. So I try to find good service-providers and stick to them. Else, do it myself. 

Thus I have to scale back and scale down further. I feel exhausted all the time. In all interactions. Because people and businesses don’t feel bad about shortchanging and inconveniencing others.

Is this happening to others?

Is it my grahacāra/göcāra?

Am I trying to do too much?

Is there a lesson I’m not getting?

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