Jun 6, 2013

The Power of Emails

Emails are underrated. You would be surprised to know the amount of work people do just with the help of emails. Take for example the collaborative development in large open source organizations, which mostly take place through mailing lists. However, I am writing this to tell you how emails have been very effective when I have been wronged by some illiterates who think that they are pretty smart.

Case #1: Dum Dum Gas Supply Agency

The Situation: My mother had booked a gas cylinder on a particular date. On calling the suppliers after three days, she was told that it would take at least another twenty days due to some "unforeseeable circumstances". On waiting patiently for another fifteen days, she called them up again- this time they asked for another fifteen days time.

What I did: I sent feedback to Indian Oil Corporation Limited that there is something really fishy going on in their local distributor's office.

What happened thereafter? I got a reply within 24 hours assuring me that the matter was being taken up with the distributor and the cylinder got replaced in another 24 hours.

Case #2: Corrupt Nikon Dealer

The Situation: There was a Nikon Dealer in Roorkee who was asking for ₹ 450 for a camera cover which had an MRP of ₹ 300. I refused to buy but I had to give in once I searched the whole of Roorkee and a camera cover of a semi-SLR was nowhere to be found.

What I did: I sent a mail through the Nikon site, elaborating the issue, with snaps of the cover and the scan of the bill.

What happened thereafter? Although it took about a week to resolve, but they dealer lost the battle and provided me a special discount coupon of ₹ 500, which a friend used to get a discount on his camera. (I have elaborated the incident here.)

Case #3: The Classic Blue Dart

The Situation: I participated in Schlumberger's Ocean plug-in making competition and got the dongle mailed to me. In the meantime, I cleared the Google Summer of Code too, and decided to let my team members work on Ocean. On visiting a Blue Dart dealer, I was asked for ₹ 2000 to send it to Sikar (Rajasthan). Naturally, I didn't send it through them because it would be cheaper if I went there myself!

What I did: I sent a mail to Blue Dart mentioning "he is trying to pocket a large sum of money himself"

What happened thereafter? I got a reply on the same day telling me the actual price would be ₹ 350. I went to a nearby DTDC and sent the same thing for ₹ 70, exactly 3.5% of what I was asked at the first place.

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