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Dear Airtel,

Real friends they say are hard to come by in this world. Friends who are there for you 24×7, who stand by you in your hour of need, who patiently wait for you to return from wherever it is you have disappeared to…. Yeah they are really hard to come by. So I am ever so thankful to have found a good friend like you. I know just how genuinely you care for your customers. You only have their welfare at heart. If in the process of serving your customers your coffers get filled that is only incidental. How mean of anyone to think otherwise.

You are so altruistic; you take the time out to inform us of the various services available so that we can make informed choices. Of course you send them over and over again because you have been told your clientele are on the slightly retarded side and are incapable of understanding the contents of the message unless it is constantly repeated to them. I am sure this idea of ‘overkill’ to get things across was the suggestion of the morons whiz kids who did the market survey and you just took their word for it. Well I guess they know what they are doing and so I hope do you.

You certainly have no clue about my appreciation of you. Let me illustrate my point with a conversation I had with a young friend. Sometime back this boy told me about the services being offered by other networks and asked me to choose wisely from among them all. I needed no time at all to reply and certainly did not think twice before answering him. Do you know what I told him?? I said,

‘Thank you, but I will stick with Airtel.”

“Loyal customer huh??’ he asked me, to which I replied,

“I am quite satisfied with Airtel and find no reason to shift base”

From the above you can easily deduce the high esteem I hold you in. This is in spite of the fact that you behaved like a bally parrot when I made a trip to Gujarat last. You went on and on like a broken record; Imagine saying ‘Welcome to Gujarat’ a dozen times in the thirty days I was there! This is also in addition to the ‘Hello tunes’ you so aggressively promoted and still do.

Since we are on the subject, let me tell you one more thing. I am NOT interested in posters of Mallu movie heroines however sexy or skimpily dressed. You see, Kerala is quite advanced and it is not just Mallu men who own cell phones. We Mallu lasses have them too. And as a lass I am not interested in other lasses. Now if it were George Clooney…. Oh well. By the way, I don’t need granite or marble either. As soon as I begin the construction of my house, I will let you know.

Yet, none of this is really a problem, let me hasten to add. Heck, sometimes you even send me messages asking me to visit the nearest Airtel office to drop my cheque when you know I pay my bills via ECS. And do you know when some of your over-enthusiastic minions call to check whether I have paid my bill I try my utmost to be patient and explain to those morons efficient guys what ECS means?! I know it is a tough thing to grasp, but I’d be much obliged if you would educate them a bit about what ECS is and how the payment is all automatic and all that. The next time I may not be able to stop myself from bursting their eardrums.

Anyways please don’t take it that I am in any way displeased with your services. Far from it. You are my ally and I am indebted to you in more ways than one for all the help you have given me and continue giving me and I am sure will do so in the future. Recently, I was especially pleased to see this message from you.

Dear Customer, thanks for being part of the Airtel family! We truly missed you in our network. Continue to use your mobile and enjoy Airtel supreme network.

I was so overcome with emotions (there were tears in my eyes) when I read that part about you missing me. I swear, no one, absolutely no one, has ever told that to me before. And who would have thought you with your millions of customers would not only miss me but tell me too. Yes, it is true I was away to visit my son abroad and hadn’t used my cell phone for over a month. To think that you noticed my absence on the network, to think you missed me enough to say so!! You really did, didn’t you?? I guess that’s why you sent me the message a few more times.

Well I do understand your feelings. I am like you, you see. When I miss someone badly and they are back I never tire of telling them how much I have missed them. So when I received your message saying the same thing, over and over again, I sort of guessed how you must be feeling. But, it is now almost a month since I have been back from the US. Your ‘we have missed you’ messages are beginning to get on my nerves. Would you mind PUTTING A SOCK IN IT??!!

As you must have noticed, the first thing I did on landing in India was make a call through your network and I have been continuing making calls just as you have suggested. So I fail to understand why you persist in sending me the message. I am sure there are others in your customer base who have been missing from your network and who are now back. It is time that you gave them enough of your attention. So till the next time I go missing, please get off my back.

Always your loyal customer,

Shail.