Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Re: Apologies, from Flipkart

Dear Sachin and Binny,

Thanks for the mail. An empty apology. An apology nonetheless, you say. True that. Not many Indian companies have the balls to admit their mistakes. Their wrong-doings - none. But neither have you.

Like you admit, you have failed our trust. You did build up some credibility over the years and stood apart from other online retailers. But I somehow think that you took a gamble with losing that credibility and have actually gotten away with it. Because it is different how things work in this amazing country of ours. We're more easier to hoodwink. We've just got so damned used to it. From the clerk at any government office to the ministers who we elect, everyone has been pulling the wool over our eyes over the years. So what happened with your amazing sham of a sale is just that - a statistic. We've moved on after every election. I'm sure most of us have already moved on about this too. A small blip on the radar. PR can be bought. Hashtags die. Memories, in this internet age is already too damned short. Hell, even I wanted to type this out before I could forget.

Ok, let's get to what I'd called wrong-doings. Thankfully, you've neatly underlined those points in your little empty email. By the way, that was a really well played ploy. Play the little mind-trick of mentioning all the "issues" that social media picked up on and admit to them. Half the battle won. Most of us would be so overwhelmed by you admitting to those "issues" that the mind automatically starts to forgive and forget. Trump card?

Price changes - No one is talking about the non-discounted rates of products. They are talking about how prices were hiked up before the sale. To be later reduced - as a discount on the price of the product. What were you talking about in your email? That some evil gremlin came and removed the discounts?

Out-of-stock Issues - wow, for me, this a serious wrong-doing. You are telling me that you misjudged demand? After testing the market for so long - with so many flash sales? How I'd love to know how many Tab 3s you had for sale there. For me, there is something fishy about the stock numbers. And how did your infrastructure not manage to even update the values there? How did people even get to place orders then? And make payments for a product that was supposedly not in stock?

Cancellations - well, you had specific terms and conditions for this sale drafted up that said no refunds and no cancellations. But YOU cancelled so many orders? I mean, even for products that had low stock. Products that were out of stock but people were able to pay for. How does that even make sense? I know that you are returning all the money. But isn't that some major breach of trust? Did people pay you for nothing? Is that even legal? No, seriously, let me get this right. Product out of stock. Site hasn't updated this information. Person places order for non-existent product. Makes payment. Receives email that order is cancelled. This email doesn't mention the product being out of stock and that said customer was suckered into parting with his money but rather that - "due to high demand for this item and in order to provide all customers an equal opportunity to avail this great deal, we had to cancel the following items in your order". Even if at this point, you had mentioned issues with the infrastructure and that the said product was actually out of stock when the order was placed, it is fine. But you didn't. Or were you busy counting the money by then?

Website Issues - surely, infrastructure must have been scaled up significantly to handle this traffic. For me personally, the site never went down. But that was since I never tried to place an order for some of the "amazing" deals. Again, the nagging thing is that people were able to place orders for out of stock products. And pay for them. No wonder so many of them are ranting against the sale.

You seem to have ended the email on a slightly emotional note. Don't worry, by that time, you'd sold your apology to more than half the people who received it. Like I said, memories are short...

Even this will come to pass.

No thank you.
Naveen

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Nilgiri Hills Christian Memorials

I'd read this interesting article titled "Where graves tell a story" in The Hindu a few months back. It told of a couple of researchers locating graves of English and other Europeans across the Nilgiri hills. I've done a very small bit of photography of graves in Bangalore and know how intriguing this was. Way back when I used to shoot gravestone with my friend Sunil, we thought of the idea of doing some more research on the graves in Bangalore but never managed to get it up and running.

So it was all the more interesting to see that someone had already done the same thing with graves in Nilgiris and so I looked for information on how to obtain the book. I contacted Chekkutty - one of the authors and he was kind enough to provide more information and even offer to send me the book straight away. I received the book in a few days.

The book is quite a thick volume and has around 600 pages. It is full of information! Information about the graves, names on the graves, birth, death dates, age etc. It was interesting to know the names of the some of the major diseases of those times. Did you know that you could have just died of a severe cold in those days?

This book will all the more be interesting for people who are looking for their ancestor's graves. I was just a little disappointed that the maps aren't really well reproduced - a larger scale map would have been great. And yes, somehow the photographer in me rues the lack of photographs in the book. I would have loved to see some of the amazing gravestones and headstones of those days. In fact, there are some amazing ones in Bangalore.

All in all, a very interesting book. I am hoping that I can contribute in some way to John Roberts and Chekkutty's work when they do start this here in Bangalore. You can read Chekkutty's post in his blog here - http://chespeak.blogspot.in/2013/12/nilgiri-hills-new-book-on-european-and.html

The pic below was taken by me at a grave in Bangalore. Just love the art involved


Friday, February 14, 2014

The Killing Fields and Angkor Wat

Sanjeeb and I had written a trip plan on the site Trevolta. This is a new startup - crowd-funded travel site. Interesting concept eh? Though they had an invite only registration sometime late last year, I'd got invites and posted up this trip. I wasn't really expecting it to happen but kept looking out to see if they'd approve the trip and put it up.

Sometime in the middle of Jan, I got an email from them asking to me to edit some parts of the trip with more details and clarity. I did that and something said that my trip would get selected. And I made the changes and awesome - my trip got selected.

Now, I had to look for funding. A close friend of mine - Manu put in $500! Wow, that was enough to start off the funding. We've now made $620 and will need some more to at least make the trip on a minimum budget. It would be great if some of you could contribute

Link for our trip on the site - http://www.trevolta.com/travels/The-Killing-Fields-and-Angkor-Wat-11694

Friday, January 31, 2014

First post for 2014

First post for 2014

Yippee Yay woohooo

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December 2013

Ok, its the last day of the year 2013 and I've missed my "one post a month" deadline for the past few months now.

Well, at least let me try posting one post a month from the new year.

Happy New Year 2014 to everyone!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Blogging for years.....

Well, I started this blog waaay back in December 2004. I've been blogging quite regularly for some years until I just managed to blog my usual "one post a month" of late.

I just went back and see that I have missed putting up a post only in the months of March 2013, August 2013, September 2013. Its all been this year. And the past few months! So thought I'd put up a post to keep the blog running.

And there, a post is done.

Friday, July 19, 2013

How boiled eggs changed my career

Badly wanted to be a pilot. As a kid. Used to dream of it everyday.

Mom hit on the idea of making me eat boiled eggs - telling me that pilots have a boiled egg everyday. So I took boiled eggs for a week. Then gave up on the dream. Told everyone that I did not want to be a pilot anymore.

End of story.

Hope you cried.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

June 2013

June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013June 2013

There.. a new post for this month.

Blogging is dead!!!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Bangalore - damn hot

That is a graph of Bangalore's temperature for this month! Man, it has been damn, damn hot!!


Graph courtesy - AccuWeather