Orkut Says Goodbye & So Long

Tomorrow, September 30, Google is going to shut down its Orkut social network as announced earlier. Orkut was the search giant’s first foray into the social networking space, which failed to take off due to tough competition from rival services such as Facebook and Twitter. Google later launched another social network called Google+, which has fared much better than Orkut although in no way is it able to compete with the popularity & useability of Facebook.

Orkut was launched in the same year as Facebook but struggled to get a fan based in countries other than India, Brazil and I guess the Philippines. Indeed almost every 2nd used was an Indian and the “hai friends”, “good morning friends” and “good night friends” posts kept on coming. I created my account or rather my cousin sister created my account for me one evening in late 2005 or early 2006. The main attraction was this family group filled with all my cousins that we used to keep track of one & another and share info. I barely used Orkut as I soon got tried of the format. I got bored with the constant drivel being shared back n forth among the users.

I deleted my account a couple of years back as I hadn’t logged into it since 2008. So Orkut, goodbye and so long – thanks for all the flashy glitter gifs!

Internet Hoaxes – Best National Anthem

As one more friend shared this stupid silly hoax message on their Facebook page I just must jot down my 2 cents about this issue. Since 2008 there was an email being shared around the net among Indians and on Orkut, Facebook & Twitter once Social media took off. On a design-less simple white background it says congratulations to all of us Indians as UNESCO has declared the Indian national anthem, Ja Na Ga Na Mana, to be the best national anthem in the world. It then says “proud to be an Indian” and to share this message.

First of all – what???!! What the fuck! And normally smart people have fallen for this hoax! It’s not real and yet this shit hasn’t died out since 2008!!! Alarmingly silly and shows just how easy it is to spread a hoax as long as it sounds pleasing and appeals to your ego. Nationalistic ego I might add. A little research will show you that the statement is not true and it is in fact a hoax.

India Today magazine, even wrote UNESCO about these stories and got a confirmation message from UNESCO that these messages are simply hoax, and that they did not select Indian or for that matter any national anthem as the best in the world.

Breaking The Ice

The internet has recently been swept up by the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Is there a cause — social, political, cultural, or other — you passionately believe in? Tell us how you got involved — or why you don’t get involved.

I am actually trying to catch up with the videos of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. I have seen about 10-15 so far and there are like 20 coming out each day from just the musicians, sportspeople and actors that I like. This thing is massive. I like the fact that this internet trend is for such a good cause and that it has been raising a lot of money for the ALS awareness stuff and I hope there will be a cure some day out there.

The first time I heard about ALS is through an RSJ article on guitarist Jason Becker who suffers from it. Becker was a prominent neo-classical metal guitarist who made his mark in the later 80s and was famous for his band Cacaphony which he has started with fellow guitarist Marty Friedman. After a solo album, he later joined David Lee Roth’s band and recorded one album with him. However, Becker’s success was hampered by his then-diagnosed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and he was given three to five years to live. In 1996, Becker eventually lost the ability to speak and now communicates with his eyes via a system developed by his father. Despite his disability, he continues composing by using a computer and has since released Collection, a “best of” album of his favorite songs and three new songs.

ALS is a crippling disease and seeing someone suffer from  it is difficult but nothing compared to the person going through the effects of it. I believe in this awareness drive and I hope scientists will find a cure and even a prevention for it. I haven’t gotten involved in this or anything like this, but might be tempted to do so.

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

Back Online With A New Connection From Asianet

It’s Done! Screw Fucking RELIANCE ASSHOLES! I am now on ASIANET BROADBAND! Hope this is a better experience.

Already a promising start, they under promised and over performed in terms of activating the connection for me. I had enquired about taking up a new connection from Asianet by calling their customer care call center a few days ago and they forwarded my number to a saleman from the area who called me later that same day. I told him that I wanted to wait for a few days to sort out the problems with Reliance and that I would call  him in a few days. Well I called him on Friday and later that night I met the salesman at 8pm at my residence and after I paid for the activation he said it would take 3 days, as per procedure, meaning Tuesday to get the connection up.

However on Saturday, the very next day, two guys showed up at my apartment and they setup the cable and even then they said that it would take time till Tuesday as Monday is a holiday. I said ok and called up their office number to confirm that the cable has been setup in my home. She told me that it would take time till Tuesday but that they would try and see if they could make it earlier. I was pleasantly surprised that the technician called me up this morning asking for directions to my place – on a Sunday! He came here by 12 pm with the modem and in a few minutes he activated  my connection and so yes my internet is up today – yes on a Sunday!

I am happy about it and the speed seems fine and I am not really noticing any difference from the higher plan and speed I had with Reliance. This is fine for now. By the 1st my old connection should be completely terminated and I can said a goodbye to them – don’t let the fucking door hit you on the ass on your way out!

The Ongoing Saga Of Reliance Internet Limbo

I’m really saddened by the state of my internet connection. After I gave the cancellation request to Reliance’s office I was told that it would take 7 working days for them to cancel my connection. I expected as much but the connectivity issues still persist so – am I expected to pay the rent for these days as well when I am not getting proper service? Atleast now they are responsding back via email and are trying to retain me with their service. For what? From the 11th of this month till today the 25th I have got exactly 2 days of proper service. Not two full days but 48hours split across 3 days. The connection has been patchy from the 18th evening onwards and now for the past 3 days I am getting 2-5 hours of connection and then the total outage – the connection goes down! The tech guys have been here to my place twice in the last 2 days and they are stumped.

These are contract staff hire by Reliance and they say that they have checked everything – the DSL box, my system and the modem here, the cable and everything else they can think off. They cannot give me an answer as to why I am not getting service. The final thing they said, which is beyond their responsibilities, is that there is a tower congestion in this area as Reliance is also working on enabling 4G services for their cellular customers and that tower is shared between their phone connections and their broadband connections and this is hindering my services and the connectivity for this area. So what do they want me to do? And finally after all the checking and me telling me about my woes, I asked them a question : “In all honesty would you still remain with this ISP if you were in my place?” And they reluctantly replied that “No” they wouldn’t. They have done all they could but now it remains in the hands of another department of Reliance to clear out the problem and these guys have given up.

Initially I thought I would wait for a few more days before I applied for the new connection with Asianet but I’m getting bored and frustrated so I have applied for a plan with the Asianet representative who came over to my place last evening. He signed me up, filled the application form and I gave the activation charges & the advance rent. They will get me the connection by Monday or Tuesday and until then I am at the mercy of Reliance – hoping to get a couple of hours being online a day or whenever they feel like giving me service.

Gave A Cancellation Request To Reliance

Well it’s done. I went to Reliance’s Kadavanthara office, the main office for their wireline broadband section, and after waiting in line at the customer care for 10 minutes found out that I had to go to another office on the 1st floor and around the back. I went in signed at the register and told them that I want to cancel my connection. I was asked to sit at a table and since I hadn’t brought a letter requesting the same, I took a paper and a pen from them and wrote a letter that basically stated :

I wish to cancel my connection and please do so at the earliest as you are unable to provide me with a proper connection. Please refer to my numerous complaint nos that I had registered with your customer care call center. Also please have someone come to my residence and remove the cable from my apartment once the connection is cancelled.

I waited until the person at the counter was free and then handed it to her. She told me that it would take 7 days for the connection to be deactivated so that means I won’t take up my new connection with Asianet until the 1st to avoid two connections at the same time. She also confirmed to me that one of my waiver requests has been approved but the other has been escalated to a higher section since it is disputed.  I said fine and then she told me that I will have to bring the modem back to their office – they are too fucking busy to come and collect it I suppose and the guys who will remove the cable can’t do it either. I said perhaps next week.

You know what? No attempt at retention was made. If, during my time with Idea or Vodafone, any customer care representative was caught not attempting a retention of the customer’s account when they called or showed up for cancellation – the employee would be sternly dealt with. These morons do not care I guess. No problem, I don’t want to stay. They still don’t know how to fix the issue. So goodbye and good riddance to bad rubbish!

Cancelling Reliance Broadband Connection

I have finally taken the steps to cancel this stupid connection that I have with Reliance Broadband. I am fed up of this ISP as they obviously do not care to fix the problems and only want to take your money. For the past two months I have been facing numerous outages and problems with these idiots and they haven’t bothered to address the issue properly. Not only that they have denied me the waiver due on my rent for the month of June which I had raised as I had over 4 days of no connectivity. But their complaint handling section had denied it saying “We see activity on your account” – how the fuck can I use the connection if your cable has been disconnected for over 4 days you morons!!

Their customer care sucks, their escalation team sucks and their appellate desk sucks! Their technical department sucks. What does it say about a company if their own contract staff, the guys from the local company who have hired to lay the cables and replace faulty modems, tell you – the customer – that they themselves are fed up of Reliance as the problems were pending for long and to get permission they have created so much red tape and the advices are falling on deaf ears? I saw the change as being inevitable but I really do not want to leave this plan. The current plan I have is a good one – for just Rs.610+ taxes I get an unlimited download at 1mb speed. That is really great for my usage and that’s all I want.

But what is the point of having a great plan with such lousy service? They close the complaints without fixing the problem or checking with me to see if I am getting the service properly. I don’t need that.

Frustrated With Stupid Impotent Reliance Broadband

I am frustrated. No, strike that! I am beyond frustrated. I am so fucking pissed off because of my worthless ISP. I am at my wits end because these idiots & asshole who are working at Reliance Fucking Bullshit Broadband Asshole ltd are not even able to provide me with connectivity for a single full day. 24 hours of service? Not on our capability – we will provide you with a few hours before our nuclear waste of a server conks out or our as fragile as feathers in a tornado styled cables get disconnected.

Incompetence, impotent, half-assed, incapable, lethargic and pathetic! That is what I would label Reliance Broadband’s customer care and their technical department. They cannot fix the problem, they have numerous outages a day and then no service for several days for over 2 months and yet I have to pay full charge on the monthly rent? Fuck you!

If they cannot fix this problem by mid week I am cancelling the connection and moving to Asianet.

Reliance’s Service & Customer Care Is Lacking Professionalism

My woes with my ISP service Reliance Broadband service is reaching a peak! They are bending over backwards to piss me (and several other customers in this area) off and make my internet experiences a living hell hole. The past two months I have seen severely pathetic service and customer care from those nincompoops. I am fed up with the patchy service and pathetically impotent customer care that they provide and am looking to change ISPs. Getting 6 days of connectivity then 4 days of outage on & on is not what I am paying them for.

Once again their connection went down on Friday morning (July 11th) and I called their customer care to register a complaint. A technical representative of their came to the area and called me and by later afternoon I got the connection back. But by 8:30 pm the connection went down again and so I had to call up their customer care to complain again and I only got the connection back late this afternoon. Once again over 4 days of no connectivity and I had to call their customer care every day and their appellate office everyday before they fixed the damn thing. Despite asking for call backs and being promised call backs from their so-called supervisors I didn’t get any during the times that they mentioned. Their customer care agents, barring one or two, are incorrigible and lack any inkling of patience and are not capable of handling complaint calls and are not given adequate support by their superiors cause they can’t give me any reason for the long outages. The appellate desk is a joke and they were almost begging me to wait despite the TAT being over and their promises of call backs were also not met.

Finally today I spoke with one guy at the appellate desk, who I spoken with on Saturday as well and I raised my voice telling him that this is totally unacceptable and they should get back to their customer if call backs are promised. Although he told me that the feedback from the technical desk is that they will take a further 3 more days to fix the issue I got the connection back this afternoon at around 3:45 pm. And then – lo and behold – one idiot calls me from their escalation desk! He was rude, interruptive and worse – hadn’t gone through the complaints that were raised against my account. I gave him a bit of an earful and told him to get back to me once he had bothered to go through the issues and not just call me and say “Is your connection working now? Problem is fixed!” and actually use the brain he has!

Shit! I have already started looking at various plans from Asianet, Airtel and now I need to check out the plans from BSNL and even possibly go back to Tata’s broadband service. This is totally unacceptable!

I Am South Indian, Not East Indian

An online chat with someone, an American, I recently met through a Facebook group.

He : Are you East Indian?

Me : No I am South Indian.

He : Where’s that?

Me : South part of India

He : Yeah but you are East Indian, right? From India?

Me : No, I am South Indian from India. My home state is Kerala which is in the south. If I were from West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and also the union territory Andaman and Nicobar Islands, then I would be an East Indian!

He : No! Indians from India are called East Indians.

Me : I am Indian. And I am South Indian. Because I am from the south part of India.

He : This confusing! I’ll talk to you later!

Reliance’s Poor, Pathetic Attempts At Customer Care

They have done it again. Just when I think that Reliance Broadband’s customer care service cannot get any worse – they surprise me and become even more pathetic! My internet connection went down on Friday afternoon at around 1pm or so. I called up Reliance’s customer care at around 1:30 pm to make a complaint but the line kept getting disconnected. Finally I had to call the local tech guy’s office and have them register a complaint on my behalf, using the online tool. But 24 hours later – no contact from Reliance. Fail #1! So I called the call center on Saturday evening and asked what happened . Agent says “No idea” so I asked to get transferred to a floor supervisor. This guy listened to me for 20 minutes and promised me a call back, after checking with the technical department, either later that night or  by Sunday afternoon. And guess what – he does not call me back! Fail #2!

So a senior customer care representative promises a call back to a customer and he does not deliver! Wow, that is bad. But wait there’s more. On Sunday I called their call center again by the afternoon and spoke to a young lady- she too, after checking the status of the complaint – said that I would get a call back from a technical employee if the connection is not restored by 6pm. 6pm came and went and no call back and no internet connection – Fail # 3! I called the call center at night and spoke to an agent and for 1 hour he tried to transfer my call to a supervisor on my request. No supervisor was available to take my call and yet they did not call me back either – Fail #4!

On Monday, I called the appellate complaint desk and raised a separate complaint and told the guy that picked up all that had happened. He too promised me a call back by 4pm-5pm that day – it did not materialize and so Fail #5! So I called the appellate desk again later that day and asked the lady who picked up what the delay was all about and why was I not given a call back. She replied “Problem might take upto 4 days to resolve sir, and call back was not mentioned in the comments by the previous person!” WHAT THE FUCK!!

Finally today, while I was away at the hospital, some jerk from their technical section calls me up and says “Has the problem been resolved?” NO hello, no introduction – just a demand to know if the problem is resolved! I told him that I was away so he said he will call back later in the afternoon. By 3pm they came to my apartment and were let in by my dad and apparently the problem was resolved because, hey I am typing this on my home system.

This is the lousiest, most ridiculous and pathetic attempt at customer care service provided by any company in my experience!

Reliance Customer Care Connection Issue

Dear Reliance broadband customer care,

Or should I call it Reliance Broadband customer uncaring department. For the past almost a month your customer care call center is not available to customers in Kerala. It has become a tiresome and tedious issue when it comes to contacting you for either a complaint or a request or information on said complaint or request. For the past  4 weeks whenever I try calling your contact number 180030007777 I only get the IVR. I tried to register a complaint through the IVR, which does not seem to work and trying to get through to speak to an agent is a futile experiment.

My modem died out on me on Tuesday morning (29th April) and I tried calling the customer care call center but I wasn’t getting through. From 9:45 am on Tuesday till 3pm I kept calling but to no avail. I get connected to the IVR, enter all the numbers that you want me to and wait till I get connected to a customer care agent – but it just keeps saying “All our customer care representatives are busy on calls, kindly stay online, your call is important to us”!. For 3 WHOLE FAYS this is all I got. I stayed connected for 30 minutes at a stretch, waiting in the queue but I can’t get through. I kept putting my phone on speaker mode and continue doing other stuff, listening to the IVR saying the same thing over and over again for the past 3 days “I’m sorry! All our customer care representatives are still busy on calls. Please stay online. ” After 30 minutes the call gets disconnected and I try again. At 3pm I stopped dialling their call center and waited till 6pm and tried again, same thing till about 11pm.I had to go to a reliance hub where they couldn’t even listen to my complaint but gave me another number for broadband and then someone came to my residence and changed the mode.

Then now yesterday morning you suspended my account for delay of payment post due date. Fair enough (although no warning and this is the first time that you have done that). I went and paid my bill at a Reliance center and they promised me that it would be activated automatically but it wasn’t. Again I called the local number but they only work till 6pm. Your call center = ofcourse does not wok beyond the IVR. I had to call the appellate desk and have them transfer my call this morning to your call center to register a complaint and was given the information that you have shut down one of you call centers in Bangalore and hence customers ins Kerala (and some other states) cannot get through – due to technical issues. What kind of lousy service is this?

Shape up and get your things in order. Now I know you won’t bother to contact me (two years as your customer has taught me that but atleast your service was prompt and good so it didnt matter) but I hope you will read this and do something.

Sincerely yours
Roshan Gopal Krishnan

Issues With Reliance Customer Care Call Center Access

I am now back online after a gap of 3 days. My modem died out on me on Tuesday morning (29th April) and I tried calling my ISP’s, Reliance Broadband, customer care call center but I wasn’t getting through. From 9:45 am on Tuesday till 3pm I kept calling their customer care but to no avail. I get connected to the IVR, enter all the numbers that they want me to and wait till I get connected to a customer care agent – but it just keeps saying “All our customer care representatives are busy on calls, kindly stay online, your call is important to us”!. For 3 whole fucking days this is all I got. I stayed connected for 30 minutes at a stretch, waiting in the queue but I can’t get through. I kept putting my phone on speaker mode and continue doing other stuff, listening to the IVR saying the same thing over and over again for the past 3 days “I’m sorry! All our customer care representatives are still busy on calls. Please stay online. ” After 30 minutes the call gets disconnected and I try again. At 3pm I stopped dialling their call center and waited till 6pm and tried again, same thing till about 11pm.

I did the same thing on Wednesday and not being able to get through, I finally went to a Reliance HUb at around 5:45 pm and told them my problem. However Reliance Hub only caters to Reliance mobile & wireless internet customers and not for broadband. So they gave me a local number to try but the office was closed as it was 6pm. Now Thursday being a holiday, May 1st, the office would stay closed. I tried the call center again several times but still got the same issue; in queue for several minutes before the call being automatically disconnected by the IVR. Finally I got my cousin Sujith to raise a complaint in the Reliance Broadband website and I also found the Appellate Desk number and called them. They transferred the call  to the customer care where one of the agents raised a complaint for me. What a nightmare! Reliance customer care access is totally fucked up. Today about 90 minutes ago, a technical guy from Reliance came over to my place and replaced the faulty modem for me and now things are back to normal.

Now how do I go about the problem of getting connected to the customer care? Both the guy who came to replace my modem as well as the Reliance Hub rep told me that the call center has problems in connectivity from time to time. Ok, but 3 whole days in a row? C’mon, Reliance is it a Customer Care Call Center or Customer Don’t Care Call Center?