Monday, February 07, 2005

B B Shah

a few days back i bought a pair of contact lenses from BB Shah at spencer plaza in chennai. within a week, one of contact lenses tore during the night due to some reason. i had cleaned and kept them through the night as usual in the solution. however the next morning had one of them torn. i went to BB Shah to get them changed. on a previous occasion in mumbai, the optician exchanged the contact lens without any problem. here, however, i was asked to pay rs. 600 for the new lens. when i explained that it was probably old stock or there must have been some problem with the lens, the shop owner haggled with me and agreed to pay rs. 300 if i paid the rest of the 300!

i really dident have any choice and had to pay up. on top of that, the new lens that i got wasnt the same size as what the other one was.

what really got me worked up was:

  • as a shop, BB Shah did not wish to take any responsibility for the products it sold, irrespective of what the manufacturing company's policy on such products is.
  • it did not matter to them what a single customer's opinion is about the shop, as long as that customer isint going public or isint able to.
  • the most disturbing fact was the attitude of the owner to share costs on a product which i had already paid for. from my perspective, i was essentially buying the same product twice.
all this is interesting because in other parts of the world (say the US and europe), customer centricity is tantamount to survival. here, with few making any efforts to ensure customer retention through service, there are high chances of them being over run by large experienced retailers who will gobble up market share and the cutomers.

often, service from small shops is what prevents consumers from venturing into cheaper discount stores. however, this kind of attitude does not leave any reason to stay with the smaller shop. a sad situation for the small shopkeeper and the consumer both.

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