An encounter with a CountryGroup Trojan

Today I had an interesting call from a guy in Bangalore with the number flashing
in mobile as +919342654414. It was just about 3 minutes 40 second call at 10:57
hours in the morning.

I would like to share a synopsis of the call with others for two reasons:

  1. Either the caller was on behalf of CountryWide, trying to act smart.
  2. Really dumb caller who didn’t have even basic consumer rights awareness. If
    this is the case, we have to step-up consumer rights awareness in the country
    still more aggressively to combat unscrupulous service providers.

This guy had a problem like this:

“He seemed to have signed up for some Country offers yesterday and today he has
got referred to Views and Reviews and has visited this post
(https://viewsreviews.wordpress.com/2007/11/13/countryclub-violates-ndnc-and-asks\
-what-is-ndnc/
). Now is getting tensed and trying to call a few customers
getting their reviews and is intending to cancel it.”.

Now comes a few funny (but thought-provoking) questions:

  1. While talking to some one for a consultation, wouldn’t it be a polite courtesy to introduce oneself first? [He missed it one shot]
  2. Should he have been so careful regarding the club membership, then he ought
    to have at least skimmed through the reviews first and then signed up for the
    membership. This should be a better and decent approach than getting wedded and
    then trying to find a good advocate who can get a divorce, which brings it with
    a lot of heart-breaks too.
  3. What is the guarantee that he expects that the callee would guide him
    properly? The reason behind this question is there might be a slightest of a
    light doubt that he might be a ‘Trojan’ acting on behalf of Country itself.
    Worse it, we can even get suspicions that he might be one of the Telemarketing
    employees spying on a random set of violators to get a public opinion about
    thier company or trying to get to the mercy of TRAI.
  4. Also, I feel it is unfair to treat these cases on a one-to-one basis, perhaps
    due to the following two reasons:

    1. Point No. (3) Above
    2. Similar to Technical Discussion Forums, here too, when a query is
      answered, it becomes part of a valuable knowledgebase and hence future users can actually save time waiting for the answers by searching the knowledgebase. Actually, I have an article in one of the technical discussion forums, which I would like to share. A good number of points, I guess, should apply here too. http://www.dotnetspider.com/kb/Article1703.aspx (This particular violation is actually an extreme of the point (“Do not attempt using a Private Message option in the messages …”)
    3. Unless and otherwise it is a definitive legal contract like
      advocate/client, customer/service provider, a stranger’s one-to-one solutions
      should not be recommended, unless one has to exchange really confidential
      information. In that case, I would suggest defaulting to the first part of 4a.
  5. I was not able to control my laughter and just gave him three points for him
    (rolling over it again-and-again).

    1. Goto Country and say “I am not interested”. There may be plenty of
      reasons. Check out any fine prints in the document. Adhere to it and have your offer canceled.
    2. You ought not to mention any reasons. But if CountryClub is so crazy to
      force you a reason, just spell something gibberish like “I am going abroad”. It
      is kind of ‘Tit for Tat’. If at all, he is going for abroad, then he should be
      knowing well before 24 hours right? 🙂 🙂
    3. I suggested one more thing. Come to
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/consumer_voice_india/ and post your message so that some panelists would be able to advise you. I think this is a good way. This makes the solution filed as a knowledgebase too.

When I was talking about CVI (as a promotional measure 🙂 ), I think he was acting innocent and asking what is that? I don’t think, a person can act so dumb. If he is looking at Club Membership, he should have some basic knowledge of world tricks right? Or are we really lacking on consumer awareness so much? I actually read out the intro of the group to convince him. 🙂

If he was one from CountryWide staff, then I think I was relatively successful in marketing ConsumerAwareness to the courts of ConsumerFleecers. Should that be
the case, I think, CountryWide is then eligible for one more INR 500 penalty from TRAI.

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