October 2009


A dire need to standardize Seat Allocation in MTC buses

The Metropolitan Transport Corporation, Chennai has been innovative and instrumental in augmenting its fleet strength and enhancing the services of the buses to ensure that the transportation abilities of the metropolitan city is fully met and the people feel comfortable in commuting using its fleet. I just felt that there areĀ  a few things left unattended for a long time though:

  1. The substandard and adhoc reservation of seats for women passengers. A few buses have left and rear for women where as some of them have front side earmarked for women. This often results in a good amount of confusion and typically in vestibule buses where a part of the rear side of the vehicle is also front of the rear section. Often you can see hostile arguments in the bus between the passengers and conductors.
  2. The commuters-conductors still face the change problem and because of their inability (or unwillingness ?) to tender the change back in smaller denominations, they are eyed as miniscule pocket pickers by the public. The transport corporation still does not have a concrete solution against this menace.
  3. The Eve-Teasing is still looming as a big menace. Witnessing a slew of incidents in M21 and D70, this blogger submitted an online complaint (vide reference number CTPCO00716) to Chennai City Traffic Police around the first week of August. The complaint still shows ‘Being Reviewed’. Not sure whether the CCTP is looking out for a few astrologers calculating auspicious and good days to bring a discipline in the buses.

Let us hope that the transport corporation and the city administration brings discipline in the transport operations of the city at least henceforth.

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Do big hotels serve truly fresh and hot dishes?

The normal allegation against small restaurants/hotels in Chennai is that they would use cheap ingredients, compromise hygiene and also serve foods that were prepared even days before without regarding for the quality. People normally tend to quote big names like Sangeetha, Saravana Bhavan etc and claim that these always ensure the quality. I have one recent observation in Sangeetha and I feel that this public protection seems to be giving them a false cover and they seem to be diminishing the quantity and quantity perhaps in intangible terms.

Some of the cons about Hotel Sangeetha in Guindy are:

  • The ever-crowded place.
  • During lunch time whilst I had ordered meals, the neighborhood person had ordered some bonda. And whilst casually observing what the waiter was doing, he went in and was searchng for bonda. He found some remains at the bottom, pulled out two, put in the oven for a while and pretended to serve it hot and fresh.
  • The table cleaning is often missing here. The waiters are ready to serve you and want to you eat in the same place and unless you exercise a stern voice to get the tables cleaned perfectly, one needs to appear themselves as if sitting in a pig sty.
  • Unless you tip them handsful, the waiters are reluctant to serve you.
  • There are two or three guys near the billing counter blocking the way and in a way to allow only their waiters to pay the amount; perhaps an unscrupulous way of making you to pay extra tips for them. Unless you raise the voice again and kick their asses apart to make your way to the counter to pay the bill, you are going to waste your time at the billing counter too.

Costly Clerical Errors due to poorly qualified staff at contact centers

Sometime back we discussed about “Poor Clerical Work at Citibank Chennai“. I just thought of the gravity of this incident is actually increasing and is encompassing in a bewildering way to even nonbanking contact centers. I have two more incidents to share in this front:

  • Recession days are triggering Retail Robbery
  • A few days back I had my vacation trip to Manali through New Delhi. I had the entire accomodation booked through MakeMyTrip. Though MakeMyTrip offers a one-stop capsule offering of all accomodation-cum-travel, I did observe a significant amount of major goof-ups in the same. A few of them below:
    • For the bus pickup in New Delhi, the phone number mentioned in the confirmation email was totally wrong. The address was incorrect too. Actually the bus comes to a petrol bunk near Hotel Imperial in Connaught Place to pickup. Fortunately, I could manage with the help of JustDial assistance and since I was able to manage the language. The most significant thing that pissed me off in the entire incident is that at one point of time, the call center agent simply brushed off and replied “I have no clues regarding that address. This is what I have in the database”.
    • The hotel booking confirmation too had a wrong number. Instead of September 14 to September 19, they had mentioned as December 14 to December 19. Fortunately, a quick call to the Hotel supervisor and his magnanimity saved a good deal of embarassment.

The organizations which are trying to open up call centers in India for the benefit of cheap labor and ease of management should also ensure that they don’t jeopardise the quality of the services rendered.