Welcome back to This is India! I always have funny/weird stories about India to share with friends or family when I talk to them. This is just meant to be an honest portrayal about my life in India through short anecdotes. I also share here what I’ve been up to online outside Hippie in Heels.

What I was up to other than here:

  • Guess who didn’t work all week!? My girl is in town so work has taken the back burner… I had to ask myself if I could take a week off, and myself was like yeah girl, go for it…
  • Renuka from Voyager for Life put together some bloggers tips with an interview Travel Blogging is Awesome in which I answered some questions.
  • Kate from Relokate posted her 8 favorite Expat Blogs and says if you read my blog and it doesn’t inspire you to travel, she’ll eat yesterday’s socks. She had lots of nice things to say, thanks Kate!

Now your story,

Did you know that people outside America joke about how annoyingly good America’s costumer service is? They say it’s annoying when you go into stores and they follow you around in case you need something, or ask if they can help you reach something, but at the same time people acknowledge that they are helpful and already friendly, especially on the phone.

Even in nursing, customer service was a huge part of my job. We learned to always give them extra food if they want it and when the patient’s family came and needed their babies’ bottle heated- you did it with a smile even if you were running ragged and hadn’t even peed in 10 hours while taking care of five people.

I miss America’s service. You could call Verizon and complain that your bill was too high and see “what they can do” about that, after all you’re a loyal customer of three years. They help you.

In India, this is literally NON-existent. Not for lack of trying… they get foreigners in the call centers teaching customer service but it’s just not the same. There’s always “nothing they can do”.

Sometimes the lack of customer service is appalling.

One time I went to the bank 15 minutes before closing. No one was in line. I stood there while the lady ignored me and was on her computer saying “ek minute”. About 10 minutes later, she says “we are closed”. I’m like wtf, I’ve been here for 10 minutes and you said nothing plus you don’t close for 5 minutes.

I had to fight with her for 3 minutes to get her to make my wire transfer which took all of 30 seconds. She yelled at me the whole time. Unreal!

The worst though was just recently dealing with a mechanic in Goa.

We got the car fixed. It needed a new gear box. 4,000 rupees for an old part or 7,000 for a new. We said we’ll get the old one.

A few days later, we go to pick up our Omni and he hands us the bill.

10,000 rupees.

Ben being the sweet guy he is, who hates confrontation goes, “umm it’s quite a lot. Can I see what all you did? It was supposed to be 4,000”. The guy gets the owner who comes straight up and says, “what’s the problem. You want the car for free?!!!!” 

I said, “Ben forget it, let’s call Babu to help us because clearly this guy isn’t going to rationally talk to us”.

The guy yells at me to shut up! Then continues yelling! Literally like a mad man. I was so effing pissed off, I had to walk away because what would happen if I mouth off? Ben gets punched. Such is India.

In the end because India is lawless and ridiculous sometimes, we had to pay.

I almost shared the name and location of his shop as payback but just last minute, I’ve erased it. I suppose there is a small chance this was a one time thing and I would feel bad if he lost business so… I won’t tell who it was… except to my friends in Goa :p

Maybe mechanics aren’t so different all around the world; always finding more things wrong and over-charging. At least in the U.S. you can refuse to pay and make them undo what you didn’t want, but in India it’s just a headache.

This is India!

feature image monkeys from flickr

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