Customer service in Karachi
This was supposed to be my first blog entry, before I got carried away by my KESC rant.
Most people I meet complain that I am a complainer, a negative, caustic human being who has no need to be this way.
All that changes today. I have found my soul mates. It appears everyone in Karachi has customer service issues and everyone is upset with the Traffic or the lack of civic sense or lack of privacy. The funny thing is living in N. America the leader in customer service, I was made to feel an out cast as only my 40 min. conversations MONTHLY with my cell phone co. for incorrectly billing me, stood out. I was the exception. (The fact that I would correct my plan each month and ask that I be billed accordingly, only to see them bill me incorrectly the next month and then my calling them up, each month, waiting for 40mins each time, before being greeted by a representative on the phone only convinced me that someone in customer service really likes me. That this was all a grand ploy to have me call them up each month just for my thrilling wit and sparkling conversation.
Needless to say, I felt alone and unloved. People with complicated billing issues at the most notorious gas and electric company, saw their issues resolved within 5 minutes while I waited on the phone for minutes on end, when my only issue was a change of address or something equally benign.
In any case, I digress. Here back in Karachi, where I used to see these inefficiencies and then I saw them shadow me in N. America and now that I am back, I see them here again – I used to take them personally. I felt there was something wrong with me. I felt futile as a human being, that if all I do is chase after customer service people, there must be something “faaltu” to my existence. Perhaps I should be no more. Now however, being back in the land of the Pure, I see I am amongst my sordid downtrodden brothers and sisters. Here everyone suffers!! (Honestly it seems I attract friendships based on their past customer service experiences!). Anyway this is a topic that will exhaust me before I can exhaust its many levels, so I must move on.
Apparently I appear to be complaining again. My own blog houses stories I have experienced, most of them miserable, sad annoying setbacks. I would like to take this opportunity to say that when we complain, it’s a means to starting the “fixing process”.
Only when we identify the problem can we work upon it.
Now folks please do not mis read me, yes there are problems but then there are also “good” folks who work here and are making efforts in resolving these issues. The fact that on my commute home the day of the bad rain last week, (potentially one of the worst days for traffic given the thrashing downpour all morning), I saw no standing water shows that the city Nazim has stood true to his word. They have been working on these drainage issues.
(My problem is with DHA, the rest of the city appears to be doing the right thing. Case in point, its as if my rant about KESC registered somewhere ! Last night again due to low voltage issues, I called the KESC (at 118) and each time the phone was answered. I say each time, as I had to call about 4 times over a 2 hour period. Would you believe it, the dudes there were MOST polite and helpful and though one of them gave a 15 min time to resolution to my issue (which turned out to be a lie) the others were most apologetic and said, “We cannot give you a time line as that would be creating “false hope and misguiding you”!” I was most impressed. Would you believe, the electricity was restored to my house (and yes it was just my house again) soon after. I actually called Mr. Fahimuddin of the night staff (at KESC complain center) to thank him. Yippee, our city is on the path to betterment!)
The fact that I see 5 traffic policemen at each intersection at peak hours, manning traffic and correctly opening up the side where we had an ambulance fills me something strange in my heart… I believe its called hope. I have held onto my cynical view so long that this feeling appears alien. I am scared. Shall I let it in? Shall I get used to having this thing in my heart instead of sarcasm? Will people stop littering next? Dare I “hope”? Easy, I tell myself, be still my racing heart…. Life happens here, perhaps things will improve, perhaps we will all become murderous, perhaps everyone will drive in their own lane, perhaps people will learn to stop at red lights, perhaps people will not inch their way into the middle of the intersection and block traffic, perhaps I will receive water in my water pipes….. so much to live for suddenly! I might actually like this “hope” thing after all!!