I fired Ola and Airtel as my service providers. Here’s why…

India is booming with startups.

Whether it’s products for your business, or e-commerce sites to buy groceries and furniture, or services like buying movie tickets for you and delivering home-cooked food wherever you are, startups have this sole goal of making consumers life easy.

But with all this drive of making something awesome, the customer service system is not built at its best.

It’s really easy to sit in the comfort of your home and get things done in a click of a button.

But if the t-shit is not the right size, or the tomatoes are rotten, or if there is a bug in the product… the stress in making the company listen and understand your problem takes longer than getting things done physically.

With so many businesses out there, it’s really rare to find consumers being loyal to one company alone. If there is a choice, it’s easy to switch.

It just takes one bad experience and one bad customer support to fire a service provider forever.

And that’s exactly what I did for Ola and Airtel.

I use Ola cabs extensively for long distances, and on this particular day, I found that the driver had switched on the meter even before I boarded the cab (a red exclamation mark in the Ola app is the indication).

When I called Ola stating this, the agent was really rude and asked me to call back once I reach my destination!

Wow, now that kind of customer support was not something I had expected from a service provider I’ve been shelling a lot of money on.

After giving the ride a single star and complain of the driver overcharging, I get a message from Ola the next morning about a PAYHALF coupon.

You think I would take it? Of course not, I had already fired the company as my service provider!

Well, Airtel is another pathetic service provider when it comes to solving customer issues.

They don’t seem to have a proper customer support software in place because their agents have no clue on the emails I send them, and neither do they bother to reply.

In fact, one agent even offered to assist me in discontinuing my service because according to him ‘I was irritated with the service.’

Yup, anybody would be irritated if they don’t get a proper honest response and need to chase the agents every forthnight.

If Airtel is unable to solve something as simple as providing the connection if one changes their residence, I wonder how they would deal with bigger issues.

It all boils down to this one question — Is it that easy to let go of customers?

Unless the company is a monopoly in the industry, they can safely ignore the question because consumers have no choice.

But for services like Ola and Airtel, there are options. And as long as there are choices, consumers fire and hire.