Thursday, May 31, 2012

Lessons that I have learnt from Dirty Tricks Played on me

Lessons that I have learnt from Dirty Tricks Played on me -  in Kolkata and other cities in India


 Restaurants- Road side Dhabas and Café Coffe Day have one thing in common here, which is serving stale food, I have had many cases of stomach upsets because of the stale food served to me by these outlets, but for many of these restaurants, profits comes before customers health.  You can never be too careful. Always ask if the food product is fresh, if it's not fresh, ask for a replacement. eg- If you’re having an egg, insist on fried egg, maybe it will be more fresh .(Kolkata)

 Shopkeepers – Better to be careful than be sorry, if you are going to buy things from the road side in the numerous Bazars, try to find out the market price of goods or else you can be sure that they will be naming a very high price, which has to be bargained depending on your skills, but you rarely get a quote for the right price. One  incident that I faced here was with regards to top up of my prepaid phone connection,  the top up never happened but the shop keeper insisted that the top up happened, my Bengali was not good enough to argue with that person but lesson learnt, never pay up cash before hand. (Kolkata)

Taxi -  The Yellow Ambassador is probably a copy of morris minor and a vehicle model of the 50’s nevertheless, it still exist. Most of the drivers are  Migrants who borrow the Taxi,  Before using a taxi make sure you use it from prepaid or you know the taxi fare, sometimes even the taxi meter is rigged so it's sometimes wiser to fix the travel rate before using the cab itself.  Also just be careful to have enough change or else it could get difficult, also make sure to note down the number of taxi’s if you have lot of luggage, because it’s unlikely they will ever return to you anything that you forget, remember to be careful because I had a bad experience.(Kolkata)

ULIP Plans- Just make sure that you understand what you are investing for specially ULIP products, sometimes the Insurance agents themselves do not understand the product that they are selling. Some Unit Linked Policy will sometimes claim to give you the best of Insurance and Mutual fund but in fact give you only 5 times life cover whereas in term insurance you can get over 50 times at much less amount, also with regards to the unit linked investment, when with my mutual fund investments, the return on ULIP investment is around 2-3% only whereas in Mutual fund it is upto 15%. After investing, I wanted to withdraw, they told me that I should wait for 3 years and then only I can withdraw, then after waiting for three years, The company people have told me that if you withdraw now, you have to pay penalty of 1 years premium, ie almost Rs 36,000 before the 15 years maturity. Also returns for both Mutual fund and ULIP are subject to market risk and are not assured Income. (Bajaj Allianz, LIC- Chennai)

Post Paid Data Cards- It is better to have prepaid data card rather than post paid internet data connection. I  took reliance post paid connection in Chennai but when I tried deactivating I was not able to reach customer care, even though I did not use it for 2 months, they charged me full amount, Once you have taken post paid it's extremely hard to revert extra charges charged to you as well as control the post paid charges, sometimes the data companies employ local thugs to get back the money even if they you don't use it. (Reliance Data Card, Chennai)

Mobile Phone Operator - If you are using a mobile phone, make sure that it has certain utilities which will reduce your cost, eg - Unlimited STD pack, STD call rate cutter, Local call rate cutter.  I had the unfortunate experience of  using BSNL prepaid which has almost no customer care service, there is not transparent plan, no std rate cutter or good internet plan or charges, no option for online recharge. (BSNL)

Mutual Funds- I used to wonder why my Financial advisers always used to insist that I do not invest in just 2-3 Mutual fund but invest in a whole lot of funds which are not below Rs 10,000,  it seems now that if the cheque amount is more than Rs 10,000, they will earn a hefty transaction charge, hence they promote making cheque payments about 10,000 , in order to mitigate this make your payments in 1-2 mutual funds or if you are going to diversity, pay less Rs 10,000.Also illiterate investors like me are often duped even when going to invest in Mutual fund investment office by their staff who insist on ARN (AMFI registration no) which attracts transaction charge  (UTI Kolkata)

Health Insurance Plan- If you are taking insurance for the family, insist on a family floater plan and do it online, it's cheaper and easier. Sometimes insurance agents insist on individual plans so that they can pocket more commissions.(Investment consultant- Chennai)

Airline - Sometimes during peak season Airlines overbook their flights beyond seating capacity (over 100%), they do this on the anticipation that some of the people will cancel their flights or miss their flights, what happens next is first come first serve for some of the passengers who checked in earlier and you will have to pay extra charges for an additional flight ticket unless you give your grievences to Director General of Civil Aviation. Sometimes the  airline people insist people who come later that they were late, hence the best alternative is to make sure you are atleast 4-5 hours early before an International flight (Lufthansa in Kolkata)


  1. For Mobile Top up, is your friend.

    I had a hard time disconnecting my Airtel DSL last year.

    1. Siince I'm using Airtel, I recharge on their website (, I get full talktime. If done trough shops they charge almost 10% of recharge amount.

  2. Dear Customer,

    We regret the inconvenience caused to you. This is to inform you that your concern has been noted. Please share your contact details such as Full name, Subscriber ID, and the type of Inconvenience you are facing, so that we are able reach you. Our team is eager to help you.



    1. @ Rcom- I have stopped my Reliance and am using another data connection.