Thursday, August 13, 2009

Public property, Private use

I depend on Company provided transport for reaching office and back home. I must say the service is excellent in terms of its operations and I believe is quite profitable at the same time.

The company transport service sometimes uses the public MTC buses (for public use) for streamlining pick and drop at different timings. Well its nothing off the shelf. I have seen Infosys leasing the BTC buses for transport of their employees in Bangalore.

What is irking me is that the public buses are meant for public use and should not be leased for private use. In strict economic terms if we consider MTC as a money making entity there is nothing wrong with this. I suppose it is much easier and profitable for them to lease the bus to private people who need it, but sitting in the same bus when you look out and see so many people stranded on roads trying desperately to somehow get hold of any component of the bus of the passengers loaded mercilessly into it, it does not seem RIGHT. I know many free market experts must be already flinching about where this post is going. But my point is simple - The tax payers gave this money to the government so that an asset can be created and utilized by the public. The MTC is not a profit making organization.

I cannot comprehend that in peak hours a bus which is meant for public use is not deployed on public service. The purpose of MTC is not to make money but to provide a reasonable mode of transport to millions of people who figuratively have paid for the asset. And even if its making money by all means you charge a reasonable extra amount for the service during peak times but don't deprive general public of an asset which was meant to be used for them and not for a selected few.

Ya I know this will mean that the price of using the bus service for me will go up but I am willing to pay it if helps in providing a seat for elderly and transport for many in need.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Like Entry, Like Exit

Have you ever faced a problem in starting a service or subscribing to it. I suppose not. The procedure is so simple right. You just call up. or send across a mail, or just SMS or just visit a site that knowingly or unknowingly express slightest interest and there they are, the messiahs of consumerism and feigning their utmost care and love, showering you with options and you have never seen before and showing you dreams of a perfect world.

Given the dismal service focus of service providers, most likely will be that you end up disappointed and want to discontinue the service. But can you?

When it comes to do away with a service, somehow all those people who promised you that their ear pieces will be kept in your house only, never seem to respond. Its a trouble getting out of a service. The reason is simple - the companies dont care about service. All they care is to flaunt about the number of customers they have and YoY growth in customer acquisition.

Instead of having numbers of how many customers left you, there should be numbers of how many customers want to leave you because frankly there are so many customers who want to leave but are simply stuck. Its an ordeal getting the service discontinued.

Won't it be better if the same swiftness is employed in disconnecting the service as well (of course after making sure why the customer is leaving you). In a way, this underlines the fact that you are happy to give your customer an exit option if he is not satisfied. You are not trying to entngle him in some intricacies of your service agreement. You are being more transparent.

If only, if only this was true!