In the first week of June this year, I bought a reading lamp from Pepperfry, an online e-commerce company. The lamp was ok, not great not worst, just worth the money, It worked and I was happy. But next 6 months I was harassed by Pepperfry with their communication and marketing campaign. In just 2 months, I received some 7-8 SMS and 10 emails asking me to send my feedback for that reading lamp I purchased from them.
They even called me twice for the feedback, to which I replied very politely saying “sorry, I don’t want to give any feedback”. In all this, I also received many promotional SMS from Pepperfry offering discounts and all.
By the way, In September I found a way to get rid of their promotional emails by simply blocking them. Since I use professional paid services for my email account, I was able to do that very easily. Which means their email is rejected from the server itself sending an email reply saying “This email account doesn’t exist”. But for the SMS, I was still struggling to stop them from reaching me. It was more than 4 months now, and it started getting into my nerves.
So finally in October, I started calling them back on their customer care number as soon as I received any promotional SMS, I would request them very politely to stop sending me SMS, be it promotional with offers or discounts or any sale or whatever. “Just don’t send me an SMS please”.
I spoke to Rafika on 15th Oct, Amelia on 17th Oct, Nitin on 21st Oct, Alister on 7th Nov 2020. All 4 ladies and the gentlemans gave me the same reply.
“Sir, we have sent your request to the SMS team, and we make sure that after 24 hours you will never get any SMS from Pepperfry”. To which I use to reply, “The one I spoke with earlier assured me the same thing”. By the way, Amelia has the sexiest voice ever I’ve heard. And Alister was the most scared voice. I had to encourage him to answer and respond and say something, which he would do dar dar ke, finally saying “Samay dene ke liye dhanyawaad, aapka din shubh rahe“. Poor fellow.
Here is the biggest harassment. So while calling and requesting these people, they would tell me “Sir, please be on the line, let me check” and then I was kept on hold for 4 to 6 minutes wherein a recorded tape kept playing again and again which said..
“Don’t want to miss out on the latest promotions, subscribe to our newsletter”
“We promise to send you only the best of offers and deals”
“Did you know we sell a product every 25 seconds”
“Looking for a perfect gift for home”
“Pepperfry Gift Cards are just what you need”
“Happy gifting to you”
“Want to touch and feel the product before buying it”
“Drop by the nearest studio Pepperfry in your city”
My mind changed the sentences automatically, before passing it to my ears.
Here is what reached my ears.
“Don’t want to miss out on the latest techniques of getting tortured, just buy a product from us, only once“
“We promise to send you only the best of the tools like belts, hammers, and nails”
“Did you know we tortured customers every week”
“Looking for a perfect gift for your enemy, just buy something for them mentioning his/her email address and mobile no.”
“Pepperfry emails and SMS are just what they need”
“Happy harassing to you”
“Want to touch and feel the pain before it’s sent, regularly!!”
“Drop by the nearest studio Pepperfry in your city for a trial round, our sales representative won’t leave you until you’ve heard him for at least 1 hour.”
But after all this, I always kept calm, and finally, I had no option but to write this satire to wakeup the ORM team of your company, requesting them to please tell the SMS sending jokers to calm down and stop taking erection pills, and check before you jump and bump on somebody like this. Take consent before blasting emails and SMS, or else someday your company will be in big trouble. Tell them about TRAI, tell them about the cyber cell. I am sure your legal team can explain them better.
Buying that reading lamp was a good experience, but because of your aggressive communication and marketing, today you have lost the respect of a customer. Not only that, whenever I hear your name, I get angry and hate it if someone refers me your brand name for shopping. I take out 10 minutes of my precious time, which otherwise I utilize it for reading or writing, and explain to that person how Pepperfry harrases their customer.
One customer is silently damaging your brand with its mouth to mouth publicity, not because of the lamp, not because of those 4 ladies and gentlemen from your customer support team I spoke with, not because the delivery of the order was late. It is just because of your SMS and email marketing jokers who are ignoring the basic concept of ‘USER EXPERIENCE’ of any aggregator or B2C business. I hope you will understand how your team is getting a bad name for the brand Pepperfry. Please improve in this area, otherwise you are good.
I welcome your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.