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The most common tech peeves

Companies that still believe that India doesn’t necessarily need a product from their portfolio or that they can bring it six months late. What’s the thought process? That we aren’t a mature enough market? That the product is too complicated for us? That they would rather sell in more ‘sophisticated’ markets first?

india Updated: Feb 07, 2011 12:23 IST
Rajiv Makhni

Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m in a foul mood right now. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s from brain warps like these that I believe some of my best rave and rant columns have come. Today, is special though – I’m irritated to the point of not just whining about a thing or two, but pretty much everything that still makes me see red in the world of technology.

Late to the party
Companies that still believe that India doesn’t necessarily need a product from their portfolio or that they can bring it six months late. What’s the thought process? That we aren’t a mature enough market? That the product is too complicated for us? That they would rather sell in more ‘sophisticated’ markets first? That they have a shortfall in production so India can only have it when they’ve sold enough in other countries? Wake up, companies. This is a big market with a great appetite for devices and this shallow treatment may just blacklist you. Get your act together and stop living in the ’90s. And while you’re at it, can you also get your service centres to start dispensing just that – some service and spare parts?

Did you hit it with a hammer?
And while we’re on service – can companies finally realise that giving service to the customer isn’t a favour they are doing? It’s part of your warranty and it’s part of the money you charged us when we bought your super marketed product. Stop treating us like second class citizens when we walk into your service centre. Stop manning your service counters with rejects from the 1980s immigration department counters at the airport. Stop accusing us of dropping the phone, going swimming with it and hammering it with a hard object. You made the damn thing – now make it work!

Where’s the freaking manual?
Yes, we get that you’re a green company and you’re conserving paper. But do you realise that a simple 5-page manual wouldn’t kill this earth? That most of us need it when we get started? That after we’ve tried the product by doing something wrong – ‘a warning message’ on the same action on a downloaded manual later doesn’t help? That little paper chits with a url to download a manual do get lost in your oversize and not very earth-friendly packaging? Just give us a manual to get started – and save the earth in other ways, like maybe not printing your annual report on triple glossy 300-gsm paper and running it to 500 pages.

I’ll call you from a landline
Think about this. In the last one year, how many times have you said this on your state-of-the-art brand new mobile? How many times did you cut off an important cell phone call and revert to your plain old wired telephone system? How many conference calls do you execute only on wired instruments? Yes, we get that networks are congested and yes, we get that spectrum is at a premium. But we also get that you have too many subscribers and that you still advertise to get more every day. And that you really didn’t think out the way you went about putting your cell towers up in the first place.

Mobile etiquette
Yes, the ones that people still don’t get – like not announcing the name and relating the whole damn story of the movie you’re watching in a pseudo-hushed voice so loud that even the actors on screen can hear you, or the shrieking buffoon who wants to put money on a cricket match in the middle of a quiet restaurant. Here’s one from the other side. Companies that still insist on equipping their phones with a loud, blaring start up and shut down tone even when the phone is on silent. Errr… if we’re shutting it down, we may be in a hospital or a conference – do we need it to shatter the sound barrier right at that time?

Lots more to go for next week. From clueless salespeople at electronics stores, printers that still need a cartridge that seems to be made of liquid diamond ink, international roaming prices for data and voice calls that make them the most expensive commodity in the entire world, automated voice support systems, Facebook and Twitter irritants, people who don’t read the freaking manual and about 50 more. Send me your most mind-bludgeoning, gut-wrenching tech irritation on the Brunch email ID or on Twitter. Maybe together we can change the world – one tech peeve at a time.

Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3. Follow Rajiv on Twitter at twitter.com/RajivMakhni

- From HT Brunch, February 6

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