Consumers vote for worst products | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Consumers vote for worst products

In the second edition of the Consumer Guidance Society of India’s ‘Worst Product’ and ‘Worst Service’ of the Year Awards, consumers rated ace brands Nokia and Reliance as the worst brands of 2009.

mumbai Updated: Apr 10, 2010 01:25 IST
Aarefa Johari

Just because a brand is popular, it does not mean the consumer actually loves it.

In the second edition of the Consumer Guidance Society of India’s ‘Worst Product’ and ‘Worst Service’ of the Year Awards, consumers rated ace brands Nokia and Reliance as the worst brands of 2009.

Conducted predominantly in the form of an online poll among consumers in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai, the survey saw 762 consumers voting for products and services, which they found most dissatisfying.

Last year, over 350 consumers voted for ICICI credit cards and Airtel mobile services as the worst. The society is India’s oldest consumer rights protection forum.

This year, Reliance bagged 59 to emerge as the worst not just among telephone service providers in particular but all consumer services in general. The most common grouses cited against it were overcharging, non-adherence to promised schemes and call drops.

“We are surprised to hear about these rankings, which are not in line with our internal data as well as independent industry reports,” a Reliance spokesperson said.

Nokia was voted worst for both the mobile phone and general consumer product categories with 22 votes largely for its “poor after sales and service”.

Nokia refused to comment stating that it takes pride in its after sales and service network.

In the other categories (classified by the jury after the voting), the BMC emerged as the worst government service and Central Railways as the worst transport service.

“This is not a scientific or conclusive survey, but it reveals some of the genuine problems consumers have with the products and services they use,” said N. Swaminathan, a management professor at Bharti Vidyapeeth and one of the jury members.

He cross-checked with voters to ensure that there was no orchestrated effort to run down a particular brand or company.

Other jury members were Prof Naren Israney of National College and Prof K.P. Gopalkrishnan of Pillai’s Institute of Management.

“The idea is not to humiliate any company. Consumers and companies are not enemies, and we ask the companies to take this as a wake-up call to pay heed to the users’ complaints,” said Dr Manohar Kamath, the society’s secretary.