Tuesday May 28,2002

The Times of India

Kolkata: Consumer have always pinned greater faith in private courier companies rather than the Indian postal service.But how reliable are the private firms when it comes to delivering the goods?

Kaushik Majumdar of Bondel Road in Kolkata has reason to be angry. On November 26, 2001, he sent a package containing two sarees for a friend’s wedding in Bangalore, through DTDC, a renowned courier company in the city. The package was to be delivered on November 28. A few days later, Majumdar claimed he found the package had never reached his friend. The DTDC, Ballygunge branch, told him that the package had been delivered to the address in Bangalore. When Majumdar wanted to see the receipt, the courer officials said it was missing. The Bangalore branch told his friend to check with Kolkata.

At the Ballygunge branch, Majumdar was told to get in touch with the Camac Street branch. On February 21, 2002, he wrote to Subir Saha, branch manager of the Camac Street wing, asking him to arrange for a compensation. On April 2, he received a letter from the customer care department telling him the consignment had been misplaced by the Bangalore office. “Sorry for the inconvenience caused to you in this regard,” the letter said.

“There is no mention of any compensation in the letter. Is an apology enough?” asked Majumdar. When TNN contacted, Subir Saha, now the regional manager, claimed ignorant about the case and said the matter would be dealt with by the customer care department. The department could not recall the incident or the letter written by them. “We don’t recall any such incident when a consignment has been misplaced,” said the customer care executive. A copy of the letter written to Saha along with other documents are with TNN.

Consumer rights organisations have received a number of complaints from customers but nobody has ever demanded compensation. “People feel it is not worth the trouble,” said Arjun Dutta from the Consumer Unity and Trust Society.