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Dell tagline – Screw to Survive

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My Dell XPS laptop is helping me explore and discover a lot of Dell’s business strategies and most of them are unethical. My previous post would detail the problem I am currently facing with my Dell XPS M1210. I knew that Dell would not help me unless I pay them what they demand. But still I wanted to check my Luck Quotient. I called up Dell and the executive (Mr trained-Smarty-dell-mouthpiece) spoke to me for about an hour. Let me give you the gist of the conversation.

I have recorded this in my mobile. I will post the audio clip soon.

Once I explained the problem, he asked me to be on hold for a while, so that he could check what best he can do for me. He came back on the line and told me that he is going to give me a break-fix-warranty.

Now what is a break fix warranty for me? Pay for 1 year extended warranty + engineer visit + spare part cost. That will be 19,000INR in total. I told him, that this problem is not only with my notebook. Many people who have got the same model have suffered because of the design flaw. This is Dell’s fault and Dell must absorb the cost and replace it without charging.

He accepted that its a design issue with the GeForce 7400 gfx card and Dell has automatically extended the 1 year warranty to an extra year for all the product with 7400 gfx cards. My laptop has cruised past 2 years exactly (on March 8th 2009) so Dell will not replace it for free.

I was pretty shocked. Hang on! One year ago on March 2008, I called you guys and wanted to pay for an extended warranty and no one told me that I get a free warranty extension at that time. You guys sent me quotes and if had gone ahead with the purchase, I would have ended up paying for a free service.

He justified and rolled back his statement that, these free warranty was only for systems with fault. Yes, mine is faulty as well. Only that the fault came to light exactly after 20 days of expiry of the warranty + “so-called-free-extended” warranty period.

Dell… the greatest customer screwing machine of all time… Ok! I don’t want to drift off-topic. Now, I don’t care about extended warranty. A company like Dell must take responsibility for its mistakes and take back the faulty parts it has sold.

His point was, the company has extended its good-will gesture for one year and my laptop had no problems during that tenure and now I have to pay for it.

And so forth and so on… the argument was going nowhere. The business strategy I learnt is,  sell a faulty product to the customer and sell it over and over to the same customer, when the product fails. Nice strategy to make money, especially during the tough times of recession. I am sure Dell would not face any economic strangles with policies like this in place. Even if I pay for the service and get the Motherboard replaced, it is bound to fail in another year’s time.

Shall I or Should I not?


You could have waited!

4 years gone and the abyss still exists. I think the loss will be felt even after 40 years. More than letting the pain wither off, I am sort of adamant to make the pain a persistent one. We miss you.


How the web 2.0 catapulted Obama into the Whitehouse

Information is no more a personal property. Anyone can obtain any information and contribute to the information database. Barack Obama’s online campaign was leveraged at large by the information decentralization. The 2nd version of the web is not only about information but its also about contribution of information. Senator Obama’s Web Gurus knew that he has to shed his image as someone of high rank in unreachable position. The wanted to get rid of one-way-traffic stereo typed election campaigns. Their aim was to make Obama’s image an User-Friendly Next-Gen President of the USA.

Starting from providing information about himself and his campaign at Barackobama.com, Obama’s campaign utilized every possible corners of the webspace. Barack Hussain Obama, converted himself into a brand. A brand that every American would love to endorse. He made a logo for himself. Its not a political symbol or some sort of election seal. Its the brand logo of Obama himself. This was his online identity which turned out to be a huge success and entered every home via the Internet. His followers could either use it as it is or customize it and use it as Avatars, Feed logos, favicons, Online Community Identity or even email signatures.

Facebook on its own is a great media to propagate Obama and his campaign ideologies. Mock elections, opinion polls, Campaign discussions and much were were added as facebook applications. All of them were a huge success. 24 years old Facebook Co-Founder Chris Hughes pitched in his expertise to build Obama’s own facebook, called myBarackObama.com. Volunteers used this site organize over 150,000 campaign-related events over the entire course of the campaign. Obama’s FightTheSmears.com was a major combat weapon to fight any rumours on Obama or his party. The website’s tag-line is “Powered by Truth”. Arun Chaudary, Obama’s youtube henchman were key to his online success as well. All his campaigns, initiatives and services were customized, edited and posted on Obama’s youtube channel almost instantly. Chaudary quotes that this sort of technology was available many years ago, but it was utilized only now. He also add to the statistics that online viewers are not just kids and teenagers, but it has a mammoth amount of people aged between 40-45 as well.

Obama campaigners reached each other via the iPhones as well. iPhone App Store stocked the free application called Obama ’08. Instant access to campaign information, photos, videos, poll results and much more was shared via this application. Other mobile users across the globe were also not left behind. Obama reached out to the twittizens as well. @BarackObama is the one to be followed on twitter to recieve twiupdates. Obama could barely ask for more of his online presence. He was omni-web-present: mySpace, Faceboook, youtube, flickr, Eventful, Flickr, LinkedIn, Eons, Faithbase, Glee and on much more web 2.0 engines.

Obama’s online initiatives have helped touched the hearts and minds of the nation on a very large and cost-effective scale. This victory would be scrutinized, studied, preserved and passed on as a success story of the Internet as the penultimate marketing tool. A classic example of empowering people and technology and a path that shows the route to success for business and marketers to come.


Naakka Mukka – The Prose and Poetry

The cult track “Naakka Mukka” could easily win the most disgusting song ever made award, if the panel members were strictly 45+ old. But it has won the heart of many youngsters because of its racy tune and irrelevant lyrics. Finding and order among chaos has been the favourite past time of many. I decided to find or frame some sort of meaning to this meaningless song. Here is goes…

The poet takes us to the yogic philosophical aachaaram filled life style with the opening lines.

Maadu Setha Manusan Thinnan
Thola Vechi Mela Katti
Adra Adra Naakka Mukka Naakka Mukka

Yes its indeed 916 hallmark aachaaram-filled lyrics. The meaning is… when man eats dead cow (symbolically non-vegetarian/meat) he is nearing his end of days. You will ride your last procession on the shoulders of other (tholla vechi) with drum beats (mela katti adra adra) leading it. Hence control your senses. Control of taste buds (naakku) and olfactory senses (mookku) is essential for long livety. Now isn’t that yogic philosophy?

larrysona larrysona larrysonnaaareeee…

Yes indeed its the golden line which can be understood by laymen like lorry drivers… (laary = Truck / Sona = Gold)

panthaatom ulagam vachaan raatinam pol sulala vachan…
yera vachan irnaga vachan..sulalavitu mayanga vachaan..
mayagunavana yelupuda yelupuda… adingada adingada….

Now he wants to teach a bit of geography. The world is not a level play field anymore. Its a ball shaped earth. The god / supreme power made it so and he made it rotate like a Giant Wheel. Goes up at times and goes down at time. Due course this oscillation (rotation of earth) make people unconscious and loose their senses. Now don’t let your fellow earthlings loose control, so lets beat it man….

ponungala piraka vachan.. ponukula karuva vachan..
karuva vachanc karpa vachan…karpuvukule theeyavachan..
theeyavachu yeriya vachan…yeriya vachan… yeriyavacha….
madurai yeriyuthu .. anaingada..anaingada..anaingada..

This is turning out to be the most philosophical song of the year. I am getting goose bumps while writing this blog. Let me not loose track and complete the analysis.

He wants to teach a bit of culture, integrity and chastity. God made women and implanted the womb in them and created a theme called chastity especially for them. He lit the theme with fire and that has become an ideal characteristic of the ideal woman. The fire symbolizes woman and could burn down even an entire city. He he quotes some historical reference(kanagi who burnt Madurai) to showcase the power of woman.

Just a handful of such songs with such powerful lyrics can convert the entire generation X into generation V (V for Vivekananda).

Pothum…. ithoda niruthikuvom… kupura paduthu yosipangalo?


Complete it!

The other day me and another team leader were chatting and he told me that one of his team members have taken a day off for a strange reason. Tha guy had gone to meet his college friends on a get-together. I was puzzled and I told that this is a normal reason. But he told me, that one must complete the task at the given time and must never extend it beyond deadline. He was given time to enjoy his college days and he must be done with it. When you move ahead in your life, you can look back but can never afford to stay back. You move forward only when both your legs are moving. If one leg is struck in the back pace, then you dont really move. At a given slot, the given task must be completely done with. This struck to me as a thunderbolt.

Made me think and lot and push the rewind button to check if I had completed all my task completely. School, College, first job, last job, current job everywhere it appears to me that I have completed the role fully. or have I? Role play as a son, grandson, niece, friend, more… need to introspect a lot…

Reminds me of Rajnikanth’s Song from Badshah…”Yetu yetua manushan vaazhva pirichuko.. yentha yettil ippo iruke therinjuko…”


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Techies up for Auction: A Fiction

The recent IPL auctions have changed a lot in the Cricketing Industry. Players who were getting salaries based on their performance / statistics / brand value were seen to sold like products in a market. In a way everyone is a product in the current scenario. Not only sportsmen and celebrities, every software professsionals are also being purchased. So why not auction Software professionals.

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The HR Sourcing department from various companies can come forward to form a guild like structure. The guild must be self governing and must be built on high standards. IT Techies who feel that they are on-par with the industry standards, can register themselves with this HR Guild. The HR guild can screen the techie and pick out the person who are of high self-standards. They can screen a professional based on personal, business and technical standards put forth by various IT Companies. Once a Techie passes the rigorous screening process, he is entitled to be auctioned.

Auction can be online. Just like a job portal, the guild needs to have an auction portal where the details of the Techies who is eligible to be auctioned is posted. The corporate guys can start bidding on the prospective employees and they can bid CTC or Term of employement or Both. The entire process of bidding needs to be monitored by a independent group of auction managers. Once bidding is over, the techie can choose to accept or reject the offer. He can reject the offer and go for re-auction and if he accepts he can check the jobs T&C and go join the company.

The guild cannot accept freshers to enroll with them. This will create chaos in the job market. They can accept only experienced professionals who are on par with standards. A massive pool of talents will be open for the corporates and experienced professionals will be forced to maintain their standards and be on par with industry standards. This could be an stage for all professionals to be on the same page as the technical advancements and at the same time, they can earn the right amount for their talent. This could be a solution for various HR related problems for the corporates like attrition, compensation, appraisal, etc.


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