I have ranted about many brands in the past for poor customer service. But I also realized that I’ve only occasionally commended any brand for being good! So, here’s a small list.

Automobiles
I’ve owned 3 cars in Bangalore – my first car here was a Maruti Suzuki WagonR. My wife’s car now is a Hyundai Getz – it’s almost 5 years old and is due for a replacement, since I believe in changing cars after 5 years.

My current car is a Honda City, which I swapped for the WagonR after it completed 5 years.

All these 3 brands have been exemplary in customer service – I have noticed Maruti being truly egalitarian in treating customers, whether you have a sedan or a hatchback. Hyundai displays a very mild (mild – not much) discrimination between sedan and hatchback owners during the servicing sessions – but it is not worth cribbing about, since the cost of ownership of Hyundai cars are fabulous.

Honda – I may have had the occasional quibble over delayed service (accident related, I can understand the delay over spare parts), but overall, I cannot be happier.

Communications
I started with Tata Indicom in Bangalore – had a land line and a lame-ass internet plan. It was so bad – service-wise and billing-wise – that I once actually called their service center and told them that if they do not cancel my connection and remove the device, I’ll simply throw it out of my window and forget about it.

Then I moved to Airtel. People may have assorted rants about Airtel – even I did, as I have blogged in the past; about not being able to call a particular  toll-free number that I got for a office concall and their internet throttle policy – but I completely adore their customer service. I have 2 mobile connections, 2 landlines and 2 broadband connections from Airtel. One of my land line was dead late last week. I lodged a complaint in the evening, and got a call from a local service guy in 40 minutes, and it was rectified the next morning!

So, I’ve never had the opportunity to crib or be upset for more than a day – occasional issues, I completely understand – it is a system and things do go wrong. But how fast they rectify is what I’m bothered about. And Airtel rocks from that perspective, at least with me.

The kitchen and home
Our kitchen has a Faber chimney. And that chimney’s mesh like thingy gets terribly oily every 2-3 months – typical Indian cooking, you see! I tried cleaning it at home myself, but it is a laborious job and screws up a nice weekend. I found that Faber’s local offices offer a cleaning service for a few hundred rupees. They land up very promptly, do a super job and are totally efficient!

Godrej pest care service is another one at home that does a wonderful job. You just need to call for an appointment and they land up as promised, finish the job neatly in about 15-20 minutes and leave. And pests at home…huh? pests? what are they? We only call our son a pest, sometimes, playfully.

Gadgets
My local PC repair guy! He was referred to by a friend and he has been helping me with dire PC-related emergencies from time to time and lands up even after 10pm, since I’m very jittery without internet access. Earlier, I had just one PC at home, but now it is a PC with a massive monitor to watch films, a laptop and a netbook. Plus, internet access on my BlackBerry. So, the post 10pm, visits are not necessary for the PC repair guy, but he still lands within 45 minutes of my calling – love that!

Banks
I have had horrendous issues with Standard Chartered Bank over their home loan – I only have a salary account there now and quite like their online portal – very user friendly and fast. I have a HDFC Bank right next to home, so I do not call them anymore – just land up on a Saturday morning to see all my assorted banking work done in a jiffy. Have a legacy account (the one I started first, when I landed in Bangalore) with ICICI Bank that I use time to time – equally prompt. I have a home loan with HDFC as well – shifted from Standard Chartered Bank with great difficulty, since they seemed very reluctant to let me go! But the experience with HDFC has been really good!

Phew – that feels good! Have you had a good experience with a brand? Feel free to comment and let others know.

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