The one thing worse than incompetent customer service is not being able to get through to customer service to begin with. A couple of weeks ago my recently-purchased Lenovo laptop went into coma. So I called my dealer, who told me that he couldn’t help me, I’d have to call the Lenovo helpline. Now, the problem was this: The Lenovo helpline number was a toll-free number that one can only call from an MTNL or BSNL landline. I have three phones to choose from at home, but none of them are MTNL or BSNL. I pleaded in vain for some other number, even one that would involve an STD or ISD call, but there was none.
After a couple of days I got around it, made a call to Delhi, one more to Bangalore, and managed to get my complaint on the system, after which it was pretty smooth, which was surprising. Efficient customer service on the phone, in my experience, is as rare as blood-sucking black flies.