Iniquitous Zomato and how to screw customers

This is going to be a rant post about how @Zomato service and customer care royally screwed me over Wed night. You have been warned. I wanted to initially make this a twitter rant but this got way to long for that. Also, I want this post to reach Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal so please share. And yet that’s a clickbait title. I am salty; deal with it.

I was working late this Wednesday (23 Nov 2016) with a teammate and the client. Around 10 PM we decided to order food since it seemed like we were going to pull a late nighter. It was decided that butter chicken and roti was to be had. I quickly opened Zomato Order and found a decently reviewed nearby place named Sighri. The order placing process was complete by 10.27 PM (ref attachment). Now Zomato has this process of order acceptance in which only placing the order does not guarantee food but the restaurant has to accept it. Which Sighri very graciously did and I was informed that the order will reach me by 11.22 PM. (ref image).

Zomato Order Confirmation

Now 2 points to be noted here

  1. The restaurant had accepted the order in the system which means they cannot claim indemnity saying they never received the order.
  2. The smartasses at Sighri had sent me a separate SMS (at 10.42 PM) which can be translated to (Fuck Zomato. Next time order directly on our site and get a discount. Let’s cut the middle man out). Another proof that someone at their team did receive my number and decided “Screw the order but let’s update the CRM”.
    Zomato Order Confirmation
    Confirmation SMS from Zomato
    Zomato Order Confirmation
    Smartass SMS from Sighri

At 11.30 PM when hunger was becoming a major roadblock in work I decided to call the restaurant but was not picked. Tried again and got no response. Time to call Zomato. I was connected with a guy named Keshav (name important because I want this to escalate and reach him somehow in the form of repurcussion). I stated my problem and was promptly put on hold as he wanted to speak the restaurant himself. They did not take his phone as well. He promised me a callback and asked me to be patient. He calls back in a few minutes and informs me that the restaurant closed at 10.30 PM and he is issuing me a full refund. That’s all. At this point, it’s easily past 11.30 PM. He did not have any solution or alternative. Just take your refund and fuck off to our site and order again. I know now that Zomato does not give 2 fucks about their customer but I do and my client was sitting in front of me, hungry. I told Keshav that I did not want a refund and he should now make an order on my behalf at another restaurant. It is not a book or a piece of clothing that I ordered whose cancellation or delay does not affect me. This shit is time sensitive. I was told that “our system does not allow us to order on your behalf”. No shit!. I was told to go back to the site and find a restaurant and order again. I was pissed by then. I told him that he will now tell me the restaurant to order from because I am not wasting any more time researching food. Now Keshav, the great customer support executive that he is, started naming me restaurants that he claimed to be open at that time and I would reply with “Your site says closed for online order”. This happened for 4-5 restaurants. I told him categorically and clearly that he was not being helpful. At this point, Keshav decided that he had had enough of my shit and simply hung up the phone.

Zomato Customer Support is the Best

Some points that I would like to mention

  1. Your “customer support” executive hung up on me. You cannot claim that the phone got somehow disconnected because a callback never happened. Kudos to the work ethics of your company.
  2. When I pointed out that the restaurant has accepted the order, Keshav replied claiming that it sometimes happens by mistake without human action. Bull Crap. Not only does the SMS from restaurant prove that its a lie how does this even make sense. You are a tech company and not a restaurant with an app in which such bugs are allowed.
  3. The order placing process bombards me with SMS and emails(if I provide it) with a step by step update of the footsteps of the delivery guy. Yet I was categorically denied any sort of acknowledgment of this fuck up. What gives? All I can say is that the conversation that you claim to have recorded for “training purposes” can prove my claim.

Dear Mr. Deepinder, I realize that losing one measly customer like me to Swiggy / FoodPanda is not going to affect you even a bit which I can clearly see in the work ethics displayed by your team. The escalation and the actions to be taken against the actions which were a prominent part of Keshav’s script are never going to happen and I am aware of that. A few days back you were fighting with Vijay Shekhar Sharma on twitter about “user experience”. Please don’t preach what you don’t follow. My issue is not with the occurance of this incident but the fact that nothing happened after that. In the end, it was PayTM that came to our rescue when we somehow found a place open nearby and paid with PayTM. You, sir, were not helpful at all. Also please refund my money.

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I have helped many startups in building their products and I would be happy to have a chat with you about your idea. Catch me on twitter at @akhilrex