Monday, August 25, 2008

Other minor scams in Hyderabad city

Petrol pumps near posh localities like IT company offices, Banjara hills etc have stopped stocking normal petrol/diesel. Now they only stock additives added petrol and force people to shell extra money for these additives added XtraPremium, Super diesel etc. As per few motorists, these premium branded fuels do not do much improvement in the mileage, but since the office-goers do not have much choice, they are forced to pay extra for these. I am not sure if it is company promoted policies or dealer promoted one.

Auto drivers have adopted a novel method to increase fare on share autos. Earlier from Kondapur junction to WIPRO, they used to charge Rs 12 and take 5-6 persons on Auto. Then, for 2-3 days, they started taking only 4 persons on Auto and then started charging Rs 15. When people got used to paying Rs 15, now they are again taking 5-6 people on the Auto. A really novel way to increase fare.

All 20 liter drinking Water container sold for Rs 60 in Madhapur & Kondapur region are filled up with municipal water in the main city area for free using tap water and then sold after affixing Kinley and other prestigious brand names. Delivery schedule of these guys matches exactly with the municipal water supply times in main cities.

Just an year back, when we used to go to restaurants, Rs 200 was a good amount per head for a good meal. The same now costs not less Rs 300 per head. I do not think that prices have went so high, but all restaurants are steadily increasing prices by Rs 5/10 per month on each items. Even the regular eateries have increased prices by 40-50% in few cases.

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Scams on Indian Railways

I was going by Nizamuddin express, #2721, from Hyderabad to New Delhi. This train has almost non-existent pantry service. Somewhere before Nagpur, at around 9 AM, one guy went around in the bogey with a paper slip in hand. He was asking everyone if they need lunch. When In enquired if he is from pantry, the answer was in affirmative and he told that lunch will be delivered in half an hour only. That guy was wearing dress like pantry staffs only, so we got easily convinced that he is from pantry staff. At Nagpur, he came up with some food packets in plain plastics packed in aluminum foil and took money from us immediately. When train started from station, I noticed this guy disembarking from train and then I understood how he cheated us claiming to be from pantry. Still, I was not very sure. Again in the evening, some other guy tried same tactics near Bina junction. This time, after taking dinner packet, I asked him to take money after 30 mins since he is pantry staff. He immediately took the packet away from me and left. This confirmed my suspicion that it is an organized scam running in collusion with pantry staff who were coming to passengers only with some snacks some times and never took lunch/dinner orders.

Recently, I came to know that the beggar boys who come on bogeys for cleaning and collecting some money are also part of some organized gang who pays money to railways staff for this freedom. Earlier, they would never come to AC bogey, but now they have started even there.

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HP India Computer dealer's blatant scam

Recently, I had to look into Windows vista related issues on two computers. One in Delhi and another in Hyderabad. In both the cases, dealers promised customers that their system will have X size of RAM and delivered Y size of RAM in the system where X > Y.

In Delhi, they told that system has 2 GB of RAM, while it has only 512 MB. Vista was running very slow. While customer was under impression that it is Vista issue that it is running slow even on 2 GB RAM, actually it is the false promise or probably cheating by dealer which led to the bad name for Microsoft. Dealer may have taken out the RAM from system.

Again, when I tried to install Vista on Hyderabad based computer, it stopped installation after saying that only 256 RAM is available. I had to open CPU case to convince the user that this system actually has only 256 MB RAM while he was under impression that it has 512 MB DDR2 RAM which as per dealer is equivalent to 1 GB of DDR1 RAM, another preposterous claim.

In both cases, users are actually reluctant to call HP support and call the bluff of dealer. Reason being that the dealers send their technicians mostly to reinstall pirated OS whenever there is any corruption on the system. For them, dealer is HP support and probably they are not even aware of the existence of call center.

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