Operational Fiasco at OCS Expressions Service

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OCS operates Expressions service to send gifts to folks and friends around Pakistan from selections based on several different options. I happened to send over a gift on the Christmas weekend. I wanted to be sure that I send the right kind of gifts over and wanted to be sure that everything goes smooth. After going through hordes of options, I opted to use OCS Expressions to deliver the gift right on time.

It turned out I would have to pay premium for Sunday delivery despite their Christmas weekend waiver offer, but I agreed. I wanted to be sure of everything being in order, so asked the person at the OCS counter to just check about the availability and delivery option for the selected package. The reception officer called up their corresponding staff and confirmed to me the availability and considering I was already booking in the delivery much earlier (more than two days before as against their minimum of 24 hours before delivery time), the officer assured me everything will be in order.

As it turned out, the delivery was made, but only a partial one. One of the key things I selected that package for – ‘specialty assorted chocolates’ – was missing all together. Even more irritating was the fact that no one even bothered to tell me that, and the first person to convey this to me was the gift recipient when I asked how were the chocolates. It was quite awkward to hear, “umm, there are no chocolates!”

I was quite upset and called up OCS staff right away to get only a warm reply, and an assurance of settling the mishap the next working day. They said they didn’t find those chocolates so left it out for delivery later (without even asking me, who had paid in advance already!). I kept trying them the next day and kept getting a variety of responses from different persons such as their customer service head, executive in-charge and even project in-charge. It kept bothering me but to no avail. I requested them to at least make the delivery late even after the entire mess-up already, and they kept giving excuses and time lines playing the blame game throughout cursing their own staff for this. Two days later, I got another message from the gift recipient that they got a call from OCS people about a delay in the gift and that it will be one more day before the surprise gift chocolates… Whoa, so much for the element of surprise my dear sir!

I had asked for a refund based on the fact that they failed in their commitment, they agreed that there was a big mishap and said they’d compensate for the same. The “project in-charge” was supposed to return to me on that. However, despite my calls twice, no oneĀ  seemed bothered enough to care. Thinking back on this entire episode again, I feel pity for the company as they didn’t realize they were only creating another mishap after the first one. At least think about the name of the service “Expressions” for God’s sake.

It is awkwardly perplexing how a company coming from an industry thriving on customer relationships, goodwill management, customer loyalty and brand ambassadorship can get away with Operational Fiasco’s with additional cruel layers of icing of poor customer service and ill-will generation amongst all their prospective customers. Is it all about the money for them I wonder? Even if it is, money won’t follow them for sure this way.

Perhaps, OCS Pakistan does not get it now that living up to customers’ promised expectations, a positive attitude and professionalism are hallmarks of success and one can often not succeed and certainly not thrive with an attitude of eccentricity and indifference to their customers.

For a company in any industry, a satisfied customer is a prerequisite for growth, as they the former’s existence dwindles in the latter’s faith moves about to the competitor. I don’t know for sure if you’re sorry, OCS Pakistan, but I feel sorry for you. One more customer lost, eh. That’s it for your sales register today or may be that’s not it. Who knows who all would change their their minds after reading this.

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