Sunday, July 26, 2015

How to Spot a Facebook Wedding Photographer

Facebook has transformed the way we connect with each other, do business and interact socially. There are as many wedding photographers on facebook as the number of weddings happening if I can exaggerate.  Everyone who owns a DSLR needs to have a facebook page so as to stay loyal to their passion of photography. Contemporary wedding photography has gone to another level specially in the last 5 years. Although its very difficult to spot a wedding photographer in the rubble of facebook feeds but here are few pointers to help you identify them

  1. You will see his facebook checkin updates as soon as he reaches venue. Its a must if you have started professionally.
  2. Don't forget to check awesome decor, venue, behind the scenes from his mobile and instagram gallery. 
  3. You cannot get bore from those creative ( weird ) selfie pics.
  4. Facebook will be the first place where they will rant about what and how the clients should be. Professional photographers or rather any profession as we all know, never get bad clients. 
  5. You will love those copy/paste awesome creative quotes from internet. Thats the only to express that you believe in. Its not easy to reflect those in your work.
  6. Don't miss their awesome "I love my job" status updates and shares. Be ready to be jealous as we all hate our jobs.
  7. Don't be surprised before every wedding season, when he announces that they are fully packed for up coming season. 
  8. They are the awesome friendly bunch, always there to comment, quote and help all those facebook posts of popular photographers. Nobody hates some visibility if possible.
  9. You will never find them copying compositions rather they are just inspired from them.
  10. No comments on pace of improvement in photography.

This is a light humour on all the aspiring wedding photographers who like all of us make mistakes as we grow in our respective passions and professions.

Monday, February 09, 2015

Review VideoconD2H : Buying 4K Ultra HD or HD 3D DVR

Review VideoconD2H
Review VideoconD2H
I am updating this post as and when I am getting update from VideoconD2H

Last week I saw the advertisement of VideoconD2H where they have introduced swanky new 4K Ultra HD STB. If you are planning to buy 4K STB then you have another choice apart from TATA SKY 4K HD STB. I am an existing owner of their normal 3D HD DVR and I will be sharing my past one year experience of ownership.

This blog post :

1) will provide info on actual experience of using their services, HD DVR and support.

2) will NOT provide any info 4K STB but it will give you an idea on what may be in store for you if you buy 4K STB. They are still not ready with a product which was launched almost 2 years back !!

Installation Experience :
Lets begin with installation part straight away. Installation was prompt and done within few hours of logging request on their website. Installation staff was courteous and well equipped for installation. The DVR provided was of 1TB ( ~ 1000GB ) and looked nice. The installation guys were keen on drilling the wall instead of using the internal pipe. As I was quite firm on that so they used that internal pipe for wire to reach my LED. The installation was complete within 2 hours. No complains here.

One Year Ownership Experience :
The response time of DVR box when you clicked any function on remote, was quite slow to my personal taste ( in comparison with my friend's TATA Sky ). The only exception was volume (up/down ) and channel buttons ( button ). Both the function were responsive and without any delay unlike other functions on remote. HD channels are generally sharp but I have noticed occasional drop in quality. HD channel quality works fine most of the time but is not consistent. The number of HD channels are more than TATA Sky.The top most plan ( Platinum HD ) which I opted is little cheaper from TATA Sky's HD pack. The BIGGEST disappointment is the recording and other features related to recording. Recording features is far from reliable. The DVR would miss scheduled recordings once in a while. If you are pause live TV or use their rewind/Fast Forward button frequently then the DVR hangs. The only way out when DVR hangs is to switch off the power which means you lose recording or live TV buffer. I noticed this within the first week of installation but no solution was provided. The response from ground engineers was so prompt that I "assumed" it would be sorted out by them. However my view changed over the next few months ( or an year ). The recording feature issue has till date not been rectified and I have been their guinea pig for last one year. My DVR was swapped twice and once even replaced it to brand new one. The new one was provided after few heated argument for not being able to provide solution even after swapping twice and a software upgrade. So inspite of buying a DVR and paying full amount for it, I have been devoid to enjoy the features of DVR. My DVR still hangs and/or becomes too slow to navigate. The FF/rewind is not accurate. It does not play the recordings from where you start playing after FF/Rewind so you have do it multiple times. This is quite annoying. Here is a video I recorded where screen goes blank while I change channels.

Support & Customer Service :
Customer support team is quite unreliable. They don't have any escalation matrix if your complaint is not getting resolved. No matter how old your complaint is, you have just two contacts at first level ie. email id ( ) and a toll free number listed on website. There is no other way to escalate the issue further and your stuck with same old lame responses from them. The ground staff of engineers who visit your site far better than those sitting behind the email and phone. You can easily sense the eagerness and willingness to resolve the problem which is totally absent in customercare team. Customer care team is useless who just take down your complaint. There have been case where my DVR hanging problem and recording issue was logged as some other complaint creating a confusion for me as a customer or ground engineer. Most of my complaints were marked as "CLOSED" by their system without even resolving it. So everytime I had to log a new complaint..

My Ratings for Service/Support Team and comments:

  1. Toll Free number Team : 1 out of 5 - Courteous but of no use. Most of the time they will promise to call back in 30mins and don't even return calls unless you are talking to supervisor/team lead. All their calls are routed through Noida/Ghaziabad number but they will mostly be calling from your "Circle" only. In first week of Feb 2015, I talked to a guy named "Amit", he was quite good to talk to and escalated my feedback to his supervisor also. But after couple of days he called me up from a pune landline number urging me to drop a "good" feedback email at Wow ! 
  2. Ground Engineer : 4 out of 5 - Hardworking but cannot be a help as DVR software has issue. I constantly interacted with engineer named "Nitin" who visited my site multiple times in last one year. He seemed genuinely earnest hard working fellow and tried everything he could do to resolve my problem. He was the only silver lining and kept my faith in D2H. 
  3. QA/Circle Team : 2 out of 5 - Reluctant to acknowledge the problem. It took one year for videoconD2H to send some from quality team to visit my site and check why my problem persists. The quality guy named "Mukund" visited my home on 26-Jan15. Yes he visited along with Nitin on a holiday. He saw all the problems including DVR hanging. He informed his team over phone and committed some one from D2H will contact me for further course of action. No one contacted me ever ! I called Mukund multiple times in his office in Pune and requested to talk to his head. He always lied to me that Boss is busy and will call me in 30 mins. The call never happened.
  4. Management : No Rating - I have contacted the below people through email who I believe are from management team. I am waiting to hear from them before I rate them ( update : I have finally received a response due to my email to below people. I will be updating this soon with my complete conversation and communication with D2H. Final Update : DVR money was refunded by VideoconD2H )

Anil Khera -
Himanshu Patil -
Rohan Bhatia -
Nodalofficer Maharashtra -

Final Thoughts & Current Status :
The VideoconD2H DVR is a total FAILURE. Unofficially their quality team has accepted after one year that  their software in DVR has issues and they were able to replicate it. So the customers are getting faulty products. From last one month I have been trying to get a REFUND but there is no one in the management who has officially contacted me. I made a formal request for closure of connection and refund on 1-FEB-2015 with a deadline of 08-FEB-2015 but no one contacted me and my connection is still on. I am trying to contact CNBC Awaaz Pehredaar team for escalating the issue. I am also looking at legal options right now for the insufficient services provided and harassment I had to go through. Also I got trapped by buying 6 month/ yearly pack with them assuming I won't face any issues. Investing in a DVR was a waste of time as well as energy.

STAY AWAY From VideoconD2H DVR or other high end technology product like 4K Ultra HD. They have bugs in their software that handles these technologies.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Don't Buy Microsoft Lumia - Review Of Nokia Lumia Customer Care Service In India

Everyday we use so many products and services. There are always once in a while some products and services that will surprise you with the quality ( read extremely as well as extremely bad). I always share my experiences on facebook as well as twitter. This brings awareness in your circle about the first hand experience.

Just a couple of months back, I contacted Dell twitter handle ( US ) about where can I buy a dell laptop charger in Pune. Within an hour the handle replied and straight away asked for my service tag. In a matter of minutes, he replied back that my charger is in warranty and will be replaced free of cost. Woah ! I never thought that my charger which is little less than 2 year old could be in warranty. My bad that I assumed the warranty period of 1 year. The dell guys might be having a procedure to always check warranty status ( which is smart ). He quickly noted my address and contact number via twitter DM. The next day the courier delivered my swanky new charger. Isn't this awesome, quick and so customer friendly. I did not filled up any online forms or dropped any emails. Just a few tweets and a direct message ( DM ). Thats it !

All I am left with is this Lumia 720 box.

When you have such customer experience, your life is good and then you believe every company of repute would thrive to provide such experience. But I had never imagined that how I will be treated by Microsoft Nokia customer care. My ordeal started in Dec-2014 when my in-warranty Lumia 720 suddenly started behaving weirdly. The touchscreen went kaput as my apps suddenly began to open on its own even without touching the screen. The apps would open and send some random texts in apps like WhatsApp. Since my phone was in-warranty so decide to visit nokia care center ( NCC ). My phone was submitted to Mobile Link, Hadapsar, Pune. The NCC is located on the highway but the entrance is through back of the the old dingy building which was bit awkward and look unsafe. As I entered the center it was empty with no customers around ( ~10:30AM ). It was my first visit in years and nokia care centers were usually bustling with customers and you use to have a waiting period. It was stark in contrast to what I was use to. I have been Nokia fan and started my journey with them in 2001-02 with Nokia 3310. Most of my mobile handsets have been from Nokia just because of their excellent hardware quality backed by wide and reliable customer care centers. Comes December 2014 and my impression has totally changed for Nokia mobiles and I can see why no customers or buyers for Nokia Microsoft phones.

Nokia Service Terms & Conditions

I waited for around 10 minutes at one of the 5 counters ( approx ) where there were only two customers including me. Finally a lady attends me and informs me that touchscreen needs to be replaced with costs around Rs.6000 but will be done free of cost as it is in-warranty repair. She hands me jobsheet and stamps it  "attendid within 10 mins" which I believe is a feat. My question which may sound irrelevant but I had to wait at the counter with no attendent at the counter. Anyways the turnaround time for my phone to be repaired was 10 days and I asked for a standby phone. I was "rudely" informed that Nokia has no such policy. Argument went on how do you expect a customer to be without his mobile phone for 10 days.As center manager was not there I asked for his number and told them that I will formally lodged a complaint online with Nokia/Microsoft. On hearing this, they made a phone call ( assuming its Manager ) and decided to handover an old worn out Nokia Asha phone which was not a smartphone. I agreed to take the phone as atleast I will be able to make and take calls rather than renting out a smartphone from market.

I cam back and found out that Standby phone was a faulty one and worked only on speaker phone. I contacted again NCC and tweet for help to @LumiaHelp for standby phone. Below is the smart conversation I had with Nokia twitter handle.

Email Conversation with customer service regarding standby phone

NCC refused me another phone and twitter conversation was going nowhere. I rented out a smartphone as I could not afford to keep my number switched off. After 4-5 days of emailing and phone calls, Nokia decided to give me a working smartphone. The phone was again in bad shape with sim card coming out as the lock was not working properly. I have to put a cello-tape on lock as my phone was going offline due this.

Standby Lumia Phone - completely worn out.
Certainly phone so worn out that I would be ashamed of taking it out of pocket ( atleast me ). There is hardly any app working on it as it was an old phone working on windows 7.1.

So after around 14-15 days I asked for my phone both at NCC and online contacts. Interestingly, NCC told me it is coming on saturday ( 27-Dec-14 ) and online guys told me we will update you soon ( which they never updated me till the writing of this post). Below are the email and twitter conversations with my remarks where they kept me fooling. They never bothered to give clear communication on the status of repair or delivery.

Here are some twitter conversations I had which clearly shows the disconnect as well as will to resolve and update the customer. Full of standard replies.

Don't even rely on the online repair status link at microsoft website. Its hardly reliable, for first 15 days it never showed that my phone was under repair. And now all it shows is that it under repair with no further info or updates. Here is a link

Microsoft Repair tracking link is useless for accurate info.

With over a month gone and no clear status of phone, I was getting impatient. As a customer, I need to be inform of clear status of repair and delivery time specially when officially you have gave it in writing that it will be repaired within 10 days.

Clearly I was not getting help from emails, twitter, customer care phone calls ( which they hardly contacted me ). I started calling local NCC, Hadapsar,Pune where my phone was submitted. I use to make weekly calls to them to track my repair and they use to have a standard reply that I will get my phone next "saturday". With one month gone, I called up NCC, Hadapsar, Pune and asked for honest status of my phone and again got a standard reply that it will be delivered on saturday. I told the agent to connect me to Manager of NCC. Mr. Sumeet, Manager, NCC, Hadapsar, Pune came on phone after a waiting for 10 mins on phone. As soon he came on phone, the first question he ( very ) rudely asked me was " Did you abuse my guys ?"  He tried to bully me around and digress from the actual issue. Soon the conversation got into heated argument as I wanted my phone back ASAP. I was done and does not wanted to go through all this harassment. Soon that rude conversation from Manager turned into threatening conversation.

I was feeling as if I am talking to some goon forget about a manager from a reputed company like Microsoft-Nokia who was supposed to listen to my queries and help me resolve it. I immediately dropped an email to customer care including Customer Service Head India - Mr. Daljeet Behl so that they step in to control the matter and take appropriate action. No one likes be threatened !

Complaint/Email for threatening me
Unfortunately, Nokia / Microsoft never replied to my email or cared about calling me to get details about the incident.

Till date ( 16-Jan-15 ) I have neither received my phone nor refund. All I am left with is the option of going to Consumer Court of India for all the harassment and zero service at the hands of Nokia/Microsoft.

Why You Should'nt Be Buying Microsoft Lumia Phones

  1. Reliability Issues : My phone touchscreen gone kaput with one year.
  2. No Customer Service : There customer service is zero. Read above the whole story.
  3. Non-Availability Of Parts : Its seems they don't of spare parts in stock. Imagine a touchscreen out of stock for a not so old model like Lumia 720.
  4. Harassment : You expect customer service and not Harassment and mental agony at the hands customer service agents.
  5. Expensive Parts : In a scenario, if a part is available and GOD forbid if you are out of warranty you won't spend Rs.6000 on a phone which is now available ( new ) say for Rs.10,000 in market now.
  6. Windows Ecosystem : Many popular apps have windows version now but still it no way matches iOS or Android.
Update ( 16-Jan-15 4:40PM ) : In a matter of couple of hours of sharing this blog post today on twitter, I received a phone call from Mr.Sumeet ( NCC, Hadapsar Pune ) that Microsoft has decided to offer me a new Nokia Lumia 730 which can be collected today itself. 10 mins later I received a call from Mr. Bhushan, Manager - Customer Services, Microsoft Phones ( Mumbai/Pune/Goa region ), informing about replacing my faulty Lumia 720 with new Lumia 730.


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