It was Durga Puja (in Shillong it is puja and not pujo, even for the Bongs) and my two-year-old niece, Yana/Yashna, was all set to dress up as Lord Shiva for the fancy dress competitions. My four-year-old nephew, Aahan/Aarohan, wouldn’t be anyone else but his favourite – Hanuman. What was missing from Yana’s fancy dress kit was a damru and the rudraksh malas.

As a responsible aunt, the Chaiwali (my wife, for the uninitiated), scouted the neighbourhood markets and came back with all that Yana needed and I did my part packing all the stuff and couriering it to my father in Shillong. And then the long wait began.

Blazeflash, the courier service I chose, messed up all of Yana’s grand Shiva plans. Seven days and the courier wasn’t delivered (a package from Delhi to Shillong usually reached within four days). Concerned, I checked Blazeflash Courier’s website to know the status and it didn’t show any movement beyond Delhi. Tried calling their customer care numbers but couldn’t get through any, no matter what time of the day I tried. They were all perpetually busy or unreachable.

Frustrated, I sent a mail to the email IDs mentioned on the website mentioning my woes and the consignment number. To their credit received an email within minutes. But all the email said was:

c/nee address plz…………………

After deciphering what it meant, I emailed the consignee address. That was a bit of information that they should have had in their database, after all didn’t I provide them with the consignment number? Then received a forwarded email, originally sent by Blazeflash’s Guwahati office that said:

yet to recv at guw office

Okay, now I knew that it hadn’t reached Guwahati. But how does that bit of information help me, apart from making me more anxious? Moreover it tells me that they have no clue where my package was. Distressed, I try to call. Mistake. Their customer service numbers don’t seem to be designed to receive calls. Always busy or unresponsive. Resorting to email, I send a distress mail. No response. Another mail. Silence. Another mail. Again no response.

Frustrated, I file a complaint with the Consumer Online Resource and Empowerment Centre (CORE) and demanding monetary compensation for the failed delivery and almost immediately an email was sent to Blazeflash (with a CC to me). After a while I got forwarded email from CORE that Blazeflash had sent them. Guess what was in that email?

c/nee address plz……………

I suspect that this is Blazeflash’s auto email responder. Anyway, I again sent the requisite info. But didn’t get any direct response from Blazeflash.

Miraculously, a couple of days later, i.e. 19 long days after I sent the parcel, I got a call from my father informing me that it was finally delivered. But Blazeflash did not till date let me know, first hand, of the delivery status.

Don’t know for sure what ‘accelerated’ the Blazeflash delivery process. The threat of damages? Would have dragged the lazy courier service to court if they hadn’t delivered the stuff.

The Blazeflash (the name actually signifies the opposite of their speed of service) botch up ensured that the Durga Puja festivities were long over and there was no fancy dress competition where she could go dressed up in rudraksh malas with a damru in her hand. Also included in a package was a cheque meant for puja gifts. Thanks to Blazeflash my family couldn’t buy the gifts I wanted them to for the festive season.

Blazeflash had delayed deliveries on previous occasions too, but I was not so emotionally attached to the contents of those packages, to get distressed.

Companies fail to realise that customer service is what makes customers stick is the quality of service. And what they don’t also realise that customers like me are very willing to take such shoddy service providers through the legal wrangles and also let the world know of their disservice.

On another previous occasion, my brother threatened to take Overnight Express to court for a lost package addressed to me and they offered an out-of-court settlement, which my brother accepted.

While Blazeflash Couriers Limited’s tag line says “not just another courier company,” it is, in fact, just yet another #fail courier company.