Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Never trust Talwalkars...NEVER, NEVER, NEVER.

Humiliating, Horrible, Horrendous, Hopeless, Harrowing ...are a few words to describe my experience at the Talwalkars branches in Bangalore. It was even worse trying to contact their Bombay offices for respite.

Here goes my Harrowing Story :
I transferred a membership from a friend who was moving abroad that had a membership in the Bangalore , Sadashiva Nagar Branch of Talwalkars. There was close to about 10 months of membership left as of the day of the membership's transfer from him to me.
When transferring, they made me pay a registration fee of Rs.1337 and didnt tell me when the membership was expiring or any anything about the membership guidelines or give me any material about their policies. They just wrote on the transfer note (Pic attached below) that one year's membership has been transferred. Additionally, the person who transferred the membership in their offices went a step ahead and told me that I can use the block of 10 remaining months any time at any Talwalkars location. And here's my TROUBULOGUE with the PATHETIC Talwalkars:

~Nov 09th 2006 ~
Tranfer the membership from my friend to me. I pay Talwalkars Rs.1337 to transfer to membership to me , and my friend the rest of the money for the membership.

~Apr 21st 2007 ~
I call the Sadashiva Nagar gym to start my membership of the remaining 10 months in the Ulsoor branch which is closer to my place in Indira Nagar. I am put through to this dude Vishal in their offie who says membership cant be transferred and that nothing is possible but for using the gym at the Sadashiva Nagar Gym which is 10 Miles from my house . He also tells me that my memberhsip is to expire in June, which had nothing to do against what they told me that I can start the remaining 10 month block whenever I wished to when I was transferring the membership.
When I asked the managers this Vishal dude says she is not available and that they cant give me her number.

~Apr 23rd~ I called back again , Shraddha answers the call, and she is not able to either connect me with the manager and say it is a POLICY NOT TO GIVE OUT THE MANAGERS NUMBER TO THE CUSTOMERS TO CONTACT.

~Apr 24th~
Called them 3 times that day, these guys names Keshav & Ravindra answer and say they cant help me reach the manager.

~Apr 25th~ I call their Jayanagar Branch 3 times @ 080 -26631686, This lady named Vimala, answers the call. Another Gentleman, who after much insisting that he cant give me the Bangalore Head (Rachel's) number, put me on hold, reached their Bangalore Head (Rachel) on the phone and gave me her number.

~Apr 25th ~
Finally after 8 calls, 5 days, and just the start of my humiliating experience, got through to Rachel (Bangalore Head) , she says she cant do much. But to use my membership at Ulsoor instead of Sadashiv Nagar (where i got the membership transferred from), I should be paying the Rs. 6500 difference and use it before the end of june. Which meant I would be shelling out an additional Rs6,500 exclusive of the Rs.13,500 that I paid.

~ May 17th ~
I called Rachel (evening @ 1700, the call wasn’t answered)

~ May 18th ~ I called Rachel Rachel (Set up a meeting for the 26th @ 11 in SS Ngr)

~ May 25th ~ Sarla called from Talwalkars (+91-80-4113 8239) saying Rachel cant make it to the meeting and needs to reschedule.

~ May 23th ~ Sarla calls back saying Rachel will call back. This never happened.

~ Sept 28th ~ Spoke to Vidya, a lady at the Jayanagar branch through a friend who knew her , Vidya said Rachel (Bangalore Head)would be calling me.

~ Sept 29th ~ Rachel (Bangalore Head) called to ask if I could go to Talwalkars Ulsoor branch to schedule a meeting with the manager there, I said I will be out of town and that she cal call me on the 3rd of Oct.

~ Oct 03rd ~
Rachel (Bangalore Head) as usual did not call back as usual. They advised I talk to Girish Nayak who is supposedly the person to talk to in Talwalkars for these problems. I got busy and couldn’t call.

~ Oct 10th ~
Called Talwalkars Bombay at +91 22 6612 6300 to talk to customer service about Bangalore, Gita answered and said she would call me back in 5-10 Mins this was @ 11:55 am.
Waited for 25 Minutes and called back, the call got disconnected without being answered 5 times, and they say they don’t have a customer service section, the receptionist wanted me to tell her the problem and that she would get it across. I asked her to connect me to the corporate marketing manager, She was not able to as her systems wasn’t working. I almost had to plead with her for the the corporate marketing manager's name & number which she finally relented on me, which were 022-66126380 ~ Adarsh Nigam VP Marketing. Adarsh (VP Marketing) heard all that I had to say and says “ I will not promise you a time, but even if the answer is that we don’t have anything that we can do, I will call you back”. { I wonder what the hell that meant, basically what he was saying is I heard you out, There isnt much I can do for you, I will update you on how screwed up status of the problem anyway.}

~Oct 17th ~
I called Talwalkars (Adarsh, VP Marketing) at 022-66126380, He wasn’t available at his phone, pressed * to reach the operator, asked the person who answered the call for Adarsh’s cell number and got transferred and put on wait for 3 minutes and the operator hung up on me saying Adarsh is out.

~Oct 17th ~ I called back, told them they put me on wait and hung upon me. I called back and asked for Adarsh’s number… The Lady Gita asks me to call back the next day @ 10:30.

~Oct 17th ~
Called Vimala – (@ the Bangalore Jayanagar branch) trying to vent out… she says a JP Ngr branch is starting up and that she’d call back next weekend with some answer.

~Oct 18th ~ Called Adarsh’s Office Number @ 10:50, The Receptionist transfers me to his answering, and I get back to her and ask her his number. Then she finally gives it: 98201-00306. Adarsh (VP Mktg) says the managers from Bangalore were supposed to back to me on email, I said "I didn’t get it", he said "they were supposed to", I repeated "I didn’t", He says "I heard it". I ask Is there a time line? He says tomorrow. I told him that I would get back to him tomorrow if needed.

~Oct 19th ~ Called Adarsh @ his direct office number and on his cell, he wasn’t available, I left a message asking letting him know that I was waiting for a reply from their Bangalore branch, The answering system cut me off half way through my message.

~Oct 20th ~ Called Adarsh @ his office number 022-66126380, he answered and said Talwalkars was trying to reach me the day before 20thish but my phone wasn’t reachable. He said he didn’t have my email to keep me in the loop. (He should have realized that before he said his people would email me). It was a very RUDE tone he spoke to me in, When I asked what the company was trying to do, he says “I am from the Operations and I don’t want to involve in what and how the branches worked”. He also said “the branch will get back to me”...in a rude tone…I sensed a lot of avoidance and disrespect in the tone.

~Oct 22th ~ Adarsh (VP Mktg) writes me the following Email:
Dear Mr Raju Thank you for your feedback regarding your membership; my colleague Mr Sanjay Nadkarni would get in touch with you shortly to resolve this issue. We look forward to a long term relationship with Talwalkars. Regards Adarsh Nigam Mr Raju: Phone Number Mr Nadkarni: Phone number.

I never heard nor spoke to this guy named Nadkarni who was mentioned in the mail from the VP Mktg.

~Oct 4th week ~ The Bangalore center head (Rachel) calls me for a meeting. We schedule it for the 1st week of november.

~Nov 1st week ~ We meet up as scheduled. What she has to offer me as a final offer is:
  • She agrees that her office screwed up on the membership transfer process.
  • She offers me 5 months membership @ the ulsoor branch, instead of the 10 months I paid for at the sadashiv Nagar Branch (BTW, It is more expensive to get a membership in Sadashiv Nagar than in Ulsoor)
    • The rationalization for the 5 months offer was that I supposedly called them 5 months before my membership expired.
  • I was almost made to feel that they were bestowing upon me a divine grant, her tone sounded as if they were really feeling forry for the effort I put in and that they were throwing mercy on me in offering this.
  • To add to this she says "It wont make any difference what so ever even if you complain to the head office any more& that this is the final offer".
  • I tell her I will let her know in a weeks time.

~Nov 2nd week ~ Not being able to let go of my self respect for the rude tone on which I was given the final offer and also believing that the final offer was was not good enough for all that I went through. I declined it.

Never trust Talwalkars...NEVER, NEVER, NEVER.