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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Corsair - The best customer service in the world!

A few weeks back (28th of April to be exact), my dad came to me with a USB. I had never seen it before in the house, and I was more surprised to find out that it was a 32 GB one. The casing was all the more attractive. It looked like this:

Seeing the surprised look on my face, my dad explained that it was given to him as a gift by one of this students around a year back. Now, the USB was not getting sensed by the PC running on Windows XP.

I powered on my laptop and checked with Windows 7. No response. Dead as a door nail. I did a bit of Googling, but that didn't help much either. Finally I thought of checking out Corsair's website itself. I was in for a surprise. 5 years warranty!

But still, I was apprehensive. I had no idea why the USB had failed. I had never used any Corsair products before. I had no idea how their replacement policy was. But anyway, I decided to give it a shot.

I created an account at their Customer Portal, opened a ticket mentioning the model number and the issues faced. I didn't have the packaging or the receipt of purchase. In short, I had just a dead USB with me!

Anyways, I submitted the ticket and waited for the technician to approve the replacement. And hell, it was approved in a few hours. Mind you, all this happened on a Sunday.

Now came the real obstacle. I have to ship the USB to Corsair's office in Taiwan. A quick look at DHL website told me that it was gonna cost more than the price for two 32 GB Flash Voyagers. So, on Monday, I turned to Indian Postal Service. I bought a floppy package cover (with those lovely bubble wraps), put the USB in, paid Rs.40 ($0.90), and it was on its way to Taiwan.

Again, I was apprehensive. Will there be any issues with the customs department? Can I really trust India Post to deliver this at such a cheap rate? There was no option to track it, so I just had to sit and wait. This was on May 4th.

On May 17th, I received an email from Corsair that my ticket has been updated and the new USB is on it's way back to India, this time through UPS. What the!! That was awesome!! I had almost lost all hope, thinking it had been lost somewhere in the Indian Ocean on its way to Taiwan.

And today, on May 21st, it arrived at my doorstep. A brand new Flash Voyager, ready to embark on it's journey!

I have heard about the insane customer service of Zappos, the Amazon owned retailer. But I think Corsair has gone a far greater job. In this case, I had never bought the USB from Corsair. It was a gift, and it was about to end up in the thrash. They could have easily declined the replacement stating I didn't have the lot number. But they didn't do it, and thereby have won a new customer - Me.

Way to go Corsair!! You guys rock!!

You should check out Corsair's wide array of products at Amazon.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Dirty Parts of the Bible - A review

I was a little bit apprehensive when I downloaded 'The Dirty Parts of the Bible' to my Kindle. I am no fan of any kind of religious fiction, but the idea of a re-telling of the story of Tobias and Sarah from The Book of Tobias appealed to me. And once I read the following conversation in the first few pages, I was completely hooked onto it.

Jesus: 'I want you to preach.'
Malachi: 'But I don't know how.'
Jesus: 'Go to the seminary.'
Malachi: 'The cemetery?'
Jesus: 'No - the seminary.'

I read the book in one sitting. It was hilarious, thoughtful, imaginative, and at times, slightly provocative. The story really flows well, and the characters are well developed.

That said, there was one thing which nagged my mind. The pace of the story suddenly changes when you are towards the end. Things started happening all of a sudden. It was almost like the feeling you get when you were driving through the pleasant country side and suddenly find yourself in the middle of Autobahn.

That said, a good, funny and thoughtful read.

You can buy the ebook from Amazon for 99 cents.

Or if you are a paperback guy, then you can get it from Createspace.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Night in the House free on 23, 24 and 25 January

My collection of horror short stories, A Night in the House, will be free on Amazon from 23rd to 25th January. Go ahead and download it now.

Those who don't have a Kindle don't worry. You can install Kindle reader on your PC/LaptopiPhoneiPadAndroid phones and tablets.

Here's what the reviewers say:

"The writer really knows how to pull you in and keep you on the edge of your seat!"

"It was a page turner and liked the horror and suspense of the book."

"A Night In The House was quite different from what I am used to reading."

Here's the blurb:

A Night in the House is a collection of eight horror stories, set in the background of different towns and cities of India. There are stories set in the teeming and congested metropolis of Chennai and Pune, as well as lonely villages and forests of Rajasthan and Kerala. There are ghosts and spirits, as well as human folly. There are myths, legends and well, of course, plenty of imagination.

Synopsis of the stories:

The Remnants of Emergency - Tara and her friends are on a ghost hunting trip to an old bungalow, but they are unaware that the ghosts from India's dark period of emergency have risen

The Bus Ride - A bus trip in Chennai turns out to be the rendezvous with the evil

A Night in the House - Pune is shivering in the cold and thankless winter nights, and it seems that the Prince of Transylvania has risen from his grave

The Night at the Kavu - The sanctity of temples should be kept, or hell will break loose

The Haunted Lane - A night of booze drives a bunch of friends into devil's own hands

The Dances with the Past - The deserts of Rajasthan may seem forlorn and silent, but few knows about the terrors of the past

The Dark Forest - A picnic in forest turns out to be the last for a group of young people

The Rendezvous - The Yakshi (female ghost) returns

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Joy Alukkas and the art of plaigarism

Kerala based jewelry group Joy Alukkas has released a new ad with Suresh Gopi doing all the talking (there's no Vidya Balan this time). The ad is well shot, but the background music is copied from the Hollywood movie, Requiem for a Dream. Wonder when people will grow up!

Check it out for yourself.

Joy Alukkas Ad:

Requiem for a dream OST

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Why I am happy that I never used Instagram

Last week, hell broke lose when Instagram updated it's Terms and Conditions and said they will have the perpetual rights to sell user's photos (public ones) without any payment or notification. With this one change, Instagram was poised to become the largest stock photo site in the world, and they were about to achieve it without spending a dime for the photos.

The outcry from users started pouring in the next moment. Social networks and blogs were filled up with rage, and finally, the company came to their senses on Friday. They released the following statement:

'Earlier this week, we introduced a set of updates to our privacy policy and terms of service to help our users better understand our service. In the days since, it became clear that we failed to fulfill what I consider one of our most important responsibilities – to communicate our intentions clearly. I am sorry for that, and I am focused on making it right.

The concerns we heard about from you the most focused on advertising, and what our changes might mean for you and your photos. There was confusion and real concern about what our possible advertising products could look like and how they would work.

Because of the feedback we have heard from you, we are reverting this advertising section to the original version that has been in effect since we launched the service in October 2010.'

So, for the time being, all is well. But, this attitude of the new generation social networking companies is heinous. Also, I think we should keep in mind that they might have backed down for now, but they don't have to listen to the users always. Also, since it's a free service, the users have little or no say with what the company can or will do. Here's XKCD's version of the events:

I don't use Instagram. I never signed up for the service, and never downloaded the apps. And I am happy for that. Also, to the avid photographers out there, I suggest you go for Flickr. Even Marissa Meyer seems to have switched from Instagram.

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