We had purchased a Philips HP8310 Hair Straightener from Croma (Marathahalli, Bangalore) in February 2011.
At that time there was a promotional offer that Philips was running, which entitled us to two free movie tickets (upto Rs. 500) plus a lunch voucher for every purchase of Philips personal care products above Rs. 1995. This is the official link for the offer:
Our item’s cost was around Rs. 1995, which made us eligible for the offer. We were given a voucher with number PHC858847.
The instructions on the voucher were as follows:
1. Send a SMS “PHILIPS” <space> followed by “Voucher No.” to 09246356765
2. After receiving the code, call 1800 103 4850 to make a reservation
The last date to register was 15/4/2011, and the last date of the offer was 30/4/2011
We followed the first instruction by sending a SMS to 09246356765. But instead of receiving a code, we got a reply saying that we should directly call up the toll-free number to register for the free movie tickets.
We then started the process of calling the toll-free number. This is where the problem started. We could never even get a ring tone. We always used to hear a sound like three beeps, and then the call would disconnect (similar to what we hear when a mobile call is dropped due to network congestion).
We tried from my and my wife’s mobile, our landline, our respective office landlines, etc. But from any phone, the result was the same. Except when we tried after 6 pm, where the call would go through and an automated female voice would inform us that “office hours are between 10 am to 6 pm”, so we should call during that time. Very convenient!
This continued for a week until the last date for registration (15/4/2011) was reached, after which it was pointless to try anyway. So we had no option but to throw away the voucher (after scanning it for our records, of course).
Never expected this kind of blatant cheating from a reputed and established multinational company like Philips. No denying that I feel cheated.