I don’t usually tend to get into conflicts and try to solve things peacefully or avoid unnecessary arguments, but there are times when it becomes important to take a stand. Yesterday’s lunch hour was one such time.
I was out with a friend when we passed by Telenor’s customer service center in Jinnah Super and decided to check out their latest mobile connection packages. Just as we were about to go in, a security guard stepped up with the intention to do a full body search. This made both of us jump back in surprise and was the start of a lengthy argument. The guard was joined by another one and both insisted that they can’t let us in without a frisk, even after we asked to talk to the manager about the way they are treating customers.
We were directed to their main office on the other side and went in, hoping that someone responsible would come forward and explain, and maybe even apologize. Just as I finished writing down my particulars in their register, (after explaining our purpose, showing our ID cards and getting visitor passes) I heard my friend’s raised voice. Surprise surprise. You need to go through a similar check to talk to the manager. So to complain about this security check, you need to go through the same security check. Brilliant.
Nonetheless, some of their executives came forward upon seeing the commotion and informed us that that’s the policy and that they’ll continue to abuse their customers in this way. We wished them luck with getting customers and left hoping never to give them any business.
I think it is the indifference of the general populace that is to blame for such demeaning practices to be common, even in large corporations such as Telenor. I think it makes sense to allow such searches in high risk places (crowded mosques are pretty common targets for terrorists these days and it is a step which can save countless lives), but like banks, these companies can easily manage a proper security system. Then why resort to such means?