Shiv Sena campaigns against LG's 'unfair' franchise model

Last Updated: Sat, Jan 12, 2013 18:40 hrs

The Shiv Sena has launched a campaign against multi-national corporations (MNCs) for their alleged apathy and neglect towards service franchisees and their employees.

The Sena has floated a new wing, Maharashtra Service Centre Sena, to spearhead agitation against South Korean company LG Electronics. The agitation has impacted the after-sales service of LG in Mumbai as till date about 17,000 calls remain unattended. There are about 20 LG franchisees with employee strength of 500 in this region.

An LG spokesman, however, has said LG Electronics India strives to provide best customer services to the consumers. “We take several initiatives keeping customer centricity in mind. After-sales services is a key service initiative to maximise customer satisfaction. We have a round-the-clock LG Support Line. Keeping the consumer focus in mind, we would always want our customers to benefit with services from our specially trained technicians having the right skill sets. We follow the law of the land in spirit and all our efforts are keeping in mind the welfare of all stakeholders.” The spokesman added LG was committed to India as a market and welfare of employees and all associates was always a top priority.

The Sena, opposing foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail, said LG had painted a rosy picture about its investments and operations, but the reality was quite different. The party would soon launch agitation against other MNCs, too.

“LG has an unrealistic dream of achieving completion of service call within 48 hours without allowing and supporting the development of infrastructure at franchisee-end. The company rejects genuine and legitimate completed calls by the franchisee terming the call as fake and it also rejects completed call under global validation cancellation without any explanation,” Gajanan Kirtikar, a former minister and a Sena leader, told Business Standard.

Further, LG never enters into legal agreement, which is registered, with service franchisees and instead, it prefers a draft deal in its favour. “The franchisee is coerced in to signing the agreement, but the singed agreement is not provided which creates problem to explore legal redressal,” Kirtikar alleged.

He said the company needed to increase the call rate to Rs 500 from the present Rs 85-90 given to the service franchisee considering the present economic conditions.

Kirtikar said the company had arbitrarily terminated service contracts without assigning any reason. “We, therefore, demand that such abruptly terminated agreements immediately be reinstated.”

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