This matter has been stuck in my mind for months already. Every time I think about it I get angry to the bones. The injustice that shown by this story is beyond my understanding of how one big corporation with all its power press charge on their customer, put her in jail and as if it’s not enough they want her to pay a lot of money too.
This case started on 15th of August when Prita who was one of OMNI Hospital’s patients published in her blog as well as spread it in mailing list regarding her dissatisfaction of OMNI’s services. She was feeling unwell around 7th of August 09, went to OMNI Hospital and got hospitalized by a doctor’s recommendation. She felt like misdiagnosed and got miss treatment because instead of getting better, she feels worse. She suffered and no doctors could explain her illness as well as medications given at the time which continue to 12th of August 09. She said she was asking the authority there but no one seemed able to give her clear answer of what’s going on. Her post and emails were very thorough; she explained each occurrence in detail. But that’s not what I’m going to discuss here, not whether Prita or OMNI is right, cuz only God knows what really happened that day. It’s about how OMNI Hospital handles the complaint that brought an extreme horror for me as costumer as well as PR Consultant. On 6th of September 2009 one of OMNI’s Doctors filed a case on Prita for defamation clause. Prita had submitted her story too to 2 of the most prominent newspaper in Indonesia, KOMPAS and Media Indonesia. OMNI replied to that, but they keep suing Prita and – only God Knows why- she’s LOST IN COURT! She got jailed for more than 2 weeks! And even until this post published they still suing Prita for more and more penalty and fine. To add to it, Prita is a Mom of two kids, which one of them still breastfeeding.
Look, Coca cola producing millions bottles of cola everyday, how if one consumer tweet that one particular bottle he just drank were tasteless and give him stomachache, will Coca Cola sue that person for that??? Guess not! IF any public services or corporation for mass production and distribution deliberately sue their customer for each complaint they got for their product, imagine the chaos it’ll create! I still believe every consumer or customer has a right to complain or to say something about product they consume or services they received THAT’s Freedom of speech! It’s suppose to be a challenge for corporation on how to handle it, NOT how to stop it! It cannot be stopped! Find a win-win solutions!
A lot of speculations emerged following the case, one of it that irritated me sooo much is people who said that Prita is the one who bring trouble to herself, that she shouldn’t write such and such thing! What the heck?!?!?! So we don’t have any right to complain, to post something on how we feel about things? This is reminding me when I got a really lousy customer services from Blitz Megaplez, and so the first “angry” action I took I tweet about it, clearly stating that Blitz Megaplex just gave me a hard time. The next morning a I got a reply to my tweet from Blitz Megaplex, apologizing and asking me whether I can give an explanation what has happened. As follow up, the Head of Brand Image Blitz Megaplex emailed me, and I seriously feel consoled by it, we had a brief correspondent after that and it all totally changed my view regarding the service of that chain movie theater and now I’m personally will be their agent of change, someone that say: “Hey, I got a really good service from Blitz Megaplex, they really listen to my complaint, it’s fun to go there!”.
OMNI in the other hand is the public service hospital from hell that any costumers should avoid to meet or to ask for service! Yes, I agree that there’s defect in Indonesian law, who enabling punishment for Prita in such a horrible way and unfair. They didn’t even bother to do further investigation, the verdict came out just like that that Prita must go to jail. But still OMNI had shown no mercy at all! They stand prideful, self-righteously, and arrogant, and hoping that they’re giving a good lesson for people/patient who complain for their services. OMNI sued Prita for punitive damage in the sum of 204 million rupiah (more than US$ 20.000), they won the case, and all Indonesia people that concerned about this ridiculous case has formed a lot of groups to support Prita, mentally and financially. There’s around 121.000 people join her cause on Facebook as you can join that and see here or click here and more and more people show their sympathy. The public in really mass amount are now collecting coins and pennies to that amount and planning to give it to OMNI literally in that form of coins and small change, and up to now they have had collected more than 500 million rupiah for Prita that they put in a truck! I hope you are happy now OMNI! And when OMNI figure that action one of their representative said on TV: “It’s OKAY, we take coins!” (Oh my goodness!)
As I recall, OMNI Hospital is not the ONLY hospital that had been received complaints by their patient in Indonesia, there are some other Hospitals too, and they were just keep silent (since no futher news I heard about how they handle the complaint) and probably they were trying to communicate with the patient to find solutions, but NONE press charge on their patient! And all I know their business sustained and standing still as we speak. As for OMNI, I hope for the opposite result, I hope they close down their business here! Not because of they have or haven’t miss-diagnose on Prita or any issue of mal-practice (I don’t know about that), but because if they can’t handle customer complaint, might as well think twice to open any public services! I state myself clear.