Airtel Customer Care: Express Yourself and get maddened!

Oops! I had a tough time with the Idea Cellular Customer Care the last time and I decided to opt Airtel thereafter. But this is not any better I must say. I have been using an Airtel post-paid connection and there has not been any problems regarding the payment. Just about one and a half months ago, I got an SMS from Airtel that I would get SMS worth Rs 3000 per month for a small payment of Rs 30 every month. I thought it to be a good offer and subscribed to it. At that time, I didn’t know that they were inviting me into some trouble. *Nostradamus was great!* He could predict! Just a couple of days later, I got another SMS from Airtel that I would get Rs 1200 worth local calls for a one-time payment of Rs 300. I thought it to be another great offer and subscribed to it too. *Nostradamus was great, really!* I cannot predict. I was getting into more problems.

I am a modest caller with a small credit limit of Rs 600 and I seldom transcend it. I called up the customer care number 121 and a lady attended my call. I asked whether I should make any interim payment since there were chances my credit could go past Rs 600. She replied me very politely that there was no need for an interim payment and that the amount of Rs 300 would not be counted to my credit limit since that was a payment for a service from Airtel. I was happy and so was she when I rated her 5/5 for her services!

Came a call just about a week ago from Airtel that I have exceeded my credit limit and thence my outgoing would be blocked in no time. I was appalled! I explained to her the information I received from Customer Care. But she was in a hurry (at least it seemed to me) and she hung up the phone laughing ‘heavily’. I was blank for a while. After the blanks were filled, I called back the Customer Care and, honestly I don’t remember what I told the one who attended my call. 


I was really confused with this thing – Airtel gave me exemption for Rs 200 worth local calls and Rs 3000 worth SMS. Ideally, my outgoing should be considered only after exempting these figures. But the problem is that Airtel counts all these services in your credit at the time of usage and will deduct them only at the generation of your bill. In effect, I will be exceeding my credit limit whenever I send out my 601st SMS and that my outgoing would be blocked. In effect, this wacky judgment will not allow me to use the services that I have subscribed to. Ideally, they should exempt the Rs 200 worth calls and Rs 3000 worth SMS at the time of usage, or at least, they should wait for my outgoing to exceed Rs 600 after all these deductions. I was dismayed to find their calculation!

Then I spoke to many at the Customer Care including their team leader. It was an experience of being at the receiving end of misdeed and at the giving end of wrath. Though the team leader tried to step in for her executives, she finally agreed to sort things out. She promised to call me back in an hour and I agreed. At that time, I didn’t know that her one hour constituted 48 normal human hours! *Believe me, Nostradamus was truly great! He was amazing* Later she called me back and promised me that my outgoing will not be blocked as long as I have not exhausted the 3000 SMS per month. That was a relief!

But came an SMS the next day that my outgoing would be blocked that day! The whole process repeated and finally overcome with choler, I shot a mail as before (with Idea) to all the Airtel Customer Care centres and its in-charges in India. I got favourable replies from all corners, both automated and manual mails. Finally, they sorted the things out! Phew! I can make outgoing calls to anywhere, they will not block it, as long as I have at least one SMS left to complete that quota of 3000 per month! Thank heavens! If you cannot be a Nostradamus to foresee such dangers, you have the option of chain mailing all at the helm about your problem! They will resolve the issue, once they see CC’s to all of their contacts!

Let me tell you one thing, there are some extraordinary recording systems to track your conversations with the Airtel executives. They will capture all sorts of sounds, even something that you have not spoken or heard! BEWARE (The team leader told me this)

Here is my mail.
———————

Hi Z et al,

This is to invite your attention into some very serious issue.

I have been using an Airtel post paid connection, (details). I have a credit limit of Rs 600 and I have never asked for condonation regarding the payment of my bills. As per an offer SMS I received on my number, I subscribed to the CELEBRATE offer by which I would be able to make Rs 200 worth local calls for 6 months for a one-time payment of Rs 300. I contacted the Customer Care at 121 and the Executive (a lady) who attended my call told me that the amount of Rs 300 for the particular offer should be paid with the next month’s bill and she told me precisely that this amount would not be accounted in my credit limit. But when the bill was generated, one lady called me on 24th July at 2.24 PM from the number 9895312345 and told me that I have exceeded the credit limit and that my outgoing would be barred the same day. She misdemeaned towards the end of the call and hung up without my consent. She was gloating about something I didn’t know. The behaviour did not befit a Customer Relations Officer.

I called back the Customer Care and they informed me that the amount of Rs 300 was also counted towards my outstanding. I tried to explain the information I received in this regard and the executive finally handed over the phone to the Team Leader Ms X. She heard the matter with concern, but only seemed to be justifying the goofy steps explained to me by the previous executive that gave me misinformation. She said she would do everything possible to sort out the issue. Anyway, my outgoing wasn’t barred that day.

The next morning, on the 25th July, I received an SMS that gave me the information that my outgoing would be blocked since I exceeded the credit limit. I called up the Customer Care again and they gave me the information that Ms X would come later and would call me back. That did not happen. I called up the Customer Care again in the evening after about 7.15 PM and the person who attended my call tried to explain things all over again. Finally, at someone’s directive, he disconnected the call to my anguish.

I called back later and got to Ms X again. I asked for the details regarding the two Customer Care executives; first the one who misinformed me about the billing info and created all the mess, second the person who misbehaved to me and hung up the call disrespecting the customer on the line. She was reluctant to give info regarding them and promised to give me their details the next day, so that I can complain against them. She also told me that she caught up with the lady who gave me all the misinformation and had listened to the recorded system. Surprisingly, she told me that no such wrong information was conveyed in that particular call. How can this happen?

Please consider this mail as my formal complaint against:

1. the lady who gave me all the wrong information (Ms X has details pertaining to her) at the number 121
2. the lady who called me up from 9895312345 on 24th July at around 2.24PM who misconducted; and
3. the person who attended my call after around 7.15 PM on 25th July at the number 121
4. Ms X for trying to mislead me by misrepresenting facts about the recorded conversation which I had with that Customer Care Executive who misinformed the details, and trying to defend her team member when her claims were so shallow..
5. Ms X who promised to call me back to give the names of the said executives so that I can complain; but did not. (I also SMSed her later regarding this, but she did not respond)

I would highly appreciate a quick and honest reply from you. Please understand that Customer Care, in effect, is a paid service, available only to the customers subscribing to Airtel. Please bear in mind that we are at nobody’s mercy to avail these services.

Though this issue is related to the Customer Care of Kerala, I am CCing all the available contacts for this mail, because this is such a serious issue and I want to invite the attention of all the concerned people with Airtel into what mayhem is happening in Kerala with the Customer Care and the behaviour of your employees. Soon you will find this incident appearing in web searches for Airtel Customer Care. (*:D*)

Thank you.

Moral: Milk for crying babies only!


PS: – Those who face similar problems and want to contact Airtel, may mail me for the Airtel contact email addresses.

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39 responses to Airtel Customer Care: Express Yourself and get maddened!

  1. 🙂 Whoever it is Airtel , Hutch or Idea,bsnl have riders in their offers..So be prepared for further encounters.

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  2. <>Re: Ajith<>Very true you are! Customers are treated alike by all the service providers. I got the same disconnection of outgoing messages and phone calls even today. But the TL told me again that I need not worry and that I can ignore such communications in the future. But nothing will happen if I have a BSNL account. No effective customer care, no information to anyone, and of course no incoming and outgoing calls in peak hours!

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  3. boy, you really seem to be a very dissatisfied customer! I have one opinion for customer care reps in India, they are un-professional. They are dumb, slow, and very inefficient! They speak as if they are teaching a kinder garten kid for god’s sake! I had to call my phone company for dsl connection problem, and everytime I got connected to CS rep in india, each time,my call averaged 45 mins, and I believe, if the same call had been answered in US, it would have been of 15-20 mins! Their systems are ages old, creeping! I am with you buddy, the CS reps in India are the worst, may it be Reliance or AT&T or Airtel, all are same!

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  4. <>Re: Venus<>The customer care in India is the worst, there is no doubt about it. I wonder when I get all such answers from these people, why all the foreign companies look for India as their outsourcing target in terms of Cust Care. Info is not shared alike even within their group. One person says one thing and the other another! They also have this pressure of completing a call within this many minutes. If they cant meet it, they simply hang up! LOL

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  5. Oh man!My sis and me had similar experiences with Airtel and finally my sis got so worked up,she marched into Airtel and pulled out their manager,blasted him and told him that she was taking him to court and blah blah!finally the chap got all sweaty and gave into her shocks.but that was after a whole month or two of waiting from our side…these people!miserable lot,i say!!

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  6. <>Re: Maya Cassis<>Hehehehe… Thanks for that funny anecdote! These are incidents that need to be engraved in the <>lustrous<> history of Indian Cust. Care Executives! LOL. Really, there is only a <>thin red line<> between you exploding and containing while you speak to these people. So difficult to handle!

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  7. i had trouble too, but of a different kind from the Airtel guys at Trivandrum. long after i had submitted my address proof and all those formalities, one fine morning my conenction was cut – just like that. an enquiry at the pattom office directed me to the kuravankonam office to the vazhuthacaud office and back to pattom, and by then, i got wind of how things worked around here. finally the problem was zeroed down to the fact that the address proof never ever reached their ernakulam office, and hence i was asked to ‘kindly’ submit it once again. after abt 6 days of endless dilly-dallying, hands-washing and buck-passing.no apologies for the inconvenience caused. nothing.the only reason why i am still with airtel is coz i can use the mobile for talking soemthing. unlike bsnl, when i used to carry it around for the sake of carrying it around. no other purpose was ever served, as far as i can remember. 🙂phew! that was one looooooong rant!thx sreejith, for letting me heave that off my chest!great post, pal!🙂

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  8. <>Re: Velu Nair<>Thanks for giving an account of your (bitter) experience with Airtel! You must have been really maddened since you were to go to office after office. Thank god, my problem was solved with some firing off and mails!Only god knows what all problems await me since I would like to change my rental plan. And for that I have to now go to the Airtel office at Pattom!!!!About the profile question, I too think it is the best answer. Some questions given by Blogger are really weird though!

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  9. I am yet to go through such an harrowing experience.. Will let you know when it happens..! Your letter is so carefully drafted and well written that it conveys the seriousness of the matter, without being rude actually.With Best Regards,Srijith unni

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  10. <>Re: Srijith Unni<>I sincerely hope you will not get any such tortures! I now think that I did not need to be that genteel in that mail. I got a response that they would hike my cridit limit to Rs 900! See I need to get Rs 3200 worth services per month without any big payment and imagine what they are going to do with a measly amount of Rs 900 per month! Imbeciles….. Then one lady called me up and said that nothing is going to happen, I will continue to receive all these options and that my outgoing would not be barred. Too many confounding statements at a time for my senses to conceive…………..Anyway, there was one last threat in that mail! 😀 I had told them that this incident would soon appear in the web searched for ‘Airtel Customer Care’. Thank god, it became true! This post in now the 5th result for the same search on Google!

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  11. The best serve the best. A simple matter of economy. The best customer service people service the best payers, which are foreign companies and their customers. So we measly indians have to make do with the bottom rung of customer service. And unfortunately thats the sad truth.

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  12. Re: Sreejith“The best serve the best” >> I agree to that in a sense that the <>Best<> companies offer the <>Best<> services! Let’s put it that way!

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  13. These service providers are driving everyone mad. There is no way to know the final outcome of any of their scheme.But you did right thing. Hope you ll have fewer problems now. there is no way you will get uninterrupted service. Sometimes I think its a hidden policy for all companies.

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  14. Re: NeihalI think they desperately want to show up that there is something called a customer care centre with them! LOL… Hightime they changed the name to Customer Cark Centre………..

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  15. jac

    Nicely put! What a cumbersome work. Well anyhow, you manage to do it. A couple of months back, I brought two overseas calling cards of Rs500/- each from them that can be used from Sudan. Though expensive, I could use it from any telephone in Sudan.I made just one call normally and then the code number is never entertained.I might have used quarter dollar for that call. The card… a mere waste nowThanks for the visit in to my blog.

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  16. Re: JacAnother story to go with it! G O D!!! What are these people doing there? Shouldn’t come a surprise if the anguished customers storm such departments one day……..Thanks for the visit. Do come again….

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  17. hi thanx for stopping by my colleagues have told me v v v vbad stories abt the mobile n/ws it is disgusting .. i think bsnl is the better of the lot have a couple of bad stories that they tell me … will comment some other time .. hafta leave no .. c ya

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  18. Anonymous

    I got an sms the other day that I would get sms at 1 paisa per sms if I paid monthly Rs. 49/-. I thought that sounded great but was a little sceptical. I called up 121 and they tell me that if I am on a plan where I I have free sms, that will get overridden by the new scheme. I think their ads are misleading. Also check out the TRAI site where it says they service provider has to provide complete information. Looks like no one is checking these guys. They are having a field day cheating customers.Why does not the govt usher in number portability. That should help the customers. We can then move to a new service provider if the existing one does not meet our expectations.visit http://www.trai.gov.in/ for more detailsAbey

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  19. Anonymous

    Hmmm……Airtel takes customers for granted….Ofcourse they should cos their customer base is too wide…..isnt it….hmmmm…..Well I have a solid 2 hours 30 minutes voice file recorded the way how I have had a mental torture given by Airtel to me……Every time Airtel customer service is called they have one greatest assurity to be given. <>Our <>Back End Department<> will give a call to you in 24 hours<>. And the back end folks take more than 96 hours and ofcourse repeated calls and escalations to get their call back.My personal opinion, customer service by Airtel is a <>Joke<>

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  20. Re: AbeyWelcome Abey! You are right in hinting that all these service providers shade something from the public view. Actually, they highlight only a negligible portion of the offer they are giving, an the rest will be indicated by a * and a Conditions Apply somewhere in the ad or brochure. The TRAI regulations are violated by these providers almost at will. Who to ask, who to question! It is a big mayhem!

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  21. Re: AnonymousYes, the Airtel Customer Care is a joke, seriouly. One person says one thing, and the other says another. First they need to reach a conclusion as to what to say to the customers about each and every offer and facility they provide! LOLThey had also promised me to call me back immediately, but as I have written in this piece, Airtel’s one day constitues more hours than a normal human day!

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  22. Anonymous

    hi da… i had also taken a Hutch postpaid with an offer of 9999 national sms free/month and STD calls at 1 Rs for an offer of 99Rs/Month. Since i do make lot of calls and msgs, my credit limit was over very soon and my out going was barred. But after a week long fight i made them to increase my credit limit without paying any advance. They had done it bcoz mine was a corporate conection, i don no will it happen in your case. Any way you can try to increase your credit limit to a little high amount without paying advance. That will solve your problem to some extent. Ny way gud luck to you…don give up…atleast some should be there to raise voice against these gimmicks…Renjith

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  23. Re: RenjithHi da, it is really interesting to have a comparative study of cellular providers here! You got your credit limit increased, by a one-week fight? Ho, that is so tiresome I know.I do not need an uplifting of my credit limit as I can make any number of calls without any advance or credit limit issues. They will not touch it! As of now, the unbilled is someway near Rs 1500/- but my connection remains intact. I shouted and was able to substantiate my claim. How many would bother to continue the fight for hours and days? There lies the winning secret of such idiotic service providers!

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  24. Interesting story. I have an Aritel broadband but I find their service excellent. If you want you can contribute your story to < HREF="http://custsemar.wordpress.com/" REL="nofollow">Cust-se-mar- Customer<>

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  25. SreeNothing to do with Customer Care or Airtel. just dropped by to say,പുതുവത്സരാശംസകള്‍!!🙂

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  26. Re: HirenAt last some support for Airtel! Yes, my friends use Airtel Broadband and they also say that it is impeccable. I do not understand the reason for this much of a ‘variety’ in their services!

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  27. I opted out of Hutch because of similar problems, but airtel is no different! Last word – They are all the same!

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  28. Hi!!
    Just going through this old post of urs..reading about ur “encounter” i was more convinced about my stand “i hate mobiles” and will never carry one..i still use landlines and phone booths..it is sometimes inconvenient, but that is the way I am..tnx u for making my stand firmer..

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  29. Re: Smita

    🙂 It is difficult to find someone who hates mobiles these days! Anyway, that is some news for telephone booth owners! This was really tough and I got back everything that was taken from me! But I dropped the connection! 🙂

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  30. Dear Sreejith,

    I too have problem with Airtel, billing issues, would need to contact Airtel via mail. Could you please provide me with the Airtel customercare email address to my email(tvlatheef@gmail.com).

    Please do the needful.
    Regards,

    Abdul Latheef

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  31. I have recently bought an airtel 3G dongle and I have been harrased to the extreme point with pathetic speeds. At times it stops downloading and automatically disconnets thereafter refusing to connects for hours and sometimes even for a while day !!
    Customer Care number: 1800 103 0405 is a bogus number. It doesn't work and after select options 1 (for airtel 3 dongle support), 2 (for english), 1 (for postpaid) it just disconnects.
    I am fed up and with the services and will be taking appropriate action in a few days. Also it has billed me for 5000 + INR when my credit limit itself is lower than 2500 INR. and i find no justification to the billed amount!
    Please, i urge all consumers not to subscribe to airtel 3G services!
    I have even filed a complaint against them on their site as well as at Consumer Court site but so far no action has been taken on this case.

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