Airtel taking me for a ride

12th February 2013


I was using BSNL Broadband connection. It was a 2 mbps connection with limit to 20GB after which it will be charged extra. Night 2 am to 8 am was free. This plan was pretty good for me for years, but after I moved to my home, they had not moved the connection for about month and it is a known story, the customer service is poor. I mean P O O R. You are at the mercy of the lineman in your area. He decides your service.

I thought I found my destiny.

I was checking for a new ISP, then checked Tikona. They were offering unlimited 4mbps connection for Rs. 1350. It was a pretty impressive deal on the paper. I browsed through various forums and the only people who were talking good about Tikona was people who were working in Tikona, and very few people for whom luckily it rendered what it was supposed to render.

My love life with Tikona was short lived, the 4 mbps will be anywhere between 200 kbps to 1.5 mbps. And Tikona also has a magic speed test. The magic is, on their speed test, you will see the seed to be 4mbps. But when you test on, it will be 230 kbps. The representative argued that might be wrong. So I tested how long does takes to load, it was a pretty impressive 17 seconds. 🙂 that answers which result was true.

Tikona was done in two months. I did not worry about the installation charges that had charged. Internet is very important as I would need to attend online meetings from home and also handle calls through vonage or skype.

Main Story. Staring of my ride with Airtel.

Happy phase.

Airtel was my next strong contender. I applied for the service online, their response was very very professional. I got a call confirming the address, next day the sales guy came home and he explained me about various plans. I told him that speed is very important for me. That is one reason I am leaving Tikona.

I took a plan of Turbo 80gb. The plan will be 8mbps up to 80gb, and after that it will be 512 kbps. The rep also said that it I pay for 5 months in advance, I will get one month free and also get a wifi modem free. As I was confident that Airtel service will be good, I went in for the 5+1 offer. I paid Rs. 10,495/- to the rep by cash.

The next day a guy came and did the wiring, and next the installation guy came it. It was all a factory precession. Like a production line. I was very impressed. There my happy days came to an end when I was asked to attend a installation call.

---End of happy phase---

The female asked me lot of questions for which I need to acknowledge. And she asked me if the plan I has opted is a Turbo 30GB (T30). I said I have asked for Turbo 80 GB (T80) and I have paid for the T80 plan on a 5+1 basis. The installation guy checked the speed, and it was showing 8.7 mbps. He said it is a error from their end and will be rectified, I can use the internet. But the account was not activated, but the internet was working fine.

I did not hear back from Airtel for a week. Later the internet connection was disconnected. I called and asked for the reason, they said they had activated a wrong plan. Now all the events were unfolding. They found that the sales person had sold a plan that does not exist. The 5+1 offer was available only for the T30 plan and is not available for a T80 plan. And the 5+1 price offer for T30 plan that the sales person had booked is Rs. 8000. And they have kept aside the cash of Rs. 2495 unaccounted.

Now a manager from the nandhambakkam branch called and was negotiating that I can take the T30 plan and it will all be solved and they will have Rs. 2495 as credit in my account. I did not agree for it, I told him I need the T80 plan even if it means I do not have the 5+1 offer. After a lengthy discussion he decided that he will raise a refund of the T30 5+1 plan and give me a new connection of T80 as a monthly subscription.  This was after a week on Wednesday. He said I need to fill the application again. I was already fuming, but I was held hostage. I had disconnected my previous connection and now I am fighting for a connection after being cheated with a plan that does not even exist.

I asked the rep to come home and collect the documents. The rep had come home on Thursday and he called me from my home, again the sales guy asked me if I want the T30 5+1 offer or I want the T80 plan. I missed the count of how many times I had answered this questions to these most stupid guys to roam on this side of the world. I told him I need the T80 plan on a monthly subscription, he said he need to check with his manager and will get back in 10 min. The 10 min got a little extended to 4 days and there was no call.

Grievance Cell:

That Friday I had already sent an email to the grievance cell but no reply. I had almost spent 2 hours between the customer service department and the grievance cell. But there is no way for me to reach their rep as I did not have a active account number and a SR number.

That was my limit.

I took the effort to walk in to the Airtel showroom. And I spoke to a manager there, he said it is something he can get it solved. They looked in to the complexity and said it will take more two days to have this solved. I was not in a mood for 2 days after a delay of 12 days. I told I needed it in 1 hour for all the mistakes Airtel had done. They did not agree, I had to lose my diplomatic coat and raised my voice demanding I wanted to talk to a person who has the authority to take decisions.

After being looked up very cheaply by other customers who were there, I was taken to a closed room the managers boss was seated. I explained the whole story to him. I again lost count of how many people  have explained it to.

There was a conference call set between 7 parties, right from the guy who took the connection to the Chennai head of sales. Finally the Head of sales committed that the service will be available by EOD. I went back to office.

Wait, Wait. It is not over.

Evening, I got a call again from the manager who was negotiating with me to take the T30 plan. He was asking for all the documents for them to provide a new connection. He has sent the rep with Rs. 2495. I conferenced the call with the Head of sales and the manager changes his argument, he said he never asked for the document. I asked him then what was the reason he called me. He was giving vague reasons. You cannot expect great things from small people. So I did not want to prove him wrong.

Today is Tuesday, I had sent three messages to the Head of sales, evening spoke to him and he said the connection will be available by 8:30 pm, when I called him at 7:00 pm. Now the time is 10:40 pm, still there is no internet connection.

Story continues...

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