Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Airtel gives me a frustrating rollercoaster drive

I bought a postpaid mobile connection 4 months back from Airtel. I wanted to change it into prepaid for which I was told at the local Airtel shop (Customer Relationship Center) at Cuddalore that usually this change can be done after three months of activation of the number.

Here is a callous chronology I had with Airtel whenever I approach them for migrating my post paid plan to a prepaid...

End March'09 (3rd month of its activation): Airtel shop (Customer Relationship Center) tells "Network updation is in progress and migration to prepaid can not be done".

Around 6April'09 (well past 3rd month of activation): Airtel customer care executive at call centre tells “You can migrate to prepaid plan after April 16th

Then I decided on 21April09 to go to the local Airtel shop to convert my post paid connection into a prepaid one. To confirm that whether I could go ahead with the migration process on that day I called the customer call centre...

6.00 p.m. on 21April'09: Airtel customer care executive at the call centre tells “You CAN migrate to prepaid plan today. Please go with your passport size photo, a proof of your identity and a proof of your address, pay a migration fee of Rs.150 and within 9 Hours your prepaid connection will get activated. If in case of difficulty in getting the work done, please call customer care from the phone kept at the Airtel shop (Customer Relationship Center) and we shall help you out and get the work done.

So I arrived at my local Airtel shop (Customer Relationship Center) at 7.30 pm. The story is different here. They simply told that it is not possible in the first six months and since my mobile connection carries a fancy number, it can be done after one year. I then told them of my conversation with the call center executive and then asked them for calling from a phone kept there. But they simply told that that such kinda is not possible. May be such a phone does not exist for true!! Now I called the call center executive from my mobile phone and there awaits another kind of story for me.

7.40 p.m. on 21April'09: Airtel customer call center executive tells You CAN NOT migrate to prepaid plan. It can be made only after 1May'09”

Just within 2 hours I get two different responses for the same query which frustrated me. I was quite dumbfounded to know that such is the callous way in which a call center of Airtel works and makes me run pillar to post. Is this the way they are supposed to serve a customer. Now I wanted the call center executive to connect me to his superior.

Now he puts me on waiting while the pre recorded voice plays. The prerecorded voice tells out that "Network updation is in progress, some of customer services will not be available till April 14th". Oh man the date is now April 21st.

After waiting for more than 3 minutes one person may be customer call center manager responded to me.

I explained to him the whole thing and made it clear that I am not satisfied with the different kind of information being given to me and making me to run like a fool. Now he confirms that my plan can be converted by May 1st for sure.God only knows when I will get my connection migrated to prepaid plan. May be another call center manager will tell another type of story that I need to wait for another date. Let me wait for 1 May'09...

Returned home after a very bad spending of my evening time that too with my wife and toddler. Though I visited their website to express my grievance through online, I got dumbfounded that there is neither an email-id nor a feedback form to do so.

What a pathetic customer support?

Update as on 12 June’09: After delaying myself to forget those bad experience, I after a long tome went to ACRC. Now I got informed that migration from postpaid to prepaid will be done between 1st to 10th and not today. So I need to come on 1st of next month.


Mr. M said...

Welcome to the DUMB service .... When I used to be in Chennai, I had closed the connection .... Now in Blore, I use AIRTEL because of its coverage ....

Deva Sundar said...

Mr.Srini - I suggest to send this message to all the Airtel mobile customers thro email to pass on to all their friends. TNS

Srini said...

@ Mr. M

@ TNS Sir.,
nice idea sir, it will also makes out people to be better informed of these so called fancied call centers

guru said...

Dear Srini,
We have suffered a lot bcoz of this Airtel. Infact our management closed the CUG facility given to Airtel bcoz of poor notwork coverage and all the 60 and odd users swithced over to Vodafone in a single day. But i couldnt bcoz i am using this number for the past 5 years. So even though the network coverage is aproblem near my workplace i am still suffering and using it. I hav highlighted this to Airtel also. But to no use.

chundru vivek said...

i have just went thru ur proof(w.r.t fonearena)...i was really pathetic abt ur experience.....u might b recording dem and proceed 2 a customer court dey wil catch our legs

Lavanya Sethi said...

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.