Why Airtel is the worst operator!
I’ve been an Airtel subscriber for 6 years plus and for the past one year, I’ve been troubled by my provider so many times. At each instance I have threatened action and have got a resolution. each time cursing and abusing them has resulted in positive action. That unfortunately is the sad state of affairs in the biggest telecom market of the world.
Recently, I decided to change from a pre-paid connection to a post-paid one and that of my parents too. What was being offered was 1000 minutes of free calling for each number to the other two numbers (CUG) and 200 minutes of local and STD calls and 200 smses every month. I thought t made a lot of sense and would reduce my monthly outgo and also the headache of recharging.
So I agreed to the plan and went ahead with it. The tele-caller confirmed to me this plan every single time we talked and I asked him. On 29th March the conversion was made. On 31st March I was informed that the same was not possible as it was a corporate plan. I obviously escalated the matter and have taken it up to the nodal office.
Below is the entire chain of mails that has taken place -
My first email to the Nodal officer -
Kind Attention Ms. Sheryl and Kind Attention Mr. Kunal
I have a number, 9860xxxxx which I have recently (29th March, 2011) had
converted to postpaid alongwith two other numbers (9890xxxxx – belonging to
Mrs. Kalpana Singhvi and 9860xxxxx – belonging to Mr. Mahendra Singhvi, they
are my parents).
At the time I was made the officer I was promised Airtel Advantage Plan 199
with the benefits mentioned in the attachment. The person who offered me this
plan told me it would be given (his mobile no. 9096119170). I agreed to go
for it for all the three numbers.
Upon activation and at the time of the welcome call I was told that no 1000
minutes were applicable for me and those numbers and a complaint no. was given
(#36689795 with a resolution by 6th April 12:05 am/pm).
I received a call from someone in your back-office (phone no. 02067256100) on
the 2nd April at 10.52am, she asked me for the person’s number or detail which
I did not have at that time. I told her to find out who has made the
conversion, since it is natural that these details would be compulsorily logged
to track sales of an individual/team. She would get the info from there. She
told me that she would do that and in 24 hours somebody would call again.
Till today 1.50pm I did not get any call and upon calling I was informed that
your person had logged that because details were not available, the complaint
cannot be pursued. Here I would like to point our the callous and
unprofessional attitude of your fellow employees. Is this the way to handle
I was also given a new complaint no. (#F847274808). I am sick of this grossly
unprofessional conduct displayed to customers. Is this the manner of handling
customers and their grievances? What sort of training and product information
do you provide to your employees in the sales department? Do you think you own
the time of customers?
I would like to be provided what I was promised, since that is the reason why I
made the switch. It is none of my concern and not my problem if your sales
person made a mistake. FYI – I have also mentioned that I am supposed to get
1000 minutes of CUG calling free every month in the form my parents and I have
filled up and signed [specifically the plan form]. If there was a problem, it
should have been highlighted at that time and clarified.
I am awaiting your reply. Consider this mail with all seriousness.
I have completely lost faith in the brand Airtel! Such pathetic and
bureaucratic practices and utter disregard for the customer is not what I am
paying money for. I expect a reply within a reasonable time (72 hours) frame,
failing which I will be forced to approach higher ups and the media to
highlight the gross inefficiencies and the fraudulent behavior displayed by
To which Airtel replied by stating -
This has reference to your concern about CUG Benefits your Airtel Mobile number 9860xxxxx.
Thank you for your email to Airtel and the opportunity to assist you.
We do realize the magnitude of these concerns and that this situation must have greatly inconvenienced you.
We would like to inform you that for CUG Benefits in this plan we would request you please submit the below mentioned documents at the nearest Airtel Outlet for the migration of the number under one parent account ID.
1) Written request from the company duly signed by Authorized Signatory to add Airtel number under single parent Account ID.
2) Employ ID Proof
3) Salary Slip
4) Address proof
5) 1 Passport size photograph
Further, we would request you before this kindly clear your unbilled amount and outstanding amount.
We hope that this response has addressed your query suitably.
Please feel free to speak to our call center executive on 121 regarding any issue/concern. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can get in touch with the Nodal Officer with your earlier request or complaint number if it’s still unresolved.
You may send an email at email@example.com , or you may call at 9987234865 from 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM Monday to Friday. The Nodal officer will provide a resolution to your complaint in 10 working days.
If you do not receive a satisfactory response from Nodal officer you may send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org , or you may call at 9987244865 from 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM Monday to Friday.
This immediately prompted the following response by me -
firstly address me with the correct salutations.
Secondly, what you are asking me to do is not possible since I cannot produce fake documentation in terms of salary slips.
Thirdly this information should have been clarified to me by your sales person, he promised me this plan without providing adequate and complete details, thus is tantamount to fraudulent promises made by your employee. Upon repeated inquiry whether I will get the offer, he replied in a positive manner, clearly indicating a yes, and also in some cases responded by saying ‘yes’ and other such affirmative words.
I need those minutes now as per the promise made by your employee. If there was a confusion, why did your employee not seek a clarification for the same from the back-end?
Also when I clearly mentioned the 1000 minutes in the paperwork provided to me by your employee or person contracted by you or by a person authorized to act on behalf of you, and signed it… Why was it not taken up at that point in time and a confirmation/clarification sought?
Your response is weak, full of information which is useless and hardly shows any effort to genuinely solve the chaos created by someone at your end.
Frankly, I am least interested in such responses. I want what was promised to me. As I said before, consider this correspondence in all seriousness, such callous approach is not acceptable to me as a customer.
Also there will be no extension of the time-line I have stated, it’s high time I get the service I pay for, with my hard earned money. I will go to higher ups and to the media and move the courts for full solution and settlement, if you are unable to do so.
An utterly dissatisfied, disgruntled and irritated Customer!
Sent from my Nokia phone
After quite a few calls and inaction from Airtel, my complaint still remains unsolved. They offered me a paltry some of Rs.200 waiver for 2 months and itemized bill worth Rs.50 indefinitely. This was on the 18th of April. Then yesterday I was called and told that this was only for my number and not for the other numbers, prompting me to reject the entire thing and tell them that I would be going to the Appellate Authority and then to Consumer Court. I have forwarded my case to the concerned authorities.
But this ordeal by me clearly shows that Airtel is just not the company you should be doing business with. It is a shoddily run enterprise with the worst customer service and some of the most ill mannered, irresponsible staff. They are not interested in listening to consumer complaints and even solving them.
So if you are an Airtel user, I suggest you to port out. You wouldn’t want to be caught out in the cross fire.
Lastly I urge you to forward the link of this blog-post to as many people you know, so that everybody is made aware of the fraud that is done by Airtel and maybe other operators too!