Airtel’s settlement offer

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I have been having trouble with Airtelfor a long time, since I got suddenly overbilled out of the blue and from a normal bill of about Rs.350/- I got a bill of more than Rs.9,000/- There had been no change in my usage.

I raised the alarm when I got an SMS warning that the bill had gone over Rs.6,000/- and it still kept rising.

To compound that, complaints I made got terminated arbitrarily saying that I didn’t answer my phone. Strangely, all their calls asking me to pay get answered just fine. Why would I do that?

Then, Airtel conned me out of Rs.2,500/- in the name of a settlement, which they recorded as a part payment. They had refused to give a settlement letter at that time, saying it was normal policy.

I discovered this, when the day my number was supposed to start working again came and went and I called to find out.

Then the menacing phone calls from Airtel’s legal department started. Relentless serial calls asking for money. To the extent where I filed a complaint, and the girl called me to taunt me and threaten me further because I filed a complaint.

I followed up with the police station, and the calls stopped.

They have started again. Again it is the legal department. I explained the paroblem, and they sent me a “settlement email” from theglobalconsultants@gmail.com which legal process will accept this as official Airtel communication?

They want me to pay on the basis of this. This time, they claim it will really be settlement.

Dear Madam,

This is with reference to your A/C no 109-100362836 for mobile no 9892469127.

We would like to inform you that your above mention account b has an Outstanding of  Rs. 6738.85/- will have NIL balance if you pay a sum of Rs. 4700/- (Four Thousand Seven Hundred Only/-) after adjusting Deposit of Rs. 0/- in one monthly installment (s) vide Cheque/Cash/pay order payable in favor of BhartiAirtel Ltd.

In process of settlement if your banker returns any of your cheque (s), the above settlement stands null & void and you would be liable to pay the entire outstanding as on date.

Please acknowledge this letter as a token of acceptance on or before 27th Sep 2011 failing with this will be treated as null & void.

Thanking You

Rima Shetty (Advocate)

So we have here an advocate who claims to be consultant, or goons who are faking both the “advocate” and “consultant”. Seeing as how there is no official website, phone number or anything at all indicating this is a legal entity.

Which, essentially is no different from when they conned me out of the earlier payment – this is not communication from Airtel. Last time, they had refused, and said that it was not procedure to give settlements officially, then took money and gave a receipt that said it is not valid for settlements.

This time, they are offering a letter, but not from Airtel.

And the accompanying calls are threatening too. Last time, they threatened to access my call records and call all the people I had called to demand my payment. This time, they are speaking of my relatives paying.

The woman asked me if I was a beggar, and then told me I was a beggar, and described some dargah somewhere where people like me can get money and to go there and earn money and pay them, etc.

I live tweeted some of this shit.

You know the dargah,. go there, beg money, pay your bill. Or your relatives will have to pay. ~ Airtel “legal” department. Sneha Patil
Vidyut
September 28, 2011
You will get calls, that you will wish you had paid. You haven’t seen how we recover money. ~ Airtel “legal” department. Sneha Patil
Vidyut
September 28, 2011
Make all the police complaints you want, you can’t do anything to us. Pay up. I am sending my man ~ Airtel “legal” department.
Vidyut
September 28, 2011
If you don’t pay, all your relatives will have to pay. Have you left them all? Are you a beggar? Go to beg and pay. ~ Airtel “legal” dept
Vidyut
September 28, 2011
“The Global Consultants” – theglobalconsultants@gmail.com THIS is Airtel’s legal dept? “Advocate Reema Shetty” sent email.
Vidyut
September 28, 2011
@ShivAroor Kidding you not. Live tweeting while on phone @airtel_in
Vidyut
September 28, 2011
43473913 is the number from where I am getting the calls. – Airtel’s “legal” department.
Vidyut
September 28, 2011
The only sorrow is that I didn’t record that phone call, because I couldn’t figure out how. Tweets can’t convey that taunting tone.
Vidyut
September 28, 2011
Now that my personal problems seem to have paused a bit, I suppose I should take time out and do the consumer court thing.
Vidyut
September 28, 2011
But really, it isn’t only about me and one bill or settlement, but the “system” of threatening people and selling their personal information
Vidyut
September 28, 2011
Who gives airtel the right to sell my outstanding to some third party goon for extortion? Is not a violation of my information?
Vidyut
September 28, 2011

As usual, @airtel_presence has replied that they are looking into the matter. I doubt if the goons care about them.

On the other hand, now that I am back home for however long, I can do the consumer courts thing.

The way I see it, the original bill being inflated, and complaints disregarded was one part of it. Then, my information being sold to a third party – this is not my agreement with Airtel. And then, the criminal harassment and threats to people around me.

Sure, they may not act on them, but how do I know? How do I know that they will not harm me or my family? Who is responsible if elderly relatives get health problems if faced with such threats?

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About the Author

Vidyut
Vidyut is a blogger on issues of National interest. Staunch advocate of rights, learning and freedoms. @Vidyut

31 Comments on "Airtel’s settlement offer"

  1. Hello Mr. Aamjanata –

    Thank you for elaborating on your experience with airtel. My wife bill suddenly zoomed up to 7000/- from 500/- & I have been trying to figure this situation out since last couple of weeks.

    The extortion period has not started yet & I sincerely hope she doesn’t have to go through this horrible experience. However, I would like to know more on how you closed this situation with airtel.

  2. I am an Advocate myself. Ideally, Airtel will source their legal work to a reputed law firm. Global Consultants does not appear to be one. If it at all it exists, it could be an outsourced consulting firm that has hired law graduates. If that be the case, the person should not be using the title “Advocate” as one has to surrender the Bar Council membership when one takes up salaried employment.

    If you think the person was pretending to be an Advocate, contact members of the Bar Council of India. You can get their contact information from the internet. Meet them personally and they will be willing to help you.

    A friend once got a call from an “alleged” SHO of Delhi Police saying that a case is being filed against his name in Tis Hazari Court, Delhi and that he should contact “XYZ” Advocate for further info. I told him to ignore the call. No sane SHO will call a person. It is not his job. If at all a case is being filed, a legal notice has to be served by Airtel. My friend told the SHO to shut the fuck up (the next time he called) and they have not bothered him since.

     

  3. I am an Advocate myself. Ideally, Airtel will source their legal work to a reputed law firm. Global Consultants does not appear to be one. If it at all it exists, it could be an outsourced consulting firm that has hired law graduates. If that be the case, the person should not be using the title “Advocate” as one has to surrender the Bar Council membership when one takes up salaried employment.

    If you think the person was pretending to be an Advocate, contact members of the Bar Council of India. You can get their contact information from the internet. Meet them personally and they will be willing to help you.

    A friend once got a call from an “alleged” SHO of Delhi Police saying that a case is being filed against his name in Tis Hazari Court, Delhi and that he should contact “XYZ” Advocate for further info. I told him to ignore the call. No sane SHO will call a person. It is not his job. If at all a case is being filed, a legal notice has to be served by Airtel. My friend told the SHO to shut the fuck up (the next time he called) and they have not bothered him since.

     

  4. Airtel is the largest cell company and considers it as its fundamental right to bully customers by sending inflated bills

    There is urgent need to make an organisation of cell users who suffer due to absurd bills. Problem is that most of the cell companies have resorted to fraudulent billing. The menace can be countered only by united association of Cell users with offices in all important cities. Each cell user willing to become member may contribute Rs 10 per year to the association which may be sufficient to tackle the menace. 

  5. Airtel is the largest cell company and considers it as its fundamental right to bully customers by sending inflated bills

    There is urgent need to make an organisation of cell users who suffer due to absurd bills. Problem is that most of the cell companies have resorted to fraudulent billing. The menace can be countered only by united association of Cell users with offices in all important cities. Each cell user willing to become member may contribute Rs 10 per year to the association which may be sufficient to tackle the menace. 

  6. I too got a call saying that Airtel has lodge a case against me for Rs.40,000. All I did was threatened them back that I am going to the police and lodging an FIR. Thankfully, they didn’t call me up again.

    Second time, someone called from Idea stating that my bill is unpaid. I had made payment from my Credit card online. They tried to get my credit card details.

  7. I too got a call saying that Airtel has lodge a case against me for Rs.40,000. All I did was threatened them back that I am going to the police and lodging an FIR. Thankfully, they didn’t call me up again.

    Second time, someone called from Idea stating that my bill is unpaid. I had made payment from my Credit card online. They tried to get my credit card details.

  8. I found your blog here http://broadbandforum.in/general-discussions/72857-airtel-presence-being-smashed-twitter/#post551019 , I have dealt with these collection goons before , as you have posted this”advocate” is most probably fake , don’t take any of their threats seriously and you should go to consumer court and get compensation for all the mental harassment they have caused  to you.

  9. I found your blog here http://broadbandforum.in/general-discussions/72857-airtel-presence-being-smashed-twitter/#post551019 , I have dealt with these collection goons before , as you have posted this”advocate” is most probably fake , don’t take any of their threats seriously and you should go to consumer court and get compensation for all the mental harassment they have caused  to you.

  10. Vodafone did something like this to my brother a few yrs ago. They tried to impose a Rs 18,000/- bill on him as voice calls which he never made. They further charged him with interests per month on that bill. He first tried launching a complaint with their customer service dept but it fell on deaf ears. Then he stopped answering their calls. So they started calling us and threatening us on our home phone with abuses along with a couple of ‘summon to court’ letters from some law firm followed by sending some hefty people to collect money who threatened us to malign our family image in the colony. My brother then filled a complaint with the local police.  They disappeared for some time and then again began calling after 2 mths. 

    Interestingly they called only towards the month end, i guess to achieve some monthly collection targets. We all learned to neglect their calls or throw the people out everytime they got to see us. Their calls stopped after an yr. Till then it was a pain. 

    May be you can try writing to some big shot like Bharti Mittal or better yet the president.

  11. Vodafone did something like this to my brother a few yrs ago. They tried to impose a Rs 18,000/- bill on him as voice calls which he never made. They further charged him with interests per month on that bill. He first tried launching a complaint with their customer service dept but it fell on deaf ears. Then he stopped answering their calls. So they started calling us and threatening us on our home phone with abuses along with a couple of ‘summon to court’ letters from some law firm followed by sending some hefty people to collect money who threatened us to malign our family image in the colony. My brother then filled a complaint with the local police.  They disappeared for some time and then again began calling after 2 mths. 

    Interestingly they called only towards the month end, i guess to achieve some monthly collection targets. We all learned to neglect their calls or throw the people out everytime they got to see us. Their calls stopped after an yr. Till then it was a pain. 

    May be you can try writing to some big shot like Bharti Mittal or better yet the president.

  12. Hang in there! i’ve had similar experience with IDEA cellular too. but i stood adamant and they gave up after a period of time. but they did harass me and my family for more than a year. it was a sad experience. 

  13. Hang in there! i’ve had similar experience with IDEA cellular too. but i stood adamant and they gave up after a period of time. but they did harass me and my family for more than a year. it was a sad experience. 

  14. Friend from Bangalore | September 28, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Reply

    I believe that “The Global Consultants” – theglobalconsultants gmail.com THIS is Airtel’s legal dept? “Advocate Reema Shetty” sent email” is NOT a official legal team of Airtel. Normally they contact thru their own call centre or use some collection agencies in case they find payments not happening after a few days of due date expiry.
    During fag end of Dec’10 I was billed for some game download and charged excess. I had NOT at all used it. I fought with their customer care, appellate authority, etc. They reversed the charge. I was seeking explanation why such fraud charges happen. They never explained in writing. If you do not watch the detailed bills, there is every possibility of your charges spiking in VAS column. So, keep a tab, keep an email record of any complaint you file . Ensure all verbal interactions you follow with email. They also have a knack of opening a new thread, and also every time you ask you speak with a new person. But pursue hard, DON’T pay. Drag they to consumer forum if you have your records correct.

  15. Friend from Bangalore | September 28, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Reply

    I believe that “The Global Consultants” – theglobalconsultants gmail.com THIS is Airtel’s legal dept? “Advocate Reema Shetty” sent email” is NOT a official legal team of Airtel. Normally they contact thru their own call centre or use some collection agencies in case they find payments not happening after a few days of due date expiry.
    During fag end of Dec’10 I was billed for some game download and charged excess. I had NOT at all used it. I fought with their customer care, appellate authority, etc. They reversed the charge. I was seeking explanation why such fraud charges happen. They never explained in writing. If you do not watch the detailed bills, there is every possibility of your charges spiking in VAS column. So, keep a tab, keep an email record of any complaint you file . Ensure all verbal interactions you follow with email. They also have a knack of opening a new thread, and also every time you ask you speak with a new person. But pursue hard, DON’T pay. Drag they to consumer forum if you have your records correct.

  16. We have rules in the country which make it impossible for regular businessmen to work. In comes some one like Bharti. They can work in this cesspool of impossible laws. and they do work and they make pots of money because you and me are so short of products and services that we have to go to any crook peddling them.Then we create regulators like TRAI to regulate these crooks and they fail because these crooks can never be regulated. Then we will decide to put a regulator on top of regulators…. a Lokpal or whatever. Even that will fail. The problem is our over defensive and negative laws. They ensure that only crooks can set up their shop. The only way to rid ourselves of crooks is to simplify the laws and make compliance possible which will allow companies who know their job to operate. We will all give business to that company and crooks will go bankrupt and search for some other loop hole. Else we will continue to suffer between indifferent and subsidized public sector MTNL/BSNL or private sector crooks like Airtel. We only are to blame. Our fear………

  17. We have rules in the country which make it impossible for regular businessmen to work. In comes some one like Bharti. They can work in this cesspool of impossible laws. and they do work and they make pots of money because you and me are so short of products and services that we have to go to any crook peddling them.Then we create regulators like TRAI to regulate these crooks and they fail because these crooks can never be regulated. Then we will decide to put a regulator on top of regulators…. a Lokpal or whatever. Even that will fail. The problem is our over defensive and negative laws. They ensure that only crooks can set up their shop. The only way to rid ourselves of crooks is to simplify the laws and make compliance possible which will allow companies who know their job to operate. We will all give business to that company and crooks will go bankrupt and search for some other loop hole. Else we will continue to suffer between indifferent and subsidized public sector MTNL/BSNL or private sector crooks like Airtel. We only are to blame. Our fear………

  18. Really absurd. dont pay a rupee till satisfied by the bill details. they can’t arm twist you with this kind of intimidation 

  19. Really absurd. dont pay a rupee till satisfied by the bill details. they can’t arm twist you with this kind of intimidation 

  20. I have heard of many cases of Airtel inflating the bills. I think all people suffering from this should unite and file a class action lawsuit or watever equivalent of that we have in India. This seems to be getting out of hand. 

  21. I have heard of many cases of Airtel inflating the bills. I think all people suffering from this should unite and file a class action lawsuit or watever equivalent of that we have in India. This seems to be getting out of hand. 

  22. I don’t understand why you paid Rs 2500 when the bill was only Rs 350?

  23. I don’t understand why you paid Rs 2500 when the bill was only Rs 350?

  24. Do they have proof that you’ve used service till the bill escalated Rs. 9000?

    • They say they have details of my surfing. I asked them to send. They say the will, but they didn’t send.

      • You can write to TRAI with the harassment details. Unable to write the email id here. Just google it. There is a good chance that you will get compensated for mental harrassment from Airtel. Since they have not sent you the complete bill details this amounts to deficiency in service as well.

  25. Do they have proof that you’ve used service till the bill escalated Rs. 9000?

    • They say they have details of my surfing. I asked them to send. They say the will, but they didn’t send.

      • You can write to TRAI with the harassment details. Unable to write the email id here. Just google it. There is a good chance that you will get compensated for mental harrassment from Airtel. Since they have not sent you the complete bill details this amounts to deficiency in service as well.

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