More from Airtel

After I published my last post on the Airtel saga with the latest threats, things kind of escalated. It got picked up in social media, Airtel Presence got in touch with me again. And a reporter from Midday contacted me to cover the story.

She made calls to verify the story with Airtel.

I got calls from Airtel not to tweet further on the matter and that they were working to resolve it. I agreed to do so for a while till I saw what progress was being made.

Then I got a letter from their official address this time.

Letter of settlement from official Airtel address

This time, it mentions the amount payable without any discounts as opposed to before. Full amount.

I replied to that email asking yet again for details of my gprs usage.

No reply.

Then I got a call from the Airtel representative Kunal again, and he wanted to include someone called Rahul. They told me that the amount I got billed for is correct and to pay the balance.

I again requested for the bill with usage details. This time, after five months of asking, I got them. (more further below)

I told them that I wanted to complain against the treatment I got as an Airtel customer from their representatives making the threatening calls. It was as important as my festering problem with my Airtel bill That started way long ago, when Airtel SMSd me to tell me my usage exceeded my limit.

They replied that they would send me the bills I had requested for. I asked them if they had heard what I said. They said yes, I would get the bills.

So I repeated that I want to make a complaint against the employees making threatening calls to me.

They again replied that they would send me the bills I had asked for. I asked them if they heard what I said. They said I would get the bills.

So I said “I want to complain agains the employees who made threatening calls against me. – Did you hear this”

They replied that they had taken care of the calls and I would not get them again.

I said, “No. I said I want action against those two specific employees and to know what was done about them”

They replied that I would not get any more threatening calls.

I said I want to make a complaint and with complaint number and all.

They replied that first they will solve my billing issue, then address anything else.

I find this inspired deafness most intriguing. Why the refusal to acknowledge a request of complaint of harassment at all? Why not address an urgent harassment issue immediately?

The only guess I can make is that if it is routine practice and accepted to threaten customers as a part of recovering payments, then how can they target only two for action? Action that is regular practice? They were doing their jobs, no?

In the meanwhile, I checked my bill. I am being billed an astonishing Rs.7580.70/- for what amounts to 492MB of data. For a general reference – you can hit this usage in a couple of days by watching a film or two on youtube and checking email (your mileage may vary). Here’s the bill.

Notice the difference.

In the meanwhile, information is flooding in on many, many such instances of overbilling and unhelpful customer support. People are contacting me to tell their own stories. And it seems it is not only Airtel. Many people speaking about Vodafone, a few about other providers.

After all, if everyone is stinking, then no one is stinking, right?

Join the Intellectual Anarchy!

Vidyut

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

14 thoughts on “More from Airtel

  1. I don’t see how there is any other correct response but to go straight to the consumer court. Your prior usage pattern and reckless behavior of part of Airtel representatives and their ‘agents’ should make it a ‘slam dunk’ in your favour, in my opinion. Do NOT pay, the sooner you go to court, the faster police action can formally be requested to shut these idiots up for good.

    P.S. I am on Airtel too, and a high paying customer at that, and if this is how they treat their customers then I need to think hard about whether they deserve my business. They are going to get it real bad from me if they ever dare call anybody else apart from me for outstanding monies, valid or otherwise.

  2. I don’t see how there is any other correct response but to go straight to the consumer court. Your prior usage pattern and reckless behavior of part of Airtel representatives and their ‘agents’ should make it a ‘slam dunk’ in your favour, in my opinion. Do NOT pay, the sooner you go to court, the faster police action can formally be requested to shut these idiots up for good.

    P.S. I am on Airtel too, and a high paying customer at that, and if this is how they treat their customers then I need to think hard about whether they deserve my business. They are going to get it real bad from me if they ever dare call anybody else apart from me for outstanding monies, valid or otherwise.

  3. The letter says, after 2 days period company reserves right to take such actions as it deems fit, to recover the outstanding amount?

    Translates to: More threats if not paid?

    Also “This is without prejudice to any of our rights whatsoever” is sounding like some veiled threat already heh.

    P.S. I am unable to see the bill in the post. Is it a link?

  4. The letter says, after 2 days period company reserves right to take such actions as it deems fit, to recover the outstanding amount?

    Translates to: More threats if not paid?

    Also “This is without prejudice to any of our rights whatsoever” is sounding like some veiled threat already heh.

    P.S. I am unable to see the bill in the post. Is it a link?

  5. What really irks me is that in a GPRS plan they give 2000MB data for Rs. 98/- and sometimes even less. But if you are not on GPRS plan then they charge you Rs. 30000/- for the same 2000MB. What the hell is this? 
    This is like giving a loan to someone at 2000% interest. Would Supreme Court ever allow such a loan to be collected. No they would not…they would call it against the principal of natural justice. 
    Then why does TRAI allow such crazy tariffs in the first place. 
    Let me put it the other way around why the hell do we need a regulator when regulator actually allows such stupid things to happen. We have a regulator so we have a misplaced sense of security that the regulator would take care of our interest. If there was no regulator I guess we would be more careful.
    What is the solution? All I can say is keep your eyes open at all times. Don’t be fooled by any sense of security. Its a jungle out here. 

    1. Am not sure how one goes about, I would prefer to go soft with correct details, where is the problem with the service provider on technical aspects, or rather what the plan talks and where is the mistake, make a note of the person one interacts and send an email with details, secondly on FB Airtel is active, so make your point clearly do not abuse or threaten etc..go step by step and you will find your solutions. If we fight or abuse they have no choice but to do so… if we go in simple and factual way, they find themseleves cornered and resolve. I had lot of issues with AIRTEL billing , they did resolve my problem and some time the network was not there, so they went to the extend of providing a box in my home which gives steady connectivity of 3G.
      We should know that we want our problems to be solved, do we loose anything by going about in calm and polite way but sticking to the basics, no compromise.

  6. What really irks me is that in a GPRS plan they give 2000MB data for Rs. 98/- and sometimes even less. But if you are not on GPRS plan then they charge you Rs. 30000/- for the same 2000MB. What the hell is this? 
    This is like giving a loan to someone at 2000% interest. Would Supreme Court ever allow such a loan to be collected. No they would not…they would call it against the principal of natural justice. 
    Then why does TRAI allow such crazy tariffs in the first place. 
    Let me put it the other way around why the hell do we need a regulator when regulator actually allows such stupid things to happen. We have a regulator so we have a misplaced sense of security that the regulator would take care of our interest. If there was no regulator I guess we would be more careful.
    What is the solution? All I can say is keep your eyes open at all times. Don’t be fooled by any sense of security. Its a jungle out here. 

    1. Am not sure how one goes about, I would prefer to go soft with correct details, where is the problem with the service provider on technical aspects, or rather what the plan talks and where is the mistake, make a note of the person one interacts and send an email with details, secondly on FB Airtel is active, so make your point clearly do not abuse or threaten etc..go step by step and you will find your solutions. If we fight or abuse they have no choice but to do so… if we go in simple and factual way, they find themseleves cornered and resolve. I had lot of issues with AIRTEL billing , they did resolve my problem and some time the network was not there, so they went to the extend of providing a box in my home which gives steady connectivity of 3G.
      We should know that we want our problems to be solved, do we loose anything by going about in calm and polite way but sticking to the basics, no compromise.

  7. Bill shows you have used 500Mb in Feb/Mar and charged @ 0.015 pkb. I assume your problem with Airtel is their behaviour with you and not the amount which is legally due.  Keep cool, pay the bill and lodge formal complaint with Airtel higher ups.

  8. Bill shows you have used 500Mb in Feb/Mar and charged @ 0.015 pkb. I assume your problem with Airtel is their behaviour with you and not the amount which is legally due.  Keep cool, pay the bill and lodge formal complaint with Airtel higher ups.

  9. Really strange. If you look at Jan-Feb bill, the problem bill, you’ll come across that you have been billed for roughly 11 hours. It shows that within those 11 hours you have consumed 500 MB worth of data. And all this on their GPRS connectivity. I do not think they provide such speeds for their GPRS connectivity, and that this is even possible, i.e downloading that much data in that time. Strange. You can nail them there itself.

  10. Really strange. If you look at Jan-Feb bill, the problem bill, you’ll come across that you have been billed for roughly 11 hours. It shows that within those 11 hours you have consumed 500 MB worth of data. And all this on their GPRS connectivity. I do not think they provide such speeds for their GPRS connectivity, and that this is even possible, i.e downloading that much data in that time. Strange. You can nail them there itself.

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