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Apr 09

Incident 1:

I am really angry at Airtel right now, it all started 3 weeks ago when I decided to open Airtel Live after a span of around 4 years. I saw a link for some yoga thing, thinking that it was some application for yoga I decided to check it out. On the next page I figured out it was just a way to sell photos so I quit Airtel Live then and there. The thing to remember is the page where I quit was a portal page with links to content. I had not downloaded any content, nor was info about charges relayed to me.

After about an hour I saw that Rs.10 had been deducted from my balance and I have been subscribed to ‘celebyoga’ service. Angry that I never subscribed to the service and that the charge information wasn’t relayed to me, I called up Airtel and asked them to refund my money. The CC executive refunded my money immediately. I decided to pursue the matter and asked Airtel for how the consent for the service was obtained by me. I got a stupid copy paste reply :

We would like to assure you that just like a call gets captured only after it originates from a mobile and gets connected to the called number, similarly, the download made you gets captured only if you click on the content, which is then charged accordingly.

After exchanging 4-5 mails I was fed up and stopped pursuing the matter thinking that I didn’t lose anything. The service was deactivated after 3-4 days and repeated reminders.

Incident 2:

Then on 6th April it happened again. While driving I got a message that I have subscribed to bollywood services, I am like What the Hell (atleast they should have made it Hollywood to suit my taste). The strange thing this time was that I had NOT even opened Airtel Live.

I got my money back again but Airtel still insists I clicked on the content which is preposterous since I had deleted the Airtel Live settings after incident number 1.

They say it might have happened without my consent, strange again since I never give my phone to anyone.  I got the same reply as above and they claim they have investigated the issue. (and sent the same copy paste reply). The existence of such a copy past reply actually proves that this is happening very often that they had to make a FAQ for it.

Since they refuse to accept that I never clicked on the content its really hard for them to trace the people causing this illegal activity. Hopefully it wont happen again to my phone. I can imagine some agent sitting somewhere and randomly subscribing people to services, the sad part being that some must be gullible enough not to confront Airtel on this.

Anyway I got a followup call again with the operator insisting that I had infact subscribed to their services, I gave him a piece of my mind and he promptly retreated. I have been asking them for records of taking my consent but I haven’t been able to get a proper reply.

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