This is the first time I am this angry with Airtel, I have used this mobile service all my life but the blatant disregard for the customer is appalling to say the least. I am forced to write this mail as they are refusing to respond to my emails and are not resolving my complaint. In fact today I received a SMS that my query has been replied to and in truth it hadn’t been replied to. Some call center supervisor on a power trip. No response to any follow-up emails either. Just to make it clear I used strong language in my mails but no insults or profanities.
I am dividing this post into 2 parts :
1. Advertisements via phone calls – Airtel has this number 9849805941 which was calling (is still calling) me once a day and plays ads. Since I had registered for DND I contacted Airtel to stop spamming me with ads. Soon Airtel came up with an explanation that this was not a telemarketer number and hence I should complain to the Police if I want these ads to stop, can you imagine that ? They had the audacity to say they want to protect the privacy of this number who makes 1 call to me (and other numbers ? ) every day with ads.
I have also escalated this matter to the nodal officer who is also yet to get back to me, even more suspicious is the fact that I cannot call this number and the line says the number doesn’t exist but still I get one ad from this number everyday.
2. Service messages and Automatic Service subscription – TRAI says that all VAS services need an explicit customer approval to get activated, of course the agents sitting there who want to make Airtel some fast and unethical buck don’t seem to think so. This had happened to me twice in Delhi and twice now in Hyderabad and the modus operandi is even more brazen. After my complaint I got a call from a call center agent who said “these services are activated from back end” , wow, ofcourse he didn’t give that in writing but call record will show he said that. He also claimed his supervisor was not there when I asked to speak to him. When I asked him to tell his supervisor to call me back the supervisor magically re-appeared. Wonder if these call center people are Airtel employees or vendors.
The customer care responses to my mails on the matter are below (extraneous stuff removed) :
Mail No. 1
With reference to your E-mail dated 08/10/2010, you have expressed concern regarding balance deduction for your Airtel mobile number <snip>.
We realize that this situation must have inconvenienced you.
We would like to inform you that Cricket Alert Service is active and there is a charge of Rs.5/-. Hence, the balance was deducted.
Deactivation of Cricket Alert Service service:
The Cricket Alert Service has been deactivated with effect from 08/10/2010, as per your request. Confirmation message will be sent on successful deactivation.
We would like to inform you that the amount of Rs. 5/- has been processed and will be credited on your account within 24 hours.
Mail No. 2 (the same service had again been activated by another agent) – During this period I was on vacation and my phone was switched off so I didn’t realize the balance deduction till I wrote them a mail :
> Thank you for writing to Airtel.
> With reference to your e-mail dated 17/11/2010, you have expressed concern
> regarding promotional call and message , deactivate the Value Added service
> for your Airtel mobile number <snip>.
> We realize that this situation must have inconvenienced you. However, we
> assure you a prompt action to solve the concern.
> We would like to inform you that as per our records there is a charge of Rs.
> 1.50/- deducted for the activation of Cricket Service.
> We would like to inform you that the Cricket Service has already been
> deactivated on 03/11/2010.
I am still waiting for my Rs.1.50 refund and stoppage of these advertising calls. I am sick and tired of Airtel’s brazenness now and seriously want to switch over all my connections as soon as number portability comes over. This is also the most serious I have ever been about consumer court, totally aghast at the service dished out by Airtel to me (4-5 year old customer)