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Nov 19

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.
Adjustment:
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)


Oct 02

Google Knol Logo

It was being touted as a Wikipedia Killer, but “Knol – a unit of knowledge”  seems to have died a painful death so to say. No one uses knol, i didn’t ever remember whether the URL was google.com/knol or knol.google.com , They both redirect to the subdomain though.

Knol was supposed to be the first place one would go while searching for a particular topic, but i am unimpressed. I searched for computer graphics and got pages about women in the computer industry and computer buses , ports etc. If you cant find a topic in Knol, then knol isnt so great, is it ?

Wikipedia had welcomed the entry of Knol into the online knowledge sector, it had said the more the free content, the better. However it seems that Knol seriously lacks on content and content quality. Also the images on Knol did not have separate pages like Wikipedia and had no individual licensing information.

There was also criticism to the Knol from other quarters, people had said that Google might try to fudge rankings to ensure that Knol ranks higher up in the search rankings. Google however dismissed all such allegations.

Knol also scared the media industry, a lot of people in the industry said that Google is slowing switching over , first it was a data searching company, then it became a data organising company, and now its a data generation company seriously threatening a lot of media houses.

For the time being though it seems like knol isn’t used by all :P


Jul 02

As anger mounted on the Iphones activation fiasco, Apple should see what the people are facing :)

Iphone Activation by Google

When you search for “My Iphone got activated” , Google corrects you , it tells you to search for “my Iphone not activated”


Jun 09

Ask.com

The whole ask.com experience is now changed, the site has been made more aesthetic. The searches are slow though. Its more like Yahoo’s one search, displaying results from blogs, wikipedia, image search etc. all on a single page. It also gives suggestions to narrow down your search or to expand it.

Ask.com Search Result

You can even skin your interface from pre-designed skins.

ask.com skins


Dec 24

People search the darndest things , here are the search engine keywords used to reach our site this week and our take on those key phrases. Read for a nice time.
1. Orkut.com how to become members – Earlier while becoming a member you needed to be invited by someone , however thats no longer needed as Orkut has gone open to all , there is a Join Now link on the Orkut homepage , use that.

2. Airtel Balance Check – Hmmm , here its *123# for balance and *122# for validity.

3. Airtel stop receiving offer of the day – LOL , if you are prepaid i dont think there is anyway , but call your customer care and give them a piece of your mind , collective effort might achieve it.

4. database of Airtel postpaid customer list – Yeah you idiot telemarketer , you can get that for free , just tells you the depths people go to get numbers to call and sell their credit card or insurance.

5. opera mini airtel – Yes , if you have a mobile office connection on airtel , Opera mini would work , but if you only have airtel live , it wont.

6. smart brain logo – Just put my picture there ! ;)
7. leaving orkut addiction- Maybe we should start Orkut counselling , just delete your account and addiction would be gone .


Dec 19

Well people have been coming here searching for what all and what not. We analyse some search terms

1. Airtel Live 403 Error – Seems like the access denied or the forbidden error , to the person who searched this : You are receiving this as airtel has limited its net access to only the airtel live portal and some selected partner sites (like indiatimes wap , rediff wap and one or two more) . Many people claim to have a solution for using free internet off of airtel’s gprs service. We do NOT reccomend this as Airtel might find out and charge you and that wont be nice believe me.

2. Orkut Addiction – Absolutely the thing you should search for while coming here. Orkut addiction has reached new levels , people spend their free time reading and writing scraps on this so called social networking site. Good thing , India doesnt know about myspace yet or else thise generation will be literally going to the dogs.

3. Index Ignore command – Read the htaccess tutorial i had posted for more on this. This command can be used to refuse the directory index of your site’s folders.
4. Picasa Web Order Prints – We have absolutely no idea on this having never tried this , but we never reccomend web ordering , just goto your nearest market and order. Believe me face to face ordering is much better than online ordering which can sometimes go horribly wrong although it might be cheaper and convinient.

Lets make this search engine strings analysis a weekly feature !!!