Dear Mr.Sunil Mittal & Airtel,
This is your customer, lets say, a very disgruntled customer. Ever since I came back to India in Feb 2006, I have been using only Airtel products and services for my mobile connection, internet connectivity and digital TV. Since then I have recommended Airtel to a lot of people everywhere – online and offline.
In the last 4-5 years, I have heard and listened to a lot of Airtel horror stories and have disregarded them in an instant simply because I was having a wonderful time and I have not had any such issues as many other people claimed.
But change is inevitable. All good things must come to an end. And so it happened.
Ever since I moved into a new house last September, I have only terrible things to say about Airtel. Especially when all the 3 Airtel products and services that I use go bad.
Updates below under each issue
Horror Story #1 – Airtel Mobile Customer Service Sucks
I do not exactly remember the date, but sometime in December, I called up the customer service and asked for my address to be changed to the new address. Oh, I was listening to the funky new A.R.Rahman tune for more than 20 minutes before some guy came on line. He takes a look at my account details and mentioned that I have been a customer for more than 3 1/2 years. So I do not need to provide any proof of address and he can change my address right away. So I give him the new address and I was told it will be updated in 24 hours.
Then I tell him I have an another number and the address for that also has to be changed. This is my mother’s number and he says the same 3 1/2 years stuff and updates the address.
Fast forward 3 months, last week I was paying my bills online and I noticed the address in my bill and in my mother’s are wrong and still showing the old address. Immediately I shoot an email to the customer service and wait. Next day I find 2 replies – one for my number and one for my mother. For my mother’s connection, I was asked to provide a proof of address. For mine, I was asked to provide a screenshot. I reply back and mention the conversation I had in December about the proof of address not required only to be met with a copy/paste of the previous email. I reply back mentioning the same and once again I get the same response.
Immediately, I call up the 121 customer service from my mother’s number, wait for 15-20 minutes before some girl answers. I explain to her the issue, she puts me on hold for another 10-15 minutes and repeats the same proof of address crap. I ask her how come 2 customer service personnel mention different things. No proper answer. So I disconnect, calm myself down and then call back. Once again after a wait for 15-20 minutes, I get the same response and I get no answers to my questions. Any question is met by the same answer. By this time, I had lost all my patience and decide it is of no use talking to a Parrot.
Then a hour or two later someone calls me up on my number and says that because I gave the request after the bill has been generated it is showing old address and in the next bill it will be updated and without giving me a option, he hangs up. Now this is really screwed up because I gave the change of address request 2 months ago and since then 2 bills have been generated. But I am in no mood to argue, so I am being patient and waiting for the next bill to be generated.
Now that the mobile portability is an option, I am seriously contemplating on moving to Vodafone if this is not sorted out.
Update 1: Finally, after 3 months, this blog post, plenty of tweets and few phone calls later, the address change has been done. Friday morning, I kept getting calls from Airtel Delhi asking for information and later in the afternoon, someone called up and said the address would be updated in 24 hours and she will call. As usual, she did not call. But I called up the customer service and verified the address on both the numbers and they have been changed to my current one.
Horror Story #2 – Airtel DTH Customer Service is Screwed up big time
Now this story is real fun. Around October, my DTH was left with no balance. Since I moved to the new house, I was not watching a lot of tv. And because we were getting the regular old cable, we did not bother with the Airtel DTH. But then it seems the customer service at Airtel DTH are paid commissions for every top up or re-installations as they were calling us almost every single week. When we called for the dish antennae to be removed, no one turned up for a good 2-3 days and only after calling the customer service 4-5 times someone turned up or I guess we had it removed by someone ( I am not sure). But then that’s not important.
Unable to put up with the barrage of calls and sms messages, I decided to get the DTH re-installed on my new house. So on Friday 18th, February, I call up the customer service and make a request for the reinstallation. Now, since it has been a good few months my account balance went into negative and was standing at Rs. –23. To my surprise my request was not accepted since my account has a negative balance and I was told that in order for me to raise a complaint ticket, I need to have a positive balance.
Now, I am no scientist, but I am pretty damn sure that to watch the tv channels on Airtel DTH I need to have a positive balance and without one I simply cannot watch any thing. Explain the same thing to the CS, absolutely no use. So I disconnect the call and top it up by Rs.100 so that it has a positive balance of 70 odd rupees.
I call up again and now the request is accepted. I was clearly told that it will be re-installed before 2.30pm on Saturday, Feb 19th, 2011. In the evening at around 5pm someone calls up, verifies the address and said he will call back in an hour to confirm the time. I wait for an hour, nothing. I assumed he would simply show up, cancel and postpone my plans for Saturday morning and afternoon.
Fast forward to 1pm on Saturday afternoon, no one had shown up. So I call up the customer service and was answered by a girl named Lavanya who said someone will call me in 5 minutes from the concerned dept. Someone did and said an engineer will call me in 2 minutes and will come home.
215pm – nothing. my phone is silent. So I again call up the CS, again speak to lavanya but this time I had the call escalated and got transferred to one Manjula who was the floor manager at that time. 15 minutes into the conversation, I sense that she is getting irritated at me and mentions that she will speak to the engineer concerned, get the installation done by 6pm sharp and will call me by 4 to confirm.
4pm – nothing. 5pm – nothing. So I waste more time of mine and speak to another floor manager who now promises me that it will be done for sure at 6pm and he himself would call me to confirm it all.
6pm nothing. 7pm nothing. 8pm – I get a call asking if the installation has been done. Now at this point, I was left to wonder whether the guy was asking genuinely or making a fool out of me. He said he will call back in 5 minutes and the night ends. And my entire Saturday was ruined waiting for the call that never came and for the engineer who never arrived.
Next day morning at 11am, an engineer calls up and I give him a piece of my mind, ask his boss/CS to call me. Nothing till 1230pm when I call the CS, vent out all my anger and frustration, refuse to pay the installation charges. blah blah blah blah blah.. (decide it is of no use talking to a Parrot.). And finally the installation was done by around 4pm.
You might wonder why I am raising a big stink when the installation was done. The point is the CS knew well in advance the installation will not happen on Saturday. Not 1 person, 4 people assured me the installation will happen by 6pm when they fu*king knew it was not.
When my account went into negative balance, I was fu*cking bombarded with calls. So why the fu*k no one bothered to call me and inform about the installation being postponed? What is the use of giving a timeline if its not going to be adhered to? Because of this, my entire weekend was ruined. My whole Saturday was spent waiting for some engineer who never showed up and speaking to a customer service who made false promises and had the nerve to lie about the whole thing! Not to mention half of my Sunday also went for a sixer waiting for the engineer!
I do not know about you, but for me my time is precious. If I commit something, I stick to it and I ensure it is done or if it is going to be delayed, I inform well in advance. Not like this!!!
A Fu*king RANT – Airtel Broadband FUP Messages are Lame!!!
I pay a frigging 1900 rupees each month for a 2mbps unlimited broadband connection with a 40GB FUP limit. I also fully agree with the FUP (Fair Usage Policy) restrictions. But then I am VERY PISSED OFF AT SEEING THIS FUP WARNING MESSAGES EVERY FU*KING 10 MINUTES.
Give me a break will you. Once you have showed me a message, I know that I am close to exceeding the limit or have exceeded the limit, BUT FOR FU*K SAKE, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SHOW IT EVERY 10 MINUTES OR SO. Not when I am logged in to my Internet Banking trying to transfer money.
The Customer service guy said I will get the alert only once in each billing cycle. But I have seen this FU*KING FUP Message more than 10-15 minutes in just the last 60 minutes. That’s almost one every 5 minutes. AND THAT IS MAKING ME VERY VERY VERY ANGRY.
On top of this 1900 rupees, I have absolutely no intention to pay extra and get the Speed on Demand on Service which you have now started promoting in each of the FUP messages every 10 minutes.
- Have you ever called up the Airtel customer service as a customer? Do you know how torturous that is?
- Have you ever crossed your FUP limit and been flooded with these FUP messages?
- Have you ever had to speak to a CS executive who just repeats the same thing over and again irrespective of what ever you tell him?
Over there on the top of the ladder, you might not see the Fu*ked up service t that is delivered to the average customer, but then as someone who runs India’s largest GSM-based mobile phone service and world’s fifth largest wireless company with over 190 million customers across 19 countries in Asia and Africa (Wikipedia), I do believe it is one of your responsibilities to ensure that customers do not regret choosing Airtel.
End of the day, it is people like me who has made you and your company what is is now.
I do not know if this will be read by anyone from Airtel or not. I do not care. But if someone does read this, I have got just 2 words.
From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of particular interest. But for us, it’s different. Look again at that dot. That’s here, that’s home, that’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.
Our posturing’s, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.
It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.
Video Copyright: Pale Blue Films
The text is from the book Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space (1994) by Carl Sagan.
- Will Durant, American historian: “India was the motherland of our race, and Sanskrit the mother of Europe’s languages: she was the mother of our philosophy; mother, through the Arabs, of much of our mathematics; mother, through the Buddha, of the ideals embodied in Christianity; mother, through the village community, of self-government and democracy. Mother India is in many ways the mother of us all”.
- Mark Twain, American author: “India is, the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grand mother of tradition. our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only.”
- Albert Einstein, American scientist: “We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made.”
- Max Mueller, German scholar: If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered on the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions, I should point to India.
- Romain Rolland, French scholar : “If there is one place on the face of earth where all the dreams of living men have found a home from the very earliest days when man began the dream of existence, it is India.”
- Henry David Thoreau, American Thinker & Author: Whenever I have read any part of the Vedas, I have felt that some unearthly and unknown light illuminated me. In the great teaching of the Vedas, there is no touch of sectarianism. It is of all ages, climbs, and nationalities and is the royal road for the attainment of the Great Knowledge. When I read it, I feel that I am under the spangled heavens of a summer night.
- R.W. Emerson, American Author: In the great books of India, an empire spoke to us, nothing small or unworthy, but large, serene, consistent, the voice of an old intelligence, which in another age and climate had pondered and thus disposed of the questions that exercise us.
- Hu Shih, former Ambassador of China to USA: “India conquered and dominated China culturally for 20 centuries without ever having to send a single soldier across her border.”
- Keith Bellows, National Geographic Society : “There are some parts of the world that, once visited, get into your heart and won’t go. For me, India is such a place. When I first visited, I was stunned by the richness of the land, by its lush beauty and exotic architecture, by its ability to overload the senses with the pure, concentrated intensity of its colors, smells, tastes, and sounds… I had been seeing the world in black & white and, when brought face-to-face with India, experienced everything re-rendered in brilliant technicolor.”
- A Rough Guide to India: “It is impossible not to be astonished by India. Nowhere on Earth does humanity present itself in such a dizzying, creative burst of cultures and religions, races and tongues. Enriched by successive waves of migration and marauders from distant lands, every one of them left an indelible imprint which was absorbed into the Indian way of life. Every aspect of the country presents itself on a massive, exaggerated scale, worthy in comparison only to the superlative mountains that overshadow it. It is this variety which provides a breathtaking ensemble for experiences that is uniquely Indian. Perhaps the only thing more difficult than to be indifferent to India would be to describe or understand India completely. There are perhaps very few nations in the world with the enormous variety that India has to offer. Modern day India represents the largest democracy in the world with a seamless picture of unity in diversity unparalleled anywhere else.”
- Mark Twain: “So far as I am able to judge, nothing has been left undone, either by man or nature, to make India the most extraordinary country that the sun visits on his rounds. Nothing seems to have been forgotten, nothing overlooked.”
- Will Durant, American Historian: “India will teach us the tolerance and gentleness of mature mind, understanding spirit and a unifying, pacifying love for all human beings.”
- William James, American Author: “From the Vedas we learn a practical art of surgery, medicine, music, house building under which mechanized art is included. They are encyclopedia of every aspect of life, culture, religion, science, ethics, law, cosmology and meteorology.”
- Max Muller, German Scholar: “There is no book in the world that is so thrilling, stirring and inspiring as the Upanishads.” (‘Sacred Books of the East’)
- Dr Arnold Toynbee, British Historian: “It is already becoming clear that a chapter which had a Western beginning will have to have an Indian ending if it is not to end in the self-destruction of the human race. At this supremely dangerous moment in history, the only way of salvation for mankind is the Indian way.”
- Sir William Jones, British Orientalist: “The Sanskrit language, whatever be its antiquity is of wonderful structure, more perfect than the Greek, more copious than the Latin and more exquisitely refined than either.”
- P. Johnstone: “Gravitation was known to the Hindus (Indians) before the birth of Newton. The system of blood circulation was discovered by them centuries before Harvey was heard of.”
- Emmelin Plunret: “They were very advanced Hindu astronomers in 6000 BC. Vedas contain an account of the dimension of Earth, Sun, Moon, Planets and Galaxies.” (‘Calendars and Constellations’)
- Sylvia Levi: “She (India) has left indelible imprints on one fourth of the human race in the course of a long succession of centuries. She has the right to reclaim … her place amongst the great nations summarizing and symbolizing the spirit of humanity. From Persia to the Chinese sea, from the icy regions of Siberia to Islands of Java and Borneo, India has propagated her beliefs, her tales, and her civilization!”
- Schopenhauer: “Vedas are the most rewarding and the most elevating book which can be possible in the world.” (Works VI p.427)
- Mark Twain: “India has two million gods, and worships them all. In religion all other countries are paupers; India is the only millionaire.”
- Colonel James Todd: “Where can we look for sages like those whose systems of philosophy were prototypes of those of Greece: to whose works Plato, Thales and Pythagorus were disciples? Where do I find astronomers whose knowledge of planetary systems yet excites wonder in Europe as well as the architects and sculptors whose works claim our admiration, and the musicians who could make the mind oscillate from joy to sorrow, from tears to smile with the change of modes and varied intonation?”
- Lancelot Hogben: “There has been no more revolutionary contribution than the one which the Hindus (Indians) made when they invented ZERO.” (‘Mathematics for the Millions’)
- Wheeler Wilcox: “India – The land of Vedas, the remarkable works contain not only religious ideas for a perfect life, but also facts which science has proved true. Electricity, radium, electronics, airship, all were known to the seers who founded the Vedas.”
- W. Heisenberg, German Physicist: “After the conversations about Indian philosophy, some of the ideas of Quantum Physics that had seemed so crazy suddenly made much more sense.”
- Sir W. Hunter, British Surgeon: “The surgery of the ancient Indian physicians was bold and skilful. A special branch of surgery was dedicated to rhinoplasty or operations for improving deformed ears, noses and forming new ones, which European surgeons have now borrowed.”
- Sir John Woodroffe: “An examination of Indian Vedic doctrines shows that it is in tune with the most advanced scientific and philosophical thought of the West.”
- B.G. Rele: “Our present knowledge of the nervous system fits in so accurately with the internal description of the human body given in the Vedas (5000 years ago). Then the question arises whether the Vedas are really religious books or books on anatomy of the nervous system and medicine.” (‘The Vedic Gods’)
- Adolf Seilachar & P.K. Bose, scientists: “One Billion-Year-Old fossil prove life began in India: AFP Washington reports in Science Magazine that German Scientist Adolf Seilachar and Indian Scientist P.K. Bose have unearthed fossil in Churhat a town in Madhya Pradesh, India which is 1.1 billion years old and has rolled back the evolutionary clock by more than 500 million years.”
- Will Durant, American Historian: “It is true that even across the Himalayan barrier India has sent to the west, such gifts as grammar and logic, philosophy and fables, hypnotism and chess, and above all numerals and the decimal system.”
Source and Credit: By Subhamoy Das, About.com Guide
61 years back, a salute of 21 guns and the unfurling of the Indian National flag by Dr. Rajendra Prasad heralded the historic birth of the Indian Republic on January 26, 1950; 894 days after our country became a dominion following withdrawal of British Rule. Since then, every year the day is celebrated with great pride and happiness all over the nation.
Though India became a free nation on August 15, 1947, it enjoyed the true spirit of Independence on January 26, 1950 when the Constitution of India finally came into force. The Constitution gave the citizens of India the power to govern themselves by choosing their own government. Dr. Rajendra Prasad, took oath as the first President of India at the Durbar Hall in the Government House and this was followed by the Presidential drive along a five-mile route to the Irwin Stadium, where he unfurled the National Flag.
Ever since the historic day, January 26 is celebrated with festivities and patriotic fervor all around the country. The day owes its importance to the constitution of India that was adopted on this day.
Jana Gana Mana – National Anthem
Cellular service operators are finally ready to roll out mobile number portability (MNP) across the country from January 20.
At least five major service providers have confirmed the roll out of services by next week.
The deadline for introducing MNP services was delayed a number of times since 2009.
According to the service providers, a subscriber can now switch over to other operators while retaining his number at a nominal cost. The MNP services have, so far, been launched only in Haryana.
“We are preparing for the launch ceremony on January 20,” a senior official in the Department of Telecom in New Delhi told Business Line.
Vodafone Essar – which has recently launched advertisement campaigns for MNP services – affirmed their readiness to launch MNP services. Mr Samaresh Parida, Director (Strategy), Vodafone Essar, said: “We have invested in our network quality and customer care in a big way and are ready with the technology to enable portability.”
A spokesperson of the Anil Ambani-controlled Reliance Communications strongly advocated for introduction of MNP regime.
The company is geared up to launch MNP beginning next week.
However, the company did not clarify its readiness on both the GSM and CDMA front.
Tata Teleservices, which also has GSM and CDMA services, said that both of its platforms were ready to offer number portability.
Aditya Birla-controlled Idea Cellular, which had been the first to air MNP advertisements, confirmed that it was ready for launch of the service on a pan-India basis. “DoT has announced the all-India launch of MNP on 20 January, 2011. The service will be available in Kolkata and West Bengal also from that day,” the company spokesperson added.
In order to switchover to another network, the subscriber, irrespective of having pre-paid or post-paid connection, needs to send an SMS to 1900. Based on it, he will get a unique porting code from the existing service provider.
He will be required to fill in an application in the prescribed form mentioning the code to the selected new service provider for transferring his number.
A subscriber is likely to be charged Rs 19 as processing fee and once he has switched over, the subscriber has to remain in that network for at least 90 days before making a move to another network.
This is how CSK line up after the 2 days of IPL 2011 Auction
Chennai Super Kings (IPL 4)
Francois du Plessis
Day 1 of the IPL 4 Auction is now over and Chennai Super Kings is almost the same as last year.
In the first part of the day, CSK was very quiet and non-existent. But as the second half progressed, they seemed to be sticking to a strategy and were keen on retaining the same team that won them the title last year.
Except Muralitharan, who was bagged by Kochi for $1.1M, the rest of the team looks more or less the same.
Players bought by CSK:
- Wriddhiman Saha: Bought for $100,000 by Chennai Super Kings
- Dwayne Bravo: Bought for $200,000 by Chennai Super Kings
- Dirk Bollinger: Bought for $700,000 by Chennai Super Kings
- S Badrinath: Bought for $800,00 by Chennai Super Kings.
- R Ashwin: Bought for $850,00 by Chennai Super Kings
- Michael Hussey: Bought for $420,00 by Chennai Super Kings.
Chennai Super Kings IPL 4 Squad:
- MS Dhoni
- Suresh Raina
- Murali Vijay
- Albie Morkel
- Wriddhiman Saha
- Mike Hussey
- Dwayne Bravo
- Michael Hussey
- Dirk Bollinger
- R Ashwin
- S Badrinath
May The Year 2011 Bring for You Happiness,Success and filled with Peace,Hope & Togetherness of your Family & Friends….Wishing You a…*HAPPY NEW YEAR*
Some more New Year SMS Wishes
- Vivek Oberoi does complete justice to his character. He delivers an equally powerful performance in the second installment.
- Surya delivers one of the most aggressive and forceful performances cinema has witnessed this year.
- Rakta Charitra 2 is out and out RGV’s film. Probably one of his best movies after Sarkar.
A Must watch movie this year!