Airtel: Traumatic Telecom Service Provider

While I keep on writing about the advantage of privatization in the country on my blog, my experiences over the years about the deteriorating private companies are just unbearable. Private banks both domestic and foreign ones have gone totally irresponsible. I lost almost Rs 10,000 and more because of the poor advices and intra-bank communication failures from the so-called personal banker that I have got because of my all superannuated money in its fixed deposits.

My experience with Airtel that has provided my land line telephone and broadband at my Noida residence is equally horrible. Even after my payment in advance of the amount suggested by them in last October-November 2008 before going to US, when I returned my services were not restored for almost 4days that I took to convince its many call centre’s personals.

The latest story is just appalling. I came to Kolkata on January 30 from Noida after paying all my dues that was due to be paid in February. In March, I went to an Airtel franchise in Salt Lake near swimming pool in CF Block to find out if it can let me know my bill and take the payment. They expressed their inability. I got a shock that Airtel doesn’t provide this service. When I expressed my desire to pay Rs 1200 as some adhoc advance against my Airtel a/c 11252325 for my phone number 0120-4358743, they directed me to put the cheque in their box outside. I did. When I checked my ICICI Bank a/c on line, I found Rs 1200 was debited from my account for Airtel on March 10. I was happy. But then the real harassment started. In last five days I have received calls from at least 20 different persons of Airtel on my mobile phone telling that a bill of Rs 800 plus awaits payment. I have kept on explaining to them. Today I had to call one of my friends in Noida who is also an Airtel subscriber to talk with the customer care of Airtel 01204444121 and sort out. I have also requested my personal banker at ICICI Noida sector 50 to help me out. Both of them talked to the Airtel. But the telephone calls for the payment have kept coming. I got one while I am typing this letter in Salt Lake. I have been told in the morning by my helping hand at Noida that he received a phone warning that the phone services will be disconnected if the bill is not paid.

Can there be a better story of Sunil Mittal’s Airtel who claims to run one of the best private companies of the country? Is it the efficiency of the telecom sector that we boast? Can the management of these services not find a way to find how the customers are getting cheated and harassed?

At one time I discontinued BSNL services for similar reason. Should I discontinue Airtel services? I don’t think the private sector with booming bottom line bother any way.

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