Recently transferred to Mumbai from Hyderabad, I had to change my mobile service provider and take a new number. Based on my own research I narrowed my option to Vodafone. But all logic set apart,
I decided to go for Airtel based on my friend’s recommendation and ever since it has been a nightmare.
I stay in Bhandup and work in Worli. The nearest Airtel Relationship Center (ARC) was in Mulund West- one Bhavna Connect. I called them up and found from the the documents I should submit to get a postpaid connection. According to their instructions- I carried with me the following:
a) Copy of the rent registration agreement. It should be noted here that the house was rented in my wife’s name and it was unambiguosly mentioned that Mrs. XXXX (my wife) was wife of Mr. YYYY (myself).
b) Copy of my PAN card
c) Photographs, and
d) The activation charge of Rs. 300
I was serviced by Mr. Ravi an executive there who studied all the documents and told me that they were in order and then accepted payment and gave me the SIM card (No. 9987759590). This was on the 7th of May and he told me that my connection would get activated the same day evening. True to his word, the SIM card got activated the same day evening.
The subsequent events are outlined below in chronological order:
1. 10th May Airtel officer visits house to verify address and other information provided
2. 11th May Received call from Mr. Ravi at Bhavna Connect, seeking clarification that my name does not appear on the Registered House Rent Agreement. Pointed out to him that the agreement was drawn in the name of my wife that my name appears as the name of the husband. He was satisfied and on asking him whether there is a problem, he answered in the negative saying that this should be fine.
3. 12th May- Received an SMS Alert from Airtel requesting me to submit my documentation to the point of purchase to avoid disconnection
4. 12th May- Immediately called Customer Service Representative and informed him of the SMS Alert and asked him what further documentation is needed. He informed me to ignore the SMS and that everything was in order.
5. 12th May - Received confirmatory mail by courier giving me the details of my plan and that my subscription is confirmed
6. 13th May Without any notice whatsoever, all outgoing calls were barred from my number. Enquiring with the Customer Service Representative, Mr. Vinod, I was informed that a piece of documentation called SIS was missing and that I had to go to the ARC where I purchased the connection to get the issue rectified. On telling him that I had filled up all the forms given to me by Mr. Ravi at Bhavna Televentures and that I was informed the day before that this was an error on the part of Airtel, he asked me to get in touch with Airtel Nodal Office.
7.13th May - Was send a Reference Number (F 6864945789) by SMS
8. 13th May Immediately called up the Nodal Office and talked to Mr. Satyaveer Singh. He checked out my details and informed me that it was a miscommunication and arranged for all outgoing calls to be activated.
9. 13th May - All outgoing calls were restored immediately
10. 14th May - Made a few calls during the daytime and in the evening found that all outgoing calls are again barred.
11. 14th May - Immediately called up Customer Care Representative and talked to Mr. Tanaji. He cited the old issue of incomplete documentation as the reason and asked me to go to Bhavna Televentures. On citing my earlier interactions, he then gave me the number of the Appellate Authority to communicate to.
12. 14th May Wrote to the Apellate Authority to Mr. Vishal Gurung, who is supposedly be the highest authority for Airtel in Mumbai. Got an automated response saying that my issue would be resolved in 24 hours and was given a reference number- 1505201030903
13. Waited for 2 days and nothing happened... looked like Mr. Gurung was either not interested or had better things to do
14. 17th May Called up telephonically to the Apellate Authority to find out status of request. Phone was attended by a Ms. Nisha who told me that Mr. Gurung was not available. So I briefed her about my problem and she said that she will check into it.
15. 17th May - Ms. Nisha promptly called me back giving me yet another new reason for the abrupt discontinuation of services. She tells me that my name is given differently in the system. On querying with her as to whose mistake it was that a wrong entry has been made, she turned high and mighty telling me to go visit the ARC to rectify the issue and that she couldn’t do anything (imagine the Apellate Authority, the highest authority of Airtel in Mumbai) saying that they couldn’t do anything
13. In the same telecon, I told her that I do not have any other document to submit and as to whether Airtel could take back the SIM card and return me the Activation charge since the service was not being provided, her reply was interesting. Airtel would gladly take back the SIM card, but the refund was possible only after 60 days!!!
14. To cap it all, on 17th of May I receive a self satisfied mail from one Mr. Satish Pathak, Apellate Officer telling me that my issue has been resolved and asking me whether I was satisfied with the " service " provided.
15. Lastly, I write back to Mr. Pathak telling him that my issue still remains and yes true to its style... I get a reply from Airtel... thanking me for writing to them and giving me a new reference number 1705201026516 and promising me resolution in 24 hours... And so the jouney has come back to square one...
16.I reviewed my experience with Airtel on Mouthshut.com giving their services a big thumbs down on the 17th of May and with 3 hours of writing the review, my SIM card which untill that time could receive incoming calls was deactivated completely and am now not in a position to get even incoming calls!! I get a message saying " SIM Card Regsitration failed!! ". Talk about freedom of speech.
My advice to future potential customers of Airtel is to refrain from this house of white collared thieves.