The Problem Statement
If you are an Airtel Broadband user , this post is for you. It’s about the billing issues that I encountered with my Airtel Broadband connection recently.
To cut the long story short, I shifted my broadband connection to a new address which, as expected, happens with an additional “shifting charge” and “settlement” of previous bills to date of the shifting request.
But my experience with their intricate process of shifting a land-line connection revealed that Airtel produces a new connection (Number Portability issue again) for you at your new address but does not stop the previous number in their billing module.
So in effect you start receiving two bills to pay, and really unfriendly calls from their agents (muscle power).
Despite that your old connection was deactivated on the date of request, and there is no land-line at your previous address either, and that you have paid for previous number till the date of its existence still their billing systems count you as a customer as long as the system is not “fed” manually by an agent at different levels to close the account. Or tell it that the account was shifted and new number was generated.
For some reason, the assurances from their central office & helpdesk have failed to reach the layer of agents deep down who continue to bug me on my alternate number daily with their standard programmed language “… as per our last you have pay … “.
Stupid as it may sound, it seems Airtel Call Center puts you on hang for at-least 30 minutes before it engages with a human on the other end – the moment where torture of explanation begins every time.
Right way to handle customers or Wrong? We all know the answer.
Has anybody experienced similar issues?
Is there a solution?
Again to cut the long story short, I did find some respite on internet. Upon googling, I found that there are many more irate customers out there in the country who face severe problems from other providers like Reliance, Vodafone, BSNL too. ConsumerComplaints does a remarkable job in consolidating the froth.
Among the broadband providers, their “STAY AWAY” list ranks Airtel first, followed by Vodafone and then BSNL. Of course the ranking is directly proportional to number of complaints that consumers dropped on the portal, which in turn will most likely be higher for large customer base or when the provider is miserable on a mass scale.
On diving deeper, I also found Airtel Customer Service guys actually going out on the forum trying to resolve the issues and report it to the respective customer on one-to-one basis. Now that is a very good sign. Here is the point where social media factor chips in and makes me feel excited. My take is that in near future most giant consumer corporations will have to adopt internet based social media to better manage their businesses. In TC ishtyle, Internet surely does disruptive things and makes the right thing happen bottom up!
I strongly hope that these mistakes from providers will change with time and broadband services will get better at a far higher speeds and rate of penetration. But till then, keep an eye on your ISP (they are known to inflate the bill, as well as subscription numbers).
Also see: Reliance Netconnect Review