Airtel used to be a reasonable service provider, in terms of customer service.
I have had very good experience with Airtel in last 10 years.
When the news broke about 75% depletion in profits of Airtel, Jio was blamed.
However, trust me, that is not the whole story.
Airtel is being plagued by very bad customer treatment in previous couple of years.
I myself have witnessed many instances like following:
1. Airtel says we cannot give you network in a prime area of Noida - 1 Year ago
This was more than a year ago. Airtel started rolling out 4G at the price of 3G. A lot of hype. However, the network bandwidth bifurcation was not optimal.
One fine day my mobile stopped receiving calls. Investigation revealed it was related to Airtel network.
Mind you, my office is in a pretty busy area of Noida, corporate presence-wise.
This went on for many weeks.
At the end of it, Airtel replied they do not have network coverage to provide service to me. They will provide service to me when they upgrade their network. Really? In a busy area of Delhi-NCR, they cannot provide network coverage? I interpreted their reply as: "Go to hell, we are not interested in solving your issues".
2. Airtel takes 40 days to shift a telephone, and never told what took so long - 6 months ago
In Noida, telephone service means Airtel. Not many options if you don't count BSNL.
We shifted our office in Noida Sector 63, within same sector. Airtel took 40 days to shift our connection to the new building. This, even when there are 20+ Airtel phone connections running in my building.
Okay so that may happen - due to network ports not being available.
However, the real sin Airtel did was - they did not tell me what was happening.
I opened at least 10 different tickets, and every ticket closed on its own in 2-3 days.
This is not acceptable level of service.
Nobody owns things there.
3. Airtel says you are valuable, but doesn't provide any service for two months - 2 months ago
One fine day the Airtel care called us and told we were making promotional calls using our phone, so our number is being disconnected.
We provided explanation how we were not doing any promotional calls, and even told the purpose of calls made on that particular day.
However, their representatives did not care for our explanation, despite themselves telling that they can handle our case if we explain the call usage.
So we said- ok please disconnect the service.
Now the fun begins. Next month, we got bill for whole of previous month.
We asked the reason, it was told that our connection was never disconnected!!
We explained how we stopped using Airtel connection and made alternate arrangements for our office, since Airtel told us they will close our connection. So we did not need Airtel connection now.
Apparently this was the turn on their retention team to test our patience now.
They gave alluring offers to us, waived rental for a long period and requested us to continue service.
However, the service on that connection never started.
So first they frustrated us by never stopping our service, and now testing our patience by not starting that very service!
We raised many tickets. Raised it to Nodal, Apalette, etc. But no relief.
We were never told why our service is not being started.
Frustrated, We again told them to disconnect the service.
They confirmed the services will be disconnected.
More fun: Now I got another call from Airtel technician telling that he wants to install the connection on that very minute in our office. He was pleading to me to allow this, else his seniors will go after his life. I told them to do this next morning.
That morning never came.
Finally I was able to get this phone disconnected.
There was a time when I had 3 landlines, 2 postpaid and 1 DTH connection - all with Airtel.
By now I have disconnected every single of those.
Airtel, get to the task. 75% decline in profit is an eye opener. Do not blame competition. Blame it on your customer service. Your irresponsible staff. You are doing a pathetic job.