It seems that when general telecom networks are trying to expand their connectivity and data services, Airtel appears to be going in the other direction, as well as the part of growth strategy they seem to be looking only towards feedback and no complaints. By default they take all the users concerns as feedback which doesn't require any TAT (Turn Around Time) unlike the Service Request/Customer complaint where a standard TAT has to be provided.
I have been using the services of Airtel from almost over a decade with best and unbeatable service and support compared any other telecom provider, I have come across in India, there was no doubt on that. But it seems that the principle of "What ever goes up must come down" applies even in the quality and service levels. I have been using the 3G services of Airtel from past few years. But last week my phone services stopped all of sudden I was getting emails from my contacts that my phone is not reachable.. and I too noticed that none of the services call/sms/data were working, neither i could make or receive call/sms..
Tried all the options of restarting, changing settings and everything I could try before calling customer care, which is a real pain.
When nothing else was working, as a last resort I called up the customer care and iterate complete details and history of problem, Good lady took the note of my concern and shared me the complaint number by gods grace. I was started getting happy but not for long..
Even after 48 hours of wait there was no action/response from Airtel, I had to call the customer support again, as i cannot pay them for not providing the services. I have given a call to the customer care and the fun starts, I was told that there is no complaint of any kind lodged from me for almost 8 months.. Then what happened to my previous complaint given 48hrs back?? The lady seems to pretty good and clearly confirmed on logging the complaint and shared me the complaint number as well.. After long ordeal with support person finally the support person says "Complaint was taken as feedback and not as a complaint and hence there is no time limit to respond/action on the same". Hummm
My phone services were down totally for almost 4 days and they lied by confirming me that complaint is lodged!!!
It's high time, I had to take control. After deliberate attempts by the support executive to dodge the issue escalation. I finally got the call escalated to a Gentleman who claims to be floor supervisor, and briefed the history again, and finally he gave a new complaint number and assured me of Joke (a quick resolution).. and confirmed that as a change of policy they are by default taking feedback and not complaints. Okay!! Change in policy to ignore complaints??
Though I had no hope on quick resolution, the response was pretty quick, The same day evening got a SMS update on the issue as follows:
"Update: Reference no. 6331xxxx regarding 3G Connectivity: There is no site currently planned for the mentioned area. We have noted your feedback and shall update you on development in the near future. If you are not satisfied with the resolution, contact Appellate. For details, visit Contact Us page at www.airtel.in"
Okay, So what does that mean?
I have been in the same locality from good enough before Airtel is born, and using the Airtel services from little over a decade, and using 3G services from past few years in the same locality/location. But today Airtel enlightens me that they don't even have plans for 3G in the locality!! so who's 3G service was I using all these years?? for sure I was using 3G. So Airtel was collecting monthly payments for the same with out giving the service??
Funny all these years Airtel is providing service without knowing; so today they realised that they never planned 3G service in that area so stopped the service?
Adding to the fun, I walk less than 1 Km in any direction around this locality all services work.. which is clear that i am not in outskirts of any where..
One of the below should be correct
- Airtel is creating no 3G/4G service island in the city as new business opportunity to lure people to island for using the services with no services
- OR Airtel is spree to reduce 3G/4G service coverage area to encourage legacy 2G services
- OR They hired some super intellectuals to resolve a issue faster by denying the existence of service to avoid complaint/resolution of issues in the service.
If option 1 and 2 are the facts then I wish Airtel all the best to achieve 100% success by covering 100% India, if Option 3 is correct no luck will help them..