Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Airtel: Kusht-mar Care

I was reading an advertisement of Airtel which read 50 million and another 950 to go. Amazing feat for a company, I have had a mixed experiences with the services. I like it because I feel indebted to Airtel and Reliance with their closed user group & intra network calling schemes. When I could not actually afford, I managed to have conversation, whose thought sends shivers down my spine, how on earth I could manage such long hours on phone while now even an hour on phone and I get bugged of like hell.

I have had a personal sense of gratitude for these two cellular companies. I am going to talk about Airtel today, I remember seeing the golden lettered display in Airtel Office (Swargate, Pune) where they desire to become the top most consumer brand in their category. I smiled at it and felt with pride of being an Airtel user.
Leave aside the pride, the amount of pain to be a Kusht-mar of brand like this. I have seen people having including myself having really painful experiences with the brand which wishes to be the apple of the consumers’ eyes. Few examples-

1- Having a pre-paid number in pune Airtel, reaching Kusht-mar care executive through 121 is a pain. First of all they would not connect you, even if they do in most cases the query will not be resolved appropriately. And mind you if you dialed to them more than 3 times a day they block customer care number on your phone (No you don’t need to talk rudely to them, neither you need to be abusive, you just need to tell them sorry ma’am my problem is not yet solved) and three times you are simply gone. Forget that you might ever reach to customer care. You will have to drive all the way to their office. I am sure brands do that, its excellent service and I am happy to believe that 50 million are facing this and the company desires it shove it the backside of rest of 950 million lucky Indians.

2- One of my close friends, did the grave mistake of activating GPRS on his mobile phone which was liable for daily deductions of Rs. 11 (I don’t remember exactly might be 10 or 12 also) and after few months he realized that he wasn’t using the service extensively. So he decided to deactivate it and the prompt reply from the customer care was that service would be deactivated in 24 hours and indeed it was. But for the next 3 months despite 100 calls and trips to Airtel office we could not make them stop the daily deduction for Rs. 11 and finally my friend had to surrender his connection, go through the ordeal of changing his number. Now he is a proud Idea cellular customer who vouches never to use Airtel in his life.

3- This one is an amazing experience with the real kusht-mar service of Airtel. Read through the mails of one of my colleague and Airtel

Message 1:

hello,

Please activate International roaming on my phone. Request you to do it on urgent basis as I am travelling today and will reach Singapore by 4:30 AM IST on 29th Sep.

Regards

Kusht-mar

Message 2:

From: 121@airtelindia.com [mailto:121@airtelindia.com]

Sent: Saturday, September 29, 2007 4:30 PM

To: Kusht-mar

Subject: Regarding your mobile number 9999999999 [REF:00000]

Dear Mr. Agarwal,

Thank you for contacting Airtel. (Now that you have called us, your bad time has already started)

You had requested us to start International roaming facility on your Airtel mobile number 9999999999. (Lets see you going foreeen land, and me sitting in India… Irony of life isn’t it??)

We request you to send us a scanned copy of Passport through email to document in our records. (he he he nahi ji mazaak kar rahe ho aap, passport bhi hai aapke paas foreeen jaane ki baat karte ho)

Alternatively, you could also send the passport copy in the below mentioned formats for further action.

1. Hard copy of the passport copy in the nearest Airtel Relationship

centre

2. Scanned copy of the passport copy

3. Fax copy of the passport copy

You could fax the letter to us on 9845500121 / 9845600121.

Please be informed that the monthly rental for the international roaming facility is Rs. 149/- and the same would be charged on prorate basis.

Click here for tariff details of International Roaming.

http://www.airtel.in/InternationalRoaming_Postpaid.asp

We would start the International roaming facility within 24 hrs on receiving your document. (24 ghante, Singapore nahi yeh India hai mere bhai, 24 din main ho jaye to badi baat hai)

Regards,

Yuvaraj

Customer Support Service

Airtel

Message 3:

Dear Yuvraj,

Thank you for responding so late with an unsatisfactory reply.

Question 1:

Why was all this not informed when I called up customer care? I specifically mentioned in the mail as well as during my interaction with the Customer care agent that I have to leave on the same night and requested for the services to be activated urgently.

If you can not process the request within requested time or without certain documentation can you not inform the customer upfront rather that running the loop over multiple interactions? That too, with no sense of urgency whatsoever (I had placed the request at 10:21 PM on 28th Sep, your reply to which is received at 4:30 PM on 29th Sep, which itself is more that 18 hrs

delay)

Question 2:

What exactly is the need for my passport? As I understand relevant Government authorities for both the countries have verified my documents including passport/visa/bank statements etc and the fact that I am accessing the services from Singapore should be sufficient enough for you to bill me. Why so much of a fuss?

Regards,

Kusht-mar

Message 4:

From: 121@airtelindia.com [mailto:121@airtelindia.com]

Sent: Wednesday, October 03, 2007 11:58 AM

To: Kusht-mar

Subject: Regarding your mobile number 9999999999 [REF:00000]

Dear Mr. Kusht-mar,

Thank you for contacting Airtel. (aao, pata tha dubara aaoge, kaha than a 24 din se pehle nahi hoga)

You had expressed concern over the activation of International roaming facility on your Airtel mobile number 9999999999.

We understand your concern and will work together to resolve your issue. (Work Together, samjhe kuch? Work karoge tum aur hasenge hum he he he )

We would like to confirm that mobile number 9999999999 is on the Company employee scheme.

We are unable to process your request as we are not in receipt of the salary slip. (acha passport nahi hai, koi baat nahi fir bhi Singapore jaa rahe ho, chalo acha batao kitni salary hai? Fir hum decide karenge tum Singapore jaa rahe ho ya mazaak kar rahe ho)

Further, if you wish to start the International roaming facility, a copy of the salary certificate has to be provided.

The requirement of the Gross salary depending on the service requested for is as follows:

ISD 20K Gross

International Roaming 40K Gross

If the salary slip does not match the requirement, the relevant deposit amount will have to be maintained.

For the above mentioned mobile number the refundable security deposit amount to be maintained would be Rs.6000/- in order to avail the International roaming facility. You may visit the nearest Airtel outlet to make the payment towards the same.

Please find attached the details of nearest Airtel Relationship center along with this mail for your reference.

Kindly be informed that there is a monthly rental of Rs.149/- towards the International roaming facility on prorate basis.

Click here for tariff details of International Roaming.

http://www.airtel.in/InternationalRoaming_Postpaid.aspx?path=1/6/7/12/63

International roaming facility would be activated within 24 hours of receiving your salary slip and request for the same.

Regards,

Josmy

Customer Support Service

Airtel

Message 5:

Dear Josmy,

Thanks for the response. Your reply does not directly answer to any of my 2 queries (1. why relevant documentation was not informed upfront? and 2.

What is the need of Passport?).

However, looking at your answer now I am even more perplexed. Now you are stating that it is not the Passport but my Salary certificate that is required. Now this number is with me for at least 3 months. I have never been informed about the need of salary slip/certificated as a required documentation for a Corporate number. Neither was I informed about it during my interaction with the customer care executive when I raised the request for ISD activation. So why and from where these prerequisites are surfacing now.

I would be obliged if you could please let me know:

1. Why relevant documentation was not informed upfront by the customer care executive when I raised the request for ISD activation?

2. What exactly are the necessary documents required? Is it passport? Is it salary certificate?

3. If there were certain documentation to be provided when I applied for a number under Company employee scheme, why were they not intimated then, and why there has been no intimation since till now?

4. I was promised that the ISD services would be activated within maximum of 24hrs and minimum of 4Hrs of sending a mail request to 121@airtelindia.com. This was "The only" requirement mentioned to me. On what basis such commitment was made?

5. Why was such a huge delay in response from your end even after mentioning that it is urgent? I even mentioned the date and time of my arrival for your convenience.

For your kind information, I have concluded my tour to Singapore and have already suffered the inconvenience. However I am pondering over why I should not take appropriate action against you for "Non providence of promised services within assured timeframe".

Hoping to here some satisfactory response from your end.

Regards,

Kusht-mar

Message 6:

From: 121@airtelindia.com [mailto:121@airtelindia.com]

Sent: Wednesday, October 03, 2007 3:37 PM

To: Kusht-mar

Subject: Regarding your mobile number 9999999999 [REF:00000]

Dear Mr. Kusht-mar

Thank for contacting Airtel. (satisfactory response chahiye tere ko satisfactory!!! Abhi deta hoon )

As we understood that you had already requested us to activate ISD facility for your Airtel mobile number 9999999999. (Humko sab samajh main aa gaya hai, ISD ya International roaming hum toss kar ke pata laga lenge. Yaar passport nahi hai to salary certificate de do. Apna nahi to padosi ka de do, kyon faltoo argue kar rahe ho?)

We apologize for the inconvenience caused to you in this regard and would like to assure that appropriate action would be taken to rectify the same.(really really sorry, we wanted to irritate and exasperate you but kya karein sirf inconvenience hi hui aapko. Don’t worry we will make up for it in near future)

We realize that this situation must have greatly inconvenienced you. We are a customer centric organization and as such would want every interaction you have with us to be a pleasant one. (he he he customer centric organization…. Joke suna hai kabhi aisa… Pleasant kaise yahi soch rahe ho na?? Who pleasant humare tumhare liye to irritating tha kyon ???)

Further, we would like to confirm that ISD facility has already been activated with effect from 08/08/07 as per our records. (Abhi toss main aaya tha ISD to ISD kar diya ab roaming ke liye mat rona… zindagi main har kisi ko sab kuch thode hi milta hai)

Please find attached the tariff details of ISD for your reference.

Alternatively, please click here for ISD tariff details for your rate plan for your kind perusal.

http://www.airtel.in/PostPaid_tarrifs.asp

Regards,

Shibu

Customer Support Service

Airtel

Message 7:

Dear Shibu,

Just a small correction. My request was for activation of "International Roaming" and not "ISD".

Regards,

Kusht-mar

Message 8:

From: 121@airtelindia.com [121@airtelindia.com]

Sent: Wednesday, October 03, 2007 8:25 PM

To: Kusht-mar

Subject: Regarding your mobile number 9999999999 [REF:00000]

Dear Mr. Kusht-mar,

You had requested us to start International Roaming facility on your Airtel number 9999999999. (Abey yaar kaha tha tumko panga mat karma ISD kar diya hai ab roaming maang rahe ho??? Yaar life main sab ko sab kuch nahi milta…. Main bhi jana chahta tha Singapore jaa tum rahe ho… Jo hain usme khush raho… Santosh dhanam param sukham school main nahi sikhaya kya?)

We would like to inform you that, your mobile number is on the Company employee scheme and we are not in receipt of your latest salary slip.

To enable us to process your request, kindly send us a scanned copy of the salary certificate would have to be furnished.

The requirement of the Gross salary depending on the service requested for would be as follows:

Regional Roaming / National Roaming - 15K Gross

ISD - 20K Gross

International Roaming - 40K Gross (Along with

Photocopy of Passport)

Request you to send the Salary slip in the below formats

1 Scanned copy of the salary slip with company seal

2 Salary slips with company logo in Acrobat format.

3 Hard copy of the salary slips with the company seal.

4 Fax copy of the salary slip with the company seal.

We request you to kindly make the refundable deposit for the activation of required facility. You could visit the nearest Airtel outlet to make the payment towards the same.

Click here for tariff details of International Roaming.

http://www.airtel.in/InternationalRoaming_Postpaid.aspx?path=1/6/7/12/63

Further, with regard to the enquiry of the documentation, kindly be informed that we require the above said documents as per our records for the activation of the International roaming facility. (He he he… Gussa aaya… karo karo… Jyada gussa karoge to khud hi jaldi maroge mere baap ka kya jaata hai)

Regards,

Prem latha

Customer support service

Airtel

Message 9:

Dear Prem Latha,

This response have already been given to me and I have replied to that too.

Please go through the entire chain of mail.

Regards,

Kusht-mar

Message 10:

Dear Mr. Kusht-mar,

You had expressed concern over the non activation of International Roaming facility as per your request in the previous mail on your Airtel number 9999999999.

We understand your concern and will work together to resolve your issue.

We would like to inform you that, your mobile number is on the Company employee scheme and we are not in receipt of your latest salary slip.

To enable us to process your request, kindly send us a scanned copy of the salary certificate would have to be furnished.

The requirement of the Gross salary depending on the service requested for would be as follows:

Regional Roaming / National Roaming - 15K Gross

ISD - 20K Gross

International Roaming - 40K Gross

Request you to send the Salary slip in the below formats

1 Scanned copy of the salary slip with company seal

2 Salary slips with company logo in Acrobat format.

3 Hard copy of the salary slips with the company seal.

4 Fax copy of the salary slip with the company seal.

Also, if the salary slip does not match the requirement, the relevant deposit amount would have to be maintained. For the above mentioned mobile number the refundable security deposit amount to be maintained in order to avail of the roaming/ISD facility, please find below the deposit details:

International Roaming - Rs.6000 (Rs. 149/- Monthly rental Prorate Basis)

Since there is no deposit available in your account, we would request you to kindly make a deposit of Rs. 6000/- in the nearest Airtel Relationship Centre, if the salary slip does not match with our requirement in order to activate International Roaming facility on your mobile number 9999999999.

Please find the details of Airtel Relationship centre for your reference.

Click here for tariff details of International Roaming.

http://www.airtel.in/InternationalRoaming_Postpaid.aspx?path=1/6/7/12/63

We would like to assure you that International Roaming facility would be activated within 24 hours on the receipt of your salary slip and if it matches the criteria. (Lo ab aur Gussa karo…. Dekha humein aapka kitna khayal hai aur aap humesha shikayat hi karte ho)

Regards,

Raja

Customer support service

Airtel

Now seeing this we can actually see how prompt and attentive is the customer service actually. Isn’t it a responsibility of the companies to tell people if they are taking some documents, then why they need it, how would they use it and ensure that these documents will not be misused in any way. Is it not the responsibility of the company to their call center employees that customer service is not about giving a response in a definite time, but it is giving the response to customers’ problem that would define customer service. Not a monologue of what is defined by the system. A small amount of common sense needs to be applied.

After all this I still use Airtel not because of anything else but for the sense of gratitude I have towards this brand and a hope that someday they will understand I am not a Kusht-mar but a customer.


P.s : The comments inside the message in italics and brackets are my personal comments

Posted by Prats at 11:53 AM