Monday, April 4, 2011

And Now it's Airtel Digital - Awful Customer Service

As with so many things these days we get something that is attached to another thing which you really don't want. But since they are giving it away anyway you take it and then you wonder why you did. So I got a Sony tv that messed up a couple of my days because everyone was acting and behaving like its the first time they handled tv's. (Or is it just me?) But anyway, Sony had a offer with it, a Airtel HD digital connection for three months so we can all enjoy wonderful HD stuff from Airtel on our wonderful new tv. It all looked delicious!

Soon as the Sony chap told us we were to deal exclusively with Airtel for the second part of the deal we looked up the coupon and to figure that out. It had a scratch card part which hid a number and then you take this information and maybe some info about the Sony tv and get your account recharged for some 1000 bucks. It's simple 1) call toll free 2) go to website or 3) go to any local airtel office or dealer and get it recharged. So we tried option 1 and this was a particularly difficult toll free where no one would answer and the phone would mysteriously get cut off after a couple of exchanges. Then we got on the net and did almost everything except that the payment gateway, for some unknown reason, did not process the transaction. Sick of all this we decided to go to the friendly neighbourhood dealer. There were hundreds of them, only they were phone dealers and not digital tv guys. Digital tv guys were hard to fin, two consumer durable shops, big ones, said they had no recharge facility and by then we had floated far away from home. We found a regular airtel office and hoped they could help us but they also directed us to two options. One a shop further down the road and another, a phone number of a dealer who would come home and do it all. Of course the number of the dealer would not work. So we searched high and low for this dealer, found him, paid the money and forgot to take his number because we thought it was all under control and all we had to do is call airtel and they'd come swarming all over like in the Videocon ad and fix it up.

The airtel toll free lady said the account was zero. Please go and check with the dealer. Now dealer is six kms away and we just came back. Dealer had carefully omitted his contact number in the receipt, toll free does not have his number and the airtel website has o number. Sick to the core and cursing ourselves for not taking down his number, we got a friends to go and get his number. Upon consenting to speak at his own time, he kindly let us know that it had some problem with the system and once the charge is credited he would sms. Of course we gave it up. But sms came and then we called the airtel toll free and this time, there is no answer. We sent an sms or something and they were to call which they did not and by now we were quite comfy with the whole thing and forgot about it over the weekend.

Today, we finally got it all together. Call went through, person picked up, all recharge etc in place. He confirmed that it was all good and we could expect someone to come over and install the dish on the 8th! I mean the recharge is done on the 2nd, the order confirmed on the 4th and the installation is on the 8th. I cannot believe that they take that long - or is it just because it is part of this scheme? I nodded philosophically. I only wish they don't show me so many Videocon DTH ads on tv about their lightning fast service. Makes me want to reach out. But what the heck - it is probably me!

And tell you what, if you are not blogging, start doing it right now and spill it all out about such experiences. Believe me, it gets it out of your system and also puts some feedback on the internet for customers and the service providers!

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