Thursday, November 29, 2012

why people hate phone companies

A lot of angst is due to unpleasant surprises, I guess. And also mis-communication. I saw an attractive scheme, RC21 on Airtel, wherein we can call US lines, UK landlines for 4p per second, Gulf for 11 p per second and so on, for 30 days. Charged with it on 31 Oct. I also had an active RC33 - all domestic calls, local as well as STD, at 1 rupee for 3 minutes, for 90 days. On 9 Nov, I recharged this RC33 since the 90 days were over. And then when I made ISD calls, was charged the full rate. Lost around Rs. 200 like this before I noticed. I thought this might be some issue with Airtel, since my 30 days were not yet up. Customer care did not explain the reason for this to happen the first time around - they either could not understand the issue or could not communicate. Email using the form on airtel website gave me an auto reply saying they would revert in 2 days, but there was no response. Called again, and got the explanation from the supervisor that the RC33 had overridden the RC21, only one benefit at a time!

What could Airtel have done to not cause this customer to be unhappy? They could introduce SMS alerts whenever  benefit recharges expire. Or even a single line in the recharge SMS for special recharges, saying that this recharge now over-rides other recharges etc. Or, of course, the best option would be for them to allow multiple benefits, but they may have business cases against that option.

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