Airtel provided incomplete details for a Blackberry plan resulting in a disaster

emptymt

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May 5, 2010
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Ok, so my sis is on blackberry on Airtel postpaid. She was on the 299 plan. But with increasing adoption of whats app she needed internet services as well. Airtel was charging some 599 or 699 for BB with internet services. Prepaid Airtel has the same service for 399 as do many other operators. She called Airtel several times to persuade them to give her the BB internet plan for 399, but was of no avail. She was offered the plan on Vodafone and she decided to port over. Then she got a call from the Airtel retention team and they told her they were unable to offer the services at 399. They however offered it as a 499 plan. She agreed. She didn't want the hassle of porting over.

And then she got her bill. The 499 plan has just 500kb of free usage apparently. Never informed of such a limit.

https://imgur.com/6xb3T

20 F**ing K
They have charged her for internet usage. At no point was she informed what internet usage would be chargeable. The plan was offered to her in lieu of the 399 unlimited plan on prepaid. They called and gave her the plan in order to keep her on Airtel.

Of the 20k, 19k is for internet usage (including taxes).


https://imgur.com/3kn5A

And there is more

When she called several times for the 399 plan, someone had shifted her to the 599 plan, without her knowledge. She wasn't aware of this until she saw the bill. Then she was shifted to the 499 plan when she got the call from the retention team.

https://imgur.com/KJUiF

Now where is gets real ugly and murky is the way they have charged for internet usage. CC told me its chargeable at 10p/10kb. That would approximate to Rs.10/mb. The itemized bill shows a total usage of 33969 kb which is about 33-34 MB. That should be about Rs.330 or in that region. They have billed at over Rs.500/MB to arrive at usage charges of 17k. WTFF. I mean what kind of daylight robbery is this.

Another serious and glaring lapse is that if you see the 1st screenshot I have posted, it shows the credit limit at Rs.10,000. How the hell did they manage to generate a 20k bill when the billing should have stopped at 10k.


Spoke to CC several times about this. The first time around the fellow was insistent that it was her fault as the plan has data chargeable and is not unlimited. Then slowly explained in detail the con where the retention guys offered the plan and never informed. Explain the ridiculous rate of 500/MB. He took down the complaint and said that some guy from dispute resolution would call and waive of charges.

But nothing happened as the date, by which the dispute would be resolved, passed. Called back. Had to start over again. Long call explaining to another fellow. He agreed something was wrong somewhere. Transferred the call to a senior fellow. Again had to start from scratch as he began to explain how data is chargeable on the 499 plan. He too admitted finally that the charges should be waived off, but somehow weaseled out saying it was beyond his authority to waive off a charge this huge. Apparently we have to visit a Airtel center.

Now I don't understand how the central guys at a call center can't waive a charge but the remote guys at a Airtel center can do the same. I expect central guys to have more authority. I am pretty sure he was just trying to pass the buck off. The closest center to me generally has a waiting period of 45 minutes. The staff in person is not the most courteous of the lot. And to have a confrontation and to be passed back to the call center would be just enough to start pulling out your hair. So I haven't bothered visiting yet. Had written a mail to a nodal officer as well. Been over a week, alas no response yet.


Other than educating members of the perils of dealing with Airtel, I am hoping someone would would be able to give me the contact details of someone senior at Airtel Mumbai who can actually sort this out. Please do email me at emptymt0 at gmail dot com. Would appreciate all the help I can get. The mobile number is pretty important and hence this dispute has to be resolved somehow. Feel free to provide any alternative solutions as well.

Thanks, Cheers!
 

x720

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Aug 14, 2011
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Gurgaon | Mumbai
One way, though not advisable, to make them listen to you is by not paying the bill. Beyond that, you could wait for someone else to provide you with contact details or something. If all else fails, a visit to the arc shouldnt be too bad, if the number in question is important.
 

mehrotra.akash

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May 17, 2008
915
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i) Never trust Airtel until and unless you have something in written from them. After ANY plan change on a postpaid connection, I confirm the details over email from them.

ii)The Data usage thing can probably be explained by pulse based charging

Also, 1 pulse = 10kB

33969 pulse = approx 330MB

Still something is wrong, since

16984.5/33969 = 0.5

So how come they are charging 50p/pulse

You need to get that checked

Data charges should be around 3396 for the last entry

Exceeding the credit limit: point that out and the bill should be slashed to 10k immediately
 


Samuel

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Nov 7, 2010
6,337
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Delhi/NCR
If I were at your place, I would knock the doors of Consumer Court.Not really sure if it would help, but right now I can't think of anything else =|
 
J

justatroll

call them again. start a recorder on your phone, make them say that this was their fault, let them state name & who are they ( in authority & where they are from i.e. airtel help center) make the conversation clear in step by step. keep the recording with yourself, call two three of reps admitting the same... mail the nodal office a SINGLE recording stating the problem and HOW THEY HAVE ****ed, give nodal office limit of some 48 hours ( AIrtel's limit to address the problem) if nodal officer dosent respond , knock consumer court. Make this public on many forums possible...
 

emptymt

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May 5, 2010
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@mehrotra.akash The pulse charged is 606. And that should make it 60.6 MB chargeable. Which sort of makes sense (sort of and not fully logical because it means that 5kb data was used in each pulse and then disconnected and hence recorded as a 10kb pulse. Hence Pulse data double of actual data).

33 MB used and due to the pulse rate rounding off the actual chargeable is 60 MB. The 33969 figure is in kilobytes. 1024kb= 1MB . . .which equates 33969kb to about 33.2MB.

https://imgur.com/Z5U4e

37kb should be recorded as 40kb and charged as 40p. They are billing Rs.18.5. 535kb would be Rs.5.4 , they have charged 267.5.

Appreciate the feed back guys. But not paying the bill and waiting for them might result in disconnection or something. Recording calls, consumer courts etc is part of my consideration. But it need not go there. It seems to be clearly a system error on their part. A Rs.600 charge has been inflated to 17k. Once normalized I still have to contest the Rs.600 charge as it was based on a con. My sis never applied for a chargeable data plan and was never informed about the plan details. Ideally this should be settled amicably with little hassle, but Airtels attitude and lack of concern is extremely frustrating. I can believe they have managed to grow to the size they are with this level of customer feed back.

Am just trying to get hold of someone responsible and reasonable at Airtel who can sort this out amicably. I don't think its time yet to bring out the gloves.!

PS: all airtel users please check your bills carefully.
 


emptymt

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May 5, 2010
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I friend told me about this airtel center a little further away which is generally empty. Paid them a visit. This is how its gone so far for me.1)called up customer care, who takes down dispute resolution request saying the amount will be waived.2) call back few days later to confirm waiver, am told dispute team says charges are valid.3) Speak to his senior. He finally understands the issue and says a waiver is correct. Unfortunately for him the amount is too huge to waive. Should visit ARC4) Visit ARC. ARC fellow says they don't handle billing issues. Have to call 888 from a phone placed in the corner.5) Online with 888. The conversation goes so ridiculous, its not even funny. Absolute incoherent non-sense was spewed out. Cant even describe. But an analogy to explain:Me: "What color is the sky?"Exec: "Sir a dog barks and a duck quacks"Me: Wait . . .whaaaAbsolutely ignorant, mentally challenged people manning the phone one the other side. Absolute refusal to admit by 888 guys any wrong doing on Airtel's part when it is so utterly obvious. Confused all over the place with what a kb is , and a mb is, pulse rate is. This saying actually come out 100% true in this case: "Never argue with an idiot. They will bring you down to their level and beat you with experience!"Finally left the place after an hour on call. Am back to square one. They again took down a dispute request as was done in step one.
 

anant.del

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Jan 2, 2010
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Usually in prepaid atleast Airtel sends a SMS of the Plan Details as we subscribe to it that usually confirms that plan is properly activated.PS: Airtel retention department is crap and iars and will tell all kind of fake plans , had placed a disconnection request of my BB connection retention department on their own decided to change the request from disconnected to continued and I kept getting the bills because of that, one of the retention department guy even showed up at my house trying to convince me I should continue with them wtf?
 

mehrotra.akash

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May 17, 2008
915
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@mehrotra.akash The pulse charged is 606. And that should make it 60.6 MB chargeable. Which sort of makes sense (sort of and not fully logical because it means that 5kb data was used in each pulse and then disconnected and hence recorded as a 10kb pulse. Hence Pulse data double of actual data).

606 is the no. of connections

33969 is the no. of pulses

I'm 100% sure of that.

Airtel is charging you at 50p/10kB instead of 10p/10kB

Get that checked out FIRST

33 MB used and due to the pulse rate rounding off the actual chargeable is 60 MB. The 33969 figure is in kilobytes.

No, its in pulses

1024kb= 1MB . . .which equates 33969kb to about 33.2MB.


From My bill:



seel, 1281 kB = 129 pulses

129 pulses = Rs 12.9 = 1290p which fits with 10p/10kb

As I connected only once, I have 1 where you have 606

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I friend told me about this airtel center a little further away which is generally empty. Paid them a visit. This is how its gone so far for me.

1)called up customer care, who takes down dispute resolution request saying the amount will be waived.
2) call back few days later to confirm waiver, am told dispute team says charges are valid.
3) Speak to his senior. He finally understands the issue and says a waiver is correct. Unfortunately for him the amount is too huge to waive. Should visit ARC
4) Visit ARC. ARC fellow says they don't handle billing issues. Have to call 888 from a phone placed in the corner.
5) Online with 888. The conversation goes so ridiculous, its not even funny. Absolute incoherent non-sense was spewed out. Cant even describe. But an analogy to explain:

Me: "What color is the sky?"
Exec: "Sir a dog barks and a duck quacks"
Me: Wait . . .whaaa

Absolutely ignorant, mentally challenged people manning the phone one the other side. Absolute refusal to admit by 888 guys any wrong doing on Airtel's part when it is so utterly obvious. Confused all over the place with what a kb is , and a mb is, pulse rate is. This saying actually come out 100% true in this case: "Never argue with an idiot. They will bring you down to their level and beat you with experience!"

Finally left the place after an hour on call. Am back to square one. They again took down a dispute request as was done in step one.

Have a conversation over email with normal CC.

After about 72 hours you will have enough nonsense from Airtel over email to contact the Nodal officer

----------

Also, how many complaint no's do you have already?

if its 2-3 get in touch with the nodal officer

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Usually in prepaid atleast Airtel sends a SMS of the Plan Details as we subscribe to it that usually confirms that plan is properly activated.

PS: Airtel retention department is crap and iars and will tell all kind of fake plans , had placed a disconnection request of my BB connection retention department on their own decided to change the request from disconnected to continued and I kept getting the bills because of that, one of the retention department guy even showed up at my house trying to convince me I should continue with them wtf?

My convo with retention dept is always

RD: Offers plan

ME: Send me details on email

RD: We cannot do that

ME: Contact me when you can

RD: Ok, bye