Airtel DTH STB is owned by the company and not the customer

emptymt

Regular
[OP]
Regulars
May 5, 2010
163
0
My Airtel HD box has been lying unused for several months since I have shifted to Hathway HD. After several pesky calls from Airtel about recharging, a fellow showed up at my door asking me to return the box if I wasn't going to use it any more.

I went back and read the terms and conditions paper and apparently Airtel has included this provision. But what I don't get is, then why does one has to pay upfront 3k to get the box home. What is that charge for? Its not a refundable deposit on the box. Airtel refuses to refund the money. They have cunningly not included any paragraph about the upfront charge and the company's obligation to the customer for that charge in their fine print.

If the box develops any fault then you are liable for it. Why is that so? It isn't your property, why should you bear the costs? Airtel should. Its their property. I had an audio niggle which would randomly crop up and Airtel wanted to charge me 750 to replace the box. Luckily Hathway HD was launched around the same time and I switched.

Had it been the case that you are buying the box for 3k and later it develops a fault, then you'd have to spend on it outside the warranty period. That would be totally acceptable because now I am spending to repair/replace my own property. Airtel wants me to spend to repair and maintain their property for them. I can't believe how blatant they are in their intentions to rip you off and yet they have amassed millions of subscribers.

TL;DR
You buy a HD box for 3k, but it really isn't yours, but if anything goes wrong with it, you pay more to replace it. And if you don't use it you return it without a refund.


Airtel wants to have their cake and eat it too. I don't know much about consumer law but this is just wrong and completely prejudiced against the consumer on the face of it. I mean they can't justify something wrong by just including it in their fine print can they?

IBF users what has happened to our old STB's when you have switched providers?
 

mhsabir

Xclusive
Regulars
Oct 7, 2006
19,744
2,586
Chennai
Airtel asked me to return and I did... I was aware of the terms, that the box is not ours as such.
 

amit_dp

Regulars
Regulars
Aug 19, 2006
770
24
Its not only with Airtel .. its with other too ... Reliance STB has a sticker saying that this STB will remain property of Reliance... better to sell your connection to someone when not using it.
 


rajivkrishnan

Regular
Regulars
Nov 14, 2008
318
5
you cant even do that on a few connections. TS its not possible. I managed it in another way. What happened was like this: I got a standard TS box with my LCD in 2008. I had switched to TS+ SD then itself. I ended up with two new Viewing cards. The idiot took away the plain SD box and left the VC on me without it being registered. When I moved to TS+ HD, the TS+ SD box was freed up and I used it to power up a multitv connection at my parents' place by simply telling TS people that its a goddamn unused box. I had assumed the recording facility wont work. But possibly because my folks' primary connection is a TS+ HD, it seems to work flawlessly(Hunch. maybe the chap saw it as a sd pvr and put the recording facility on for me).
 

Sushubh

Administrator
Oct 29, 2004
413,644
12,749
Gurugram
if i were in your place i had fry the device before giving it back.the funny thing is that trai made it mandatory for these companies to make their STBs inter-operable. if the devices goes bad, you pay for the repairs and replacements. if they don't company takes it back. makes a mockery of the saying that customer is the king. here customers are being treated like *******s.
 

shr

Newbie
Regulars
Oct 15, 2008
189
36
Chennai
Well, my redundant Dish TV STB was claimed back recently and they have promised a refund of Rs 1500. Sounds cool. Waiting for the cheque fingers crossed.
 


rajivkrishnan

Regular
Regulars
Nov 14, 2008
318
5
the funny thing is that trai made it mandatory for these companies to make their STBs inter-operable.



Eh? I thought portability is a distant dream or was this some sort of guideline to lay the groundwork
 

rajivkrishnan

Regular
Regulars
Nov 14, 2008
318
5
the way most of them providers are fleecing customers, i dont even see the utility of portability here. there has to be more competition for effective portability to kick in.