TataDocomo3G - Some good points (Connectivity), and a bad review (Roaming)


CONFIRMED BY EXPERIENCE: TATA DOCOMO 3G ESTICK DOES NOT WORK ON ROAMING!Before I go to a review, some points to be mentioned which might be helpful to someone -1) ALWAYS, get a complaint number, and call up EVERY day to get a resolution, even if they give you a date for resolution. Chances are that they will try to get in touch with you and close it off if you are not reachable for some reason.2) ALWAYS have a backup connection. This is for every service provider out there. If you want 3G, go for two service providers at least, so if one is not available, you can use the other.3) ALWAYS USE PREPAID. If you are traveling or not, unless it is BSNL (my kudos to government goes here, they have been steady, rock steady, for me) or a landline you can't part with, go for a PREPAID. If you get stuck with a postpaid connection, get options to go prepaid later. If they don't have it initially, they will have it later. This is lifeblood.4) If you are a frequent traveler, ALWAYS do your first recharge from a customer service outlet or a retailer, and NEVER online. This is so because you can check for connectivity then and there, and ask for a refund if it doesn't work. I was told that since I did a recharge ONLINE, they can't revert it.We've got a LOOOOONGGGG way to go in terms of internet connectivity, folks. There are a lot of loose ends to be fixed by most of the companies, so there is no point in jumping at a new offer as soon as it hits the market. So let's use our brains to get some good ideas (the above are my points which have worked for me, and I go by them like the 3 Laws of Robotics - I added the 4th one today - so if you want to add something, be my guest).Ok, my review on Tata Docomo 3G eStick - Good things first... the 3G network speed I got was fantastic. I was promised 3.6Mbps max, but I have clocked 2Mbps (in Bangalore), which was good enough for me. The reason could be that there was a Tata Docomo tower just within a kilometer from where I lived, but whatever the reason, I was happy with the speed I got. Now for the bad part - Number 1 as usual, customer service: I will not go into details, but there will be a short description when I come to roaming. For the short version - from day 1, there had been a lot of discord between what the CS reps said and did. I changed my postpaid connection to prepaid because I was a frequent traveler, and I would go for recharging it when I'm in a 3G network. One thing which I remember is that after I converted it to prepaid, and recharged my number twice for 3G usage, I called up customer care because of a disconnection, and the guy insisted that it was a postpaid connection and not a prepaid, and he was not ready to check (his name was Divyesh Patel I think - but don't go by names here, unless you reach 10 to 12 different people they are all the same). From then on I had stopped calling them during the day time because I did not want to run into that guy again :D . I went to the docomo outlet the next day and they promptly fixed the issue, but the guy gave me that smile - you know, the one where you show all your 32 teeth which explains a lot? that kind of smile - when I told him about the customer service. Number 2, website: Good website, explains a lot of things, but bad in navigation (that's what I thought atleast). I'm talking about the 3gconnect.tatadocomo.com website. Another thing, never believe everything they say on that site. For example, if they say that a location is 3G enabled, rest assured, it is only the website that will give you that information. The CS reps are oblivious to that information, unless you give them the link. I recharged last time from Thrissur, Kerala seeing that Thrissur is a 3G enabled city (out of 14 cities in Kerala which is listed as 3G enabled). The guy in chat support knew only about 6.Number 3, chat support software: This is a good option in case you can't get in touch with the folks on the phone. Now, I won't comment on this much because my experience was less with this. I got disconnected twice or thrice but maybe because that was a feeble connection which I got in a desparate attempt to reach customer support. They can get a complaint raised for you so always ask for a complaint number, and track that every day.Number 4, telephonic support: My experience is with Bangalore and Kerala. Bangalore does not know anything about Kerala, Kerala does not know anything about Bangalore. Now, from Kerala I tried calling the 1800 toll free number in the first 24 hours - I work overnight - every 1 to 2 hours continuosly, and the line was busy. After two tries, I tried the Bangalore number, and that ended up busy too (after about 10 hoops of IVR which included an advertisement message in the end). Then I called up the Kerala customer service number, and they politely informed me (in Hindi, though I asked for Malayalam support - I understand and speak Hindi very well, but I thought I could talk to someone in my regional language after a long time) that they don't have ANY information regarding Bangalore SIM numbers. My only option is to keep dialling the two numbers which end up busy. And, after 4 days of my initial problem, the line is still busy.Number 5, is about the Tata docomo support presence here: Before I registered, I had been a frequent lurker in broadbandforum.in, and I have gone through some of the threads entirely, and saw TATA_DOCOMO trying to help people. Though I didn't see anyone coming back and saying that they resolved the issue (my apologies if I have missed any such case), I thought it was a very good initiative by Tata Docomo. I sent a message to the "social" id they mentioned, and they were prompt in responding saying that the complaint will be fixed soon. I replied asking them when, etc. but then, POOF, there was nothing to be heard from them for the past 2 days. Now, maybe that's because I followed up on the complaint on my own and we are close to a resolution (which is an alternative that I found out for myself - give the dongle to someone who can use it in Bangalore, and get it back once it is used up). So, I don't need his help anymore, but in case someone who had problems initially got their problems resolved by TATA_DOCOMO, I would be glad to pull back my words.My story is this - I work in Bangalore, and use Tata Docomo for 3G connection because it works wonders for me there. (My alternative in Bangalore is an MTS prepaid connection, and that's another story. I won't mention anything about them here, because except in Bangalore, and that too only recently, they worked extremely well for my purposes. I'll add my review about MTS in the MTS section). Tata Docomo's site mentions Thrissur, Kerala as one of the 3G enabled cities. I came down to Thrissur, recharged it online, and tried to connect, and I could barely access a 2G connection. Then I tried calling customer support - 1800 number and 9036012345 - and both of the IVRs ended up cutting me off abruptly saying that the techs are busy. The shops here close by 7 PM, and by the time I figured out from the chat technician about the location of the outlet - ironically just 2 blocks away from where I was staying - it was 8PM, so I waited the entire night, while trying to call tech support in the meanwhile, and went there the next day afternoon (I had to sleep). The guys there told me that 3G was not available if you are a roaming customer (what the heck?). Then why do they not mention the same thing on their website? They gave me a number for the Docomo Nodal/Zonal office who talked to me, and sounded very much like another customer support section (but the outlet guys said these people have "higher powers" so I don't know). They took a complaint number for me, and told me that a resolution will be given by 13th Feb. I told them I'm here for a short while only, and will leave by 11th, but they said nothing can be done that quickly. I asked them if they can revert my payment because I haven't used it, but they said "I have mentioned the same in the ticket, a resolution will be found". I figured "nothing can be done" and waited. I called up again yesterday, and I was again told to wait till 13th. Now, today I got a call, and I was told that they will route it to the Kerala technicians to check (so what where they doing for 2 days? Ok, let's be fair, 1.5 days? They said the complaint came to their bucket only today so he was prompt in picking that up - thanks for that!) The rest of the conversation went something like this:Me: "So what will the technician do? Today is Friday, and there is a Harthal going on here, so travel is not easy for anyone. Also tomorrow is not a business day. "Support: "They will call you up tomorrow or on Monday, but there is no guarantee that they will call you within tomorrow. And it's definitely not possible today because it's afternoon time." Me: (my fault?) "Alright, so I'm traveling to Chennai tomorrow, and won't be here on in Bangalore where I can use the 3G services, so what will happen to the ticket? Chennai does not have 3G yet."Support: "If you want your issue to be resolved, then I request you to stay in Thrissur for our technician to reach you. Or you can connect from Chennai to use 2G, where you can get about 128kbps". Me: "Bhai, it is imperative that I travel tomorrow. My wife has delivered a baby and I have to reach her tomorrow. Ok, so my work here is done, I found an alternative provider to support me right now. And in Chennai I don't want to use 2G because I already have much faster alternatives there. What will happen to the ticket that I raised? Will the technician send it back to you if they can't reach me and you will call me up so that we can talk about the refund?" Support: "No sir, refund is not possible because you made the payment online. If you did it through a retailer, then we can help you. Online transactions there is no way we can revert back". Me: "So what about the ticket? Can I escalate it to someone once the technician gets it back?" Support: "No sir, once they send it back, we will close it saying that the customer is not available". Me: "Can't I escalate this thing then? My problem is not just that I couldn't connect. My problem is threefold now - inability to reach the customer care number when I'm outside bangalore, inability and / or unwillingness of customer care locations outside bangalore to support and bangalore number, and wrong information provided on your website regarding 3G availability for roaming customers". Support: "Sorry sir, but as I've told you what I can do is only this. Is there anything else I can help you with sir?" Me: "The only help you can do now is to escalate this to someone, otherwise you can't help me". Support: "Thank you for being in touch with Tata Docomo".And he kept the phone without another word. (Ironically, his name was Sachin too). I had talked to him close to 40 minutes, and besides, how much can someone tell a stupid customer who is not "ready to understand" that they can't help? I felt sorry for that guy anyways.Then I found an alternative. My brother is here for vacation, and he has plans to go to Bangalore to meet his friends, and will be there till 4th of March. So he can use it because the network is good. So I called up the nodal support again, to ask them that they can close the ticket because I have found an alternative to use that connection and we don't have to waste each other's time anymore. My other 3 problems about customer support connectivity was not resolved, so I asked them if they can escalate those three points, and if they can refund? If not, they can close off the ticket, I have some reaches within Tata Docomo so I can escalate through those channels. They asked me to wait for sometime, and then gave me the same story. I again told them that I won't be able to wait for the tech guy because I have to travel tomorrow. This time they got me in touch with a senior person (or so they say), a lady, who said she'll take the feedback to the senior team. That's pretty much all that I wanted to hear, but I wasn't told that till now. Anyways, that's my story. And now you know where I got my 4 Laws up there. Thanks for reading so far. I'm planning to post this review in multiple forums, and I hope this review helps someone.


Wow. Brilliant review. Tata is no doubt cheaper but they need to raise the quality of their technology and service.


Doon Valley
Man, you've got some serious issues, if you know what I mean........

informative review - but all service provider are same :(So I use 3G unlocked dongle with 3 difference SIM card ( BSNL, Vodafone, Airtel )one of these works best me anywhere

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