Everyone knows that it’s a major trouble to disconnect a service from any provider in the Indian telecom industry. They will plead, offer discounts and try everything till you get pissed, leave it as is and stop paying the bills. And then they sue you for not paying the bills.
Since I was aware of the issues, I planned to disconnect my Airtel Broadband connection well in advance. I called them up and to my surprise they were really friendly. They offered to transfer the connection to any city or any individual in the same city. I said no and they explained the procedure to me – Give a disconnection request, go and submit the instruments to the nearest customer care office, pay the dues and your job is done. I did the same. They told me the present dues are already paid, my connection will be disconnected in 24 hours and they will send the remaining bill at the end of the month after which they will return any security deposit that was made. I came back happily appreciating Airtel! But of course I was mistaken.
Three weeks later, I got the bill from Airtel. The bill amounted to around 70% of my total fixed monthly bill amount but I had used it only for 8-9 days. I emailed Airtel about the same but got not replies. So I sent a message to @Airtel_Presence on Twitter because apparently this is a quick way to get their attention. And yes indeed, I got a reply within few hours which asked me to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I did the same. Soon, I got a reply saying they are looking into the issue and I was satisfied with it. The real problem I had was that the bill didn’t make any sense to me. They billed me for the whole month and gave some some random discount. Nowhere did they say that I used the service only for limited number of days. Nowhere did they say that the service was not in use after a certain date. I was ready to pay the amount once they confirmed that I won’t be getting any more bills!
Next day, I got a call from Airtel. They asked me the issue and I explained it to them. The guy replied saying that they have no disconnection request from my side. In fact my connection is up and running! I asked him to verify it and told him that I made a number of phone calls and physically submitted the instruments myself but they had absolutely no records of that. And then I realized that I wasn’t lucky or anything. It’s just that Airtel has a different MO when it comes to bugging their customers. It has been been 5 days since. I haven’t got any calls. @Airtel_Presence says they are working on the issue. I did pay this month’s bill to clear the dues from my side.
There is another thing worth noticing. I made 6 calls to the Airtel Bangalore Broadband CC since morning (for which Airtel has started charging extra nowadays). Each time I went through the complex IVRS options, reached a human being who asked my name and landline number and right at that time the phone call got disconnected. I’m not implying anything. Yet.
PS: I’m not saying that this the worst thing they or any telecom provider ever did. But what’s wrong is wrong.
This month I got another bill from Airtel. This time they charged me for the whole month of Broadband usage. And the customer support hasn’t replied to any communication from my side.
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