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Old 21st June 2011, 13:19   #1
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Default Airtel 3G Billing Fraud

I am an Airtel post-paid customer since 2004, and I am a very satisfied customer until now. Mine is a corporate account, part of a CUG (Closed User Group) consisting many of my senior staff.

When I signed up for 3G plan in Jan 2011, I had no idea that I am buying into a major billing mess. I am not a heavy user of either voice or data, but I do occasional surfing and rarely talk more than 30 minutes/day on the mobile.

Therefore, I picked the 600MB 3G plan for Rs.450/- which I believed will more than cover my intended 3G usage.

The plan details can be seen in my bills that followed:

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What happens next in the April bill is interesting.

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Unfortunately, my company accountant still doesnít notify me and pays the bill in full.

Recently I got the following SMS messages:

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I ignored the first message because 207MB was lot less than my 600MB limit. But the second message that came yesterday, gave me a real shock.

This means in the next bill, the 3G charges alone will be above 3000 rupees. This is simply outrageous considering my 3G usage was always well within the 600MB limit I had chosen in Jan 2011.

This is when I looked back at the old bills and realised that they have robbing me since two months. In March, I did get a high usage warning.

See here: https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/gadge...ml#post2278923

I sent them an email then:

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And I got the following reply:

Quote:
Dear Customer,

Kindly note that our e-mail id has changed.

Please forward all your queries or complaints on our new e-mail id 121@in.airtel.com as our old email id will be functional till 17th March 2011.

We assure you of our best services always.

Warm Regards
Airtel Customer Service
I was very busy during that time, so I forgot all about re-sending it.

Now when I look back at the March bill, I see that my 3G plan was valid only until 09-Mar-2011. That is why I got the SMS about high usage. And they never restored my 3G plan which was removed without notification.

Since then Airtel has been robbing me on 3G and I didn't even know.

Last week I raised this matter with Airtel, and my accountant has been constantly following the issue.

I asked them the following questions:
Quote:
1) Who changed my 3G plan?
2) On whose authority my 3G plan was changed?
3) How is that I didnít get any notification about the change of plan?
4) Is your billing software having malfunctions that is causing the 3G plans to vanish without notice?

If all this happened due to some software glitch, I suggest you quickly fix your software.

And I demand you revert my 3G plan back to 600MB in retrospective from March. I also demand that you credit all extra amount you have overcharged since then by removing my 3G plan.
Every time we contact them, they create a new ticket. Every time, they promise resolution in 24 hours, but nothing happens.

Meanwhile I got my June bill. The 3G charges alone is Rs.3300!!!

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So far, they have only restored my 3G plan. Nothing about why they cancelled it in the first place.

Airtel 3G Billing Fraud-snap20110621_125331.png

Although my 3G plan is restored, it has some catch that I am unable to understand. They still say I only have 60MB limit for this billing cycle, which ends in July 16. So I am paying 450 bucks for 60MB and getting robbed for anything above it?

After doing nothing more, now they want to know whether I am satisfied.

Airtel 3G Billing Fraud-snap20110621_125423.png

So this is how Airtel 3G billing works. It is designed to rob unsuspecting customers. I hereby request every Airtel 3G customer here to check your bill carefully every month and catch any errors in advance. I should have caught it in March, since my bill is paid by the company accountant, I didn't wake up to the fact for 3 months.

Last edited by Samurai : 22nd June 2011 at 15:29.
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Old 21st June 2011, 13:28   #2
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Default Re: Airtel 3G Billing Fraud

This is crazy. Have you escalated it to airtelpresence? airtelpresence (at) airtel.in and same name on twitter/FB.

The average customer care execs are useless in this sense. Esp the ones on email - they are clearly reading challenged and write complete crap. I complained for some service on my landline (01244..) and they disabled it for a delhi landline (0114...)!!

Be very careful - I once got a random advise for downloading a crap game (rs 99). The presence guys got it reversed for me.

Hope it gets reversed for you!!
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Old 21st June 2011, 13:31   #3
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Default Re: Airtel 3G Billing Fraud

I have learnt the hard way, that no matter what your service provider fighting with customer care will yield no results. Send an email to nodal officer for your region, and follow it up on phone.
Once you complain to nodal officer, your problem will be solved.
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Old 21st June 2011, 13:36   #4
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Default Re: Airtel 3G Billing Fraud

Since your complaint has not been resolved satisfactorily, the next logical step would be to write to the regional nodal officer.

Or just write to the same customer care again, but this time threaten them that you would write to the nodal offier if the charges are not reversed. That should be sufficient motivation for them to look into the matter and resolve the issue.

Rohan

Last edited by rohan_iitr : 21st June 2011 at 13:39.
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Old 21st June 2011, 13:42   #5
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Default Re: Airtel 3G Billing Fraud

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
This is crazy. Have you escalated it to airtelpresence? airtelpresence (at) airtel.in and same name on twitter/FB.
Thanks, I just emailed it to them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Once you complain to nodal officer, your problem will be solved.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rohan_iitr View Post
Since your complaint has not been resolved satisfactorily, the next logical step would be to write to the regional nodal officer.
Thanks, I'll email this link to the nodal officer.
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Old 21st June 2011, 14:00   #6
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Default Re: Airtel 3G Billing Fraud

When you opted for the 3G plan, was it mentioned anywhere (in small print, most likely) that the plan would be valid only till 9 Mar ? My guess is they must have included it in the footnote somewhere.
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Old 21st June 2011, 14:04   #7
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Default Re: Airtel 3G Billing Fraud

This is definitely a fraud. See the 2 messages, one says "Your usage as on DD/MM/YY is XYZ MB", the other says "Your usage as on DD/MM/YY is Rs. XYZ ".

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They appear as 2 different messages but still.

Spike

Last edited by SPIKE ARRESTOR : 21st June 2011 at 14:05.
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Old 21st June 2011, 14:51   #8
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Default Re: Airtel 3G Billing Fraud

Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
When you opted for the 3G plan, was it mentioned anywhere (in small print, most likely) that the plan would be valid only till 9 Mar ? My guess is they must have included it in the footnote somewhere.
No, it would be silly if they had something like that. Here is the exact message when they enabled it.

Quote:
Dear XXXX,

Ref: E-mail dated 30/01/2011, requesting for activation of 3G service with Rs. 450/- plan for airtel mobile number nnnnnnnnnn.

Thank you for your mail to Bharti airtel. We are delighted to know of your intent to avail our services and welcome the opportunity to assist you.

We are happy to note your interest in availing airtel 3G services. airtel has been at the forefront of providing innovative services to its customers and it is our constant endeavor to serve you.

We would like to inform you that the 3G service with Standard plan at Rs. 450/- has been activated with effect from 30/01/2011, as per your request.

There is a monthly rental of Rs. 450/- towards the same with usage upto 600 MB and thereafter you will be charged 30 paise/20 KB.

3G is the next generation of mobile communication technology. 3G networks stream data many times faster than traditional networks which means you can enjoy entertainment like never before, download full songs or videos or stream them from your favorite sites, make video calls, connect with friends faster and much more.

For any other assistance/ technical support you may call our Customer Care service at 121 (Toll free) from your airtel mobile number or 9845012345 from any other number.

We hope that we have been able to fulfill your request suitably.

Please do write in for any further assistance.
Yours Sincerely,

XXXXXX
Customer Care
Bharti airtel Limited
Quote:
Originally Posted by SPIKE ARRESTOR View Post
This is definitely a fraud. See the 2 messages, one says "Your usage as on DD/MM/YY is XYZ MB", the other says "Your usage as on DD/MM/YY is Rs. XYZ ".

Attachment 563685
They appear as 2 different messages but still.

Spike
There are different, first one came on Jun 10, next one on Jun 15. You can see the date below each message.
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Old 21st June 2011, 14:53   #9
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Default Re: Airtel 3G Billing Fraud

Samurai, This mobile operator never convey us if the plan has discontinued or a new plan has come..

The plan i was using had high charges for the rent i use to pay.. When i called them up for some reason , they said the old plan has expired . The newer plans where damn cheap when compared to the old plan with higher rent and higher caller rates.

Always upgrade our plan on a 6 month basis coz they loot people by making us stay in the older plan and pay more money.

I think for your case , you need to take up this seriously to the nodal officer or someone senior as the customer care officers simply deviate us to some other lower officers who may be even ignorant on the new plans .
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Old 21st June 2011, 15:08   #10
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Default Re: Airtel 3G Billing Fraud

Customer Care is almost invariably outsourced and you can forget any joy from them. There is some dumb kid manning the portal (both call & mail). So you have to go higher.
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Old 21st June 2011, 15:11   #11
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Default Re: Airtel 3G Billing Fraud

Just realised the similar thing done on 2g plan.

my wifey had opted for the 99rs 2gb download limit plan.
however we always use our broadband-wifi setup(at home and office) whereas the gprs is meant to be used as backup in case of no-power.

So the data download is always far less..less than mb. however the airtel not only charged the rental but also charged for the downloaded kilobytes and that resulted in additional 150bucks for last 3 months.
Just 2 days back we have raised this issue and have been convinced by the customer care to get the things sorted out in next bill.
But why the heck all this headache in first place?
ps: I am still using airtel right from 2003 till now
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Old 21st June 2011, 15:33   #12
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Default Re: Airtel 3G Billing Fraud

I left Airtel long back for similar bull they tried to feed me at that time. I was being charged on roaming rates even after I came back from my vacation. And after their customary circus of switch the phone off/on (never mind that the phone was anyhow off in the plane and was switched on after landing in Hyderabad) they finally would have me believe that it was my phone's fault as it was catching the Kolkata tower even after reaching home! After lot of heated arguments and even my failed, exasperated efforts to 'enlighten' their technical folks on how the GSM system works I finally gave up.
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Old 21st June 2011, 15:44   #13
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Default Re: Airtel 3G Billing Fraud

Just got a call from Airtel customer care...

CC: Sir, I am calling regarding the complaint you had filed.
Me: Ok, go on.
CC: Sir, you had complained that your 3G plan is cancelled.
Me: Yes.
CC: But sir, your account does have 3G plan.
Me: Really, since when? Then why am I getting these big bills?
CC: Your 3G plan was activated on Jun 16th Sir!
Me:
Me: Have you even read the complaint I logged?
...
...
(So I had to recite the whole story again)
...
...
CC: Sir, I will talk to the 3G team and get back to you.
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Old 21st June 2011, 15:53   #14
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Default Re: Airtel 3G Billing Fraud

Same problem i had with a other service provider in mumbai where we have 199/- unlimited GPRS corporate plan which i had activated but i was charged on the usage for nearly a month after that my billing cycle was converted to unlimited one
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Old 21st June 2011, 16:02   #15
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Default Re: Airtel 3G Billing Fraud

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
Just got a call from Airtel customer care...

...
...
(So I had to recite the whole story again)
...
...
I got different type of billing problem(excess charges for unsubscribed pack) with another operator, fed up of reciting the whole story again and again to each person who calls from C C or for feedback

Now thinking to record the whole story once and play it whenever they call up.
Now they have also decided not to reply to the emails, will write to nodal officer.
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