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Old 7th July 2009, 11:48   #16
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Originally Posted by pranavt View Post
Do you buy a CD, drop it on the way home and expect to get another free CD because of your mistake?
Let's compare oranges to oranges to make better sense. When I buy a CD, the transaction is complete once the CD is delivered to me and then it's my responsibility to ensure that I don't drop it.

Similarly in another example that was given about a restaurant. Once I order something the chef start preparing the dish and it is an irreversible process. It's fair for the restaurant to ask the customer to pay for the dish.

In case of buying an online game, the transaction is not complete unless the game successfully downloads on the cell phone. With the kind of connectivity that we have it is highly possible that the download fails. And if I inadvertenly delete the game from my cell phone it is my responsibility but in case the game hasn't downloaded successfully the onus is still with the service provider.

Last edited by akbaree : 7th July 2009 at 11:50.
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Old 7th July 2009, 12:05   #17
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What happened to the handheld video games of yore? It was fun shooting the eggs or blasting the enemy tanks. Simple and sweet.
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Old 7th July 2009, 12:37   #18
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...: point One is the charges...Am i correct here?
Yes and no.

You are right in saying that just because you used the service, you are being charged 99/- even if you did not download any application.

See, companies charge for services in two different ways. One is the basic charge for subscribing to a service, which in this case is GPRS. The next is the charge for downloading anything like wall papers, etc. I think the 99/- is for entering the GPRS zone.

To give another example, take the caller ring back tones or Hello tunes. Each song is priced at 10 or 15 bucks if you download one. But the basic service of Caller ring back tones is charged at a monthly fee of 30 or 20 depending on service provider. So you pay the rental of 30 and over and above that you pay per song.

I think this is what you should check with your service provider.

But one fact remains, that the people at the call centre are unadulterated morons for not knowing anything. I would suggest you look at the bill statement. It will have every charge mentioned in detail.

Another suggestion. Whenever you encounter any problem with your service provider, you have a strong channel called the 'Nodal Officer'. The name and contact details of the Nodal Officer is mentioned in the bill. This is a mandatory requirement of service providers, They have to appoint a nodal officer and mention his name and contact details. Also, they have a binding to respond within 7 days to any complaint (I am not sure of the 7 days part but there is a time limit).

If you write to the nodal officer, you complaint will definitely get attended to as it becomes a serious case once it reaches a nodal officer.

Lastly, maintain records of your correspondence. Very, very important.
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Old 7th July 2009, 12:38   #19
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Originally Posted by pranavt View Post
So you go to a hotel and point at something in the menu, but don't eat it. I doubt they'll let you go without paying. What you could do is contact the CS rep and tell him to escalate your complaint and let you download that game again.
Its more like a cover charge for entering a restaurant. You have to pay it to enter and if you don't eat anything inside, you don't pay anything extra
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Old 7th July 2009, 13:54   #20
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Airtel takes the cake single handedly.
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Old 7th July 2009, 14:44   #21
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Originally Posted by travelwriter View Post
Yes and no.

You are right in saying that just because you used the service, you are being charged 99/- even if you did not download any application.

See, companies charge for services in two different ways. One is the basic charge for subscribing to a service, which in this case is GPRS. The next is the charge for downloading anything like wall papers, etc. I think the 99/- is for entering the GPRS zone.

To give another example, take the caller ring back tones or Hello tunes. Each song is priced at 10 or 15 bucks if you download one. But the basic service of Caller ring back tones is charged at a monthly fee of 30 or 20 depending on service provider. So you pay the rental of 30 and over and above that you pay per song.

I think this is what you should check with your service provider.

But one fact remains, that the people at the call centre are unadulterated morons for not knowing anything. I would suggest you look at the bill statement. It will have every charge mentioned in detail.

Another suggestion. Whenever you encounter any problem with your service provider, you have a strong channel called the 'Nodal Officer'. The name and contact details of the Nodal Officer is mentioned in the bill. This is a mandatory requirement of service providers, They have to appoint a nodal officer and mention his name and contact details. Also, they have a binding to respond within 7 days to any complaint (I am not sure of the 7 days part but there is a time limit).

If you write to the nodal officer, you complaint will definitely get attended to as it becomes a serious case once it reaches a nodal officer.

Lastly, maintain records of your correspondence. Very, very important.
Good to know there is someone whom you can actually approach for such issues. Thanks for the information @travelwriter

I understand the basic charges/GPRS call/session charges and subsription charges for opting certain features(such as CLIP, RBT, etc), but the 99 Rs is a fixed price per game IMO. The other charges of the GPRS relate to the bandwidth used(especially for high bandwidth apps such as online gaming etc) and amount of data downloaded/uploaded etc. The GPRS charges etc are totally the service provider's revenue, and the third party games or other VAS applications are on revenue share basis with the operator and the application host/provider if i am right. Each game costs 99 bucks and that is over and above the basic GPRS call and data charges if i am right.

Let me put it this way, if you talk about the GPRS side we have the serving gateways which are typically linked to the charging entities which define various policies on bandwidth and data usage,and the charging applies as per the policies defined and the usage monitoring also done to keep check on how much data is being downloaded against the balance available for the subscriber etc. Some people in this forum have said that there is no way to detect a particular download or GPRS download is cancelled in between, which may not be true. Me being in the telecom software development field for over a decade now (not on the IP domain but), I very well understand the concept of state machines involved during various calls setup , tear down stages etc etc. At any given point the system that has holds the data/session of the call will at any time know when the call is disconnected or moved on to a different state. I am not sure how it works for GPRS if one was to say that you cannot keep track of the status of the download once it has started.

Sorry going a bit technical but as i understand the software nowadays is so advanced that such things such as monitoring the state of downloads etc are very much possible and probably such things are basic requirements from the Quality of Service perspective.

Anyways , I have learnt my bit, and never ever going to attempt using use this particular service. The worst part is most of Customer care guys really have no clue as to what the issue is , or they are very well aware but keep talking like parrots which is probably the most irritating part of the whole thing. Mind you, I said most of the customer care personnel not all since I have interacted with a few who really understand how to take care of their customers and there might be people associated with the BPO stuff in this forum aswell and my intention is not to offend them. But in general the observation is such.
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Old 7th July 2009, 14:52   #22
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Airtel takes the cake single handedly.
I was charged 350 good ones when I downloaded a couple of stupid games. There were no charges specified & no warnings given. Damn, How I wish there was no balance in my pre paid a/c on that day.
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Old 7th July 2009, 15:15   #23
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Originally Posted by travelwriter View Post
Another suggestion. Whenever you encounter any problem with your service provider, you have a strong channel called the 'Nodal Officer'. The name and contact details of the Nodal Officer is mentioned in the bill. This is a mandatory requirement of service providers, They have to appoint a nodal officer and mention his name and contact details. Also, they have a binding to respond within 7 days to any complaint (I am not sure of the 7 days part but there is a time limit).

If you write to the nodal officer, you complaint will definitely get attended to as it becomes a serious case once it reaches a nodal officer.
This sounds very good in theory. But in case of operators like Airtel, the Nodal Officer simply does not exist. Yes you will find the deails of Nodal Officer, Appellete Authority and all that on the website with the phone nos and email also. Thats just a sham to show that they are complying with regulations. Try calling the Nodal officer - even after 1,000 tries you will only hear an engaged tone or something. Emails will fetch only an auto-reply. Replies are seldom, and if you do get a reply, it can be after a month or two. One look at the replies will tell you that the correspondence is handled by the moronic call-centre dudes themselves. Needless to say, problems almost never find solutions. In fact its very obvious that mostly they don't even bother to understand the problem.

This is true at least for Maharashtra & Goa circle. Dunno what its like in other circles.

Its pretty much planned, I guess. First cheat, and then tire out the customer by letting him fight with this imaginary screen of customer care/Nodal Offices/Apellete officer/etc they have put up. Most will give up eventually and they get to keep the booty.

Airtel has been one of my worst experiences and one of my most hated brands.
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Old 7th July 2009, 15:21   #24
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It's difficult to know whether a download completed or not and so they made it simple - Just charge. That's good.
It is wrong, being working in a mobile company I know how Java Games Download works. They should know whether download is successful or not. They use OTA (Over The Air) protocol in which after successful download device sends acknowledgment. Airtel should know that anyone have downloaded games successfully.

So please check and verify with Airtel.
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Old 7th July 2009, 15:29   #25
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@Raccoon: I have had very good experience with the Reliance Appellate Authority. Once my son had moved from Manipal to Delhi and there was some glitch in moving his connection. It was stuck - Manipal disabled, Delhi not enabled. I mailed the Appellate Authority in Delhi. Within 45 minutes not only was his phone back in business, but also he had three separate calls confirming it. A second occasion was when even though I had taken ISD from the very outset when I required it I found it missing. Three approaches to the Web World did not work. So I mailed the apellate in Lucknow and within half an hour my ISD was functional, and I got a call from the person apologizing for the mix up and thanking me for bringing it to his notice.
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Old 7th July 2009, 16:34   #26
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Originally Posted by anujmishra View Post
It is wrong, being working in a mobile company I know how Java Games Download works. They should know whether download is successful or not. They use OTA (Over The Air) protocol in which after successful download device sends acknowledgment. Airtel should know that anyone have downloaded games successfully.

So please check and verify with Airtel.
Bang on anuj, its not only that, using the OTA they can also find out the handset details and determine if its compatible for such an application or not.
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Old 7th July 2009, 17:28   #27
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@Raccoon: I have had very good experience with the Reliance Appellate Authority. Once my son had moved from Manipal to Delhi and there was some glitch in moving his connection. It was stuck - Manipal disabled, Delhi not enabled. I mailed the Appellate Authority in Delhi. Within 45 minutes not only was his phone back in business, but also he had three separate calls confirming it. A second occasion was when even though I had taken ISD from the very outset when I required it I found it missing. Three approaches to the Web World did not work. So I mailed the apellate in Lucknow and within half an hour my ISD was functional, and I got a call from the person apologizing for the mix up and thanking me for bringing it to his notice.
When was this? Was it before Anil Ambani took over? I had an Reliance CDMA connection couple years ago. In fact it was my 1st cell phone. The customer support and voice call network was really good... on the lines of what you have described. Then Anil took over, and in a nutshell, everything went for a toss. The tariffs were also no longer attractive. Added to this I got fed up of being tied to their handsets. I no longer want to support proprietary technologies like CDMA. The disadvantages simply do not balance the advantages. Last but not the least is Reliance CDMA is terrible for texting. Won't get into the details, but even now when somone (now rarely) sends me SMS thru a Reliance mobile, I get concatenated SMSs in parts of 160 or so characters each. Often one of the parts never reach me. All pretty frustrating.

Anyway, I guess I'm going a bit off topic. To sum it up, after trying all the operators except Tata/Virgin, I have found Idea to be the best (comparatively).

Anyways, I don't know why so many people are getting cheated this way. My way is to simply avoid all kinds of frills. I don't even subscribe to caller ring tones... java games are way off. Anyway, if I really wanna play a game, I'd rather use my PC. I only use my mobile for calls, texting, one once in a while for GPRS (only when I can't be on a PC). The fewer opportunities you give them to rip you off, the safer it is. If you don't like the way something is done, simply avoid that service... or even change the service provider, pronto! Thats the best and easiest way to register your displeasure.

Last edited by Raccoon : 7th July 2009 at 17:29.
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Old 7th July 2009, 17:35   #28
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Bang on anuj, its not only that, using the OTA they can also find out the handset details and determine if its compatible for such an application or not.
If you have some time on your hands, call up CS and try to explain this to them.


But if you have a lot of time on your hands and your sense of humour is good, the potential for fun is awesome.
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Old 7th July 2009, 18:32   #29
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If you have some time on your hands, call up CS and try to explain this to them.


But if you have a lot of time on your hands and your sense of humour is good, the potential for fun is awesome.
True , if one really has the time, we can have a lot of fun, but then whats the point, ultimately the joke is on you since you are the one who is getting ripped off. For the CS guys its just another count to their every day call answered count. There are very few guys who really understand the meaning of customer care. But cant really blame these guys since they are not trained enough on the technical aspects and ofcourse their strenuous regime and working hours really makes it difficult to be pleasant to the hundreds of customers who call them up, but defenitely its a thankless job and it does take a lot of patience albeit forced mostly because of call monitoring etc etc, to still greet everyone with a warm message and keep their tone under check no matter how irritating the customer can be. But then who is to be blamed, is it the CS guys or in general the outlook of the organization towards the meaning of Customer care. For example if there is wrong billing done, or there is some technical issue due to which there was a service disruption, then what are the poor CS guys supposed to do unless they are technically equiped to answer such queries. But all said and done the entire customer service outlook has to change, i am sure it is not that much different else where in developed nations aswell. I have also faced such CS attitude in US aswell. Having said that the CS of the mobile service providers are far better. One has to listen to the CS of the credit card guys. Some of them are pretty rude and have a dont give a damn attitude. Their IVR's are such badly developed applications, I had called the customer care of a leading card and i heard "please hold on, your call will be answered in 1 minute 27 seconds" for more than 10 minutes and i disconnected and called i got patched up immediately. So much for waiting in the queue and letting the callers who called first to be serviced first


one more thing like Racoon mentioned , with so many people being ripped off in the name of Value Added services etc etc, isn't there a governing body to check these kinds of irregularities and address complaints from the customer such as ombudsman for insurance, banking etc. Doesnt the TRAI have any rules on this or they only deal with the spectrum and the money that comes with the licences. VAS is a multi billion dollar market and at this rate, no body is going to make money out this market. If the intention of the service providers is to get their piece of pie in this market through ripping off unsuspecting customers then thats a very bad sign indeed.

Last edited by Rotorhead : 7th July 2009 at 18:38.
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Old 7th July 2009, 18:51   #30
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^^^ There is -

Grievance Redress Mechanism in Government

http://www.dot.gov.in/pgcell.htm

However, its not more than a paper tiger. I have lodged complaints against Airtel several times. All they do is forward your mail to the so-called Nodal/appellate authority of the mobile service provider. After getting zero results from them (DOT), I even tried calling the Director General. I was told the same thing as above. In fact he himself started lamenting the plight of consumers and their inability to do much about the deluge of complaints they recieve everyday (he actually told me that I have no idea how many complaints they recieve every single day). His solution was to ditch the pvt. service providers and patronise state run telcos (BSNL and MTNL).

Its all a sad joke.

Still, try doing your part by putting in a complaint.

Last edited by Raccoon : 7th July 2009 at 18:55.
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