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Old 17th April 2009, 01:55   #46
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d3mon,

Check your PM, I have provided some details which may help get something done.

Last time I had poor service from Airtel and BSNL, quick emails to their chief execs soon got things sorted with local staff from Airtel practically begging to not go to the CEO again and making numerous calls to make sure everything with the service was fine. Same with BSNL, the local regional office sent people to the house to look at everything and again plead not to go to the big boss again.

Its a shame that the only way to get decent service out such companies is by going to the top otherwise they treat their customers very badly.
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Old 17th April 2009, 07:35   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perakath View Post
d3mon:

My Airtel plan gives me outgoing SMS at the rate of Rs.0.05. Five paise per local sms.

However, when my balance falls below the minimum balance required to make a 1-minute phone call-- i.e. Re. 1 --all outgoing calls and SMSes are barred. All outgoing is barred, except to the customer care number and emergency services. (Try calling 100, it should work.) Never mind that I may still have enough balance to send 19 smses as per my plan.

This is Airtel's system. That's the way it is. No offence, but why are you breaking your head over it? Why don't you just recharge your phone and use it, instead of getting worked up over something so trivial?
Ok, This same problem happened to me also, though years ago. And when I called up the CC, the guy on the other end was smart.
My Problem: I have 1.90/- in my account. I have free unlimited SMS package. and I am not able to send SMSes. Why?

This is what he explained:

"The mobile service and mobile billing are two separate systems". Mobile billing system, when requested to deduct the appropiate amount for the sms that you have send will go and check for any special package that you have and will determine how much to deduct(0 in your case). Mobile Service system on the other hand, just determines what is your parent circle, what is your current circle(to establish local or roaming), the service that you are trying to use, (local, national, international) and retrieve the minimum amount of balance that is required to use the mobile service(voice/text/mms).This system does not even know what you are trying to do ie if you are sending a text or voice message(sms or calling). It has no idea of your special packages. It needs to go back to the billing system to get those details. And if for each customer for each use of service, the mobile service system has to go to the billing system for approval, the time to send an SMS or establish a voice call will go up 100 times! Remember this will have to happen for each customer(prepaid or postpaid).
The reason why you are not able to send even an SMS even tough you have enough funds to send 3 smses(@50p/sms vs Re2 per call): For the network, SMS, MMS, Voice are all the same: Some binary information to be send from A to B. Its the devices associated with A & B(where A & B are the mobile numbers and devices are our mobile instruments) that determine what to do with that information. "

--------------------------

I was convinced.


Regards,
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Old 17th April 2009, 11:25   #48
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BSNL is the best. Their service may not be great but they are consistent across the board. You don't feel cheated after using BSNL. Mera Bharat Mahan.
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Old 17th April 2009, 11:27   #49
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Unhappy Too many gory details buddy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by d3mon View Post

Forgive me pradster, but I can't stop myself. 25k ?
I do some frequent flying yaar, have to carry two phones one with a local number of the country that i am in and this airtel with my India number. hence the enormous bills. All thanks to insane cost of calls while roaming!!
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Old 17th April 2009, 11:29   #50
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The mental menu. Sort of how Airtel makes me feel.

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Old 17th April 2009, 11:49   #51
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Had my fair share of experience with these bozos as well. My dad is visiting me from Delhi these days and yesterday, suddenly we find the outgoing has been barred on his phone.

Went to Airtel relationship Center and got to know that some payment is outstanding. He had got the number transferred from a Corporate connection to his name and maybe thats why the confusion arose.

I made a CC payment right there and then and was told that it would be re-activated within 1 hour. To be on the safer side, I was asked to call their Customer Care and inform them of the payment.

I called the dreaded number and was greeted by a 'haryanvi jat' speaking in a typical rowdy way, despite me having selected English as the language option. Anyways, I explained him the situation and he confirmed they have recieved the payment.

Butttt.. it will take them 48 hours to activate the number since this was 'previously' a corporate connection and hence a mail is needed from the company rep. for every thing. I requested him to do the needful on an exceptional basis, since its my dad's birthday and we need the phone to be working today.

The guy put me on a 9.5 minute hold and came back to tell me it cannot be done. Reason - since it was a corporate number, company should have made the outstanding paymentand that too, by cheque (?!?!), and not me (doesnt matter that I am the son!). I mean, I was speechless at this. I lost my temper and reasoned it out with him. After all the morons should be concerned with the payment, not with the fact who made it and by which mode.

I then asked them to cancel the line and got the same reply again - Sir, the company representative needs to send us a mail. I patiently told him that it had been converted into a personal number 3 weeks back.

And then the inevitable reply comes - Sir, our systems are down and not reflecting the latest account status.

Wow, so you mean to tell me that Systems have been down since the last 3 weeks? Or have they not been updated at all??

Another 5.5 minute hold and the dude came back to tell me that he had done a favor on me by re-activating the line.

I think I have had enough. really dont mind shifting my dad to Idea, BSNL, or even Aircel. But no more Airtel for sure.

P.S. When my dad's company shifted their entire customer base from Airtel onto Vodaone, they saved 50% on their monthly billing, despite being on the exact same talk plan. Sounds fishy, aint it??
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Old 17th April 2009, 12:05   #52
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Thumbs down

btw most of the Customer service provided thru telecall is a big farce. You name the sector Credit cards/mobiles/banking/entertainment service . IMO it is still just a way to short change the customer and escape from reality and provide a blanket of time for covering up their service deficiency. we really need strong service regulation & implemention of the same like an other developed economy.
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Old 17th April 2009, 13:40   #53
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Customer care is the first line of defense for these companies.
It allows them to buy time, and frustrate the customer by pitting them against parrots, who have no clue about the situation at hand. These frustrated customers ultimately give up.
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Old 17th April 2009, 14:01   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DieselFan View Post
BSNL is the best. Their service may not be great but they are consistent across the board. You don't feel cheated after using BSNL. Mera Bharat Mahan.
You must be very lucky to not have had any issues so far.

The private telcos are no doubt infuriating when it comes to getting disputes redressed. But IMHO the govt telcos (like all govt companies) are in a league of their own. And not in a good way!

I don't have a specific instance to back up my claim, so let's not fight over this

Quote:
(Posted by amohit) Ok, This same problem happened to me also, though years ago. And when I called up the CC, the guy on the other end was smart.
My Problem: I have 1.90/- in my account. I have free unlimited SMS package. and I am not able to send SMSes. Why?

This is what he explained:

"The mobile service and mobile billing are two separate systems"...
Makes sense to me too. Thanks! Surprising to find a CC executive who knows his stuff, though. He must have been promoted by now

Last edited by Perakath : 17th April 2009 at 14:14.
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Old 17th April 2009, 14:05   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rm_arjuna View Post
btw most of the Customer service provided thru telecall is a big farce. You name the sector Credit cards/mobiles/banking/entertainment service . IMO it is still just a way to short change the customer and escape from reality and provide a blanket of time for covering up their service deficiency. we really need strong service regulation & implemention of the same like an other developed economy.
You will be surprised. - Its the other way around in India, its better if you escalate matters on email to sr management, you get a response.

FYI -1) Skoda India - matter escalated to parent, nett result ? Flowery prose of a letter !

2) Us credit card companies -USA - if you ever get late on a payment, say bye bye to years of painstakingly maintained credit history, you were late on a payment want credit for late fees ? Hah. Never happens.

Only customer service based company is American Express credit cards. AWESOME. !

3) Try cancelling an internet connection in the states, here if you drop in a letter and take an acknowledgement you are safe.
USA - there are no point of presence - very difficult to meet/speak to a person face to face. 90% customer care delivery is by non contact methods.

Indian companies with excellent service - 1) HDFC Standard Life, 2) Central Bank of India. 3) Toyota india/worldwide 4) Dell India. 5) Nike.

Cheers
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Old 17th April 2009, 14:27   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perakath View Post
d3mon:
This is Airtel's system. That's the way it is. No offence, but why are you breaking your head over it? Why don't you just recharge your phone and use it, instead of getting worked up over something so trivial?
No offense taken, perakath.

Of course I got my phone recharged.

But when I am in a free consumer market, and I'm paying for a service, no matter how cheap it is, I expect to be treated like a freaking customer, and be dealt with like one.

Just because customers are stuck with a particular service provider to avoid going through the hassles of changing a mobile no, these firms take undue advantage of that.

Wait till we have the option of number portability in India. Then see how these people bend over backwards to accommodate every whim of ours.

If the company's own customer service center blocks me so I can't get through to them, that's simply outrageous to me, isn't it to you ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigman View Post
d3mon,
Check your PM, I have provided some details which may help get something done.
Thanks.
I have already sent an e-mail to the nodal officer, and if I don't get a reply soon, some people are going to be hearing from me soon!


Quote:
Originally Posted by amohit View Post

"The mobile service and mobile billing are two separate systems". Mobile billing system, when requested to deduct the appropiate amount for the sms that you have send will go and check for any special package that you have and will determine how much to deduct(0 in your case). Mobile Service system on the other hand, just determines what is your parent circle, what is your current circle(to establish local or roaming), the service that you are trying to use, (local, national, international) and retrieve the minimum amount of balance that is required to use the mobile service(voice/text/mms).This system does not even know what you are trying to do ie if you are sending a text or voice message(sms or calling). It has no idea of your special packages. It needs to go back to the billing system to get those details. And if for each customer for each use of service, the mobile service system has to go to the billing system for approval, the time to send an SMS or establish a voice call will go up 100 times! Remember this will have to happen for each customer(prepaid or postpaid).
--------------------------

I was convinced.


Regards,
Ha!
Seems like a load of hot air to me, dear friend.

In this current age of connectivity, do you really think that checking a person's billling plan will take more than an instant?

I have personally designed database systems, which take in thousands of entries a day, and if these can come up with results in an instant, running on barebones desktop PCs, imagine what is possible with server farms that these big guys regularly use for their systems.

Hell, look at google as an example.

If it can look through a TRILLION web records, go through each word on each one of those TRILLION pages in under ummm... let's say 0.1 seconds, Airtel sure as hell can search through properly organized data in a much smaller time than that,
even if we assume each of the over 1,147,995,904 people in India own an airtel mobile !

And if what the customer care exec told you was correct, then their system is not designed to be favorable towards the customers, period.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddy View Post
Guys, Airtel has launched a scheme called Chhota Recahrge, wherein you can send an sms and get 10 bucks worth talktime instantaneously. It will be debited when you recharge next. So make use of it.

Please call up the customer care () to know the exact content of the sms.
Good to know that. Thanks for the info.
Will definitely come in handy sometime.

Though it would have been better if we could avoid the CC route


PS : I was able to get through to the customer care today. When I told her that I was not able to get through to them yesterday, and I had probably been blocked from talking to them, she told that I had been put in a SPECIAL LIST, who could contact customer care through SMS.

So there it is. OFFICIAL CONFIRMATION THAT THESE PEOPLE CAN BAN YOU FROM TALKING TO CUSTOMER CARE SERVICE LEAVING YOU HIGH AND DRY.
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Old 17th April 2009, 14:29   #57
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@ Bigman:
Please do provide their contact details to me too, would love to give them a piece of my mind and get my services to normal!
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Old 17th April 2009, 14:34   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amohit View Post
This is what he explained:

"The mobile service and mobile billing are two separate systems". Mobile billing system, when requested to deduct the appropiate amount for the sms that you have send will go and check for any special package that you have and will determine how much to deduct(0 in your case). Mobile Service system on the other hand, just determines what is your parent circle, what is your current circle(to establish local or roaming), the service that you are trying to use, (local, national, international) and retrieve the minimum amount of balance that is required to use the mobile service(voice/text/mms).This system does not even know what you are trying to do ie if you are sending a text or voice message(sms or calling). It has no idea of your special packages. It needs to go back to the billing system to get those details. And if for each customer for each use of service, the mobile service system has to go to the billing system for approval, the time to send an SMS or establish a voice call will go up 100 times! Remember this will have to happen for each customer(prepaid or postpaid).
The reason why you are not able to send even an SMS even tough you have enough funds to send 3 smses(@50p/sms vs Re2 per call): For the network, SMS, MMS, Voice are all the same: Some binary information to be send from A to B. Its the devices associated with A & B(where A & B are the mobile numbers and devices are our mobile instruments) that determine what to do with that information. "

--------------------------

I was convinced.


Regards,
Does a call get disconnected as soon as the balance is exhausted.
In that case the above system will not work as the balance from a different system is being continuously monitored. That would be a lot more expensive in terms of network round trips.
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Old 17th April 2009, 14:52   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bblost View Post
Does a call get disconnected as soon as the balance is exhausted.
In that case the above system will not work as the balance from a different system is being continuously monitored. That would be a lot more expensive in terms of network round trips.
Good point there, bblost.

Surely if they had two separate systems, and the service system can't query the billing system, there is no way they can disconnect a call mid way.

So it was indeed a load of hot air !
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Old 17th April 2009, 15:08   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d3mon View Post
Good point there, bblost.

Surely if they had two separate systems, and the service system can't query the billing system, there is no way they can disconnect a call mid way.

So it was indeed a load of hot air !
No. As per original description, service system already knows balance on your card, so technically it can decide how long can your call last. In other possible way, it can still query the billing system after call is established and get further details while the call is in progress. This can happen behind the scene without affecting user.

Just wild guesses!
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