Airtel : Customer Service : Does it really exist?

I have been having issues with my Airtel broadband connection for the last 6 months regularly. I would have called their customer support at least once every 15 days. Somehow things were working till last Friday, and whatever has happened in the last 5 days, i have decided to terminate my internet connection with airtel (after 8 years).

Find the Sequence of Events here.

Fri23rd Oct 1310day 23rd (1:10 PM)
I started getting only 3 Mbps speed (instead of 16 Mbps). I called their customer support and the support guy spent 15 minutes with me over phone trying to change settings, restarting etc. After 15 minutes, he said he will raise a compliant and I will get a resolution in 24 hours.

Friday 23rd (3:00 PM)
I get a call from one of the field engineers regarding the issue and he asked me what time he can visit me to troubleshoot the issue

Friday 23rd (5:00 PM)

A field engineer visited my place. Tried something for 15 minutes (note: i had a slow internet connection. After the engineer did something my internet connection stopped working). He said he is going to get a test modem and will be back in 10 minutes.

I was waiting for him till 6:45, lost my patience and called him. No response. After 30 minutes (2 tries), he finally responded to my call. He said there is some issue in the backend and it will get resolved in an hour (23rd 8:00 PM).

Satu24th Oct 0841rday 24th (08:39 AM)

Internet connection is still not working. No calls from the support team. Got furious. Called the Customer Care and said I had enough and I am cancelling my connection.

 

Saturday 24th (07:00 PM)

Karthik from Airtel Special resolution team calls. He spoke to me for 30 minutes. Tried understanding the issues and said he is shocked that I had to call them so many times in last 6 months. Asked me to give him a chance and he will waive my fees for 15 days. After 30 minutes of discussion, I said ok… will give you one more day, but make sure my connection works.

Sunday 25th (07:00 PM)

Karthik from Airtel Special resolution team calls. Asks how is your connection speed now? Is everything working? I told him that no one from Airtel reached out to me in 24 hours and how will the issue get resolved. Karthik says he got an email from his team that the issue is resolved, hence he wanted to talk to me and show the assurance.

He realized that nothing has happened and wants one more day to fix the issue. Since I don’t have anything to lose, I told him Fine, but I don’t have any hopes.

PS : Thanks to Karthik. I think he gave a sincere try.

26th Oct 1429Monday 26th (14:27 PM)

I get a SMS from Airtel that thanks for contacting us and your issue will be resolved by 11:00 AM on 27th. (Wow!! I didn’t call them. Great SLA game guys!)

Monday 27th (19:00 PM)

Someone from Airtel field support calls and asks for my house location (?). He says that I have asked for a replacement router.

26th Oct 2140Monday 27th (21:45 PM)

I call airtel support again and said, please CANCEL my connection. I don’t have any hope of getting internet connectivity now.

Tuesday 28th (8:30 AM)

Support engineer from Airtel calls and says When can he come and look into the issue. He mentions that you have raised a compliant only yesterday. I lost my cool and told him that I cancelled the connection.

Tuesday 28th (10:00 AM)

Another call from some service team. Wants one more chance. I told her that I don’t have any energy left to explain her and thanked her for calling after 5 days.

Tuesday 28th (11:00 AM)

Another call from Airtel Support saying, I have asked for WIFI connection. I told her, Thanks for calling and disconnected my call.

Few more pointers

  • My airtel cable has been replaced atleast twice or thrice in last 3 months quoting problem with the cable(?)
  • My modem has been replaced only couple of months back
  • I have called their so called highest level of escalation (appellate) also in last 15 days. Not even a call back after that to check whether my issues are resolved.

Following are my conclusion after 5 days of frustration.

  • I understand Airtel doesn’t have lot of competition in Indian market. They have the maximum share.
  • I have this connection for last 8 years. Airtel don’t seem to be caring about their existing customers. There are enough people in India to give business to them and their business seems to be growing.
  • SLA games with their outsourced field service seems to be a normal way of life.

I decided to pay the 1500 RS (What I was paying to airtel) to some other provider. I understand that it is not lot of money for a company like airtel. But I don’t want to spend 1500 for 20 days of internet connection every month.

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