I had just moved to a new house during my second year of engineering. We had to get a new Broadband connection, and I was given the choice of BSNL and Airtel. I knew BSNL was way cheaper, but the service not so good, so I chose Airtel. I totally believed that I even though we'd pay more it would be worth it.
I suddenly received bills for over 5000 rupees for 2 months consecutively. I was on a 4mbps upto 8GB and pay as you go after the 8GB, and knowing my usage, couldn't believe it exceeded by so much. When it happened for the second month, I complained, and after multiple calls and a visit to the Airtel office, they were sweet enough to revoke my bill amount, and re-bill it as if I'd been on an unlimited plan. I then moved to an unlimited plan, 2mbps upto 10GB and 256kbps from then on.
October 2012 - Disconnection Request 1
The unlimited plan went quite smooth for the next 2 years. There were minor kinks, but nothing major. Suddenly from like August 2012, my 10GB would finish in 4-5 days. My usage had not increased, but the billing was erratic. More peeving was the Airtel Smart Bytes page that one gets redirected to after the 10GB is over. It takes you to that page, makes you choose something, and doesn't even redirect you back to where you were. That was straw. I gave a disconnection request stating that I was not satisfied with the billing. I decided to move to a 3g data card or a new connection. But people at airtel wouldn't let me go. To bait me, they offered an 80GB unlimited plan worth Rs.1699 at 30% discount for 3 months. Or so I thought.
November 2012 - I get my bill
My new plan was activated on October 26th, and when I got my bill in November, I was shocked to see the discount hadn't been applied. I gave a complaint. I was sweetly promised it would be taken care of. But I received no calls, no resolution. When I checked the complaint status, it stated "resolved". I stayed adamant and did not pay the bill.
Soon, I started receiving calls from Airtel everyday, asking me to pay my bill. When I narrated to them my discount story, they said okay, disconnected, and then a new person called me the next day asking me to pay my bill. I think if I recall the trauma of those daily calls and my repeating the story, I'll cry.
December 2012 - Pseudo Relief
Finally, in december, after 4 complaints, some one calculated the discount, and told me a number I could pay as my bill amount after the 3 month's rebate. I heaved a sigh of relief. Paid the bill.
But guess what? The next bill also did not show the discount. I made another complaint, got another resolution. Every time, the customer care person said, we can only offer 20%. And I had to repeat my story again. Other question was, so you want 30% discount? I say, I don't want you buggers, you offered it.
Christmas was round the corner. One would think it sets a festive mood. But not for me. The cabling for street lights in my area is being converted from overhead to underground, and in the process, Airtel cables all over the place was chopped.
I should add here, that I work from home. Internet at home is what keeps me going. I had so much planned for that one week.
January 2013 - More trouble
From 25th december to Jan 2nd 2013, all my time was consumed in fighting with Airtel engineers. Once every 2 days a guy would pop in, fix something, say it's solved, run away, but the problem was not solved. If I called him again and said it still din't work, he would point to someone else, and thereafter not pick up my calls.
Somebody rectified on 2nd, and it worked from then. In 2 weeks, it was down again. Another week of fighting. Except I had a datacard, topped up 3g on that(more money lost there), and used it, just to keep my calm, and do my work.
And not to forget, come Jan bill, the rebate was still not applied.
Feb 2013 - End
In the beginning of Feb, I gave another complaint about my rebate. I shouted for 18 minutes at one customer care fellow even though he could not do anything about it other than take a complaint. It gave me crooked happiness - shouting at him.
In a few days, someone resolved the complaint again for me(for the 3rd time). In 2 days, I got the actual discount. He told me 1100 was the amount, I only got 890 as the discount, but I don't care.
And 2 days back, my DSL instability is back. Landline's down too.
At this point, all I am is tired. Tired of having fought for this. Going through the trauma of not having stable internet. Killing time over complaints. Losing money over phone calls to engineers, extra 3g topups, and paying for the weeks of bad internet. Tweeting to @Airtel_Presence and waiting over their false "call back" assurances. Losing my values by pointlessly shouting at customer care reps. Days and hours of unproductivity. Even writing this huge post. Because I need to rant. To someone. Somewhere.
I just placed a disconnection request to customer care(?). And this is it. No internet is better than having you, Airtel. Adios.
PS: I can't even post this blog post right away. DSL is down.