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Don't trust Airtel!

Complaint Rating:  87 % with 393 votes
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I have just bought a new prepaid Airtel chip (No. 99031-7607X). I wanted to know the GPRS settings. First of all navigating through the IVR of Airtel is painful because you have to wait till the voice stops parroting. Then, if by chance you enter a number (option) twice, you get disconnected. When you do choose, for example, English Language, you don't get an option to connect to Customer Care. Only after I learned that you must dial the secret number "9" at the secret point in the IVR do you get connected to Customer Care.

The Customer Care really don't care about the customer. Perfect parrot in practiced English dictions, a little off-beat question confuses them thoroughly. They put you on hold and ask their supervisor. In my case, I was told to dial 7070 for technical assistance. I asked whether the number was toll-free and "yes" came the reply.

I called 7070. They had no idea regarding GPRS settings (AND THEY CALL THEMSELVES TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE?) and asked weird and vague questions and finally said they had no idea regarding my question. Ah well! I always knew they were dumb. After hanging up, I was shocked to see my balance depleted for Rs 26.xx for a less than 10 min call.

Moral of the story: Don't trust Airtel. Don't buy Airtel. If you can't afford Hutch, go without a phone. Hire a messenger to send your messages. Above all, don't call customer care and waste your time. Buy some other card. Even an out-of-state on roam SIM.
Complaint comments Comments (5244) Complaint country India Complaint category Telecommunications


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N  17th of Jul, 2006 by    0 Votes

Airtel - Worst customer care

I am using airtel connection more than 6 years, since past 3 years i see airtel cheats everyone in india. In such a way they use marketing tactics get customer and cheat them. Now this is new way in india big telephone companies are start cheating. It was my 5th time i was cheated by airtel about false information. Everyone knows that interstate for calls made local by bharathi (airtel) and bsnl. Recently i got sms message like ' recharge for 440 get rs 100 normal talktime and 400 mins of free local airtel to airtel talktime'. I got recharged and i got rs 100 talktime and 400 mins aitel to airtel. But the think is after i made several calls to my brother, he is in same state and another city i got charged from my normal talktime. Airtel gives the meaning that here local means only local city it seems, i called up asked about this and i got shocked 'airtel knowingly does everything ' - 'airtel the clever cheater' the call center guys are also gives the same meaning that what i was that, after they clarified with the manager, they can able to give different meaning.

So far at least i inquired many who're unwillingly holding that number just sake of retain the old number. This is really f***ing company. Don't get cheated. Almost it cheats everyone in different way. Many people are crying because of these cheats.

Beware of airtel. Go for bsnl or reliance (these guys having poor service but never cheats others).
N  17th of Jul, 2006 by    +1 Votes

Airtel - Worst customer care
United States

I bought AirTel Pre-Paid phone, and it didn't get activated for three days, in spite of me calling everyday, and those folks offering an excuse that activation may take up to 24 hours (first day), 48 hours (second day) and 72 hours (third day). Then I finally went to the shop from where I had got the phone, got a contact to call from them, and my phone was active within thirty minutes.

Then I entered a Rs. 350- value card, and without using the phone, I found that merely Rs. 12- were remaining in my account. Called them up, and they said that I listened to songs for that much money. When I said that it was not so, they said they would investigate and get back to me within 48 hours. After not hearing, called them again, and got yet another excuse. Right now, they have been telling me that I made some obscene number of calls to KBC. Their other excuse is, you had called us about 5 minutes back, so your account is locked, and call after an hour, although the truth would be that that is the only time of the day I had called them.

Anyway, the bottom line is, these AirTel folks are cheats. They eat away about Rs. 200 - out of the Rs. 350 as some fixed charges, and eat away the remaining through other unfair means. Shame on AirTel.
N  17th of Jul, 2006 by    +1 Votes

Airtel - Worst customer care

I had purchased an airtel student pack connection through my brother Vijay Karthik nearly 2 months ago, for my new Nokia 6230 i. I was so eager to explore the various value added services compatible in my new mobile. So, I requested the airtel customer care ( my service providers) for the activation of my GPRS facility, almost a month ago. I was repeatedly told that it would be activated within 24 hours, whereas nothing has happened in the last 30days *24 = 720 hours.

I have called more a dozen times and have spoken to as many customer care representatives too. But I must confess that only my calls were attended to and not my requests. (I wonder whether this is part of the training programme of the airtel customer care forum, to effectively mock helpless customers like us.)

Now after the first few calls that were obviously ignored, i was more persistent requesting for details of the actual procedure. I was informed by your customer care rep. Karthik of Chennai that I have to type MASALA in caps. and send sms to 646, which I have done several times. I only receive a message thanking me and promising some settings shortly, but nothing happens thereafter.Then he tells me that my request is already activated and all that must happen is just receive the settings, which he said would happen in 24 hours (of course - standard - right ?). But I must tell u i have spent another 24 *25 days = 600 hours but nothing has happened as yet. Well, this Karthik, ur rep. was also making it very obvious that he was annoyed with my repeated requests and was more than harsh in his language. (Of course they are tyrained to be so... one wonders. May be he expected me to keep my mouth shut like the many other helpless victims such as me.) He also gave a promise / word saying that everything would be ok within 24 hours, failing which I can reach him anytime. But that has not happened. Neither have i got what I asked for nor was i able to get him on the line ( obviously he was avoiding me ).

Now I have also made as many requests for a reference no. or a complaint no., something that would give me a hold, for me to follow up on the service that appears wanting regarding my requests. But i am never given any such a thing. All i hear is the same crap of 24 hours. They know as well as i do, that once they have seen my call through, They are scot free. I am not going to get them on the line the next time. Its going to be somebody else. Thats the probability. So, its just passing the ball to someone else so that they face the responsibility or they do the same passing game, for who cares for the customer around here. I have spoken to Farhat of chennai after my ordeal with Karthik. All these people are from Chennai. She even promised to send me a mail and took my e- mail id regarding my status. Its a week and half now and I am still waiting for her mail cause i am so stupid, right?

Well after Farhat came Rajkumar. I remember all these people so well cause thats what they put me through. Finally it was Ram this morning. He really made me go over the edge, with his same indifferent attitude, plus a bonus of being either too dumb to understand my request or was probably playing too smart to make me give up on him. This fellow even had the audacity to be snobbish and reveal the true attitude, that he or none of them really cares for the customer. His logic is simple, but unappreciative. If i had called for one whole month, i must still be capable of making one more call tomorrow. Well, if this kind of statement is what u call logic and care and help, I say the whole damn thing is that u r running is a zoo and what u really do tot he customer is fraudulence and injustice. Ur system and the ones I have mentioned about, have duped me of my money, my faith, belief, respect and peace of mind. Well, since its Airtel - express yourself, I thought it would be no harm to really express myself to whoever is out there to listen .Well when i asked for the supervisor of the customer care reps. to register the complaint, i was not given access and this raj Kumar as usual made the same promise of 24 hours and hung up on me.

Am i happy to be a customer of Airtel. You guess. We have 4 airtel connections, 2 reliance, 1 hutch, 1 tata indicom walky and VSNL broadband network in our house. Now I am sure there is going to be some serious alterations with the first 4 connections. May be u really don't care losing 4 connections cuase u have a huge customer base right. But I am sure u may not have the same luxury for long with this zoo u r running around here and the bunch of clowns working for u. I am sorry for belting my emotions right out here this way, but I really wanted to let someone know of my pain. I would appreciate a reply given by Whoever is concerned with this dept. and is in the authority to do the needful and give a suitable explanation. Thank you.

P.S. Did i mention about my brother Vijay Karthik - no. 98400 59718, who went through a similar ordeal two months ago. Well If not, don't worry, u r going to hear from a lot of us shortly. U have it coming, i promise. Thank you. waiting for ur response.

Another unhappy and enraged customer,
N  18th of Jul, 2006 by    +1 Votes

Airtel - Worst customer care

I am very disappointed by the service offered by Airtel and the worst is that no body is there to listen, all gives you the false statements.

I took my postpaid connection (9810374456) three month back. last month My phone got disconnected with out any prior notice. I talked to customer service guys they told me that it was due to some technical problem and they were forwarding my problem to technical department and within 4 hrs my connection will be restored. But even after 10 days I didn't heard anything from them. Meanwhile I talked to customer care guys for few more times and all the time they gave same false reason. Finally I went to One of there franchise at East of kailash. The staff were so irresponsible there that for half an hrs they didn't listen my problem and when I shouted on them one of them came and finally listen my problem. There I came to know that I have crossed my credit limit, which was actually a new thing for me because this basic thing was not told by there executive who come to start my new connection. They told me that pay the bill amount and connection will be restore within 4 hrs. Anyhow I paid the full bill amount and it has been more than a week since I paid the bill my connection is still not connected. I talked to customer care yesterday at 6 pm to ABHISHEK there Customer care guy he also told me that my connection will be restore with in 4 hrs which is eventually still not connected. This is the worst king of service offered by AIRTEL, now I am already took new connection of reliance and no more interested in AIRTEL.
N  18th of Jul, 2006 by    +2 Votes

Airtel - Worst customer care

I had switched from other mobile service to Airtel (Mobile # 9876045453) with view that Airtel is doing well in other states and it will be doing good in Punjab as well but it will not be incongruous to mention that it is the worst among all.

Please find enclosed the below mentioned facts proving the above mentioned fact.

1. I have got a connection, which is not accessible from landline phone from my native place (Ahmedgarh STD code 01675) so my parents, friends etc. are unable to reach me. (Utter failure in providing basic service).
2. SMS service (both local as well as National) is not working. I am unable to receive SMS from any service provider including Airtel (only received messages from Airtel customer care like activation of service etc.) but able to send SMS to Airtel number only.
3. All the outgoing SMS have been charged though it is not delivered. I was told by customer care that all undelivered SMS would not be chargeable.
4. Requested for GPRS connection under corporate plan on 18th Feb'05 and was not activated till 24th Feb'05 and on 23rd Feb'05 I was informed by Airtel customer care that I can't get GPRS connection under corporate plan committed by Airtel and on 24th Feb'05 I received SMS that GPRS connection under corporate plan has been activated. I have lost so much due to all this, which I cannot explain in this letter.
5. In my bill for this connection, I have been charged for GPRS connection as per normal plan i.e. Rs 600/- per month although I have received SMS that my plan charges are Rs. 99/- per month for first six months, Rs. 300/- for next three months and Rs. 600/- onwards. I had also confirmed my bill plan for GPRS connection after receiving SMS from AIRTEL and I was confirmed that it is same as mentioned in SMS.
6. My request for activation for roaming has been taken while stating that there is no roaming rental under this category (Corporate Self Paid plan) and during confirmation call for activation of roaming I was informed other way round.
7. Registered on www.airtelworld.com for e-billing and prompted a message that password had been sent by SMS on the mobile number but couldn't receive the password due to issue mentioned in point 2.
8. I had been informed that GPRS connection can be activated by sending SMS request 'GPRSCORP' at 700 (toll free number) which is free of charge. On the contrary I have been charged for this SMS as well.

I got different answer for same query from different representatives in Airtel customer service (121 service) and it indicates that Airtel doesn't have any process in place to look after their customers and only untrained people are handling customers and tell whatever comes in their mind. I was applaud to listen the suggestion from one of the executives attending my call that 'Get the roaming activated and I will come to know whether there is any rental or not' in my next bill. So experimentation on its customer is part of Airtel customer service process.

It hurts when one has to pay for services for which he is deprived of. Under such circumstances, I would prefer to discontinue with the service if Airtel is unable to provide tolerable level of service being a service industry.

Moreover Airtel customer care is hesitant to write customer complaint and providing the complaint number. On insisting to provide complaint number I was told that it is a general complaint fro other customers as well so we can write a complaint in this regard and it will be resolved within 24 hours.

I will appreciate the consistency maintained by Airtel customer care executives attending the call while answering any problems with the pet answer.


This 24 hour commitment is never fulfilled practically and I don't understand why do Airtel representative feel shame in telling the truth while attending customer call. Did customer do any crime that he should be victimized for this new series problem?

My brother is holding AIRTEL connection in Delhi region and he appreciates about the service level there so it is strange why same company is unable to maintain the standards in Punjab.

There is more to mention but I think it is sufficient to convey message to management about the service level of AIRTEL in Punjab region.

In Nutshell, I feel like that I have done blunder by switching to Airtel and don't hesitate to commit for services while issuing selling new connection which they are unable to provide at all in committed time frame and force customer to chase them. At the same time Airtel makes sure that customer is charged for above mentioned services.

Vishav Bandhu Singla
Mobile: - +91 9357327472
N  23rd of Aug, 2006 by    +1 Votes

Airtel - Bharathi - Billing issue

My billing for last month was INR 522. But airtel has debited 2 different amounts from my account due 2 ECS. I have already fax my bank statement to airtel. It has been 20 days that executives r communicating to me that they will revert to me with the solutions, but still no response.
N  24th of Aug, 2006 by    +1 Votes

Airtel India - Your calls will be barred today!

After one month of using a fresh card I received an sms today from Airtel saying "we are unable to verify your address, listed with us. Since verification is mandatorya as per Govt. rules, your calls will be barred today"... Aug.24,2006. 13:38:12 hours.

Subsequently, I learnt from the Airtel center on Kammanahalli Main Road (next to Niligiri's) that the actual reason, asking for the subscriber to re-submit the supporting documents, was that my earlier application along with my supporting documents had been misplaced by Airtel's office in Bangalore. Hence, the sms as quoted above.

I don't expect a follow-up on the basis of my complaint but the issue in question indicates the utter callousness of the staff involved.
N  2nd of Sep, 2006 by    +1 Votes
Hello, from the last 4 days i am not able to make outgoing and incoming calls ..i dont know why ....i have emough balance in my cell and have validity too...when i asked to customer care they tells that ur documents were not submitted but i have submitted a long period before..plzz reply
N  3rd of Sep, 2006 by    +1 Votes

Airtel India - Delay of more then 10 days

I am a customer of airtel india from last 6 consecutive years. i took a new postpaid conn. for my fiancee, and after a month shifted it to prep[aid. I applied on 26 of august 2006. was promised to get the connection started within 24 hours. but till now, 3rd of september 2006, it is not started. i called at least 50 times to airtel but every time get same reply, "u ll get this started within 1hr."
The most embarassing thing was, when i went to the airtel india jaipur headoffice at ganpati plaza, i met an executive named VIBHUTI. she really misbehaved like anything and said" humari marzi hogi tub chalu kurenge, aapko jo kurna hai vo karo". I said, please give me in written that there is no fault from my side but she refused like anything.

N  4th of Sep, 2006 by    +1 Votes

Airtel India - Improper services

Having received best service provider award, airtel should provide the best services to its customers. Even I was among the many who have faced so many problems with Airtel. My connection was disconnected 2 times without any reason. When i contacted Customer Care people i used to get fake responses saying that my connection would get reactivated within one hour,1/2 hour etc; and the most interesting part is the answers given by CC people will not match with each others. Even they have given useless answers to me sometimes.

So many times the call got disconnected after holding for 10 to 15 min. When ever i call them they used to give a so called Complaint no which is really useless. There was no proper coverage in our area when i have taken the connection. I have reported the same to CC and again i received answers that a new tower will be installed within 1 month and this 1 month became 2,3 and so on.

Hope being a largest service provider it will improve its services and provide proper responses to the customer.
N  21st of Sep, 2006 by    0 Votes

Airtel Prepaid Connection - Deduction of whole balance

I have been using Airtel prepaid Connection (9880364935) for about 2 years in Bangalore. And I had a balance of 1800/- Rs on 1st of Sept. I went to my native place and couldn't recharge when I was there. After coming back to B'lore when I checked my balance, the whole amount 1800/- was deducted. I raised a complaint with Airtel customer care but for no use... they closed the complaint saying that the amount was deducted from my account as I didn't recharge within the grace period. Its very unfair... they can deduct some amount as fee but shouldn't deduct the whole amount... After all the money is mine... when I didn't make calls for that... how can they deduct the whole amount?
N  21st of Sep, 2006 by    +1 Votes

Airtel India - Misscommunication for Internet Connection on Mobile

I have been told by your executive that Internet facilities on my number 9818701032 this going to be Rs. 99/- per month with full downloads but I have been charged for internet using Rs. 499/- which I am not support to pay to airtel. This was a complete false promise from your side. Plz due the needfull for me as soon as possible. I am not going to make a payment for internet use more then rupees 99/-.

And Again told by your executive (Mr. Jatin) that Internet facilities on my number 9818701032 this going to be Rs. 99/- per month with full downloads.........

This is a Corporate Connection (Self Paid).......

Thanking You,

Vipin Manohar

Plz do the needful for me as soon as possible..................
N  23rd of Sep, 2006 by    0 Votes
This is Rajesh communications Easy recharge mobile no 9818531421 Faridabad (Haryana). This is submitted that on 14-9-2006 easy recharge server was very much down so in one mobile No 9871660759 I recherged two times of Rs 100/- But custmer has recd one message at 7:36PM & accordingly he is given one time credit Rs 89/- only. As per custmercare records recharge has been done two times accordingly my balance is is also reduced. It is there fore requeted to look into the matter so that message is recd to the custmer. cutmer has also talked to ur custmercare today at 8:30PM on my help line No 711 but is not satisfied with the reply.Ur r therefore requestd to look into the matter & satishfy the custmer of Mobile No 9871660759 by providing a quality service to avoid complications.

Rajesh Communications
E-recharge mobile No 9818531421
There is no responce of the above complaint since 16-9-2006
A  23rd of Sep, 2006 by    0 Votes
Airtel seriosly look into matter to avoid loosing custmer. If above comlaint is not attended by providing a quality service to the custmer. Airtel may loose the custmer.
N  25th of Sep, 2006 by    +1 Votes
I got out of tamilnadu to hosur, from that time my cell is not working the customer reps are dealing with this forever. Poor service and no one taking responsibility.
A  5th of Oct, 2006 by    +1 Votes
To Airtel:
This is UdhayaKumar, Ph no 9945931377, Bangalore.
I applied for a Migration form prepaid to post paid connection on the 7th of september,2006.
With B.R. Management Services, Blue cross chambers,Infantry road, Bangalore.
I submitted all the required documents on the 7th itself. i was told that the post paid connection will be activated after 7 days. After the 7th day(14th sep) i went to an Airtel customer care store in koramangala. They asked me to contact the service agency who provided the sim card. So i went and sopke to Kiran at B.R. Management services. They once again asked for my documents, so i gave the orignal docunents the same day. Then i was pormised a 3 day activation. After the 3rd day i again went to the airtel customer care store, they again were helpless. Finally after the 23 days an airtel representative came to my house for verification and he said all formalaties are completed and it will be activated in 24 hours. Now its 3 days less for a month to complete from the date i applied.

If i had known that a migration from prepiad to postpaid will be so complicated , id have never applied for it, rather never taken an airtel connection, my phone number is established amoung my family friends and business, i have no other choices , i have to live with it.

If anyone in Airtel has a little concern for its poor customers, please look into my case and try helping me.

Yours Terribly Frusturated & Helpless,

Note: A general Suggestion for the public, Please approach corporate officies directly for any kind of services or quries.
A  6th of Oct, 2006 by    +1 Votes
Airtel customer cares are great, great enough to give 121 for all the mess. My phone was dead and I do not have an Airtel mobile or landline nearby moreover 121 should be done only through Airtel and afterall I somehow managed to do 121 through my friend's and to my annoyance I was asked to key in some secret code, I do not know what the damn ### they are asking for one to contact customer care, do you think these formalities are needed, I completely fed up.

Airtel is making a huge mess and making lucrative business out of this mess.

You Airtel rogues think if one can make 121 through dead phone...
N  7th of Oct, 2006 by    +1 Votes

Airtel India - Package not clarified

Myself, harpal singh from distt. bathinda, punjab bought a post paid connection from local airtel office and the clarification was made false.the main purpose of buying the connection was to surf the internet using gprs. the executive told that airtel does not charge any surfing charges and the downloading charges are applicable as 10 paise for downloading 10 kbps. but within three days of using the bill added to Rs.4600 and when asked from the office it was brought to notice that even the surfing charges were also applicable.this has been wholy due to not delievering proper information about the gprs. at present there is no liabily or intention of mine to pay the bill under any circumstances.
N  18th of Oct, 2006 by    +1 Votes

Airtel India - Wrong information given leading to excess bill amount (post paid)

1. I was given the benefit of 49 p calling without paying anything extra.But I was not informed about the validity of this scheme..so I made calls according to 49 p only… which led to a huge bill amount... which I cannot afford.

2. Also my outgoing is barred…

3. I talked to customer care many times..n I was even assured of the waiver by one of the senior members of airtel mr. ankur.he assured me of the discount n he was to give me a call… but I received no call from airtel regarding this.

People beware!!!

Thank you,
Yours Truly,
N  27th of Oct, 2006 by    +1 Votes

Airtel - Worst customer care

I have activated masala offer, on the assurance of airtel customer care that no extra charges are deducted. But after activating that offer i got message that 30 rupees is deducted towards VAS charges. i dont know what is that VAS charges.

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