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Airtel Call Home To India / phone service or fraud?

75% 12
Please do not waste money on Airtel callhome to India. There is nothing about this company that works. The acct number and pin number they give you do not work, their customer service phone never works. They do not respond to your E mail. They took my money 20 dollars, i have yet to make a phone call. Best service appears to be Reliance India call. Airtel website is lousy. You can not even log on or register your phone numbers. I will take my dispute to credit card company and get my money back.. VERY VERY BAD, Please stay away from airtel callhome to India from USA


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D  18th of Dec, 2006 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I have to disagree here

My own experience: I was able to easily sign up for Airtel Callhome and make calls without any issues. That the service is cheaper is really a no brainer. And the voice quality is awesome.
A  19th of Dec, 2006 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Bharti Airtel launched their India calling service for US based NRIs called www.airtelcallhome.com last week. It was launched with such a big bang that most desis were talking about it at work. The catchpoint was 7.9 cents per minute and the best part was the signup bonus of free minutes. Add all this to the brandname and brand ambassadors behind Bharti - Everyone was gaga about this.

I too like most desis use Reliance India Call to call home. It costs 12.9 cents per minute and is very reliable. I immediately thought that Reliance will have to cut their rates to compete. Next day I tried registering at their site. The ordeal that followed was nighmarish

1) To start with, the site was extremely slow
2) During sign up, the website captured all details except my phone numbers. No matter how many times I try updating that field, it comes with with the message "There was some error in updating your registered number".
3) After the registration, they assigned a login id which was a random number. How the hell am I supposed to remember a random number to login in everytime? Usability went for a walk !!!
4) I thought to myself, I have seen this.Its just teething issues. They just went live couple of days back and maybe they are working on it. Let me try calling home. But what followed even more terrible. The calls got cut every 3 minutes and it was extremely frustrating. The saving grace was the sound quality during the time the call was on.
5) I tried contacting their support thru their "Contact Us" link. In the comments field (textarea) no matter how much text I fill, it says I have left it empty. Some amazing Javascript work there...

Overall I was very happy to see my favorite Indian company launching such a service for people like me but the happiness has turned into frustration in no time.

This kind of makes me think what kind of testing would they have conducted before launching the service? I am sure they never did any kind of load testing or performance or stress testing. The management was just eager to upset Reliance and in the process has compromised quality. All my friends who used the service last week were disappointed just like me.

2 things Bharti could have done
1) Gone the old fashioned way and do some thorough testing of their systems and account for some load given the attractive price point at which the service was launched
2) Gone the GMAIL way where they should given out membership by invitation only. They could have tested the load incrementally and signing up for this service would have become something like a "Must Have" thing very quickly by word of mouth.

Anyway, they went with all guns blazing when all they had was only water pistols.

I am busy during weekdays and cannot call India on those days. Saturday mornings are the time for India calls. Last Saturday at around 10 AM, I tried calling the Airtel Number for 15 mins and it was busy.

The website sucks big time. Complaint page does not work. I wonder how to escalate this to the topmost management.
Any ideas?
A  19th of Dec, 2006 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Airtel is a fraud company. They already take my $s and not sending any mail.
Airtel Callhome have some problem my all friend that they register not getting mails.
The best thing is that for Airtel..They have to generate the reports based on ID and if ID is still activate and not using the allocated call time then they refund the money based on ID.
But i think Mittal's have some IDEA to refund the money.
I have lost my money and i don't know how to ### this airtel service. Really very ###ING services by MITTALS.
A  20th of Dec, 2006 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Please do not go on airtelhomecal. its' really a fraud company. i am trying to reach customer service but there is no customer service at all. i am really fed up by trying the nos. i have registered with them and tried to give mails but all the mails were bounced becoz of wrong mail ids. so kindly do not believe the airtel service. even i did not get my money back.
A  20th of Dec, 2006 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I spent twenty five dollars but cannot make a single call today. The 1877 number is busy and so is their customer service number.

I am feeling absolutely cheated by this service.
A  24th of Dec, 2006 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Even from registered ph. no. we need to dial lengthy account and pin no. Customer service, email or online feed back never works. Don't waste your money,
A  25th of Dec, 2006 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I also lost money. There is absolutely no response from the company. The only way to deal with it is to talk to my credit card company and get the transaction cancelled. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY. Right now reliance is also offering the same deal, so go there and recharge your account!!
A  27th of Dec, 2006 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I have so far, lost $150 because I have used my 3 2 cards. I thought there is something wrong with my cards,but later found that nothing was wrong with my cards. They have charged my cards. Very bad experience with Airtel.
A  28th of Dec, 2006 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Every should file a complaint wit NY state Attorney regrading this companies consumer fraud. I lost $200.
A  31st of Dec, 2006 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
AIRTEL STINKS.... I could never even reach the toll free customer service not even once out of the gazillion times I have dialed the number.. Their toll free number is equally bad... Airtel stinks. Don't even think about using Airtel...
A  22nd of Jul, 2008 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I charged my CC for 25$. It worked for one day. The next day when I gave a message that ' Account is Locked' . Called customer service and they asked me to send a email with my request. It is almost 2 months I have never herad back from them. I have been calling up the customer service but they gave me the standard answer to contact by email.
I have contacted my CC company and also reported to the Best Business Bureau.
I will advice not to use AIRTEL or use it on your own risk.
A  25th of Oct, 2008 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
if you ask me, reliance calling card is the best one around.have been using it for one year now and i get good voice quality, fast connections, and virtually zero call drops.i learnt that they slashed their effective calling rates this festive season to about 5.9 cents/min and are also giving away 120 mins free talktime to all their customers.Makes sense to go for it.

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