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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Quote

“Cities were always like people, showing their varying personalities to the traveler. Depending on the city and on the traveler, there might begin a mutual love, or dislike, friendship, or enmity. Where one city will rise a certain individual to glory, it will destroy another who is not suited to its personality. Only through travel can we know where we belong or not, where we are loved and where we are rejected.”
― Roman Payne, Cities & Countries

The Phoenix Project

It’s been a while since I have enjoyed reading a book end to end. I first heard about this book “The Phoenix Project” last year and it kept appearing in my list for a long time. Recently, I met Vivek Juneja and he was talking about it and I felt that it is time for me to read this one.

There are way too many things one can learn from this book. Irrespective of one’s title and role in Software development, one can enjoy reading this book.

Some excellent comments all over the web
http://cloudarchitectmusings.com/2013/01/28/book-review-the-phoenix-project-aka-karate-kid-meets-devops/
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17255186-the-phoenix-project
http://swreflections.blogspot.in/2013/03/book-review-phoenix-project.html

Happy Reading!

Why no new blog posts these days?

Its been a while since i posted anything here. I was on my way back to the hotel today and was wondering what made me stop blogging.

Energy Level Down

IMO, to do anything in life regularly there are 2 important factors. First, Motivation and then Discipline.

I think i lost the motivation to write and probably thats why i didnt even login to my blog for close to 3 months. This is my “Current state of mind” for whatever reason.

Hope my mindset changes in the positive direction soon and i will start blogging on a regular basis.

In between, I recently became active in twitter. Probably, It’s easier to tweet than post. 🙂

Happy Learning!!!!

Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

The immortals of Meluha

Last week Seema and Jawad talked very high of this Novel “The Immortals of Meluha“. I don’t have the habit of reading Novels very regularly. I inquired more about the Novel and they were surprised that i didn’t know about “The Shiva Trilogy”.

The Shiva Trilogy is a three part Novel and the third part is due this month. There was a very good deal in Homeshop18. I immediately  ordered the combo (1st and 2nd Part) and to my surprise got it delivered in 2 days.

I started reading the Novel yesterday and couldn’t put it down. I finished it in two sittings.

There is only one word i can use to explain the feeling. “Awesome“… Its been more than 2 years since i have read a complete novel or book (First to last page) in one single day.

Om Namah Shivaya!!!

My special thanks for Seema and Jawad for recommending this book to me.

Happy Reading!!!

I liked these sentences….

“A business without a path to profit isn’t a business. It is a hobby.”

“Architects don’t worry about which tiles go in the shower or which brand of dishwasher to install in the kitchen until after the floor plan is finalized. They know its better to decide these details later”

“You don’t make a great museum by putting all the art in the world in a single room  That’s a ware house. What makes a museum great is the stuff that’s not on the walls”

~ from the book  Rework : Change the way you work forever

Am developing a new product. What should i develop first?

We know what we want to build. But we are not sure, what to start with?

This is one of the questions i end up discussing very frequently during my consulting engagements.

Am sure we all agree that there is no straight forward answer to this.

Let us take my favorite example – an eCommerce store. Assume that you are developing an eCommerce application which is going to sell furniture’s.

What are the features one would require?

To sell the furniture, i need a way to
– manage the categories of furniture i am going to sell
– manage the furniture’s in the category
– manage the price for the furniture’s
– manage the orders and fulfill them
– Have a website where users can browse the furniture’s, search for a furniture, view the furniture detail, enter the quantity and place order.
– ….
– ….

Get Started

When i was a developer, if you would have asked me this question on what to start with, i would have said you need a good database design, screens to manage the master data before we can do the eCommerce application.

After burning my hands multiple times with new product development, my current answer would be to build the most important feature from in this list without which the eCommerce store is useless.

Take the Groupon example which Eric Ries talked in his book Lean Start up. Groupon first built their site using a word press blog, maintained those pages on a daily basis, went to market, took the feedback before building the actual website.

The Key here is to look at the pieces in the equation that cannot be removed.

I can maintain my master data even using scripts. But without the eCommerce website (it could even be a blog) you may not be able to sell anything. Start building things which are the core of your system.

Do not waste your time in building things which are not highly important. All those subsidiary features can be built later.

IMHO, The most important role in product development is Product Owner. If you have one, who can do the right prioritization i am sure you will have a successful product.

A Related example:

Start at the epicenter

Happy Learning!!!!

Image courtesy of idea go/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net