Airtel and a Hero’s Journey — The Bladesmith and the Coin

Digitally. A hero’s journey.

It started with courtesy. A promise. Sign up. Take off. Airtel 2013.

Two heroes are on the same journey. Their swords are crafted by the same bladesmith.

Committed to the cause, they enter the inmost cave.

Raising their swords as they marched, and at the highest point of resurrection, courtesy goes off for a toss. One sword gives up. It folds in itself to a useless feather… as if the hero was a fairy. As if Airtel owns the right to stop its services, anytime, without any prior notification and alert, without a courtesy and common sense, assuming that customers can call 4 times within 16 hours to know the status, knowing that customer is struggling in any case.

Two 4G internet connections. At the same location.

One is not working because it was registered at a location where service is in maintenance by the vendor. So, the connectivity is routed by the document where location was mentioned while buying this connection, and not by the actual location of the device. Long live the bladesmith.

A little movement across the oculus in the cave meant that the coin was gone.

The hero with a blue light returned with the exhilir.

The other one with red light returned with hope. He preferred to walk.

On way back, the walking hero found another coin. He looked carefully and noticed that the same bladesmith is engraved on its either side. Courtesy and the bladesmith.

The light is on.

[Updated on 21 June]

A lot of shit happened in Airtel since the day I published the post. A timeline view really tears down the shitty people in Airtel.

12 June

No call, no update, no message.

6 days of internet not working.

At around 3:00 PM, I find courage to call again at customer support.

Tusha (or Tushar/Kushal) picks and he disconnects the call. I talk to Ankit, and request him to disconnect my Airtel connection. He says systems under maintenance and so he could not take my request. I am very sure he was Ankit. I call again, and talk to Rajat. He said, I never talked to Ankit, but it was Wasim. I never talked to Wasim, some nexus is going on. Look at the gap, and by now I was not surprised at anything happening inside Airtel.

Nonetheless, Rajat accepts my request to disconnect the airtel connection.

Best is yet to come.

13 June

An executive from Customer Experience team — Samridhi Jain calls me for all details. She may be from ‘Customer Retention’ team, but I am not sure. She sounded a little genuine relatively, and I told her whole story. I think the call lasted for 20–25 minutes, she understood everything and she said she will write an email to Punjab circle immediately, for an escalation. She promised that she will send an executive to my office for a personal visit.

14 June

No call. No text. No email.

15 June

No call. No text. No email.

(Can you believe it? Seriously? After all escalations, and after all promises, and when a customer’s internet is not working for 9 days by 15 June, Samridhi just cheated me again as all other executives did. )

16 June

By then, I was very relaxed because Airtel was only living up to its reputation. So, there was nothing unexpected.

16 June

Since I had given a *disconnection* request on 12 June, I thought of checking the status and called the customer-who-cares. Sujoy picked the call.

Living up to Airtel’s reputations, he told me that my case IS NOT ESCALATED yet. He told me that Samridhi had sent an email immediately on 13 June, but there is no response to that email by 16 June. So, the case IS NOT RAISED. Four days and no response AFTER an escalation to customer experience team.

I smiled. Away.

20 June

I prepared a timeline document and shared it to nodal officers and appellate offices in Punjab, Chandigarh, Haryana, Delhi, and Mumbai, as below.

Within a couple of hours, a lady called me from Airtel Chandigarh office and her (as I expected) stupid question was “What is your concern, what you want to know”. (She was polite because she had no choice.) After five minutes of brainstorming, she could tell me that my number was disconnected.

(So it means that Customer Experience team’s Samridhi Jain’s promise were false when she called me on 13 June. She promised that someone will call me but nobody called me (to try to retain), and so they were happy to let me go. Common sense prevailed in the end.)

So the so-called leading brands in India are setting up standards and examples for the next generation entrepreneurs. Who cares if I lose a customer? The Airtel employee just walks downhill, settles their puff, smokes the email, and then back to their chair for the next email. Who cares as long as they are getting paid and as long as Airtel is making money, even if by selling shit in the name of cakes?

PS: I know that Airtel will ask me for the bill even for the days when my Internet was not working. I am waiting.