It took five weeks for Airtel, the supposedly most reliable mobile and broadband service company in India, to connect Internet in my house when I moved there last year.
The day Airtel finally came (on a Friday around 9:30 PM), there were five technicians in my living room… one was holding the computer, one was reading some kind of manual, the other was proofreading what the guy holding the computer was typing, and the other two were watching supervising what the other three were doing (I assume).
Since I recently moved to a new apartment with an existing Internet connection, I stopped by the office of my previous provider to inform them that I am canceling the service. It is true, I confess, that I didn´t have any bill or account number with me, but they were not able to locate my phone number in the system, perhaps because it´s from another mobile company (Aircel). The next thing they asked is my account number, for which I reply that I am walking-in in a rush and I have no bill whatsoever, as I declared myself guilty of previously.
One would think that perhaps the easiest way would be to search by name, and I do understand that within 1.2 billion people there could be a lot of matches of people with the same names and my logic could actually be nonsense for them, but yet for undisclosed reasons they said it was not possible to search customers this way. Then I don´t want to sound too idealistic, but apart from a number, I am also a person… right?
Then I spoke to some kind of manager to explain that I was there trying to end our customer-company relationship amicably and that I just wanted to know the balance so I can pay and close the account. She kept arguing that she needed the account number or registered cellphone number in order to search for my account.
I asked her what would happen if I would owe a lot of money to the company and it was perhaps their last chance to ever see that money again, for which she responded: “Sorry for the inconvenience sir, we can´t help you without this information”. It is obvious that it is not me who they should be helping, but themselves…
But since I am in India and learned to be a patient and positive person, I was looking at the bright side of singing up with them for some iPhone package to be paid in installments, get a free phone with my previous address and then disappear!!!
Don’t miss my other articles on my living and working experience in India.