More on Airtel Call Home


Here are some updates on [[http://airtelcallhome.com|Airtel Call Home]]:

* As others have noted, the website is completely broken. I had been getting the completely useless “There was some problem register your phone number” since Friday (when I registered). However, as of last night I’ve been able to register my phone numbers on the website. So give it a shot and it may work for you.
* The website doesn’t show me my call details (yet). And I haven’t been keeping close track of the duration of my calls. So I have no idea if they are honoring the rates. I’m guessing they are. But if you any conclusive data either way, please report!
* I still haven’t been able to reach the customer service. Frustrated, I even sent them emails at customersupport@airtel.in and customerservice@airtel.in. No response yet though. See more on the email below.
* One feature I truly love in Reliance (and earlier in Bigzoo) is the ability to setup short key codes for numbers you dial often. Its a real pain having to dial (and remember!) the numbers each time. This is an obvious feature, so I really hope Airtel is working on it.
* Surprisingly there has been no reaction from Reliance so far. I guess Airtel is not a threat (yet). But hopefully they will soon, and slash their rates a little bit.
* Largely the first impression of Airtel’s service is really bad. This doesn’t bode well for them and they should do something about it ASAP. That, or remove such claims from their website: //With our cost
effective service and dedicated customer care support, call home and talk as much as you like.//. Dedicated?? You have to be kidding me! Certainly dedicated to not giving any support at all!

Here are some other posts about their service, pretty much everyone saying how much they sucked:
* [[http://its4us2think.wordpress.com/2006/12/12/airtel-call-home-sucks/|Airtel Call Home sucks]]
* [[http://oktoberchyld.blogspot.com/2006/12/airtel-call-home-india-calling-service.html|A case of no action talk only]]
* [[http://www.jroller.com/page/abg?entry=airtelcallhome|Airtel Call home]]
* [[http://amanthan.blogspot.com/2006/12/airtelcallhome-sucks-big-time.html|Airtel Call Home sucks big time]]

As you can see, Airtel definitely better get their act together or they are going to quickly die out and lose this huge opportunity.

Here are some excerpts from the email I wrote to them:


* The customer service number is virtually UNREACHABLE. I’ve been trying the number since morning and haven’t got through even ONCE. I can understand that the number is busy, but this is not the first customer service I’ve called. At the very least have an automated message telling the caller to patiently
hold on while some agent becomes free.
* The website is just UNUSABLE. Fetching account info on the main page never works. Setting up registered numbers never works. The error messages are not informative and cryptic at best. Current balance shows up sometimes and some other times it doesn’t. The site doesn’t work properly under some popular browsers (read Firefox).

I forgot to mention one of the worst things about their system. The login ID is a string of random numbers. Why? Why can’t it be a regular user id that I can choose? Why can’t it be just my phone number? To their credit, they have pretty stringent rules for the password. But then I have a different 10 digit account number (which is different from my user ID). //And// I also have a 4 digit PIN number. So to use their service, they expect users to remember 4 random strings of numbers? Yeah right, dream on Airtel!

44 comments

  1. Dep

    Airtel Call home Services and Performance
    This is worst calling card for making calls to India I have ever used in my lifetime….
    1. Call disconnects frequently during conversation
    2. Line busy, you can’t connect to Toll free number. Even if you are connected after 3-4 attempts it’s continuously tell PIN is wrong doesn’t matter whether you have entered correct or wrong.
    3. You can’t connect to 25X7 customer care number …always busy.
    4. Gives an error when you try to register your number on website.
    5. Website’s performance is worst.
    6. Contact-Us – Feedback section doesn’t properly.
    7. No response for your email
    8. Always one answer from Customer Care “Problem is due to traffic”. Airtel is Internet Service Provider in India and they talk about heavy traffic. If they can’t manage the traffic for their own website then forget about other.

    I’m really frustrated with the services, Please think twice before buying this card.

  2. Rajat

    I have been receiving calls from my sister in US – who said that she is using Airtel Call Home! She told me that although she is facing some issues – but not as much as they are being projected on the net.

    I think, we as customers, expect best of everything at all time. I’ve been using Airtel mobile & also Broadband in India and they are providing great services. I don’t see a reason why they won’t be able to provide gud services in US! Am sure its just about unestimation of traffic from this offer, some initial mad rush for this card & thus the overload. Airtel will certainly improve its services in a very short span.

    As someone said on another blog [quote] “We should give our feedback in a positive way to the management, who not only had the guts to compete with Reliance but also gave us a generous welcome deal. Like a wise man said once: It doesn’t matter whether you do great things or not atleast don’t interrupt somebody doing it. And, it’s easier to say, but harder to do. Airtel is doing something harder for most other companies in india & world.

    I’m sure airtel will address their technical drawbacks and soon be a great competition to reliance, hence giving us more time to call our folks & friends” [/unquote]

  3. Amit

    i agree with rajat.even my cousins in US are also using the card and they also told that its not such a big issue as it is being projected on net

  4. Narender

    To Rajat!

    I don’t agree fully here with you. Airtel or TATA are not a small company, they must be prepared for the rush. And once you enter in the market you cannot avoid the comparison by the user with other service provider. I virtually tried for 30 mins with no luck to reach them. And I got the line in first dial in reliance in last 2 years (with exception to once or twice on the occasion of Diwali and New year etc).

    You cannot call this a mad rush and get away with the main issue. I will call this as “not having a proper planing” and lack of foresight.

    With reliance slashing its rate I am going to stick to Reliance unless there are some major offering from these guys.

    @ TATA, they dont even have toll free no.

  5. Diwaker Gupta

    Thanks everyone for their comments!

    *@ziyan*: I don’t think the call quality is the only thing at issue here. I’ve been using Airtel fairly successfully for the past week or so and intend to continue using them at least till I make use of the double talk time recharge. The call quality has been great. Its just that so far Airtel has been very unprofessional about this whole business, and as a customer its extremely insulting and frustrating. Not to mention people who have actually lost money because of irresponsible credit card handling.

    *@dep*: Couldn’t agree more. Airtel really needs to get its ac together on this one. Specially in light on Reliance’s price slash.

    *@narendar*: Thanks for that info! Even I found out about it something this morning. Good on Reliance for moving so quickly.

  6. Diwaker Gupta

    *@rajat*: I have to agree with Narendar here. Just because Airtel is a new service doesn’t mean they should be allowed to get away with such shoddy customer service. In fact, it is precisely because Airtel is such a large and established brand that such irresponsible behavior is inexcusable. Given that Airtel is such a large presence in the telecom industry, its ironic and shameful that they can’t even setup a decent customer service infrastructure. A 1-800 number prominently displayed on their website which people can’t even connect to is just unacceptable.

    Similarly, couldn’t they have put in some resources to polish the website before launch? I could understand if the web site didn’t scale to huge traffic, but right now its just BROKEN. Things DON’T WORK! It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out, and if they don’t even have that much quality control in place, then God help us all. Credit card processing is such a standard business function these days. And they didn’t get that right either. The only reason I’m using Airtel right now is to exploit their double talk time offer while I can.

    This is a capitalistic market, and poor products and services should and WILL suffer. Competition is inevitable (and good), and there’s always rush to hit the market among competitors. Thats no excuse for doing a public launch (with much fanfare) with a service that barely works. Haven’t they heard of beta testing? Invite-only testing? Closed testing?

  7. its4us2think

    I am seeing some comments that go out of their way to praise Airtel, some claim that there is nothing wrong with the website (hello, have you used it? I just tried to check my balance and register the phone #s, nothing worked), some claim that they never got busy tone (statistically possible ;-) ) and they dont believe who says they got busy tone (isn’t that BS), should I wear my ‘cynical’ hat, and start doubting the authenticity like they are doing it for criticizers?

    People are usually first in complaining, not very forthcoming in complimenting a good service, (I never took pains to write good things about Reliance till I got hit by Airtel), so it does raise some doubt for me.

    Never mind, let me respect their right to have respect/reverence for Airtel. Let me be happy that Airtel has made Reliance to slash their price. Since I have few $$ left on Airtel, I will try to use them, whenever I can, I am not guy who’d like to lose money.

  8. Pingback: Double talk time on Reliance! at Floating Sun
  9. Vikram

    Here is the worst part of my experience. i registered with them on 8 Dec and yet to get the user id/password/pin. I cannot get in touch with customer service no.’s and no replies to my countless email’s. i guess my money has just gone to make a richer Sunil Bharati Mittal fund.

    Reliance is now giving the same rates and i am never going back to their website.. AirTel, you suck man..

  10. Sanjay Gupta

    Worst website, setup, even userid/password does not work, not able to reach customer service. Not able to setup phone numbers.

    Not worth your time. I will call my credit card company to dispute charge.

  11. K Patel

    I have pretty much given up on AirTel. For the last couple of weeks I have had to constantly redial as the toll free number is ALWAYS busy! Half of the time I get disconnected before even reaching my party. Once I do get through (which takes forever!) the quality is very good. I for one though will never use AirTel again!

  12. Lokesh

    I agree with all the people who have started to hate airtel like never before..when Airtel launced its service, I tried to register couple of times but everytime it would say “credit card authorization failed”. So I used another credit card after some days and it worked only once…and to my surprise…I get three emails from airtel with my registration info and they had charged my thrice. then it wouldn’t let me login. Finally after multiple trials I was able to login and I transfered the balance from three accounts into one single account, again it allows only whole number figures to be transfered.
    Now I am not able to register the phone numbers to everytime i end up entering an account number and pwd to make a call…

    its really web sense to have a single account number or just email address as one’s login id, but airtel from some great thinking has come out with a random number funda and that too differnt for making a call and login to the website..!!

    AIRTEL REALLY SUCKS…!! I wish I could get Sunil Bharti Mittal’s email id and mail him the feedback on his most dumbest business website ever..!!

  13. Sumit

    AirtelCallhome is a big big FRAUD where no body ever gets connected to their tolll free number.
    Customer care is non existent.

    I tried to obtain a card and got a response that my card is not validated.
    again i tried and got the same reply.

    2 days later i found out that money was deducted twice from my account.

    This is serious fraud.

  14. JK

    [quote post="780"]I have never come across more sucked up service that Airtel. Believe it or not the service is worser that the 9278.com and others that were present 5-6 years back. I tried atlest 2 hours to call the toll free number before I gave up. I then thought let me call their customer service. little did I realize that the 24×7 service probably never existed beyond the website. Anyways, I managed to get the customer service number after 1.5 hours of try – Guess what, I was on hold for 1/2 hour because all customer service associates were busy !!! Busy with what is something worth asking though.. Anyways, I asked the to cancel my registrtaion and refund me the amount.. They did agree upon that and said it takes 3 biz days for the refund to happen.. today is day 2 and I am hoping that my money gets back to me.. I did tell the customer serv rep about how their service sucks and you have to give her a 10/10 for good listener.. she did not have a word to say.. I did mention that there is another issue with their website .. the spl offer page says that the ofer is valid for new cusrtomers registering before the 7th Jan and double recharge for the 1st recharge done before the 31st Jan. You click on the terms and conditions and yo will find 7th Feb and 28th Feb for the above details.. 2 days now and this has not changed yet.. I hope someone sues them.. I sincerely hope that airtel retire-hurt themselves now and come back before the damage is beyond repair… All in all.. I will not recommend this to anyone.. [/quote]

  15. Reed

    [quote comment="2634"][quote post="780"]I have never come across more sucked up service that Airtel. Believe it or not the service is worser that the 9278.com and others that were present 5-6 years back. I tried atlest 2 hours to call the toll free number before I gave up. I then thought let me call their customer service. little did I realize that the 24×7 service probably never existed beyond the website. Anyways, I managed to get the customer service number after 1.5 hours of try – Guess what, I was on hold for 1/2 hour because all customer service associates were busy !!! Busy with what is something worth asking though.. Anyways, I asked the to cancel my registrtaion and refund me the amount.. They did agree upon that and said it takes 3 biz days for the refund to happen.. today is day 2 and I am hoping that my money gets back to me.. I did tell the customer serv rep about how their service sucks and you have to give her a 10/10 for good listener.. she did not have a word to say.. I did mention that there is another issue with their website .. the spl offer page says that the ofer is valid for new cusrtomers registering before the 7th Jan and double recharge for the 1st recharge done before the 31st Jan. You click on the terms and conditions and yo will find 7th Feb and 28th Feb for the above details.. 2 days now and this has not changed yet.. I hope someone sues them.. I sincerely hope that airtel retire-hurt themselves now and come back before the damage is beyond repair… All in all.. I will not recommend this to anyone.. [/quote][/quote]

  16. Dav Paul

    Improvement in Airtell website and customer services.
    Hey everybody there is definatly improvement in everything . You can reach Airtell customer services within Few Seconds and now there website is also improved showing detailed numbers.
    So go ahead and use it

  17. Faruk

    If you are using Airtel World Calling Card, can one of you give me the Access Number to call from Canada. I bought a card in the Bombay airport and lost the booklet which has the access numbers. Please send the access Number to “jaffmohamed@yahoo.com”…Thanks in advance.

    [quote comment="2438"]Thanks everyone for their comments!

    *@ziyan*: I don’t think the call quality is the only thing at issue here. I’ve been using Airtel fairly successfully for the past week or so and intend to continue using them at least till I make use of the double talk time recharge. The call quality has been great. Its just that so far Airtel has been very unprofessional about this whole business, and as a customer its extremely insulting and frustrating. Not to mention people who have actually lost money because of irresponsible credit card handling.

    *@dep*: Couldn’t agree more. Airtel really needs to get its ac together on this one. Specially in light on Reliance’s price slash.

    *@narendar*: Thanks for that info! Even I found out about it something this morning. Good on Reliance for moving so quickly.[/quote]

  18. Faruk

    If you are using Airtel World Calling Card, can one of you give me the Access Number to call from Canada. I bought a card in the Bombay airport and lost the booklet which has the access numbers. Please send the access Number to “jaffmohamed@yahoo.com”…Thanks in advance.

  19. Faruk

    I bought an Airtel World Calling card at Bombay airport and lost the booklet which has the access numbers. If anyone is using Airtel World Calling Card, can you please send me the Access Number to call from Canada to “jaffmohamed@yahoo.com”…
    Thanks in advance.

  20. Jacob

    Uh!!!! lot of complaints!!!! I was a victim of Airtel as I registered with then within a weeks time of their lauch with $100 and initial week was a kind of nightmare to reach their access number and customer care number. However, after a weeks time of regular complaints and sort of “galis” the service got much better. I do not have any sort of calling problem/customer care issues thereafter.

    I am enjoying the service with $100+$100 double talk time offer.

    I know reliance slashed their rate, not to compete but to hold the market with airtel. still I am happy with airtel thta the double talk time offer was really great and reliance could not compete with that offer beyond $5 double talk time ;)

  21. Rajeev

    If you are a customer of airtel prepaid USA call india..then be careful…. keep checking your account (money) regularly. They are deducting extra money on each call. It happened with me today itself. They deduct $0.02 extra. When I called up their customer support. They accept tehre is a mismatch of figures and tlad that they will take action with in 24 hours. Let me see.. Its by chance I calculate the money today. Other wise I do not know since when its happeing.
    Be careful. I wish If could have sunil bharti mittal email id/phone no? wd love to talk to him about this issue. Its disgusting..
    Thanks

  22. sameer

    The worst most horrible website and customer service from Airtel.
    First of all their website is broken on most of the pages. I tried to lookup my payment details. It said no data available. I tried to print an earlier recharge receipt. It sais not available try again later.
    I then made a recharge of 25.00 and website had been showing “Please wait while we process your payment”…for more than 20 minutes.
    I finally called customer service and they said there is nothing they can do about it and I need to wait 8 hours to a day and then recheck if my account has been updated. I told them to cancel my charge if it goes through because I do not intend to use airtel anymore. They said they cannot cancel my charge. (its been 30 minutes now since I clicked submit on the charge page).
    She told me to make a payment again and I asked her what if my first charge actually goes through ? I do not want two 25 dollar charges . She told me that there is no way they can stop 2 recharges or refund one of them.
    Worst website.worst website..!!

  23. jay

    Initially I felt that Airtel has a bad service/website/calls etc.

    But later found out that the call quality was pretty good with no dropped calls. It was as good as Reliance or Reliable Calling. And the Double Talk time was an amazing offer. Hope they will announce a similar offer again.

  24. Ankita Kothari

    Airtel Sucks———Reliance Rocks!!

    What kind of service Airtel is providing they ONLY know…….bcoz their website never works…..their customer care numbr doesnt work…..they dont revert to E-mails…..you can not get through numbers…..lines always busy…..they charge you extra…..they give no offers…..even wen you fulfill all conditions….So I Have pretty much given up on AirTel Call home & now Started using Reliance back. For the last couple of weeks been very delighted to use Reliance…….need not to bother much & good easy connectivity!!

    I for one though will never use AirTel again!

  25. varun Munjal

    GOOD-BYE AIRTEL CALL HOME

    Experience with Airtel Callhome has been indeed very painful. firstly their site doesnt work if it bychance shows a glimpse of their homepage…..the other links on it doesnt work…..they are big cheaters. I belive they are FRAUD!!

    Now they announced their Summer Shower scheme to give Some extra talktime….bt it is not so….their website is down from last 3 days & I personally have been facing difficulty to make calls….they have very poor Quality & service and is totally Unsatisfactory.

    I Plan to quit Airtel and will find better option. My frns who have been using Reliance says a lot about the Voice Clarity & amazing Customer support services……SO good bye Airtel…..foreverrrrrr!!

  26. Niraj

    Probably the worst service you can think of, they suck bigtime, in this age of internet they have not even reached a level of having a properly running website. I tried 4 times to recharge my account, and it never went through, I still dont know if they have already charged to my account. On calling their customer care (surprisingly someone was there on the other side) the guy tells me to trust him and give one more shot and tells me it should work which obviously did not work, as websites to my knowledge do not work on trust :-) .. AIRTEL A BIG NO

  27. Pawan

    Thumbs down to Airtel callhome!!!

    Till now I have recharged 4 times in span of a week. Lucky me, all the time my credit card is charged but my account never got recharged. I thought this problem has vanished but I see its not. IBM is doing great job guys (they are there back end service providers)!!!

    When I call customer care (luckily they are reachable), they ask me to send mails to customer care with screen shot of my credit card statement & they will refund the money. Interestingly their own system shows I have recharged four times but all for times it got failed. I do not understand why I have to send the mail, when they have the records. Apt example of bureaucracy in corporate world!!!

    24% discount offer was lucrative but I guess no more… I am switching bank to reliance, that is amazing!!!

  28. Sujit

    I bought one World Calling Card of Rs. 500/- from India while coming to US.

    I tried to make a call to India with the US access number which is 1-877-247-4047, it asked me to enter 10 digits account number. However there is a 14 digits card number in the voucher. I entered the first 10 digits of the card, it was incorrect, then I tried feeding all the 14 digits, it was exceeding 10 digits limit.

    I then called the customer care, they said they don’t have any knowledge on this world calling card, and asked me to send mail to the customer care.
    This was matter of Rs.500 I sent a couple of mails to the customer care, and it’s been more than a week, I have not received any response.

    I would say Airtel is doing the cheapest cheating business with a big name.

    Good Airtel !! Keep it on…

  29. manikandan

    hI had balance of Rs 129.50 at 3 pm on 16.11.2007.I switched off my mobile at 3 pm AND SWITCHED ON AT 6.30 PM ,My balance was Rs.o.even customer could not tell the this unjustied deductions,they wanted two days to find the reasons,is it a marketing tool sell topups .

  30. manish pundora

    DEAR SIR,
    I HAD PURCHASED AN AIRTEL CONNECTION WITH NO. 9897474785 WORTH Rs. 700 WITH A 2 YEAR VALIDITY AND Rs.2500 AIRTEL TO AIRTEL BALANCE.AS I M FROM DELHI AND NOW STUDYING FROM DEHRADUN SO I PURCHASED THE SIM FROM DEHRADUN AS I LIVE IN THE HOSTEL OF MY COLLEGE SO I SUBMITTED THE ADDRESS PROOF OF HOSTEL IN MY ID CARD OF COLLEGE WITH A BONAFIDE CERTIFICATE FROM COLLEGE.THE SIM WAS FINE FOR 2 MONTHS BEFORE I CAME TO DELHI FOR CELEBRATING DIWALI WHERE MY OUTGOING AND INCOMING CALLS GET BLOCKED WITHOUT ANY INFORMATION.WHEN I CAME BACK TO DEHRADUN I ASKED ABOUT IT TO THE AIRTEL OFFICE NEAR CHICH CHOCOLATE,CLOCKTOWER THEY TOLD ME TO SUBMIT THE DOCUMENTS ONCE MORE SO I DID THE SAME BUT NOW MY NUMBER IS DELETED OR DEACTIVATED COMPLETELY. AND NOW EVEN THE AIRTEL AREA MANAGER IS REFUSING ME ABT IT SAYING THAT MY ADDRESS VERIFICATION HAS FAILED.THEY HAD WASTED A LOT OF MY TIME AND MONEY
    SO, PLEASE IF YOU HAVE READ THIS TAKE A VERY STRICT ACTION AGAINST THEM AS POSSIBLE

    MANISH PUNDORA
    UTTARANCHAL INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
    HOSTEL
    ARCADIA GRANT, PO CHANDANWARI
    PREMNAGAR , DEHRADUN
    UTTARANCHAL
    PHONE NO.::09899419968(DELHI)

    sim no. 8991970307040993559

  31. thejas

    Well the reason why I am sending you this comments is just to share my bad experiece with airtel customer service and I would like to take your kind attention towards their irresponsible/fraud attitude.

    From Sept 5 -08 morning onwards I was not able to make any calls to india from any of the phone number from US through airtel eventhough I have sufficent balance.I called airtel customer service(877-247-5150) on the same day twice for telling the same issue and the executive who handled my case told they opened a ticket for the same and will be solving the issue within 24 hours and I will be getting the call within that period.More over the executive told they will be sending this ticket number/status to my EmailID which I updated in my profile and more over he collected the same on the same call ,unfortunately I didn’t get any calls/mails till saturday Sept 6-08 till evening 6PM and I called the same customer service number asking about the status..The executive to whom I spoke on saturday told still 6 more hours left for solving that and the ticket is still open.I waited till sunday moring Sept07-08 by thinking they will be resolving the issue.Unfortunately I didnt get any updates either through phone / mail.

    Finally I decided to close my account and I don’t want to continue the relation with airtel call home,before closing that ticket I asked the executive to pass the phone to any of his manager/supervisor and you know what how the executive replied “There is no manager/supervisor on the Floor”.I really fed up with their services ,then I came to know how importance they are giving to customers.

    When I asked the status of my ticket(Close account) after 8 days the same executive team told account is still active but they block my account by keeping some of my money.If we are closing our account then that is their responsiblity to close our entire account information then and there and refund whatever balances we have till that date instead they are showing their fraud attitude.

    So I would recommend you guys is think twice before you are proceding with airtel..They will cheat you …

  32. satish palkar

    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.

  33. jasvinder

    Hi sir,
    when I want to attach with airtel and purchase new connections (95168044,9501780044) I thought I will be very happy with airtel but I worried when I getting trouble with airtel , from ur company no one is give me right information . Someone was telling else and someone else. After my successful verification my connection disconnected 3 times. I was going to unsubscribe my 3 airtel connections then I found 2 no. of airtel’s employee. Because of their better communication my all airtel no. are working till today. They are ranjan ji GDM (9815049567) and manoj ji (9815049966) if they wre not contact me them perhaps I would be unsubscribe my all airtel no. they persons solve my problems and become god for me at that time. And honestly solve my all problems related with airtel. I m very happy with their response. I pray to god they person get success in their life. And get the airtel at the top in the world. Solve the problems of customers of airtel. I am very thanking full to these persons and airtel also. Thank you very much

    Jasvinder Singh
    V&PO Dhuri (mannpatti)
    Distt. Sangrur
    m.no. 9646698092
    jassidhuri@hotmail.com

  34. aditya gupta

    i want to know my recharge details that have been done on my airtel number i.e 9557834299, & i m not getting any response.

    in this kind of cases BSNL is far better!

  35. Praveen Kumar

    Hi,
    Airtel broadband provides worst customer service, Mr sunil bharti mittal is proud to be CEO of Bharti Airtel. However, let me tell everyone that this is the worst company I’ve ever dealt with. I’ve have so many services from other providers and its awesome when it comes to customer service.

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