One of the largest telecom providers in India – Vodafone – announced 3G data services in India back in 2011. These days, everyone is aware of the 3g data services and also fast internet data services like 3G are being used widely all over India. Let me introduce myself briefly, I am Lokesh Motwani from Udaipur and a Vodafone customer from last 5 months. I use internet at home and on my phone for social and professional purposes. I was using Vodafone’s 2G data services happily from several months and a little internet speed fluctuation revealed an ugly truth of Vodafone services.
From 6th of April my Vodafone 2G internet data pack was not working fine, the speed was too slow than usual so I made a call to the customer care at 198 and the customer care representative suggested and registered a complaint for my slow internet speed. I thanked him and hanged up the call.
Meanwhile i kept on waiting for the speed to improve..
On 9th April 2012 my internet was too slow and i was really pissed. I thought to give a try to Vodafone’s 3G data service which is obviously faster than 2G data services. At around 1 a.m I made a recharge of Rs. 1250 from Vodafone’s official website www.vodafone.in which provides a 5GB 3G data for 60 days. I called Vodafone’s customer care at around 3.00 am and asked for further formalities to activate the 3G data service etc on my number. The Vodafone representative advised to send a message at 111 and 144 which will activate 3G on my number and the service will be active in about 4 hours. Call ended.
7.30 am, I was very anxious to try the 3G data service before I go to sleep. It was 7.00 and I was too dizzy; but again made a call to Vodafone customer care to ensure my service is active before I sleep. After 2-3 attempts, I was successfully connected to a Vodafone customer associate who confirmed the service is not yet activated and himself asked to register a complaint in this regard. I Said Ok, and followed his instructions as he proceeded. He registered a complaint and promised that 3G data service will be activated by maximum 6.00 pm in the evening. I said thanks and hanged up the call.
It was 7.00 pm and the service was still not active. My patience was falling as time passed. I called the Vodafone customer care at 198 again and asked Vodafone’s customer care representative about the status of the complaint and they said it’s still active and in process and may take 24 hours more also he told me that the date for complaint resolving is 13 April and I will receive the follow up by a call from a customer care representative by 6.00 pm of 13 April. I debated with the representative about the promises made to me hours ago but he ended up telling that all I have to do is wait for 24 hours more. I was very angry but had no other option other than waiting.
10 April,2012 around 8.00 pm, Service still not active. I was pissed now and my patience was over and again i called the customer care. After many continuous attempts one of the representative attended my call, he put me on hold to check details and the call got disconnected. I called again and again many times continuously to get a solution explaining my problem to every one of them several times whenever my call was attended. I talked to around 5-6 people and shockingly, no one of them had a satisfactory answer, my call was even transferred to several different departments claiming their expertise in Data services etc. Sometimes they said the service is active and asked to get some silly settings or else told me the service is not active and exclaimed to message again at 111 and 144 to activate the service etc but nothing worked.
This went on for 3 more days on 11, 12 and 13 April. During these days I didn’t lose hope and kept on calling 7-8 times daily and every time I called, I had to hear several different answers from different customer care representatives. Every time either my call was hanged up (putting on hold and not getting back) whenever I asked for a refund or to activate my services as soon as possible.
13 April, 6.00 pm. The time of my complaint resolution was over and so far I didn’t received any call or follow-up from Vodafone customer care regarding my complaint. I again made a call to Vodafone customer care and after 3-4 attempts finally my call was attended and I was told to either wait for 24 more hours as the complaint I made was still in process else all I can go and pay a visit to the Nearest Vodafone store regarding this complaint.
14 April, 12.30 pm I visited the nearest Surajpole Vodafone store, I took a queue ticket for my number and waited for around 20 minutes. My number came and an attendant Azad Khan attended me. I told him about everything I went through he suggested to wait for 24 more hours as the complaint was still open and the case was presented to him just now. I was too pissed to wait even for an hour but all he told me to wait.I forced him to let me talk to his senior regarding this and finally he made a call and the next moment I was talking to Mr. Arun Jonus, Manager Surajpole branch. I was surprised and shocked at the same time, the way he talked to me. He was not only rude but also he wasn’t able to give me a satisfactory and responsible answer being a Branch Manager of the Vodafone store. I tried a hell lot of times that how he will proceed and how much time this will take? But again he was not able to tell me how much time he would need, he just asked for some time. I demanded a negotiable refund for the not yet active service. But he strongly disapproved, saying there is no such option available to him and ended up telling to wait for some time. Again I kept on asking what’s his sometime but he didn’t answered. I left the store and decided to give him time of an hour or two.
At around 2.30 pm, I again went to the Vodafone store Surajpole, Mr. Branch manager was still not there and when I insisted a call he just told me rudely that he has talked to the concerned department and will inform me in detail about this through a call soon.
Around 3.30 pm, I got a call from Mr. Arun Jonus and he told me that there is some technical issue in the IT department and the service may activate by 6.00pm or by Monday. His voice on the call shown a lack of confidence or maybe I felt it because I was not in a condition to wait or trust anymore on any Vodafone employees. It was more obvious because i had already waited a long for around 5 days, so I strongly alleged that I don’t want to wait anymore and I need a refund or need activation of my service right now. He told me all bulls*** again that there is no such option available. He even insisted to call the Nodal officer who will be available on Monday (16 April) and I was not in a mood to debate or discuss anymore regarding this on the call and I asked to either get me a refund or give me all his promises and commitments in written. He strongly disagreed to that, saying there is no such process available. Instantly, i had a plan in my mind and asked him to meet me on store in a while.
Around 4.10 pm, I made a call to one of my friends Yash Sharma (who is professionally a media person) to bring a camera to take Mr. Arun’s conversation in a movie for a proof to me, in case the service doesn’t get activated according to his promise.
Around 4.30 pm, We reached Vodafone store and waited for around 15 minutes for Mr. Arun to attend us. Finally, Mr. Arun came and again we started the discussion he told us that in no way (Audio, video, writing or any other means) he can give us what he was speaking and promising. When I offended he told me its not in his process, when I asked to show the process he changed the topic and at the end told us that they are a few things that can’t be shared with the customers. We finally left the store with nothing in hand but promises and waiting as recommended by Mr. Arun Jonus.
At around 6.15 pm, I got a all from Vodafone customer care asking me to check that my 3G services are active. I checked. Yes, the 3G data service was active and hanged up the call.
Now, let me summarize the story and share a lesson with all the UdaipurBlog readers who are still confused. First of all, Take care as even promising telecommunication giants such as Vodafone may not be able to fullfill their smallest of commitments and services or may lack customer service at times.
And Lastly, i would end up saying that in this cruel world today, sometimes, you don’t get things easily even after paying the cost for them. You may need to stand up , play a media prank or even fight for things, else you may get harassed or hassled most of the times.
JAAGO INDIA JAAGO !!! JAAGO GRAAHAK JAAHO !!!