Suramya's Blog : Welcome to my crazy life…

September 6, 2009

Airtel Delhi’s underhand billing tactics

Filed under: My Life,My Thoughts — Suramya @ 9:15 PM

I have an Airtel broadband connection at home with the 1 Mbps unlimited plan for which I pay Rs 2222 (plus taxes) per month and I was pretty happy with it. Today while taking to a friend I discovered that Airtel had reduced the price for the 1 Mbps plan to 1699 4 months ago but have still continued to charge me at the same cost.

So I called up the Airtel support center, got their billing department and the conversation went something like this:

Me: Looking at your plans online I see that the cost for a 1 Mbps connection is Rs 1699, is that true?
Rep: Yes
Me: Ok, then how come I am being charged Rs 2222 for the same plan?
Rep: Hold on. (About 30 secs later) you are being charged for the Freedom 2999 plan which gives you 2 Mbps speed
Me: I know I don’t get 2 Mbps speed.
Rep: Let em check your plan again. Yes you are on the Unlimited 2222 plan which gives you 1Mbps connection
Me: Ok, so why have you been charging me 2222 when the plan is 1699?
Rep: Your plan was set a while ago thats why…
Me: I know my plan was set a while ago, about 2 years ago. Whats your point?
Rep: You didn’t give us any notification that you wanted to switch to a new plan.
Me: How am I supposed to know that the costs have changed?
Rep: The new plans were listed on the Airtel website.
Me: So your customers are supposed to check your site every few days to make sure that they are not being over charged?
Rep: The plans were also advertised via phone and email.
Me: I haven’t received any calls/emails from you regarding the change.
Rep: You must be on the Do not Call list, hence you didn’t get the call
Me: Ok, so why do I keep getting calls from you on my landline to buy ringtones but didn’t get a call about this?
Rep: Some random explanation…
Me: Ok, switch me to the new plan.
Rep: Can’t do that you will have to go for the 2 Mbps plan at Rs. 2999.
Me: What nonsense? I don’t want a 2 Mbps connection. I want a 1 Mbps connection. Why can’t you switch me to the new plan?
Rep: Let me check if thats possible. Can I put you on hold?

Rep: Ok, I will put in a request for your plan to be migrated to the new plan. Will be done in 3-4 days.
Me: Ok, now when was this new plan launched?
Rep: About 4 months ago.
Me: Fine, I need a refund for the extra amount that you have been charging me for the past 4 months.
Rep: Sorry that won’t be possible as you didn’t change your plan.
Me: Ok, explain to me the difference between the plan I have and the new plan you launched?
Rep: There is no difference.
Me: So why would I pay Rs 700 more for the same plan?
Rep: This plan gives you 100 Rs free calls also…
Me: Ok, so you still need to refund me 600 Rs..
Rep: Can’t commit that the amount will be refund.
Me: Why?
Rep: Because you didn’t change your plan.

Me: Who approves the refund?
Rep: The Billing department
Me: And you are in the Billing department correct?
Rep: Yes.
Me: So whats the problem approving the refund?
Rep: Because you didn’t change your plan.
Me: Please put in a request to change my plan and another request to refund my money.
Rep: Ok, here’s your request no: xxxxxxx
Me: What about the refund?
Rep: Thats also in the same request, but I can’t commit that the refund will be given.
Me: Ok, how will I know that the plan is changed?
Rep: You will get a confirmation call when its changed
Me: What about the refund?
Rep: If the request is approved then you will see the refund in your next bill otherwise you won’t.
Me: Fine. By when can I expect a response?
Rep: 3-4 business days
Me: Ok. Thanks.

The stuff that irritated be about the call above was:

1. He lied to me about my plan to keep me on the same plan
2. He tried to tell me that I couldn’t switch to a lower cost plan with the same data transfer rate
3. They are refusing to refund the amount that they over charged.

So now I am going to wait for 4 days, if I don’t get a refund from them I will be lodging a complaint with the consumer court.

I think I will also email this to the customer care department. Lets see what they have to say.

– Suramya


  1. Well, its been a little over 24 hours and according to the autoreply message that I got: “We have received your email and shall revert to you within 24 hrs.” I should have gotten a reply back by now. So far I haven’t received any further information from them.

    Comment by Suramya — September 7, 2009 @ 9:27 PM

  2. Got a reply from Airtel in response to my email to them. They have pretty much refused to issue a refund in the mail:

    “Also, we would like to inform that we required customer’s request for plan migration hence there is no error in bill.”

    I have responded back telling them that its unethical for them to charge me extra and possibly illegal. Lets see what they say.

    – Suramya
    8th Sept 2009

    Comment by Suramya — September 8, 2009 @ 11:18 PM

  3. Any updates on this?

    Comment by Vivek Gupta — September 29, 2009 @ 2:36 PM

  4. Well, they have refused to refund the money to me after I spent 2 hours of my life arguing with them over the phone. So I am going to be filing a case against them in the Consumer court.

    If any of you have Airtel connections make sure you get your plan changed to the latest one. Otherwise you will end up overpaying for your connection.

    – Suramya

    Comment by Suramya — October 4, 2009 @ 2:55 AM

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress