This is how Airtel cheats its customers

As an Airtel subscriber, for any changes in your plan, you need to call their customer care number 121.

When you call that number, you have to pass through the illogical computerized IVR system, which takes time to register your input. Due to its sluggishness, if you type an option selection digit again, it takes it as your consent to activate some data plan and thanks you for subscribing to it. It promptly sends you a confirmation SMS saying that some “FREE 1GB 4G/3G data has been activated from today for Rs.100”. (Look at the deceptive language, something is FREE at Rs.100 !!!)

On realizing that you have inadvertently activated something, you call up 121 again to request deactivation. One request goes unattended.

You call again. This time, it is listened to. Deactivation request is taken. An SMS follows. Only to inform that the activation which was affected promptly, will be deactivated after 4 days.

For every other type of request, they ask you so many verification and confirmation questions, but for this thing, a simple error of pressing a wrong option is enough. If you can be charged Rs.100, no confirmation is needed. No question is asked.

This is not less that deceptive malpractice aimed at cheating customers.  It is only for such manipulative and customer unfriendly practices that customers decide to switch to other service providers.

It is high time Airtel wakes up to stop such cheating.

Author: Sanjay Shah

Sanjay is the author of "Business Management Simplified" which provides Practical, Actionable Solutions for Entrepreneurs. It is an all-in-one guidebook to start, run and grow a small and mid-size business to the next level. He is also an SME Business Coach, Seminar Leader and Motivational/Keynote speaker, Sanjay is based in Mumbai (India). He advises many businesses on Strategy, Leadership, Marketing, Branding, Customer Experience Management and Organization Development. He conducts various self-help seminars and workshops for companies and groups in English, Hindi and Gujarati. For more info, visit :

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