Call it generalization but I’ve always felt that Customer Service is just lip service for most small and big companies in India. The bigger they(companies) get the ridiculous their customer service becomes. Talking about customer service or its non-existence brings me to Aircel.
Aircel is a joint venture between Maxis Communications (Malaysia) and Apollo Hospital Enterprise Ltd (India) and has more than 18 million subscribers(source: wikipedia). Those in India would remember Aircel from its awkward tune and TV ads starring Indian cricket team captain MS Dhoni which were aired endlessly for months. Aircel apparently has a 200cr media budget and it shows by their massive ad spend both offline and online. Aircel is a typical case of The TV-Industrial Complex which goes like
Buy TV Ads –> Get More Distribution –> Sell More Products –> Make a profit –> Buy TV Ads
While they maybe doing a a good job at buying more ads and getting more subscribers I seriously doubt if they are doing any good beyond it. In case you are wondering why do I think so, here’s the thing.
Last Friday(25th sep) I happened to buy an Aircel connection on a whim. Actually I was out to buy a vodafone prepaid connection for my brother but due to its unavailability we thought of giving Aircel a try and given the plans I was told it definitely looked like a wise decision. The new connection was activated in minutes and I was a happy man but that happiness wasn’t for long. When I reached home (about 5 minutes drive from the Aircel showroom/office) I was surprised to find that phone had no network coverage and putting the new sim in three different cell phones didn’t help a bit.
Freaked that I was I tried getting in touch with their customer service but despite hearing ‘we are keen to talk to you’ messages I couldn’t get through the customer care executives in 4 different(2 by my brother) calls that I made which lasts 2-3 minutes each. While cursing Aircel I thought of checking out their site for a possible solution and got to this page
(Aircel doesn’t think it’s useful to give phone numbers of its various offices/showrooms)
and immediately sent them an email
As you can see I wasn’t really hoping anyone at Aircel would read that email, let alone act upon it and Aircel lived up to its expectations. However that wasn’t it, I went to their store the next morning (10:30 AM) and got the executive there to register my complaint and on being asked how much time will it take to get it resolved and should I really expect any solution for my problem(I really don’t expect them to put a tower near my locality just because I complained) I was told complaints are addressed in 24 hours and they(Aircel) are installing 10 new sites a month based on customer feedback (like I will buy that).
That was Saturday morning and I waited in vain till evening to get a call on the alternate number I had given (Email reply is obviously out of question). I asked a local shop keeper about Aircel network and he too agreed that their network coverage is quite bad. Without wasting any time I bought a new Airtel connection(which is doing pretty good). Curious to see what others think of Aircel I did a search on Twitter
and a quick search on Google revealed
More Aircel Complaints can be read here and here. There’s also a post by Abhishek aptly titled ‘Aircel India: false start‘
Now that we’ve seen how bad things are with Aircel one can only wish if Aircel was listening and spending money on building better network/services instead of spending millions on roping in celebrities for lame TV ads.
How has been your experience with Aircel?
PS: Had it not been for a long weekend and some optimism on my side in hoping for a reply, I would have written this post on Saturday itself
#rant Aircel Sucks!! http://bit.ly/qG1Cp
This comment was originally posted on Twitter
RT @mayankdhingra: #rant Aircel Sucks!! http://bit.ly/qG1Cp – true true!
This comment was originally posted on Twitter
And you think, rest of them dont suck 🙂 I have a Vodafone cricket alert pack activated since last 3 months which I have been trying to de-activate but when I send SMS for de-activation, it says its already deactivated.. How can I deny it? But I get charged Rs 30 per month nevertheless.
The issue per se is not so much about network coverage but more about customer service. Indian operators have treated customers as pigs for too long now, time they wake up.
Also read a rant about cost of customer service in mobikwik’s own blog at mobikwik.wordpress.com.
I am totally agree with your post one of my friend in my office have similar issue he use to go out of the office building to attend the calls on his Aircel network. Rather giving money to MR. DHONI they spent the money to improve their services and Networks.
@Bipin: True, I am almost sure if I run into an issue with Airtel I’ll be met with the same treatment. Customer service is a JOKE
@Varun: Totally agree, spend more to build better products and services not on advertisements
I totally agree brother . it was a big mistake that we purchase aircel connection
I think only Airtel and VIRGIN MOBILE has go quality custoemr care. Rest all are not interested in any customer care.
When i bought the aircel sim card 2 days back, i submitted all proof with photo.
My Aircel no is 9524987506.
out going is working fine. but incoming is blocked.
I am informed so many times to customer care but they not responding.
please help me.
I wanted to get a new aircel connection. After all the awesome ads and all that. But when i went to their centre in Borivali, I was given the most screwd up service. After I paid them the money, they just didnt care about my problem.
There is one person named DEEPA in the Borivali centre who pissed me off.
I had problems with my network and I had to be behind them 24/7 to solve.
Whenever I used to call, they have never picked up my calls.
If I go to their centre, they will be like “We will look into your problem and we will let u know” but
they never called me or got back to me.
I had to be behind them for the whole time and
Its been more than 2 months and still my problem is not solved.
In short, AIRCEL SUCKSSSSSS….
NEVER GO FOR AIRCEL CONNECTION AND
NEVER EVER GO TO AIRCEL – BORIVALI
Aircel sucks big time!!!!
I had activated pocket internet card which is unlimited for three days.
It was well n good till first day. But on second day in afternoon the ‘E’ sign just disappeared n had no internet connection.
Complained to customer care as many as 10 times some said my phone had tower problem. Some said there was congestion problem. Bla bla bla. The funny thing is they refued to lodge complain saying if the service is not active for 24 hrs then only the complain will be lodged mudafukkaz
then came the third day service was restored at aroubd mid day. I used it but in the evening when i checked my balance more than Rs. 150 had been deducted
again i called Mudafukka CC and they said ‘your 3day package had expired in the midnight. We say its for 3 days n not 72 hrs’ mudafukka CC.
So moral of the story
CC sucks and even more Aircel sucks well dont want to say anything abt dhoni. May be he is laughing while reading this comment n saying go bitch anything u like till i am gettin fat ass money from mudafukka Aircel’
well sorry to those to are offended by my use of litrature. But i had no where to release my anger.
If the blogger finds my language offensive he is welcome to do what he thinks fit
but once again
muddafukking Aircel and its Customer Care sucks big time
Well look what anger
does it should have been aircel ka maara
aircel sucks with its customer care
What a suck service these people are providing. For me they deducted some without reason. After I called they raised a complaint. Not sure wht after that. Not sure to whom we need to contact for this bloody things
Never buy it.
I will recommend you to buy any other 3rd class network but not aircel.
I called aircel customer care the other day and my call directly reached the executive. I was informed since I am a senior citizen this is a special service that is provided to us.I am very happy with this service and also glad to be a customer of Aircel.