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Scammed by cellphone services provider?

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Satish KLV
Issues with Hutch/Vodafone
by Satish KLV on Jun 05, 2008 02:04 PM

Hi, Me & couple of my friends are using the services of Hutch, which later turned into Vodafone. Mine is a prepaid sim and these days I found out that if you call any Vodafone customer, 1st time it wont get connected. It'll say some stupid msg like 'Customer busy'/'Not reachable'. If we cut the call & dial for 2nd time, it'll get connected. What a stupid service..!!!

Another issue is - Whenever the balance is in Rs.40 /- or Rs. 90 /- and you try to make a call, it'll say that 'your account balance is xx Rs/- only, please recharge it soon'. When the balance is below Rs. 10/-, it never informed.

Also, they activated some offer for my friends connection, and when he contacted the customer care, they informed it as Friends & Family offer. When asked to deactivate it, they asked him to send a msg to a toll free no. 111. It didn't worked. 2nd time, they asked him to send msg to 141. 3rd time, they told it was not Friends & Family, it was some Landline offer. Even then, they haven't deactivated it.

They mentioned that, we've to send msg to the toll free no. either to activate/deactivate such offers. Without sending any msg as such, how did they activated this offer to my friend? After talking to the customer care rep's for lot of time, they deactivated that offer, but not ready to refund the amt which was already deducted from the balance.

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Rupesh Choudhary
It is nothing but white collar crime
by Rupesh Choudhary on Jun 05, 2008 01:23 PM

These are the way service providers cheat people and nobody is doing anything about it:
1. Wallpapers: Rs.10. All kids use it. Making wallpapers costs nothing in your PC, why buy from these wolfs? You can get tonnes on the net and even make your own using any photo editor.
2. Same for ring tones. It is ridiculous that a 30 sec. ringtone costs more than a full fledged song!
3. Tempting the consumer to click hot links and debit their acount. Sometimes you click hotlinks accidently and you are charged.
4. Claiming Rs. 1 per call but actual cost to consumer is much more if you calculate the hidden costs.
5. Luring consumers with low rates and later on jack up the price. Rember Reliance Mobiles 10 Paise call?
6. Charging consumers for helpline calls at a very high call rates. Not all helplines are free.
7. Very complex set of schemes, even veteran economists will find difficult to understand and calculate actual cost per call. This only helps service providers maximize their gains due to subscriber's ignorance.
It is no wonder that yeas of fleecing the hapless consumers has brought all telecom company bosses into the list of global billionaires. Govt.'s indefferent attitude will only make things bad to worse and these people will keep bloating their billions.

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Complete Malpractise
by srinivasr on Jun 05, 2008 12:24 PM

Govt should have control on the charges imposing by cell service providers.Everyone is increasing prices for every month.As the 30% people of our country using mobile phones,Isnt it d responsibility of Govt to insulate the commonman from these malpractises.Bloody Airtel is in foredfront and showing d way to other providers.

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Sudhir KV
RE:What an IDEA! Take if from me...Gandhi from Pune
by Sudhir KV on Jun 05, 2008 02:11 PM
you threatened. We actually dumped them for BSNL. Though a tad slow, they don't pester customers with nonsense.Moreover connectivity is very good in small towns and villages.

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Media also supports large companies
by Murali on Jun 05, 2008 11:44 AM

Hi all, thank you for the overwhelmed support to my above article. My special thanks to Rediff for publishing the article. I have sent the article to few Mumbai dailies in the form of letter to editor, but they had no courage to publish it. In my original article, I mentioned name of the service provider, but later removed it with a hope that the dailes would publish it as there would not be any legal consequences. However, they still ignored it.

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Yenigalla Hemendra Kumar
valuable customer care
by Yenigalla Hemendra Kumar on Jun 05, 2008 11:14 AM

I have a bsnl mobile. Once I tried to talk with their customer care center. Connected with "saying you are a valuable customer to us. please stay on the line". Later I came to know how valuable I am. I waited for some time hearing this. Finally the line was disconnected itself. I dialled again. Then a voice was heared saying "No enough balance to do a call". I astonished what was happened. Finally I came to know that they have a different customer care numbers. I assumed that I was lucky. that time the balance is only Rs.34 only. I tried the LL number that was billed. Is it our fault having not enough knowledge or their once not having a unique number or a number for free to all their services whether cell or LL.

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Rupesh Choudhary
Irresponsible service providers
by Rupesh Choudhary on Jun 05, 2008 10:58 AM

Hutch (now Vodafone) used a very stupid system of activating caller tunes. It works like this: If you called someone and he had a particular caller tune playing and you press star button, the service provider will take it as a "request" for activating the same caller tune you were listening to. You will be charged for activation and monthly rental. What happened to me, when I called my friend one day, the star button got pressed accidentally by my ears (due to the position of the star button). I never knew that it happened and added to it the caller tune was a horrible regional language tune no decent person will appreciate. I noticed it only when one day I called myself to locate my phone; it was a rude shock for me. On my complaint, Hutch neither refunded the amount nor deactivated the caller tune for one month. I am sure it is a sort of unfair and very bad business practice, but I accepted it as my "mistake" and never approached any consumer court. Now I am using Aircel, I get at least 2 junk messages everyday to download some stupid wallpaper, ringtone, etc. through their website. They also sent me instruction to activate internet browsing, but I was surprised to know that this service is not available despite my putting request several times. This is height of irresponsibility on the service provider’s part.

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Dhan  Kotnala
Vodafone also does
by Dhan Kotnala on Jun 05, 2008 10:53 AM  | Hide replies

My Friend has got Vodafone service he also got same experience. What should he do?

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RE:Vodafone also does
by Murali on Jun 05, 2008 11:24 AM
you have two options:

1 - continuously follow up with vodafone customer care. take up the matter with their nodal officer and then appellate authority (e-mail ids should be available at vodafone website and trai website). Disturb them with mail after mail - there is a chance that they refund your money.

2 - complaint to consumer forum. no need for an advocate to represent you. but you need to be present at the time of hearing. you need to find our the procedure from a web search. it is simple, i am sure.

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