This is a real tale, how cellular service providing companies take you for a ride and not just a ride, but long ride! I found one workable solution, it worked, atleast, in my case.
This particular company is a multinational company operating in India for last decade or so. It is quite popular for its good service. I am using its sim card since last ten years or so and the offers of most other companies did not dither me from opting out of this particular company. But, thankfully, the company itself ensured that I am tempted to search out for some new better option.
I am a net and tech savvy person, I like to stay in tune with latest developments. So, I joined this 4G bandwagon which arrived in our country, I decided to upgrade my sim card to 4G enabled sim card. Not that I really vied for the speed, I had even faster network than what was offered at my home, I was wi-fi enabled in my office too, I just wanted to “experience” the thing called 4G.
So, I went to the “customer care” center of this particular company. These customer care centers are a den of fooling gullible customer like this author, I surmised after my experience. So, this particular, customer care center girl came to ‘assist’ me, and in the suavest and comfortable language impressed upon me that I was using a plan that was costlier and offered me a cheaper plan, which included 4G connectivity for free. Wow, wasn’t I happy on that day ? for saving few bucks and yet availing the service. Now, in the hindsight, i realize it was a “plan” after all.!
I was on 4G lane now, still figuring out what changed my life, the speed was almost the same, at times, in fact, it was slower than 2G networks. But, still, i was happy that at least, my plan was cheaper one, compared to the earlier one. I was happy for three good months.
One fine day a SMS came on my 4G enabled phone, informing about the charges payable, it had nearly doubled. So, i called the call center to seek clarification, the attendant of my phone call told me that the ‘plan’ had expired! No free ride now. I put before her a simple question, why was i not informed beforehand, why did the customer care people who offered the plan three months before inform me about this three month’s free window. The girl, perhaps, without blinking her eyelids nonchalantly said, you have signed documents, which means you are aware of all our terms and conditions. I was angry, not angry at the bill, but, at the betrayal, for the paper one signs are printed in so minute fonts that one simply cannot read, the language is so complex, everything is done to ensure that the customer signs the papers without reading. It was akin to the tale that was shown in the Bollywood movie, Oh My God.
Feeling cheated, i wrote a strong mail to the helpdesk, next day a reply came, again highlighting the fact that i had signed the documents.
Now paying the hefty bill was not an issue, but, the cheating hurted. I felt cheated, cheated badly by the company who had relation with me for ten long years.
I decided to let others know about my predicament, i went social. I twitted cryptically emphasizing to the company that we now have better options. The company replied my tweet in a matter of minutes asking for my cell number in the direct message. I was too angry to interact with such people now.
A couple of days later, i received a call from visibly hassled guy from the call center inquiring about the whole incident, I reluctantly narrated the whole incident to the guy, he profusely apologized for the incident and as a carrot offered to waive off my tariff charged for the number and reduced my bill by half. I was amused, stopping him, i told him you are waving off the bill for the number which is not the matter of dispute, but, the guy was so much panicked that he said, sir, we are waiving off charges from both your numbers. It seems, someone in the higher hierarchy gave them a good thrashing.
So here i was, i inquired, i wrote, i requested, the company to clarify. Knowing that the correspondence is just between me and company, they made me run from pillar to post. Now, that i went on social media and in the time when another company was offering data and phone calls just for free for a good 90 days, the company panicked. And in panic they not only reduced the charges of number in contention, they did so for the other number which was not in the reckoning.