Analysis on Indian Operators Who Messed Up with Call Management Services

Ever wondered if you are on a call and can check another incoming call in the background, put the present call on hold and answer the call which is waiting in the background, swap the calls, Divert the call to another number or finally join a conference to speak with more than a person at a time? Yes, all this is possible with Call Management Services provided by the Operators. Now let us check what are the different Call Management Services provided by the operators as well as supported by the handsets in general.

This table shows the availability of services with different operators. 

TT

We will have a look into what these services actually are:

  1. Call Waiting: Lets you to know about an incoming background call if you are already on a call, so that based on the importance of the calls you can switch between. This is a basic and free CM service provided by all the mobile operators.
  2. Call Hold: This is a facility which is used to keep your ongoing call on Hold – something like pause and make a new call or answer a call which is waiting. This is also a free service from the operators who support this feature.
  3. Call Conference*: Lets you to speak with 5* different people at a time so that you can have grouped conversations simultaneously with all the people in the call. Charged as a normal call according to your tariff to each individual call, this is a free service provided by the operators.Very bad that Reliance and Vodafone IN (in some circles) are not providing this feature for prepaid subscribers at present which is a very basic service.

Update on Vodafone:Service not available for Prepaid customers in AP, Kerala and Karnataka.

  1. Call Forwarding*: Lets you to forward or divert calls to other numbers on some predefined conditions (busy, switched off or not reachable, forward all calls). The numbers to which calls can be forwarded varies with different operators so please check with your respective operator to know about the service completely. Call forwarding is a free service from all the operators except the normal call charges apply when a forwarded call is answered.
  2. Call Barring*: Many operators tend or even boast to provide this service, but in fact this service is perfectly provided only by Airtel, Tata DoCoMo and Aircel. Call barring is a service where you can bar (stop) your incoming and outgoing calls temporarily on requirement which is password protected by the operator.

If you need assistance for the service from the above mentioned operators you can contact and get this service active on your number.

Coming to the call barring service, I really feel there is a need to discuss on how aware the operators and the cc executives are on their own services provided by the company and in an urge I’m putting my experiences below:

Vodafone IN:

Though Vodafone IN shows up this service in their call management services on their website this service is not available for prepaid subscribers and only available for Post Paid subscribers.

I tried to activate call barring service initially on my Vodafone number and failed .I complained to Vodafone care and they took it so extremely well that they checked with their technical team and informed me clearly that this service is available only to postpaid subscribers and hence you are not able to activate it. Though the information present on their website is not updated accordingly they cared to clarify me on of the issue.

Vodafone CB

Nowhere on their website is mentioned that this service is not available for prepaid subscribers, but their cc team finally concluded that this service is available only on postpaid which should be mentioned in the website as well to avoid confusion. Anyways Thanks to Vodafone for providing clarification on the issue.

Idea Cellular: The same case with idea cellular. I have been trying to activate the service on my idea cellular number and failed many times.

idea cb

To my astonishment Idea cellular briefed up an entire section for this service in their FAQ’s section but it failed to provide the service as mentioned on their site. The Customer care representatives are not even aware of this service and if strongly requested the only response we can get from them is “This is a handset dependent feature and for password or other required details please check with the support team of handset manufacturer or take your phone and go to the service center”.

This is the dumbest answer any cc team would give without having knowledge of their services, which were clearly mentioned on their website.

CC Executive 1: Sorry sir, this feature is not at all available with idea.

CC Executive 2: Please call 12345 from respective number and request for service activation.

CC Executive 3: Sorry this is a hand set related feature please check with service center of handset manufacturer.

CC Executive 4: via email

idea

Idea

To who so ever executives from idea or Uninor read this: I wonder if this is a handset related feature why your company is mentioning this service on website as if you are providing it? And what is the answer from your side if the same service is provided by other operators,then it is not handset related? Does call barring service of that operator differ from yours? Please enlighten me. Let the handset manufacturers boast them for this service and you relax if you are not able to provide it and finally please remove this service from your list of services in your website when you don’t provide it properly.

PS: I tried to activate this service on both prepaid as well as postpaid for idea cellular and miserably failed.

Uninor: And here comes our new entrant Uninor too following the footsteps of Idea Cellular.

Uninor

Their cc executives are also not aware of this service but these operators show off as if they provide this service by allocating some space over their website about activation and usage procedures which are not at all useful in activating the same. I experienced a similar situation of idea cellular with Uninor as well.

What Actually it is: This is a Network (Operator) supported feature which can be easily activated/deactivated via handset menu (ultimately if options appear in menu, your phone also supports this feature) if available using the 4 digit default password which is set by the network usually 0000 or 1234 or can also be activated and deactivated via USSD codes provided by the operator. While majority of operators are not providing this service properly and blaming to check with handset vendor as it a handset dependent feature I really appreciate Airtel, Tata DoCoMo and Aircel (recently set things right with this service) for providing this services flawlessly. Who knows many be their cc executives may also be not aware of this service. I leave the use of this service to personal preferences and choices. *When you bar incoming calls incoming messages will also be barred and same with outgoing.

        6.  Call Filter: It is a special service but not provided by all the operators to filter or block calls from certain blacklisted numbers            without knowing the actual status of your number to the blacklisted numbers.  Not a free service from any operator but acts as a              powerful tool to filter callers.
        7.  MCA: While TATA DoCoMo started it as a free service and failed to keep it free, BSNL is doing it the right way out there and is                still providing the service for free. This is a service which helps users know who called them at times of no coverage or when phone          is switch off via sms as soon as they switch on their phone or come into an area with Network.

This is all about call management services as of now and we can clearly see Airtel,Tata Docomo and Aircel win over other Network operators in providing call management services.Have you experienced any such situations with cc executives not knowing the services which their company provides and give you false solutions? If so please let the Indian Telecom World know about your experiences with comments.

*Check with the availability of Services from your Operator,may be specific to circle. Some services may or may not be available within your region.Requires Handset support as well for activation of some services or can also be activated if your operator provides USSD for respective service activation’s. 

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  • Gaurav Bhatnagar March 10, 2014 4:37 pm

    I am Idea (Postpaid) Maharashtra subscriber and i fully agree to facts mentioned above about Call Barring.
    I called thrice to Idea CC and got similar responses which are mentioned above, jokers didn’t didn’t even knew what is call barring, when i explained and forced them explore first person asked me to check with handset manufacturer. Finally on 3rd call i came to know Idea does not supports Call barring for either prepaid or postpaid, now sure why Idea has put a section for call barring on their web site under FAQ when they do not provide this service.

  • Ravi December 2, 2013 11:39 am

    To my surprise the call barring service works with Vodafone prepaid for me. But not working on my postpaid network.

  • raja October 29, 2013 9:10 am

    frds which oparator provided free out going call at any network even roaming also in Rs-1000…

  • khaleel September 30, 2013 11:50 am

    I think aircel has no call divert to non aircel numbers..

  • Arif September 30, 2013 6:54 am

    I tried to activate in Vodafone postpaid but it is not activating.
    First I deactivate Call Forward by sending SMS CAN CF and I got confirmation SMS, and call forward is deactivated.
    Then I sent SMS for Call Barring service activation, ACT CB but I got SMS “Wrong Key Word” and call barring service is not working. I tried password 1234 and 0000 but of no use. Any one know the procedure for Vodafone Mumbai postpaid.

  • Sunderpanther September 28, 2013 9:11 pm

    Hey Guys, Nice article to let know everyone about the basic services provided by the operators. But @srikaprdhi @VodafoneIN doesn’t support Call Conference facility in Andhra Pradesh prepaid numbers :( .Even the call divert facilty was made available just a few months ago,before it was like we can divert calls to only Vodafone to Vodafone…!!

  • Manoj Bole September 27, 2013 11:35 pm

    Informative article!

  • Pramod September 27, 2013 11:09 pm

    Can anyone confirm whether call conference is provided by MTNL in Mumbai? I had tried their call conf feature and had been following up with customer care center for more than 6 months and then forfeited following up. Call conf doesn’t work on MTNL network, I have tried with multiple SIMs.

    • Kunal September 28, 2013 9:12 am

      Pramod, call conference works on MTNL Mumbai, as far as i remember, i had 3 ppl taling at the same tym on my prepaid number, had to put ppl on hold and then connect the others !!!

    • Sam September 28, 2013 9:30 am

      Yes it does work. 1503 activated it for me in less than 10 minutes, on prepaid.

      • Pramod September 28, 2013 11:15 am

        Thank you. I had tried earlier on couple of number and did not work. I tried today by getting conf facility activated by help desk on a new number and it is working. I think, it would had been configuation issue where helpdesk was not able to help earlier.

  • Kingston September 27, 2013 10:37 pm

    RGSM TAMILNADU, call barring service not working with 0000 and 1234……

  • kingston September 27, 2013 10:34 pm

    I checked in my Aircel chennai number. Its only barring outgoing and incoming messages. I can not block incoming and outgoing calls through this service. Is any one from chennai, can block outgoing calls in aircel?

  • Kingston September 27, 2013 10:31 pm

    Call Barring service is not available for Airtel Tamilnadu customers. I checked with 1234 and 0000 passwords. Anyone from tamilnadu using airtel cal barring service?

  • SANJIB September 27, 2013 5:53 pm

    CALL BARRING FACILITY FREE FOR ALL PREPAID AND POSTPAID CUSTOMERS OF BSNL CDMA..

  • Mayank Singh September 27, 2013 5:49 pm

    My calls never get forwarded from BSNL to Airtel.That’s is all experience I have of CMS facilities by operators.
    And about information on websites,they get updated very late.And some of them are too slow and annoying(Airtel included).One can’t find relevant information about anything.
    To top it all,we have CC.
    I think Tele Operators compete for recruiting dumbest people for CCs.
    Once I got a number ported from some operator to Idea.It got activated and all,but i couldn’t make any calls.So I called CC.
    First ‘Toll-free CC’ told me our system is getting updated……..(I get a lot of that,btw).
    Then I called up the paid CC.He told me there might be some problem with id.
    So I went to my vendor.He told me to get recharged with some FRC.
    Voila….Problem solved.

    • Sunderpanther September 28, 2013 9:14 pm

      BSNL supports call forwarding only From BSNL to BSNL numbers :)

  • Sree Jith September 27, 2013 3:15 pm

    Excellent article..worth reading..

    Btw..In Airtel Missed call alert is free in tamil nadu circle.

  • VINAY September 27, 2013 2:55 pm

    Dear Srikapardhi,

    Thanks for providing all information and i love this website. I always read your all article.thank you somuch to all your Colleague.

    Just, I read your article and I called to my operator, (I am using airtel postpaid in delhi cercile), Now i have talked two executive including to senior person..Mr. Rahul.(he is working in airtel in last 3 years).
    But my call barring service is not activated, beacuse they are saying this facility is not in airtel. they are advice to activate call manager service (30/ per month).

    Please help to me, how to activate call barring….please talk to airtel and tell me, airtel executive name, which can activate my service.

    THANKS
    VINAY VISEN

    • Srikapardhi September 29, 2013 12:26 am

      Hi, Followed up with Airtel, They also started to talk to me on Call Manager service.I said not call manager but call barring , they started again its a Handset dependent feature with a default password 1234.

      Vinay , I can understand you but the cc team executive you are trying to call should get it unlocked for you from their system . Then you can use the service.

      Unless or until they understand the real glitch and lucky to get connected that cc person who is technically sound it is not possible to use the service.

      Thanks.

  • S.Sudhakar September 27, 2013 2:51 pm

    In Tamilnadu (not Chennai) circle,
    Aircel provides call forwarding to any intra circle numbers (facility is free, forwarded call is charged at applicable rate).
    Call waiting, hold and call conference facilities are free (usage is charged).

    • vinay September 27, 2013 7:02 pm

      SRIKAPARDHI,

      I DID NOT RECEIVED ANY INFORMATION..VINAY VISEN (PLEASE READ MY ARTICLE.)

      • Srikapardhi September 27, 2013 9:34 pm

        Dear Vinay, i need some time . I will follow up with airtel team.

  • Anoop John September 27, 2013 1:37 pm

    On BSNL Kerala (Prepaid) Call Conference is not available. Most of the other circles it is available.

  • Abrar September 27, 2013 1:16 pm

    As no more information has been given for voicemail service either in article or in the comments, I would like to make a few points in this regard.
    (1)In fact voicemail service if used properly can also serve as MCA and Call filter facility.
    (2) In addition one can leave customised voice messages for callers in case if one can’t receive the call in different situations like driving, no network available, phone switched-off etc. And in return the system request callers to leave their own voice message. Notification is received in the form of sms or flash message (to be opted while set-up) when the caller disconnects even if he/she doesn’t have left any voice message.
    (3) There is also facility in voicemail service to filter specific calls.
    (4) For not so important calls one can divert the caller to voicemail where he/she can leave a voice message. There is also facility to divert the caller if phone is not picked up for let say 30 seconds!
    There are many advantages of using this service. However due to lack of awareness and uneducated call-centre executives this service is used by very less people.
    Currently I have been using this service from BSNL free of charge and it is working flawlessly.

    • Srikapardhi September 27, 2013 1:48 pm

      +1
      Oh dear , Well done. now the real crowd sourcing has started :D

  • obama ka bhanja September 27, 2013 1:00 pm

    Hi, can you post an article about balance transfer . like we can share our balance in vodafone to vodafone . how many operators provide this kind of service ? i asked bsnl but they said sorry we are not providing this kind of service :(

    • Adil September 27, 2013 2:25 pm

      airtel *121*6#

      aircel *122*666#

      idea Type GIVE Mobile
      Number Amount and send it to 55567

      tata docomo *363#

      reliance *367*3#

      uninor *202*Mobile
      Number*Amount#

      vodafone *131**#

      i only know these operator

    • saurabh September 27, 2013 8:46 pm

      for bsnl GIFT and send to 53733

  • Prathamesh J September 27, 2013 12:17 pm

    Vodafone IN – Mumbai has conference facility for prepaid also , max 4 can be added ! i have used it myself !

  • SS September 27, 2013 11:33 am

    I just contacted airtel delhi cc and asked for my barring password. He said-

    Sir what?

    Me- Call barrings, a facility to block i/c and o/g calls.

    Cc- if u want to block, then add numbers in ur phone’s reject list. Thanks for calling airtel sir.

    Dumb people. LOL :-P

    • Srikapardhi September 27, 2013 11:37 am

      ROFL, on Airtel it should work with default password of 1234. Else just try to ping Airtel_Presence on twitter . (But you should be lucky to hit that CC executive who is technically good to solve the issue ;) Last time they are the ones who helped me release my barring service.

    • amit ghosh September 27, 2013 12:25 pm

      Call barring is not supported by airtel . However if u want block certain callers u can avail call blocking service by dialing *323# at rs 30 per month.

      • Srikapardhi September 27, 2013 12:32 pm

        I’m using the CB service on Airtel flawlessly , infact im planning to port to Airtel for this service only . (AP circle)

  • Abhijit September 27, 2013 11:24 am

    Nice article, keep it up!

  • Kanaga Deepan N September 27, 2013 11:20 am

    Another good article, dear Srikapardhi

  • SS September 27, 2013 11:16 am

    @srikapardhi
    Thanks a lot for publishing this article! The twitter’s 140 characters weren’t enough to express my sincere thanks to you.:-)

    (@sng_shivang aka SS);-)

    • srikapardhi September 27, 2013 11:28 am

      Thank you very much SS ;) comments on TT posts boosts me to come up with many innovative write ups :D

  • Radhika September 27, 2013 11:14 am

    +1 Excellent post…but shud contain all the Operaotrs…

    Reliance also not providing any of the above mentioned Call Management Services to its PREPAID subscribers only available to POSTPAID..
    These services were there earlier before launch of 3G,but since then they stopped , why but now prepaid user cant even use atleast Call Conference…

    • srikapardhi September 27, 2013 11:25 am

      Thanks, Would have tried with some effort, but It is not possible for me to test the operators which are not present in my circle. i know i missed out MTNL,MTS,S Tel,Loop,Videocon and CDMA services but tried to cover all the remaining well known Telecom players.

  • chirag September 27, 2013 10:57 am

    thanks to u people there. Hope so that this table brings some changes in the company policies of providing these basic call management services to their customers. Am a reliance Gsm customer and miss the call hold and call conference service.

  • Firoze September 27, 2013 10:21 am

    Brilliant article Srikapardhi! This was an eye opener, didn’t know Vodafone was so bad for prepaid customers!

    Although I do wish MCA was free from other operators, especially Docomo, as their network penetration is certainly not worth writing home to.

    • Srikapardhi September 27, 2013 11:03 am

      glad you liked it :) Thanks .
      MCA is provided for just 15/30days or free by some top operators and some operators are still providing it for 30/30days . what a pity on the situation :(

  • Arif September 27, 2013 10:13 am

    Please tell me how to deactivate Call Forward of Vodafone and Airtel in Bombay circle.
    For deactivating Call Forward USSD code or SMS?

    Call barring is very suitable when you access internet. If some one calls or SMS internet is disconnected for that period of time. If we barred the incomming calls, no one can call and also SMS gets barred also and internet connectivity is continues.

    • Srikapardhi September 27, 2013 11:01 am

      Settings -> Call Settings -> Call diver/Forward and select it , the phone will check and display status for you (Depending on your handset) If any number is displayed pls remove it and keep it empty and save it. That’s it your call forwarding facility be deactivated.

      • gaurav September 27, 2013 1:42 pm

        @Arif use this ussd code ##002# to deactive call forwarding.

  • SS September 27, 2013 9:26 am

    Airtel also provides free MCA service and its always quick and immediate, not like BSNL in which the alert seldom arives. Now regarding call barring, can someone tell me the password of call barring for airtel? Since i cannot get anyone working.

    The thing which is messed up the most is cell info display (even though its not a call management service). Almost operators use it as a advertisement portal except BSNL which provides accurate info of the cell site. I think TRAI should take care of this.

  • Saket.sharma September 27, 2013 8:56 am

    Yes, This service (barring) is available in TATA DOCOMO GSM (prepaid) .. I was using this since 2011 till I ported from TD last week.. Passkey is 1234..

    Does anyone know any working password of other service providers??? Please share…

    • Srikapardhi September 27, 2013 9:52 am

      Airtel – 1234
      Tata Docomo – 1234
      Aircel – 0000

      Uninor who claims to provide the service – 0000
      Idea Cellular who also claims to provide the service- 0000
      Vodafone IN – for Post pay users – 0000

  • Feroze Mohamed September 27, 2013 8:56 am

    I am a vodafone subscriber (prepaid) i cannot make conference calls from my number. i tried many prepaid numbers of my colleagues but it didnt work , only postpaid numbers are able to make conference calls.

    • Srikapardhi September 27, 2013 9:16 am

      Sorry Feroze, a small mistake.updated in the doc(some symbol issue during copy paste). Thanks for letting me know.

  • Aabid Hashmi September 27, 2013 8:53 am

    Dear Srikapardhi,

    Thanks for useful info.
    But I want to add something about the CMS.
    Ball barring is not being provided by all operators, because I think they all are cunning. They want to make earnings by this feature.
    E.g. when you will receive a Missed call from spammers which you didn’t know. So, you will call them and sometime it charged ISD call rates. Now, think who will earn by this … obviously operator is deducting the money, they will be beneficiary. So, it’s a trick not to block spammers so that they can earn more and more.
    2nd another feature Missed Call Alert (MCA)
    It’s true that BSNL is providing it free, but now Airtel is also providing it free (at least I confirmed it in our State i.e. Himachal).
    Also, the BSNL MCA is very worst as its other services. MCA message comes very late (several hours) and MCA message is coming from the header something “BSNL MCA”
    But in Airtel the MCA message comes through the number from which you get the missed call.
    Means from BSNL MCA message you cannot easily determine who was calling until you will not call that No. (if the person is in your contact list, you will know the name after dialing the number), but in Airtel MSG seems to be comes from the calling No. so if the person is in your contact list you can easily see who was calling.

    • Srikapardhi September 27, 2013 9:18 am

      Yes, Airtel is providing it for free now a days in AP circle to my knowledge, don’t know weather it will continue or not.

  • Gopala Krishna September 27, 2013 8:53 am

    Call Conference facility not available in Vodafone IN prepaid.

    • Srikapardhi September 27, 2013 9:16 am

      Sorry guys, a small mistake.updated in the doc(some symbol issue during copy paste). Thanks for letting me know.

  • vaibhav SAINI September 27, 2013 8:03 am

    what about relince cdma? not included in survey

  • AsitPaul September 27, 2013 7:02 am

    I cannot but praise SRI for this informative article!

    1. WHY Call Conference not available with BSNL?

    2. Why call barring not available with Aircel. Cc is totally dumb. No response on Email too.

    • Abrar September 27, 2013 12:33 pm

      Who said it is not available?

  • younus September 27, 2013 3:52 am

    really appriciate TELECOM TALK
    I never come across any researched articallike this till now on any sites,,,,, very informative.
    Keep it up… Love you.
    Btw…. What a joke from major operators responses,
    iDeA must be ashamed of this.

  • Vikas September 27, 2013 3:22 am

    airtel 3g 30minutes plan mentioned on their website, their CC doesn’t even know about it.
    Delhi circle

    • SS September 27, 2013 9:18 am

      Its gone. Now you will get only 25 mb for rs 11

      • adil September 27, 2013 10:21 am

        ss
        td has also started stv11 and in uttar pradesh west stv13 where you get 60mins unlimited downloading and a strange thing about this pack is auto disconnection does not take place in 1st or even 2nd half hour.

        And more days i’m using idea flawless.. love it but something is funny till now i recharge with 2g pack but don’t know why i’m getting 3g speed on 3g network.