Bug in Vodafone India’s “HELP” Sms Services irritates Customers

Most of the times it’s not necessary for the users to remember SMS KEYWORDS for any operator to seek information or HELP.

For the interest of the users along with adding comfort, Operators should design their sms navigation system in such a way that whatever keyword user has sent they should be able to get suggestions for correct KEYWORDS or required help in the form of a return sms. This feature benefits both the users as well as the Operators as it’s not necessary to maintain or provide services on some particular KEYWORDS.

We have checked this type of functionality on all of our AVOID Operators along with Aircel.


If we observe Airtel(AP Circle Number) has set it very clear and simple,what ever wrong keyword user sends the sms system asks to send ‘AIRTEL’ to 121 to get required suggestions and the same way with Idea cellular(AP Circle Number) to 1234 as seen from the image.

But I was surprised to see the response from 111 of Vodafone IN(AP Circle Number).You can clearly see from the message that the SMS system of Vodafone failed in this case. They tried to provide a similar kind of service but it was utter flop and no way useful for users.

So,we decided to check if the fault exists in other circles as well.

For Vodafone IN Karnataka Circle:

vodafone Karnataka

I have come across a special keyword – NULL in the beginning for every reply sms.For every try i failed to get any useful response from the sms system of Vodafone.Pity on them for such a poor SMS response system.

For Vodafone IN Chennai Circle:

Vodafone Chennai

 Wow! That’s an amazing response this time. For our HELP message we received a response “Hello,Your Request is Received.Will be processed shortly”.

I was wondering what is that the system will be processing shortly for my sms HELP request on my number :( ?

 And oh that’s not the end of the message,even we have a VAS Promotional message included too ;) Clever ah.

Two blunders at a stretch and are the customers expected to tolerate such stuff ?

Aircel: Initially I’m happy that Aircel too provided similar kind of Services.

Aircel Help

It can be clearly seen that User needs to reply to 121 but Aircel system responds from DA-Aircel which can’t be used to directly reply. So,every time we need to go out of Message thread and reply to 121 which is very troublesome and spoiled the entire user experience. Dear Aircel please improve user experience.

Regarding Vodafone, I have complained long back on twitter handle of @VodafoneIN to which they responded but never cared to rectify their defective system till date.Vodafone Twitter

Dear users, have you faced any such issues with your operator in your circle? Do you like to tolerate this kind of services from premium operators? Do let us know any of your such experiences via comments.

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  • Arjun Chandrashekar February 23, 2014 3:33 pm

    Except Some Service, Aircel & AirTel Are VFM Services for Me, Coz. to find out My Balance, E – Mail ID, Recharging it’s Quite Better. Where as I fed up with Vodafone and BSNL

  • Sushant February 18, 2014 9:21 am

    Vodafone is going worst everyday…..
    I had activated 3G pack of 1gb n I was not getting 3g signal In manual search I was getting vodafone,idea,bsnl….i selected vodafone but it didnot register I then sms ACT 3G to 121 but after sending my phone got registered on 3g but in 2min my full 1gb + 35rs talktimr finished when.i called cc they said u havd.used u r full pack …..wtf……within 2min how an 1gb finish in 2min…..now giving my no for porting to idea/bsnl…..Vodafone f***k off!

    • Srikapardhi February 18, 2014 11:53 am

      LOL.. May be they are thinking they are providing 5G services :p

  • Abhisek Agarwalla February 17, 2014 11:24 pm

    Vodafone 111 and 198 customer care numbers have a very complex structure and a irritating system
    if possible please try it out for west bengal except kolkata circle…

  • Dnyaneshwar February 16, 2014 10:36 pm

    We had done a campaign or just call an event here in maharashtra…..
    Our objective was to totally stop using foreign products for a span of 7 days….
    In this we had a point of avoiding using even mobile companies like airtel vodafone n also idea…
    Around 90 people of age 19-20yrs had participated in it….The general managing team of BSNL had helped us a lot for doing this…They gave us guarantee that atleast in our area we will not face any network issues with full coverage in 3g with speed of 3mbps guaranteed we agrreed….so all of them ported to BSNL…
    38members were using Vodafone!
    18members were using airtel
    7 members idea….
    N remaining were some in uninor, TD and some were presnt in bsnl nly…
    All of them ported to bsnl…we thought that in small extent we would help nation….
    Yesterday our card was started as guaranteed by them we got speed of 2.9mbps in speed test…i feel that if bsnl executives work good all will opt bsnl soon…now just 135rs voice pack n 139rs net pack is enough for us.

    • darshan February 16, 2014 10:46 pm

      Yaa u r correct but actually in maharashtra..bsnl 3g is not continuesly working…like after.every hour net stops for 5-10min…it works in mumbai perfectly fine but when i enter maharashtra circle same problem is again started…

  • bhargavi February 16, 2014 10:11 pm

    @hsu… Thx again. I tried BSNL, Airtel, idea sim cards in my Lumia 520. I got 200-500 KBPS in idea, 400-700 KBPS in Airtel, 40-120KBPs in BSNL… All are download speeds. Though BSNL is less expensive their 3g speeds are almost equal to Airtel 2g. So finally decided to port in to Airtel. Thanks for your tip.

  • bhargavi February 16, 2014 1:44 pm

    Hi… I am Vodafone customer in ap. Using Vodafone since 2004. Now I am facing signal issues with Vodafone. I travel often. I am getting Airtel signal on my Vodafone number.. And also shows roaming symbol even though I am in ap. I am not able to use internet on airtel signal. In my home also previously I used to get full signal. But now I am getting only 2-3 bars. So I am planning to port out from Vodafone. Kindly suggest me the best network with 3g in Andhra pradesh. I live in Vizag and Rajahmundry.

    • hsu February 16, 2014 3:27 pm

      try bsnl 3g

      • bhargavi February 16, 2014 5:43 pm

        Thx hsu… My friend is using BSNL and she is also planning to port out from it. She is getting very low speed on 3g. So I am hesitating to port in to BSNL.

        • hsu February 16, 2014 5:57 pm

          well that all depends on the area. one street we may be getting poor speed and on the other good speed. may be you should try all others and decide which is better in your area.

    • Zeeshan February 16, 2014 10:40 pm

      Idea 3g is best go for it…n u really no need for thinking for it againn.its the nly operator who is serious abt 3G

      • bhargavi February 16, 2014 11:57 pm

        Thx zeeshan. Idea is good but they are not giving offers like Airtel in AP circle. This Sunday I did complete research on tariffs and coverage. Fially found Airtel is best in my circle. Airtel is giving good offers under my Airtel my offer through *121*1#. But idea is not doing so. Also Airtel is giving more than full talk time with Airtel money. 110 for 100 and 550 for 500 in core balance. Airtel also giving 1.25 GB 3g with 255 recharge. In idea I noticed only local call offers but no 3g offers. And finally my Vodafone number frequently get Airtel signal while travelling. It means Vodafone itself accepted that Airtel is having good signal on roads and railway lines. So decided to port in to Airtel.???? last one…i hate yellow colour ???? and red is my favourite colour ????

        • Zeeshan February 17, 2014 8:27 am

          Ok yeah even Airtel is better in coverage…good ..actually idea offers u can check *121#…n for 3g offers call 12125 n then select internet offers….but airtel is having overage from north to south everywhere so airtel is good

  • Jayant February 16, 2014 12:27 pm

    I’m on vodafone in Raj. Here if you send a sms HELP to 111 to get the info about the keywords, you get only one rely, The System is busy right now please try after some time. But at the same time other keywords like DATA BAL work flawlessly.

  • joseph joy christopher February 16, 2014 11:35 am

    i am using vodafone in bangalore whenever i came to my town in coimbatore when i call 111 or 198 call is dropped then i have to call 9843098430 which is chargable like normal roaming cost even to the ivr. vodafone 3g via ICRA as i ‘m old 3g customer is poor

  • krish February 16, 2014 9:10 am

    hello srikapardhi please write an article about aircel coverage in andhra pradesh. waiting for your reply.

    • Srikapardhi February 16, 2014 2:52 pm

      Krish, Only few words from me regarding Coverage of Aircel in AP: If you are in the city limits you will be covered else forgot that you have a Mobile to communicate.Better to maintain a dual Network ;)

      • krish February 16, 2014 3:23 pm

        aircel got its own network only in few places( hyd & vijayawada). now aircel sim is showing roaming and getting reliance signal.