Airtel, country’s largest GSM mobile service operator has issued a notice to all subscribers in Kolkata and West Bengal telecom circle that calling to customer care and talk to customer care excutives is not free at all from now.
While calling to 198 and register your complain will be treated as toll free. Even you can dial *121# and get onscreen menu for Offer of the Day, Balance & Validity and VAS activation free of cost. But calling 121 and talking to Airtel customer care excutive will be charges at 50 paisa/3minutes.
Here are the Details for charges for Airtel Customer Care-:
|Complain Helpline||Dial 198||Toll free|
|Ask a Question||Dial 121||Toll free|
|SMS <airtel> to 121||Toll free|
|Log on to www.airtel.in|
|Dial 121 (Customer care Agent)||50 paisa /3 minute|
|VAS activation||SMS ‘START’ to 121||Toll free|
|VAS deactivation||Dial 155223||Toll free|
|SMS ‘STOP’ to 121 or 155223||Toll free|
All private GSM operators(COAI & AUSPI) got the consent from TRAI to charge such calling a month before. Idea in Maharastra and Mumbai has already started this.
From the customers’ point of view it is not a rational system as when call center is busy or hold the customer’s call for a time the subscriber has to pay due to call center’s fault. At the same time operators are giving the reason as majority of calls that mobile users make to customer care are for inquiry purposes, and not related to grievances or complains. Since running these call centres and offering customer care involves a huge cost, they want consumers to pay for this service.