First Airtel, then Loop Mobile and now Vodafone Essar, India's 2nd Largest GSM operator today issued a notice to its subscribers regarding applicable CALL-CHARGES when you call them for inquires.
The Government’s directive to telecom companies while giving out licences explicitly stated customer service calls should be TOLL-FREE. This directive hasn’t changed — the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has not yet approved the companies’ request to charge subscribers for their calls to CUSTOMER CARE
But the freebies are gradually disappearing as Super-competition is driving down mobile operators’ profits and ARPUs (Average Revenue Per User).
Taking into the consideration about the customer disenchantment, some companies have brought in clarity between complaint and query in the IVR a Vodafone Essar spokesperson said and i quote, “We changed our IVR system very recently. If you call 111, the IVR will ask whether you want to register a complaint or do something else. If it’s a complaint, the caller will be asked to terminate the call and dial 198, which is toll free. But if you need to talk to an agent, a message will tell you that the call will be charged at 50p for three minutes.”