December 2006


Bharti Airtel ventures into Retail Fraud

After having launched its mega enterprise scam deal in its own realm, Bharti Airtel seems to be on the move to launch the retail version of the same. In fact, I have been witnessing a beta version of this ploy even about six months back. Over to the story.


On 28th December 2006 at about 11:14:18, while I was travelling to the examination center to give my third semester MBA examination, my mobile beeped alert an incoming text message which read as follows:”Thank you, for using www.airtel.in for making the payment for your Airtel bill. Please do not share your ID & password & avoid misuse of your mobile account”.

Interestingly, I have stopped using thier Online Payment website long time back, since it is prone for a lot of technical errors, an elevated significance of slow response and timeouts, the requests raised or payments done through the website take more than one week to service and get credited to the account. The best way to make payments to Airtel service is via Airtel Landline Showrooms who are more professional in approach and depict a responsible business gesture than thier website or franchise Airtel Connects.

Now, when I tried to bring this to the notice of Airtel Customer, here are the observations/responses.

  1. I called 121 (Airtel CustomerCare) at about 11:20 and one Ms. Kavi attended it. She was repeatedly denying any such SMS be sent and to an extent she was turning hostile that “Airtel does not send any  such messages and only send professional alerts”. So does she mean, that escalating complaints is unprofessional? 🙂 All these interesting conversation from the customercare, after IVR claiming to say that “This call may be recorded for quality and training purposes”. So, can we claim this as a tangible testimony of the supreme quality showcased by the premiere communications company of India?
  2. Unsatisfied and disgusted with a such a response, when I hung up the call and called again, one Mr. Santosh attended the call. This guy was presenting a different picture and was proving that they are fast qualifying themselves to contest as right candidates for our Thikkuvay Thandavarayan case study. He was admitting that there might message delivery (paradoxical to the assurance of 1)) however he wanted to put the matter to sleep for at least a day, taking excuse that eBill Payments get reflected in their CRM systems only after 24-48 hours. He was rather suggesting other means like sending a SMS to 345 or an email to 121@airtelindia.com. When insisted on raising a complaint, he thought for a while and then presumed to accept it. He wanted to put the line on hold, raise a complaint and then resume the call to intimate. But actually, he wanted to put the line on hold and then silently vanish in the wild, as usually these guys do.
  3. An SMS to 345 has been sent and let us see what is their feedback on the same. I would keep this discussion updated with the responses.
  4. Interesting Prelude: About nine months back, when I recieved the Airtel bill, it was bulky than usual. I was smelling a rat whether there were any unscrupulous usage.However, it turned out that my bill was carrying another bill of some girl called ‘Umamaheswari’ along with her itemized bill content being pinned together with mine. Again the 121 customercare was not able to comment anything and you can assume re-reading of 1 to 2 above for a similar response.

All these incidents clearly substantiate whether this page on Airtel entitled ‘Privacy Policy‘ is really bona fide in its purpose of just for name sake to satisfy TRAI and to provide some insulation to provide vacuum competition against other telecom companies.

Readers: What do you think?  Do you have similar experience? Share across…

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Dying Cultures

Time and again we have been discussing about the malific effects of cinema and this comes close to the heels where heavenly gestures are promised to hell. The ill-effects of cinema are plethora and a recent incident when school going teenagers hacking a little kid to death and trying to erase the traces so that the police sniffer dogs would not be able to find them. TamilMurasu reports that they had scattered chilli powder from the place of crime to where they threw the corpse so that the sniffer dog would get distracted. Incidentally this dastardly law-blinding act was empowered and impressed by Gilli film starring Vijay that was released about two years back. Check out the entire narration from ‘The HIndu’ here.

There is a interesting precursor to this incident bringing to limelight on how culture is ransacked by movies. About ten years back it was a film called Nooravathu Naal starring Satyaraj, which misguided a youth called Jayaprakash and he went on the killing spree murdering his entire family of fourteen persons and burying them near the banyan tree near Lamech School, Valasaravalkam.  Check out this coverage on Ramz blog.

We would like to appreciate the Chennai City Police and Cybercrime for their meticulous and untiring efforts to unearth the criminals in just about 48 hours and bringing them to the media and limelight. But now they have more problems to encounter. The report in TamilMurasu claims that the father of one of the criminals has given a suicide warning if his son is not left out.  As a related issue, Tamil Murasu carries one more news item that prisoners in Salem prison often stage a dharna or hartal by climbing up trees and threatening to commit suicide if they needs are not met. The needs they place to the prison authorities are

  1. Provision of drugs and narcotics
  2. Provision of prohibited food items other than those allowed by prison rules.

The prison authorities seems to be paralyzed by stringent rules on one side and daunting criminals on the otherside. Chennai City Police should try and put an end to this threat menace also.

Kona Vaay Gopalu

Time and again we have been discussing about eve-teasing menace and how to combat the same. For the interested reader, I would like to recall a few of the significant permalinks:

  1. Religious Clashes — Testimony of Extreme Stupidity and/or Political Backing
  2. Tax Saving for Cinema — Is it really justified?
  3. Unrelenting Telemarketing Calls — Best Way to Make Use

Sometime back one of a passenger in 5A was commenting out a guy who was hanging in the footboard and showing all sorts of gymnastics in just a wierd way to allure the attention of girls and women passengers in the bus. Conductors warnings and threats to him were of no avail. He was jumping down and climbing up in a typical monkey style. If you had witnessed this, you would think that he was in Phase 1 of “Theory of Evolution” by Charles Darwin. 🙂

The passenger who was sitting near me was I think working near Saidapet. He gave this a good name “Kona Vaay Gopalu“. The actual English translation of this is that “zig-zagged mouth zombie” or “funny-faced-frowny clown“. And I think we should really brand all eve teasers in the similar way and they all fit this caption to the complete perfection.

Just by brandishing a brand new Hero Honda Splendour Plus or a golden chain or a flushy slushy fatty wallets stacked up with plastic currencies, I don’t think these jerks can seduce any decent person. I also feel that laws preventing and prohibiting Eve-Teasing are not yet strict and hence these guys go scott free. And remember we also discussed one more form of women harassment in our “Fate of Freshers“.

Readers –> What do you think about this? Share your views…

The Resilent Way to Peace is Love

With the amount of law and order turmoil that is now being witnessed in Tamil Nadu and if you criticially analyze the root cause of the same, it would be a simple EVR Periyar Statue which has been risen in front of Srirangam Rajagopuram. If Periyar had been around, he would have literally shed tears for the amount of illiteracy our Tamil fraternity is currently bragging all over.

I was casually browsing around a couple of discussion boards and came across this interesting article. Whatever this article advocates seems to be the best way to cope up with the menace seeded by antisocials. The author has also mentioned the precursor to the incident when Chakravarthy Rajagopalachary, the earlier Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, did not take any serious actions against anti-Hindi agitators but after the agitators sat down tired, the name boards that were destroyed were silently recreated to prevent any further breakout of violence.

More best evidence to non-violence way of solving problems can be found in two places:

  1. The Ahimsa (Non-Violence) of Mahatma Gandhi could chase the foriegn imperialist rulers out of our motherland.
  2. Even Thirukkural (Anbudamai) advocates and strongly supports this.

Overloading is never harmless

Whatever form you take in the social concern, overloading was never useful. Today morning I saw a pathetic situation of an overloaded bullock cart near Rajakilpakkam and the guy was hitting the poor dumb animal like anything. It was almost the same scene for which ASPCA  was born about 140 years ago. This post we discuss has been covered in tidbits and I would be giving cross reference URLs from our previous discussions for better comprehension and understanding.

But the cops here in  Chennai are lazy jerks. Even in today’s case, there was a traffic cop standing near the junction and just silently looking at everything. Perhaps I would like to share a similar thought that we have discussed before. The overloading stresses the living creature and makes them mentally sick as well. The problem assumes grave proportions for freshers, the topic of which has been covered here. The other picture of overloading comes in the case of transportation. We have covered some of the issues here:

  1. Mini bus on Two Wheelers
  2. Ban of Auto in Chennai
  3. Escaping from Pocket Pickers and making celebrations colorful

I hope some state or central administration authority bring some statute to provide redressal of grievance for citizens from this overloading or stress menace. Except for overloading in Object Oriented (computer) languages, I think this should be banned for human race.

Defective Compensation Tricks in Government Bodies

It is very often a common scenario in Tamil Nadu that there would be a consumer suit against a government body like one of the Transport corporation and then when the consumer court orders a compensation of 25000 INR, it would be paid to the affected victim. I am not against the redressal to the victim but I feel that there is something gravely wrong in the process that would lead to misappropriation of the funds of the government authority.

The actual compensation of the loss should be done by the person(s) who have done the mistake and causing loss to the victim.  Otherwise, they would misappropriation of the corporate funds of the government entity and they would go scott-free.

The other very interesting issue would be too much of pampering for the transport corporation staff. Sometime back in 1980s there was a custom that drivers and conductors would get a daily batta that was a percentage of daily collection. Driven by this they stopped in all bus stops properly, ensured that the bus was loaded to capacity and to full performance. Now that they always get the fixed daily batta irrespective of the collection, they are nonchalant to the performance of individual trips. This might be one of the reason you can cite for buses not stopping in the designated bus stops, buses plying empty or two or more buses in the same route plying together as if a convoy.

Would concerned authorities look into it?

Consumer Awareness Campaign by Madras Christian College

Since I was staying late at work yesterday and returned home only at about wee hours of Tuesday (0130), I started late today. I chose the Tambaram route to commute and again it was a wiser route to choose. As I was crossing the overbridge of Tambaram Railway Station, I found the NCC cadets of Madras Christian College, which was nearby, were holding placards insisting on various philosophies of consumer rights.

My brief five minute walk through the Tambaram overbridge and a recall of my memory of the various placard topics, there were the following topics displayed:

  1. Emphasis on the right of consumers to choose the products they aspire for and thier right to refuse.
  2. Consumer Awareness on the quality of products.
    1. Medical products must mandatorily be checked for expiry dates before purchase.
    2. Quality seals like Agmark and IST need to be ensured by the consumers.
    3. Reciepts needs to be ensured for any product. This ensures the following benefits for the customers.
      1. After Sales Services of the product.
      2. Avoiding Black Marketing
      3. Ensure revenue for the government in that the Sales Tax has to be paid by the merchant to the revenue department.

Let us join together to appreciate Madras Christian College and thier National Cadets Corps (NCC) Team for thier sincere efforts to bring consumer awareness.

Related URL: Consumer Voice India YahooGroups

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