Update on the Airtel Incident

Before I begin, I want to thank everyone who took time to tweet, share and comment on my previous post: [Audio] The Police Officer On Behalf Of Airtel – FIR, Threats etc

Your words and support has been my energy for the past two days. I really appreciate it. Here is an update from my end.

a) Airtel has contacted me with several calls since I posted the article along with the audio clips. I do believe that they have taken the matter seriously. Airtel has confirmed that they have cancelled the contract of the agency who was responsible for the unscrupulous call.

b) Airtel (@airtel_presence) tweeted to me today and said:

@annkur Hi! We once again apologise for the unethical behaviour by our vendors. We would like to inform you that we have discontinued the services of the agency in question for violation of Airtel’s code of conduct. Regards

However I noticed that they have been tweeting a slightly different version to everyone else:

@ishita_I_am “Airtel does not condone any harassing or unethical behaviour by any of its vendors or people. We have discontinued the services of the agency in question for violation of Airtel’s code of conduct.Airtel follows the standard industry practice of using the services of collection agencies only after duly following up for settlement of dues with the customer for a period of 90 to 120 days.”

You may have noticed that I haven’t spoken much about my original dispute with Airtel in my previous post, that was for the reason that I wanted to keep the focus on their recovery tactics. However given that they are not hinting on twitter that they have duly followed up with me for a period of 120 days and only then forwarded the case to collection agencies, I feel compelled to reply.

My response: During the duly follow up, Airtel’s collection department refused to look into the billing complaint and said ‘aapne use kiya tabhi to bill aaya hai’, they were often arrogant and non co-operative. They had even agreed to close the account by collecting Rs 2500, reference compared to Rs 5000+ that they are now demanding. Someone from the collection department visited my office with a letter that had my name but a wrong address and phone number to collect the due the last time I had a correspondence with them and the only call I got after that is the ones I mentioned in my post. (Funnily even back then they emailed me from a Gmail ID and the email read this “This has reference to the above mentioned subject, A/C (“a wrong account no”) we would like you to note that the said A/C has outstanding 5,875.91/- for collection of your said account, kindly make payment of an amount of Rs.  2,500/- (Two Thousand Five Hundred Only). Please note that said amount has been arrived at after adjusting all dispute charges. “)

It is only now that they have agreed to look into the complaints and issues I raise about FUP, a lapse in upgrading my scheme (which was accepted by their call center when I was a subscriber) and mysterious Rs 199 under the head ‘gaming charges’ in many of my bills.

c) When I complained about the illegal threat from a lawyer last month on twitter, Airtel looked least bothered to look into the issue and the caller Anoop from Airtel Presence only helped by asking me to pay the bill and did nothing to investigate the call I received. It is only after I recorded another aggressive and illegal call from Airtel that they swung into action. While I do not doubt their statement that they have cancelled the contract of the agency responsible and is taking whatever action possible against them, a doubt sure can be raised as to why they failed to investigate this matter before?

There have been so many people complaining of similar calls on my post, Airtel must answer as to why it was ignored before and confirm if they have initiated any legal proceedings / police complaint against the agency concerned.

d) I am not sure on what next at the moment. I would wait for Airtel to again check my account and I would pay the right due. However as advised by Nikhil of Medianama on Twitter, I would be writing to TRAI with a copy of the call recording.

As I do that, I shall update this space. Thank you.

 

30 thoughts on “Update on the Airtel Incident

  1. kunalkant says

    I had once problem with Airtel, i cut all Airtel cable in my area, after onwards i didnt get any problem.. I dont advise to cut cable, but avoid them. Lets boycott them. They r worst.

    Annkur, Register a case and ask money from Airtel as compensation of calling and using such behavior. First FIR against all party, second mail to TRAI. Please mention that they misguided you with fake polish officer. This is serious offence.

  2. Anadi says

    LOL. Good to see you put them in a spot. Now go after the HC lawyer and the thanedar with full vengence. Impersonating a law enforcement officer is a crime too. Hand over the thanedars ph # to the police. That that will be sufficient reverse harrasment. These guys will spend a minimum of Rs 5K to keep the real police off their backs.

  3. says

    Good going Annkur. I too am presently in your situation but not yet started receiving threats. Airtel wants me to cough out Rs.5201 to a closed account which was due only to an amount of Rs.1400+.

    Please take the movement forward and register a complaint at the ‘thana’ itself again Airtel and send them legal notice, if time and money can be spared. Or a defamation case would be more apt.

    Will keep a voice recording app ready on my phone now to record my instances.

  4. says

    Ask airtel to release the Agency name atleast? I am sure they are saying they are blacklisting … i seriously think its just a facade to put things under the carpet!

  5. says

    I am using Airtel BB almost for 6+ years and havent faced any issue so far. First i was bit shocked while reading your post and then realized its the mistake done by Agency. It happens with every operator as they try all possible ways to threaten people and collect the money without listening to the subscribers.

    Seriously, this is a nice legal move you have took and helps people to follow in future . 🙂

    Robin.

  6. No_Name says

    Impersonating a police officer is a serious offence in most countries, don’t know how serious it is in India. On reading (and listening to) your posts, I’m sure that the lawyer was a fake one too. You should ask the ISP for details of the recovery agency, informing them that you will be filing a case against them for impersonating a police officer and a lawyer.

    If they refuse to provide the information, file the case on your ISP directly after which they have to provide the details when the case is taken to court. Take help of some friends who’re in mass media industry and see if you can get your experience published – I’m sure any company as popular as this one wouldn’t want their reputation go bad.

    Remember, your ISP was wholly responsible for what happened – they were the ones who contracted the agency – the mistake is theirs, and they should not be allowed to walk away blaming corrupt employees of an agency whose name they refuse to divulge. If they had made their policies very clear to the agency, this may not have happened. If the agency violated the terms of contract, Airtel shouldn’t be worried about providing information on the name of the agency. Either way, something is amiss here.

    In addition to this, you should seek compensation from Airtel (and in turn Airtel can instruct the agency to compensate you) for messing with you, your peace of mind and all that – your particular experience perfectly qualifies for all of this. How you agree to settle it is up to you.

  7. Roro says

    In my opinion too you should go ahead and file a case against the caller and the company to compensate for all the harassment done to you .These companies take customers for granted and acts like dogs .

  8. Having a few issues with Airtel myself. In fact they have changed the bill plan surreptitiously and many of you may not have noticed. In the combo plans, what used to be Rs 200 Free call value (FCV) to ANY PHONE has been stealthily changed to only A2A. Meaning most of your calls are now charged. They have not intimated the customers and their officials when contacted state “we have ‘educated’ customers who contacted us” – meaning those who spotted the calculation and then took the pain of complaining were told – others kept in the dark. Airtel was not expected to be such a devious company. Escalated matter to Dept of Telecom.

  9. J says

    Reliance has been doing the same to me for ages after they cut my connection without even informing. I am so amazed to find out that these ‘dhameekes’ sound so similar to what they said to me over the phone. Only call I got was from Maharashtra saying it will be passed over to a Delhi police cell if I don’t pay up.
    Guess the manace cuts across telecom companies. Reliance just like airtel for you refused to listen to my grevience and kept harrasing me for ages about the dues without paying any heed to what my complaint was.

  10. admirer says

    Keep fighting Ankur….Don’t give in to these industrial giants who misuse their powers and harass normal people….Write to TRAI and get maximum exposure…We are with you man……

  11. Parth Bisht says

    I had also been a victim of fraud , dis time by Vodafone Co. I had a postpaid no on my name which had been used frm October 2011 to January 2012 , and in da month of February , da pending amount had been paid to da fullest , following da closure and settlement of da said connection , but til da month of may I had been receiving calls abt payment of bill which had been to overloaded to around 2000 rupees , and also I had received a legal notice from a lawyer of Vofafone regarding a final date of paying da bill , I was unfortunately told to stay out of da matter by my parents ad had to pay Rs. 1000 as da termination and closure amount . Dis is da way these companies are exploiting its customers , it’s a very sick world out der , but one day da common man will surely go against injustice made to dem !!!

  12. raman says

    Good Work . You are definitely not the first victim but i guess your this step will definitely help many subscribers from being bullied and also Airtel should take even more care on the code of conduct of their recovering agents.

  13. Krishna says

    Such a big relief….
    I just got a call from same bas****s.
    They give me 30 mins only for making the payment against my dues which i didnt used as we shiifted to new location.
    Inspite of mailing and calling to Customer care…no boby neither disconnect my services not shifted my existing connection to new location.
    They kept chargine monthly rental for 2 months…
    The 2 advocates named Deepak k. Pandey(08271361499)and Mohanlal Desai(@ 07870388555) called me up few hours back.
    and said the same story…
    They were calling me from delhi but when i traced the nos. they were belongs to BIHAR state of Uninor operator.
    They changed me some crime agains under section-123 IPC.

    I never wondered that airtel would ever do this…
    No i hate it like anything.

    Guys be alert and need not to scared.

  14. Krishna says

    Such a big relief….
    I just got a call from same bas****s.
    They give me 30 mins only for making the payment against my dues which i didnt used as we shiifted to new location.
    Inspite of mailing and calling to Customer care…no boby neither disconnect my services not shifted my existing connection to new location.
    They kept charging monthly rental for 2 months…
    The 2 advocates named Deepak k. Pandey(08271361499)and Mohanlal Desai(@ 07870388555) called me up few hours back.
    and said the same story…
    They were calling me from delhi but when i traced the nos. they were belongs to BIHAR state of Uninor operator.
    They charged me some crime agains under section-123 IPC.

    I never wondered that airtel would ever do this…
    No i hate it like anything.

    Guys be alert and need not to scared.

  15. krishnakumar says

    Dear Ankur,

    This article is very useful to me. I too face the same problem. I had an airtel number for which 4500 is over due. I was away from my place due to some one falling sick and then treatment and finally death. This happend from april to august, 12. When they called me for payment, I told them that once i am back, i shall clearup the dues and in the mean time, the line was disconnected.

    Then, their agents started calling those numbers where i used to call. Probably they collected all those my called numbers and asking for me and the payment.

    Last week, I recd a callfrom 7737959006 saying that he is calling from tiz hazari court and there is a warrant for me to arrest. The claim is 65000.00. I said, u do what ever u want. He said next week, police will come to my office to arrest me. I said OK. Now today I again got a call from the same number saying that I am from Janak puripolice station, sr. inspector Balbir singh. The modus of operandy is same. He siad, he is faxing the warrant to my nearest police station and in 2 hours, the police will be at your office. He called my land line and I have caller identification number on it. So the lawers and Sr. inspectors number were same. I said, go to hell. I belive U cannt have a warrant with out a sammence.I did not receive any sammance so far. Now after listening to your viedo, I can say with guarantee that the people on the other side are them same people who called u. the delhi ascent hindi(rather haranvi/punjabi)
    since they called on land line, i could not record the talk. If they call me next time, I can arrange for recording.
    Could u please cfm from which number they called you ??

    Best regds,
    Kk

  16. Goel R says

    Receiving threat from 7737969006 that the concern person is lawyer in Delhi and some amount is due in 2010 Dec with TATA Indicom. Submit in 1 hour or else will file a case against.

  17. avinash says

    i got call today date is 8/2/2013, that person told me if u could not paid bill payment in a hour then he will file case in delhi court and he used very rubish languege on phone, he told me his name on phone is sdvocate arvind chaudhry, bach no-2638, i want take some action against this person so please guide me i have mentioned my e mail id.

  18. Ramesh says

    Ankur,

    This is a hard bucket(long delayed payments) collection tactic which banks and telecom operators employ. These fools can resolve customer care issues and obtain payment. Instead they resort to impersonation and threats. This is illegal. They can be charged for impersonation as you have their recordings. Courts work with written notices/documents and are absolutely professional. Delhi police has no jurisdiction in Mumbai and cannot ever take action on you in Mumbai without local police co-operation(unless you are a criminal and the local police protects criminals as in Nitish’s Bihar – some states act without seeking local support in Bihar as even Nitish supports criminals and protests if they are arrested – google to find out). I used to get calls from collection agents claiming to be ‘Punjab Court officials’. I even got a legal notice from a lawyer subsequently for Rs. 14 lakhs four years ago. I never replied because they were based on wrong facts. My lawyer friends advised me to ignore them. The agents tried calling me a few more times. I reported this to the Commissioner of Police at Chennai. I was asked to ignore the calls. The bank has given up now and the case is not with that collection agency. No court official calls you over the phone except to deliver you some court communication. This official will not seek action from you as that is not his job. All cases can be decided only after legal notice. Even after ‘EP’ no police can touch you. This would have to be followed up with attachment of property and you can physically obstruct that also. Then they can go to court again and seek police protection. The police steps in then. Meanwhile you have the fullest opportunity to seek legal remedy, if you are right. Companies rarely go the whole length as targets are short term and this is a short term illegal method using impersonating collection agents. You could ask them to meet you at your nearest poilce station saying you are waiting for them over there. Collection agents cannot harass you. I am a former sales and collection guy too. Local police can take action against such impersonating collection agents.

    What happened after that Ankur? How did you manage?

  19. Satinder says

    Hi Ankur.I m too in such a situation with airtel.they called me or payment.I blocked the whole number series they r calling from.I mailed to appelate too but they r also speaking the language of airtel agents.i hv not received any notice yet.

    I want to know if they stopped calling u after that ?

  20. Ashwin says

    I have a similar experience as well !!

    Over the last few days, I have received calls from fake lawyers (listed below) claiming to represent Airtel and have been harassed to appear in the Delhi court. I first got a call from a Ramesh Yadav. While at first the caller seemed genuine, he proved to be a fake. When asked about the case for which I need to appear, Mr. Ramesh gave me vague replies and mentioned that the case details were confidential. Next I asked him the court address / number, date, and time where I was to appear, he mentioned that the details were in two notices that were sent to me. I have not received any notice.

    Mr. Ramesh then asked me to call a Mr. Ranveer (Advocate) to clear the details. I called Mr. Ranveer and he claimed to represent Airtel on my case. He added that I was to pay the outstanding amount immediately (today) to close the case.

    While I ended paying the amount to stop the harassment, I am cancelling my airtel cell and DTH connection.

  21. jass says

    I am also facing the same problem with airtel in bangalore. There was no usage on my number form March as I didnt needed it. I asked them to disconnect the number and they asked me to pay the outstanding bill.I paid all the due in April. But they didnt disconnect my number and keep on generating the bills for every month till now. They increased the bill limit too.As I didnt use the service I asked them to do some adjustment as I am still usign their service with other numbers. And I am very regular in paying the bills too.But they didnt bother to listn to the customer. Now they are threatening me too that they will go to the legal.Getting calls from these numbers 080 49061666,080 41501220.

    All I need to pay is around 3000 rupees though I didnt use my service for a single minute in all these months. Anyway now I will change all of my numbers to another vendor.I was using those noumbers for more than 6 years. Now airtel should know that they are loosing valuable customers.

  22. jass says

    Even I called airtel customer care about 080 49061666,080 41501220 to verify whether these calls are from airtel. Because the person on these numbers speak with me very rudely.Customer care didnt bother to raise a complaint against this. They are asking me to send a mail.Then what is the need to have Airtel customer care? How will I know that those calls the genuine calls from AIrtel?

  23. Praveen says

    The harassment is one thing. All your account details going into such hands is another hassle altogether. It isn’t clear as to who bears guarantee for the integrity of our personal data. And given how much documentation is required for obtaining any sort of telecommunication link, such as a SIM card, it is very likely that one could be impersonated.

  24. good job says

    Ankur, you have a fantastic opportunity in your hands to teach these BIgwigs a lesson….You have the proof in your hands….You can expose them in a court of law and cause them heavy damages…..also in the process, help lakhs of other common people like us who are suffering, often left clueless and harassed by these bastards.
    Please go ahead…make them eat shit!!

  25. yatheesh says

    I have been receiving threatening and dirty calls from 080 49061666 and this shows how unprofessional is Airtel…, I am not thinking of filing a case in the local police station to take this up legally.

  26. Negi says

    Hi! I was wondering how this matter was resolved. I’m facing a similar problem with tata-docomo where i keep receiving random calls from an advicate or someone who is saying they will be sending someone to my house. I mean shudnt i be receiving a summons or something if court proceedings have been initiated?? Could u tell me if u ever received the summons?
    Its been nearly a year since d unpaid-bill date…

  27. Siddharth Prasad says

    Lol I’m getting the same calls from Airtel right now! xD Nice post. Failtel is failtel all the way! 😀