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Swanky Web-Worlds, Filthy Service!
May 23, 2006 12:12 AM 2024 Views
(Updated May 23, 2006 12:12 AM)


Customer Service:

Charges and Billing:

Reliance India Mobile in Bombay:

I was always a bit skeptical on buying a Reliance phone. Esp after hearing horror stories from some of their customers - mostly billing related issues on their post-paid connections. Well, the company never really had a image of being ethical to its customers anyways.

Yet, when I moved back to Bombay, I wanted a no-frills phone and thought I would try Reliance. By no-frills, I meant a basic telephone service and SMS. Nothing more.(Well, I am one of those types who keep switching plans and phone operators to get the best connectivity and call rates.)

Having been their customer for 8 months until now and finally dumping their connection, I have the following things to say:

  1. Network quality is poor. It has improved a bit in recent times. But overall, in Bombay, I find Hutch and Airtel definitely have a better network than Reliance.

  2. At a lot of places in the city (even in a central location like Powai) I find their network to be grossly underprovisioned. At peak times of the day, I could not make calls; My new hutch connection now, is far better off. The CDMA network trades-off quality of service with the number of users. An operator like Reliance obviously tries to cram in infinitely large users into their licensed spectrum; Resulting in sh*tty service - voice breaks, calls drop at random. When the network is lightly loaded, the call quality is excellent.

  3. Their customer service is pathetic. When you dial their customer service, you will be put on an indefinite wait for a executive to attend the call. I remember holding on for 15 minutes and then hanging up in frustration. Not only at peak hours, its true even for the non-peak hours of the day. My guess is that their call centers are severely understaffed. Its ridiculous if they expect that customers will wait for 15 minutes just for a service exec to answer the call. And this has consistently happend to me several times. I've really begun to believe that they are just not interested to provide any sort of customer service. The service helpline is a slap-on-the-face for their customers.

I can again contrast this with Hutch's call centers, where the service is much better.

  1. Web-Worlds are grossly understaffed. Have you ever tried calling any of the web-world phone numbers listed on the web site? The best part is, that no one ever answers the phone. Consistency, there too. Powai, Thane, any time of the day, any business day. Nobody cares to answer.

I finally had to drive it down to the Web World. If you ask them about it, they employees at Web-World say that they are too busy attending to customers on the counter! It says it all about their attitude. They don't care to provide any customer service.

  1. If you wish to learn, how NOT to manage an organization, you ought to spend an hour at their WebWorld outlet. (I spent about 2 hours once at the Web World in Thane. Sigh!)

Customers pouring in, very few service personnel, chaos. Most personnel there were ignorant and rude. The 'don't care' attitude was almost obvious. Customers were being handled with a very casual attitude.

  1. One good thing. The only good thing!

If the people, you generally communicate with, are subscribers of Reliance, then it turns out to be a lot cheaper to buy Reliance than any other operator. Some pre-paid schemes provide unlimited RIM-RIM calls and this is a real steal.

However, make sure you check the quality of the network in your home/office, before you actually get a connection. If you are stuck with a poor connection, expect no customer service or refund.

The other schemes (like the All India 1 Rupee plan) are a farce. If you do your calculations right, you realize that the price you pay for a call is actually Rs 1.50. Again, on par with most other operators.

Reliance seems to exploit such marketing gimmics to lure customer. However the value add in the product is not quite significant.

Bottomline, stay away from the Reliance trap. I was never a happy customer for all the 8 months that I was subscribed to them.

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