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UnReliance: Unreliable, slow and costly
Dec 11, 2011 07:38 PM 19766 Views
(Updated Dec 11, 2011 07:39 PM)

Internet Speed:

Connection Reliability:

Service & Support:

I have been using Reliance Netconnect+ (works on the technology HSDPA) for last 6 months. The major players in the wireless data services are Reliance, Tata Photon and MTS. Other companies such as Idea, Vodafone, MTNL, BSNL etc. also provide this service but their popularity is limited.

I chose Reliance not because it was better than the rest but because it was less bad than the others. If you go through reviews of Tata Photon, MTS etc. you will find many bad reviews. And as expected, the experience has been very bad. Now if Reliance, supposed to be the less bad service providers than others in wireless segment, provides such rubbish network then I can only imagine what kind of horrible service other companies may be getting. Here is the review:

Price: Rs. 1299/- for the dongle (the USB pen-drive kind of piece needed to be plugged into your computer/laptop)

Usage charges: Rs. 800 per 1 GB valid for 30 days, Rs. 1000 for 5 GB valid for 30 days

Now, the company says “guaranteed” 256 KBPS speed for each user. And that guarantee comes with a lot of terms and conditions that are tougher than an ancient Egyptian document to comprehend. The fact is: you will NEVER get that kind of speed, no matter where you are. I have roamed in Delhi and Mumbai. My connection speed never exceeded more than 100 KBPS and most of the times I get a speed of around 35-45 KBPS on average. In other smaller towns the company has something called as “Highspeed 1x” network. Don’t be fooled by the nomenclature, this technology provides average speed of around 10-20 KBPS.

Even this sort of degraded network quality can be tolerated, only if they ensure connectivity all the time. But everyday, their network will be down for hours at a stretch (I am saying this from my experience in Delhi circle). Sometimes, the connectivity will be so patchy that you will get disconnected every 10 minutes. Very bad reliability, in short. They should rename it as “Unreliance Netconnect”.

The online recharge facility does not provide all kind of recharges, and for unlimited prepaid plans you must recharge it from their stores. This is a major pain point as I have never visited any telecom store for anything before. Plus, most stores do not accept credit card (especially in Delhi) or if they do, they'll charge 3% extra to recover the card charges. Yes, this sounds draconic in today's age. But it's Delhi dear! Although Reliance has good number of such stores across many cities and towns, this is sheer nonsense. Why can’t they put all recharges online? May be to make sure that their store franchisees get some business!

The customer care is below average. I don’t know what is the minimum IQ required to become a customer care associate but going by my experience with all telecom operators (Vodafone, MTNL, Reliance, Idea, Airtel), it is not too high it seems. If you call them for any problem, their standard answer is: “Disconnect your card, restart your computer, insert it again. If you still don’t get connectivity, please wait for 5-10 minutes. Our servers are getting upgraded.”

To sum it up:

Value for Money: Extremely bad. Probably the costliest connection around.

Reliability: Bad

Speed: Around 40 KBPS in metros.

Instead of going for this nonsense, I would suggest that you buy a 3G phone and a good operator. Connect it to your laptop/computer and surf the net. It will provide the same speed and should be more economical and hassle free. In fact, when my Reliance Netconnect+ is down (which is quite often), I do the same thing to get connectivity.

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