Monday, February 07, 2011

Customer feedback: Aircel postpaid Chennai

We blog only when something goes wrong. This post shares few notes regarding Aircel Chennai Mobile postpaid service, sharing both good and not so good things experienced from their service.

I was happy with prepaid all my life. For the first time got a post paid connection last year, as the handset and rental was paid for by the then employer.

Initial few months were big pain: Had  a major issue with the credit limit and the way they’d calculate unpaid amount. I was given a credit limit of 750rs, but my monthly rental alone would cross Rs 850 (Monthly rent+blackberry charges+CUG+taxes). Within few days of paying the bill, I would get calls and SMSs alerting me that I’m nearing my credit limit and need to make interim payment. This was highly annoying- instead of adding rental amount at the time of generating the bill, system would calculate proportionate rental amount and in about 2-3 weeks I’d reach my credit limit. Even though I’m entitled for unlimited internet usage and a number of free local calls, these would stop automatically if I don’t make interim payment.
Raised a request to increase credit limit, but was told that can be done only after 6 months. Used to pay an additional amount along with the bill to offset the gap between credit limit and my rentals, but their system would consider extra payments only during bill generation, nullifying the very purpose. There seemed to be no solution for this and had to survive initial six months with this annoying demand of making payments even before bill date.

Subsequently the credit limit is raised and not facing this issue anymore.

Billing: has been precise. No faulty billing detected so far. Sometime back they started delivering the bill to a wrong address (instead of Door No 1/1234, they started showing it as Door No 11234, missing the ‘/’ and creating lot of confusion) and I had to go through a big cycle to correct it-as if I’ve changed my address completely. Used to pay at their counters initially and eventually started paying online.

Customer care is just fine. Folks have been fairly helpful. Didn’t have any major issues other than what’s described above, hence I didn’t have a chance to test their efficiency.

Coverage: Pretty good in Chennai and few other TN towns I’d been to. Unlike Vodafone or Airtel, Aircel doesn’t have presence in all circles, hence offers roaming in tie-up with other operators. Data connectivity is an issue in some tier 2 cities and on highways. At many places, while my other Airtel connection shows full signal, Aircel network faints.

Call charges and Plans: Not the cheapest-but I’m not much of a talker, hence wasn’t a consideration. Have 200 local minutes per month which covers most of my usage. Activated STD pack recently.
Apps: Aircel has an app world for Blackberry- haven’t tried it at all, as I’m using bare minimum apps on the phone.

Aircel website gives option to analyze the bill and few other basic options, but it’s not fast or user friendly as others.

Do I recommend Aircel to others?: Excluding couple of issues detailed above, my relationship with Aircel has been decent. But few of my friends were terribly upset and were evaluating going to consumer forum. So use your discretion.

Will I change to other operator:  Not planning anything right away. After changing job, I’m paying the monthly rental from my own pocket-the always ON addiction has its side effects. Need to see if I can manage without blackberry services. Alternate option would be to opt for 3G services, which again will cost similar and needs extra spend on handset. Other operators do have few plans with their own pros and cons. Will be sticking to what I have for the time being.

Aircel has some sort of loyalty program called Aircel Advantage-which is total waste as it gives nothing for free. We only get some discounts based on points accumulated.

Overall Feedback: Just fine.

Also read: Blackberry 8520 review * SMS and Win


Loggy : லோகி said...

Nice post,
as u said Airtel has the best coverage..

Shrinidhi Hande said...

yes, best coverage with worst customer service?

Anonymous said...

airtel might be having best coverage as far as the tariff and services they are down, i have been using aircel for the past 5 not even faced any single issue with them, Aircel is best in their offers and the plan they provide.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

ok. thanks for your feedback

Anonymous said...

I've had the best overall experience with Aircel after trying almost all the other service providers.