Airtel is known for its dumb servers. It commits foolishness very often, either it's 90 years old or due to an ultra-complex algorithm written by "experts" that even a computer cannot understand.
I've been using Airtel mobile since I bought my first mobile in 2006. Airtel Friendz was the best offer available in my hometown. When my work took me to Bangalore, I got another Airtel Students connection.
To call my parents and friends in my hometown, I used to recharge my mobile monthly for Rs. 89 to avail STD calls at Rs 1/min(normal charge was Rs 2.25/min). After a few recharges, I was not able to recharge for STD offer again. Didn't know what happened. Called customer care. They said my offer on my mobile is not yet expired and I can't reactivate the offer only when it's expired. Fine. I waited for two days and tried to recharge. Recharged? Nope. One week. Recharged? Nope. One month. Recharged? Nope,! Nope!! Due to some technical reasons at Airtel servers, the STD offer was not reset every month, and I'm still enjoying STD calls to all numbers at One rupee, even now!
While enjoying these STD calls, I heard of Airtel GroupCall from my friend who has an Airtel connection. It's actually meant to make conference calls for Airtel postpaid customers (monthly rental of Rs. 99). You need to activate the service first, download & install the Airtel GroupCall software on your mobile, make calls using the software. I tried activating the service on my prepaid mobile. Got activated. Got it downloaded and installed. Tried a few calls... What's the money balance? Unchanged! What? Oh, let me try a few more. Balance still unchanged. Calls and sms made using the software were not charged. Thanks again to Airtel servers. Unfortunately, this didn't last so long. Nearly after two months, Airtel noticed the loophole and fixed it. :(
June 25, 2009 - What a sunny day! Took my N95 8GB to greet my friends a great morning. What the #*%$@!. Text message cannot be sent. Check network serivces. But I didn't change any settings on my mobile. Let's wait. Maybe it's some problem with Airtel. Tried after an hour, noon, evening, night. All STD sms still failed. Called customer care many times. They gave some silly settings which I had already tried out. Finally they registered a complaint and gave a resolution time. They closed the complaint without informing me They later said there is no issue at their end. Called customer care again, talked to a supervisor named Anita. Sweet voice. But she too made me nuts. I registered another complaint on July 7th, which they closed on 8th, without any intimation. I had asked to make a callback before closing the complaint. They didn't. Called the customer care today. Another supervisor reopened the complaint and told me that it will be *resolved* in 8 working hours. For Airtel, resolution means closing the complaint even if the the issue is solved or not. Engineers at Airtel say the problem is at my side. But if the problem was with my side I would have found it out in less than an hour. The sim was put in several other handsets and all showed the same error.
I don't know what sort of idiots Airtel employ as engineers. Also, I can no longer be a victim of Airtel servers' craziness. I switched to Vodafone. Though freebies can be a compliment, a fair and transparent service is what a customer expects.