Best broadband internet service providers in India

Are you shopping for a broadband internet connection in India? Read further and learn my bad experience with Airtel. After living abroad in USA for 12+ years, I decided to return to my home country and start a new life here. But read how Airtel spoiled my first few weeks in India and the ongoing struggle.

Are you shopping for broadband internet service in India? Read further. I have explained my recent experience in broadband internet subscription and will share some of the mistakes I did so that you don't have to repeat them.

I recently moved from USA where I lived for 12+ years. When I decided to return to India for good, my first requirement was to live in a place for 1 year which provide the similar comfort and life style for my kids. My second requirement was to live in a place where I get uninterrupted, high speed internet so I can manage my websites. After considering several factors, I chose Bangalore as my temporary destination in India.

I reached Bangalore on 22 May 2011. I checked with several people regarding the best broadband internet connection in the Bangalore area. Almost all of them suggested BSNL offers low cost and fastest internet connection, but they are very slow to respond to issues and service requests. Well, that is very critical for me. The next suggestion was "Airtel broadband service". I was told that Airtel broadband is very reliable and offer very good service. Service is just a phone call away. Connection speed is very close to BSNL.

I started my efforts to get Airtel broadband internet on 24 May. I called Airtel agents and offices and I was told to either go through an agent or visit the nearest relationship office.

On 27 May, I visited Airtel relationship office. After seeing the long queue there, my friend suggested me to make a request online and they will send an agent to my home immediately.

I came back home and took a mobile internet connection from MTS for temporary use. I registered in the Airtel website and made a request for new Airtel broadband connection. After battling with their weired validation rules against my slow temporary internet connection for about 25 minutes and 7 retries, I was able to successfully submit a request. I got a confirmation that Airtel will contact me shortly.

I waited 2 days and no calls from Airtel and no one showed up at home. Then I repeatedly submitted the request again in Airtel website several times. Finally, an Executive(!) from Airtel showed up at my home. He collected the application form, identitification documents and Rs 1399.00 as the first month fees for the high speed internet fees. I chose the "unlimited" plan called "impatience 1399" which offers 4 MBPS speed for the first 25 GB every month.

The agent told me it may take a maximum of 3 days to get the connection after he submit the application to Airtel. (What he did not tell me is, how many days he will take to submit the Application form to Airtel!). However, I explained him my situation and how I am dying to get a connection on same day. He was very kind to me and promised me that he will "do something" and get me connected before end of next day. Thank God, India still have lot of good souls!

Immediately after the Airtel agent left, my friend called me and asked whether I paid cash or cheque. When I said I paid cash, he told me that then forget the money! He educated me that paying cash is a risk because there are lot of fraud agents in the city and don't be surprised if they run away with the cash. I realized how foolish I was because I did not even ask for the Id card and do not even know the name of the person. I prepared my self to sacrifice the money.

I waited 3 days and heard nothing from anyone. The assurance from agent that he will help me get expedited service was just an eye wash.

Lesson learned: Do not fill an application form for Airtel broadband internet through an Airtel agent. He may not run away with the money, but it will significantly delay your application processing. Instead, walk in to an Airtel relationship office with all the necessary documents and fill it right there.

After several calls to the agent who took the money from me, he gave me another technician's phone number. When I called the agent at 8:30am in the morning, he asked me to call after 1 hour. I called after 1 hour and he asked me to contact another technician. I contacted the next technician at about 11Am and he asked me to call again after 30 mnts. When I called the technician again after 30 mtns, he told me he cannot find any work order or application details of mine and he gave me the customer support number.

I called Airtel customer support and learnt that they have not received my application form. This repeated for few days. I called several times on the phone number given by the agent. And finally I heard from the agent and he told me that he has submitted the application form to Airtel for the broadband internet connection.

On 4th day, after several phone calls, Airtel confirmed that they received the application form from the agent. But they can't give me any additional information since I have not waited for 4 days (according to the agent, I had to wait only 3 days. Now, according to customer service, I need to wait for 4 days). When I said there is only few more hours remaining to complete 4 days waiting, the lady told me to patiently wait for few more hours and she assured me that someone will definitely contact me before those few hours.

After Airtel confirmed they received the appplication form, I started calling the agent again to find out when I can get the connection (I called agent because he is the one who promised me normally it may take 3 days, but he can try to expedite it and make it happen in a day. But many days already passed so far).

I patiently waited for my "Impatient 1399 broadband plan". Next day came and nothing happened. I started losing my patience and decided to call customer service until I get a satisfactory answer. I made several calls on 5th day. I spoke to several people including managers at Airtel. Each time I requested for an 'escalation manager', the call simply went to 'hold' and then later disconnected. I was wasting my money on those phone calls. Also, during first first few calls, since Airtel had not received my application form, they were not able to register my complaint. So I had to repeat the whole story to each support person I spoke with no call history recorded.

Each time I spoke to the floor manager, I was told that he will call me back within 2 hours, 3 hours etc with a definite answer on the delay in processing my application.

Surprisingly, in one of the calls, a service rep told me that my connection is scheduled for 17 June, which require another 2 weeks waiting. Luckily, no other service rep repeated that which made me think that they were simply trying to shut me up for another 2 weeks.

In one the calls, customer support agent told me that I did not respond to a survey from Airtel and that is what delaying the process. It was true that there was a SMS survey and I failed to respond to it properly due to my ignorance on using the SMS system. In fact, I responded, but I got an error message from Airtel saying "invalid command". I probably did something wrong in responding.

Let me skip the long stories of my long phones calls last 2 days. The latest status I have is, I had a long call with an Airtel manager and she registered a complaint on behalf of me, gave me a complaint number and instantly gave a status update: "Your issue will be resolved before 1 pm on 6 June".

Wow, this sounded like a definite answer to the problem. I was excited on the efficiency of the complaint management team. There were able to "analyze my complaint and estimate the time to resolve" was only 10 seconds. Even though I need to wait another 2 days, I was pretty happy that I will get connected to broadband internet within 2 days.

Wait, as soon as I thanked the lady and hung up my phone, I received an SMS from Airtel saying something like "we will review your complaint before 1 pm on 6 June". Then I realized the manager lady in Airtel customer service simply tricked me again. The 6th June deadline was just to look at my complaint and not to give me internet connection by that day. She simply lied to me.

I lost my patience completely. But I can do nothing but wait because I am at their mercy.

I will soon update this post after I get any updates from Airtel regarding the broadband internet service for me.

Update on 6 June 2011: There are 2 hours remaining to complete the deadline given by Airtel executive. But I decided to call them and check the status since I lost my trust on Airtel already.

The customer service rep who took my phone really hit my nerves. He said, since you did not provide some information, your request was not processed. I really got mad and asked: "What the hell you mean by 'some information'?". He was looking for words and then told me "phone number and address".

What the hell this guy is telling? I lost patience completely. If the complaint is attached to my application, why he can't look up my application form and find out my address? I feel pity for the guy who has to take the anger and frustration from the customers. He is just another call center guy who was forced to work for Airtel because the options are limited for educated graduates like all of us.

I asked for the manager again. (I have been asking for manager many times last few days, but each time after putting me on hold for several minutes, a Shiva Sankar or Jasmine will pick up the phone and say 'Sorry, escalation team is busy', instead, you can talk to me!).

This time I was connected to the Mr. S (name not used to avoid personal attack on the poor guy) again. (I started using the name of people now in this blog, so you can guess my level of frustration at this time.) After expressing my disappointment through the most polite language I could at that level of frustration, I asked for his manager since he was of no help last couple of days other than giving me false promises. He gave me the nodal officer's name, email and phone number. what he did not tell me is, the nodal office will never pick up the phone.

I tried to call the nodal officer several times. Each time the call goes to the music for ever and get disconnected itself after several minutes. As of writing this, I had no luck in reaching the nodal officer through phone.

Hold on, it is 11:59 pm now. Mr. S had promised me about 2 hours back that he will talk to the sales team and would give me a definite answer before 11pm today. I am going to call him again (well, he told me I can ask for his name when I call customer service, which was a smart way to get away from me. Customer service would never connect me to anyone by name. My only option is to try several times and ask for manager each time and sometimes it will happen to be him!)

12pm: I called Airtel customer support again. This time the rep told me that they are working on this and will get back to me before 2pm. Then I asked are you going to get back to me or get me the connection today? He said I will get the connection today itself (another way to shut me up again).

I was given the direct phone number of nodal officer Lalit Chabra as well the regional officer Mr K. K. Sharma, who is the highest authority I can speak with. However, those numbers were useless because it served no purpose other than wasting my money on waiting for them to pick up the call. I made several calls and each time after 5 minutes waiting, the call will get automatically disconnected.

3pm: I called customer service representative again. I was given the most stupid response I was given by Airtel so far: "The complaint is closed because we could not reach the customer". Probably they tried to call me 1 or 2 times today and since I was on the endless calls trying to reach Airtel authorities, I could not pick up their calls. So the smart men over there decided to close my complaint.

What does this mean? Forget my money and apply for broadband internet through some other providers?

The Airtel broadband customer service representative was kind enough to open another complaint for me and wait for another 3 days to hear back from them!

Lesson learned: If you have a complaint registered with Airtel, do not sleep and don't even go to toilet. If you miss a call, they will close your complaint! Sorry for being sarcastic, but I am losing hope on them.

I asked for some better solution than making me wait another 3 days to hear back from them. I asked for the same Mr. S and the rep told me that he is at break and will get back to me very soon. I waited few hours and he never got back to me.

6pm: I gave up on my efforts to reach the top level officers on the phone numbers I managed to get from Airtel. They never picked up the phone. so, I decided to go for an easier media - email.

I sent an email to the following email ids:

The email ids belong to Lalit Chabra, the nodal officer and K K Sharma, another higher level authority. I am waiting to hear back from them. If they ever bother to respond, I will post them here.

7 June 2011, 11:20pm: I haven't heard anything from anyone at Airtel. Called Airtel customer service and asked the status of the application as if I am calling first time. I asked what log they have on my application and what service requests they see on my application. They said they see nothing. They said they will register a complaint. So, I decided to register another complaint saying I have not heard anything from Airtel after they took my money.

I decided not to make any more money on phone calls and decided to take a short break.

8 June 2011: Made few more calls to agent who took the money from me, customer service etc. Heard nothing different from them other than the regular statements like 'we are working on it', 'your issue will be resolved before 11:58pm on June 17th' etc.

It is interesting to note that each time Airtel gives me timeframes like 11:58pm, 1:53pm etc. When someone give a time including minutes in it, you would really think they are serious about their commitment:-) If they tell you a time like 11:58 to resolve the issue, and if you call at 11:55, they will tell you that there is still 3 minutes remaining and call only if it is not resolved in another 3 minutes!!!

Evening I decided to go to an Airtel office and deal with it directly than calling the customer service which was proved to be a waste of time. I was still learning driving in India (after living in USA for 12+ years, I am not good anymore to drive in India). So, I took help from a friend to take me to the Airtel office in Koramangala.

When I explained the situation to the person, he called the agent and his lead and handed over the phone to me. I was frustrated, but controlled myself and explained the whole story to the team lead. He patiently listened to me, called some technicians in the area while I was in the call and then assured me that the broadband connection will be given to me tomorrow. I asked what was the reason for the delay so far and he had no clear answer other than saying 'some problem'.

I repeatedly asked few questions several times: 'are you sure I will get the connection tomorrow', 'is there anything pending on my application', 'is the address clear', 'is there anything I need to do from my side to make sure someone will come and connect me to internet tomorrow itself' etc.

People standing around me were laughing when I repeated some of my questions again and again. But that did not stop me from getting reassurance few times from the team lead.

Everything looked alright. This guy gave me 100% assurance that I will be online tomorrow.

9 June 2011:

In the morning, I got an email response from the Airtel Nodal office for the complaint I sent 2 days ago. The email looked like a machine generated mail. My complaint was, there were no resolutions to my past complaints to Airtel. And the response to this complaint was, 'we have registered a new complaint'! I am sure they did not pay any attention to my cries but simply decided to send me a casual response. I ignored that email and decided to give up on the nodal office since I realized he is no different from any other Airtel guys I spoke so far.

I am given a 100% assurance that I will get broadband connection today. It is noon now and so far no sign of any Airtel guy showing up here. So, I decided to call the team lead guy who gave me the promise. I made several calls and he never picked up the phone. The red flag started raising in my mind again. After several attempts to reach the team lead, I started calling the agent again. Finally I got him on call again. I expressed my frustration. He conferenced with some others and then re assured me that everything is on track and someone will come on or after 7pm to get me the connection.

7pm passed and nothing happened other than I waiting in front of the gate all afternoon. I started calling the team lead and agent. The team lead would never pick up the phone. I got the agent in the line and poor guy, he had to take a lot from me on the phone. He tried to conference with the team lead but told me that team lead is driving and can't take a phone call. He assured me that he will talk to the concerned people and get back to me within 30 mnts with an update. I said I don't want any updates, but need internet tonight. He said 'Yes, we will do it', which is the normal answer from Airtel guys for any demands you raise.

30 mnts passed, 1 hour passed, 2 hours passed.... No internet and no updates from the agent yet.

At about 10pm I called the team lead again, who might have gone to sleep by that time. He had a casual response saying something like 'I think there was some address problem..... we will install tomorrow'.

Man, this is beyond limit! I spent a pretty long time questioning the way they operate and the way they respond to complaints. The team lead had no explanation for no one showing up today even though he reassured me several times yesterday that someone will definitely come and install broadband services for me.

I was really upset with this guy but I knew it is useless to have any debate with him at all. After spending a long time with him on the call, I decided to agree to his promise that someone will definitely come tomorrow and setup everything. He gave 100% assurance again!

10 June 2011: I just wanted to confirm that someone will come atleast today. So, started calling the agent and team lead. I made several attempts to reach them till afternoon and they never picked up the phone. I am sure I made atleast 20 attempts to call them.

By after noon, I got an SMS from the team lead saying "I am busy, I will call you". But he never called me after that. I tried to reach him till late evening, but he never picked my call.

By 3pm, I got a call from a person claiming to be the technician and said 'We will come within 1.5 hours'. Finally, I thought everything is working out and someone is really on the way to my home. I canceled my evening dinner with some friends and decided to wait for this guy to show up.

Once again 1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours passed and no one showed up again. I cursed myself for canceling the evening dinner, waiting on the Airtel guys. I called back the technician who would never pickup the phone until I was lucky in the evening. He picked up the phone atlast and said: "I am waiting for another person and will soon let you know if we will come today or later". Just another typical Airtel way of responding to customers!!

I waited another hour or so and called this person. After several attempts, he picked up the phone and said: "The person I was waiting for informed me that Airtel has not issued a telephone number for you, so we can't give you connection today". I asked who is responsible for this and how can we get this resolved. He said it is back end problem and he can't do anything. I asked for some contact details of backend person and decided to follow up myself since I did not want to leave it to luck to get this resolved by itself.

I got a telephone number of a back end person. When I explained my situation, his casual response was "it is a sales people problem and we can't do anything".

Hmmm.... I thought sales people are done when they walked away with my money! But looks like they are delaying this whole thing. May be they said this excuse just to get away from me for time being. I asked for contact details of the sales persons who are causing the problem. Also, I asked what I need to get this resolved. He said he will talk to few people and will get back to me within 15 mtns. Also, he promised me he will make sure I will get connection tonight itself (it was already 7:15pm!)

I decided to wait for his callback. 15 mnts, 30 mtns, 1 hour, 2 hours passed and no call back yet. Decided to call all the concerned people again. Called Suresh (agent who took the money from me), Dinesh (tech lead of Suresh), Prabakar (technician who called me and asked me to wait for him today to get the connection), Santhosh (the STO guy who is responsible for all the problems, according to Prabhakar). I kept calling each of them, one after the other and no one picked up the call.

I made the last attempt to call Santhosh at about 10:15 pm. He picked up the phone and when I said my name, he replied "Santhosh has gone to market". Since it was already 10:15pm, I asked what time he will come back from market and the response was "Only tomorrow". Did he quit his job with Airtel and went to market looking for another job!?

I am just updating this post and going to sleep since all Airtel guys who are responsile for my case have gone to sleep or to the market!

11 June 2011: Since my wait for Airtel internet connection did not help at all, I decided to go out and do some other work that I have been holding for many days.

I went out with few friends, but as soon as I reached there, I got a call from the Airtel technician that he is at my door to give us the connection. I did not want to lose this GOLDEN moment, so I cancelled all other programs and rushed back home. When I reached home, I saw a bike and no people. But when I called him, he said he is checking some connections from the road. After some time, he called and said he is going back since the wire from the road to my home is broken. Then I asked what is next, he said someone else has to fix it and he will come back only after that is resolved. I asked if it can be resolved in another one day and he confirmed 'Yes, it can be done'. I tried to call the backend person again, but as usual he would never pick up the call. Then I tried to call the agent, team lead etc and no one picked up the call.

12 June 2011 - Another Sunday waiting for internet: Went to church and came back. Called few phone numbers again and as usual, no one picked up the call. They are all familiar with my phone number and simply ignores my calls.

Finally, called the customer support again. I have to admit that customer support is very prompt in answering the calls but the only problem is, they have a standard answer: "we will register a complaint for you and your concerns will be addresses within 3 days".

I spoke to the customer service executive and the escalation floor manager in detail. The usual complaint went for about 30 mtns and as usual, I was assured that "please give us the last chance and your issue will be addressed by 2:30pm tomorrow".

13 June 2011: My wait for the best internet service provider in India still continues

Called the technician who was expected to come and finish the installation. He said he is still waiting on backend people to resolve the technical issues. Also, he said he will come and check in another 1 hour. But when I said "I am going to wait for you without going for work", he said "no need sir, I can't really say for sure if I will come or not".

Then I called the backend person, who is responsible for this according to the technician. He has not been picking up my phone calls last 4 days, no matter how many times I try. He did the same today as well.

Then I called the customer support and checked the status of the complaint I registered. His response was "The time to resolve this complaint is 2:30pm today, but it is only 12:50, so you have to wait another 1 hour 40 mnts".

At about the same time, I got an SMS from Airtel saying "Congratulations, your application for broadband is approved. It will be processed within 3 working days". This is adding insult to injury! I applied 2 weeks ago but they are acknowledging that they got it!

I really want to meet the people who named Airtel as the best broadband internet service provider in India and find out if they are brain dead!

14 June: Called customer support and cried to the customer service executive about my desperate need to get an internet connection. He was so kind and offered to resolve it quickly by marking my complaint as the TOP PRIORITY complaint. Poor guy, he did not know how many such TOP PRIORITY complaints I had already registered. I can't blame him!

After registering a new complaint, I asked him to connect to a manager. I got Pavitra, an escalation manager in line after few mnts wait. She too listened patiently and was kind enough to promise me that the issue will be resolved quickly. After about 15 mnts long discussion, she probably thought my wait is a hopeless wait. So she started saying 'you may not get internet from Airtel'. She mentioned the problem is the junction box in my area can give only 15 connection which is already given out. I asked "If the junction box exceeded the limit, can't Airtel solve the problem or ateast can't you inform me that your application is rejected? Doesn't Airtel has Money, Manpower or Infrastructure to resolve this issue?' She replied, we have all 3, but we have a coordination problem.

Exactly that is where Airtel failed in my case. They simply lack the coordination between different departments to resolve a problem.

But I have a doubt whether the issue is junction box issue since it is first time I am hearing that reason. So I called the technician who visited the place once. To my surprise, he said, 'there is no junction box problem'. The problem is the wire to the house is cut under the ground.'.

15 June: I decided to take a short break after making a call to the technician. Technician said he has to check if the wiring problem is resolved for which he will come to my home before evening. But he never showed up.

16 June: Called the technician again to check what is the problem. He repeated the problem is the wire to my home from the road is broken and the wiring guy has to come and repair it. I asked about the junction box capability problem which was mentioned by the customer service escalation manager.Technician confirmed there is no such problem. Then I asked what to do with the wiring problem. He said only thing we can do is wait for wiring guy to show up, for which he cannot give any timelines. I got the wiring guy's phone number from him and called directly. He said he will come when he gets time since he is busy in some other area. After couple of requests, he said he will come after 1 hour. We fixed an appointment to meet at my home at 11:30am. I waited till 6:00pm and he never showed up.

I called customer supported and registered another complaint. Time given to me to resolve the problem is 17 June, 2:11pm

20 Jun 2011: Last couple of days, I did not really bother to call customer support since I almost gave up on them. Today I called customer support again and checked status of last complaint. The casual answer was "Your complaint is closed and no reason is shown". I wasn't surprised at this answer since I got used to it.

I insisted on registering another complaint today. Also, I mentioned to them that I may be going legal against Airtel for wasting my time and money for all these calls to Airtel and the false promises they made. Ofcourse, Airtel can reject my application, but they have no rights to take so such of my time and make me wait indefinitely for them. When I insisted on a faster resolution, I was asked multiple times to wait at home for the technician to come and fix the problem. But no one came, except one case I mentioned above. (In that case, the guy came without informing and I had to cancel another program to rush to home to meet the Airtel guy, who is really a VIP for me at this time.)

After registering a complaint, I spoke to the escalation manager "Alit". He assured me that the problem will be resolved before 21 Jun, 10:26AM.

I asked him a question, mentioning that I will be recording his answer for legal purposes: "I have been waiting for several weeks for Airtel broadband. I registered so many complaints with no resolution or response from Airtel. Your company failed to resolve the technical problem in last 3 weeks. Does it mean your company is not capable of resolving this kind of a technical problem in a time period of 3 weeks? Does your company have money, manpower or infrastructure to resolve this issue in 3 weeks?"

I am sure if I ask such a question in USA, they wouldn't give me an answer but will forward to a legal team to give me a legally safe answer. I have experienced it multiple times.

I am sure Airtel support managers need better training. In spite of I saying "your answer will be recorded for legal purposes", he gave me the answer: "My company is capable of resolving this kind of problems within 3 weeks".

Okay, so what does it mean? Airtel has the capability to resolve this kind of problem in 3 weeks, but they did not bother to resolve. I think I have a valid case to ask for compensation for my time and my cost in using alternate internet connection and mobile phone bills. If Airtel has the capability to resolve the issue, they should have resolved it. If they can't, they should have told me about the expected time to resolve instead of false promises.

UPDATE 3pm: I just noticed an email to the webmaster of MyWindowsClub from an Airtel authority saying they noticed this blog and want to get in touch with the customer to resolve this. I will post more updates here soon.

I responded to the email and gave my contact details, complaint numbers, application number etc. The person responded to me saying his team will look in to it and get back to me soon.

UPDATE 3:30PM: A customer relations officer (Mr. Kunal) from New Delhi office of Airtel called me to check with me the problem, after seeing my email. I explained the problems. He assured me he will get back to me within 2 days after discussing with Airtel office.

After about 10 mnts, I saw an airtel guy walking around my home, checking up the Airtel box. Good sign.

5:30pm: The Airtel guy is still around looking for broken connection and wires!

21 June 2011: There was an Airtel guy outside my home testing connections for couple of hours. He kept on telling me that everything is alright and I am going to get connection in less than an hour. After some time, he left the place and someone showed up in the evening. He walked around the house looking for options to pull the wires in. Finally, he connected the wires. I connected my phone to the cable he pulled in. He dialed some number from his cell and it rang my phone. This is really music to the ears, and I haven't enjoyed phone rings better than this before!

When I asked him if I can make few phone calls, he said it is not yet ready and another person will come in an hour to complete that process.

I waited the hour he said and then few more hours but no one showed up. I went to sleep but my wife says she heard me shouting "phone is ringing" few times in the sleep!

22 June 2011: I got a call from Mr. Prashant, from New Delhi office of Airtel. He said he was just checking my contact number and will update me shortly to confirm the time to give me broadband connection. He called me again later and confirmed the connection process will be completed within an hour.

After 30 mnts, I got a call from the technician with whom I spoke several times in the past. He said he is at my home to complete the connection. I was at shopping about 2 hours away from home, but luckily someone was home to get him inside the house. Through couple of telephone conversations, he completed the process by about 2:30pm!

I reached home at 3pm and checked my computer. Yes, this time Airtel kept their word. I have lightning fast broadband internet!

We have a happy climax for my 4 weeks long battle with Airtel to get broaband internet connection. Thanks to Facebook. Someone posted this blog to the Facebook fanpage of Airtel and that made them get in to action! I got several calls from several responsible people in Airtel, New Delhi office and they made some sincere efforts to resolve the problem in 2 days after this blog was noticed.

Airtel post installation support experience

23 June 2011: The celebration did not last long. Next day after installation, the internet connection and phone went down. I started the process of calling customer support and all other available contact numbers again. After couple of days, with the help of my Airtel New Delhi contacts, I got it resolved again. I am losing faith in Airtel again. It takes many days to get a technical issue resolved and the customer support in Bangalore is very poor in helping. I am wondering again how to call Airtel as one of the best internet service providers in India.

9 Jul 2011: Other than few intermittent breaks, internet and phone has been working good so far. But it went down again today and was completely dead.

It is good that I have not given my landline number to many people so far since I am yet to have any confidence in the Airtel service at my home.

I tried to register an online complaint through their website. After several attempts, one attempt succeeded and a complaint was registered. Most of the time, I was getting an error saying "Sorry, your complaint could not be registered at this time. Please try again later.".

Later, I called the customer support and asked expected resolution time. I was told it will be resolved before 5pm on 11 July and someone will call me to check the connection at my home.

5pm passed and nothing happened. I called Airtel again. I got the funny answer 'Your issue is resolved and your complaint is closed'. The technician simply decided to close the complaint and wrote the reason as 'there was a wiring issue which is resolved now'.

I made the support person reopen the complaint and asked for a supervisor. He put me on hold for a while and then disconnected me. I kept calling and finally I managed to speak to a supervisor. Supervisor gave me another funny answer: "There is a major problem in your area and need to be fixed.". I was very frustrated and asked if it is major problem will you need 100s of people and machinery to fix it and he said "yes".

I wonder how Airtel people make up such reasons! Few minutes back I was told there is a small wiring problem in front my house and now it has turned out to be a major problem in the area! Then I asked, if it is a major problem in my area, it should have affected a lot of other people in the area. He said, no only I may be affected. Hmmm... I must be a special person. A major problem for Airtel in the area only affected me.

I am going to wait a while and see if the telephone toy at my home will become a serious gadget.

12 July 2011: No internet, no telephone and no calls from Airtel technician. I decided to send an email to all Airtel email ids I have hoping to get some help from some corners!

11:00am: Just sent the email addressing They have been pretty helpful in the past, so I am hoping I will get some resolution soon. Talking to Airtel Bangalore customer support has been nothing but a waste of time and money for me.

11:15am: Just called Prashant at Delhi. So far, this was the only channel I could get any help in Airtel. He has been very helpful in the past and this time also he assured he will check my mail and get a resolution today itself.

13 July 2011: I did not get a call back from Prashant till this morning and internet is still dead. However, I am sure he is trying to help me.

Good News: In the afternoon, I saw a missed call from Prashant and then I checked the internet. It is working again.

Hope this will be a permanent fix and I won't have to complain again. I got some feedback calls and I raised my concern over the unconcealed wires and cables across the street which may be the reason for the unreliable connections. I was assured that it will be resolved as soon as possible and they will find a permanent solution.

15 July 2011: The Joy is over! Telephone and internet is dead again this morning. As usual, I called the customer support, registered a complaint, received the complaint number for my complaint gallery, spoke to the supervisor, listened to some usual jokes about the major problems in the area etc etc.

I once again asked for a free datacard from Airtel since the broadband is unrelaible and I can't depend on it to do any serious work. I was told to contact the nodal officer, but I refused to do so saying the nodal officer never never never picked up the phone in the past when I tried. I am sure I tried over 50 times so far and wasted a good amount of money for the phone calls to nodal officer.

Since I have no trust on Airtel support in Bangalore, I sent an email to Prashant at Delhi office who has been the only reliable person I ever interacted in Airtel. Let me wait for a call back from him.

Best broadband internet service provider in India

I started this post with the intention of writing about the best broadband internet service from Airtel, according to the suggestions from my friends. At this point, I am really confused. I am terribly upset about their customer support (who do nothing other than apologizing for the inconveniences caused to me and giving me false promises).

I do not want to abandon my efforts to get Airtel because everyone suggested I am not going to get a better service from anyone else! At this point, all I wish is, once I manage to get the broadband internet, let it be fast and reliable enough for me to run my web based business.

After about 4 weeks of waiting, I got the broadband services from Airtel. I took the 4mbps unlimited broadband internet plan. I did a speed test today and it shows 5.3 mbps. I can now certify that Airtel offers the best and fast broadband internet services in India, even though I had to wait about 4 weeks to get the connection.

Tail piece: Who named the Airtel high speed broadband plan "Impatience 1399"? They should have named it "Try Your Patience 1399" :-)

Article by Tony John
Tony John is a professional blogger from India, who started his first Weblog in 1998 at Tony switched to blogging as a passion blended business in the year 2000 and currently operates several popular web properties including,, and many more.

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Author: airtelpresence21 Jun 2011 Member Level: Bronze   Points : 1

Dear Customer,

This is to inform you that your concern listed 04 June 2011 has been noted and our team is eager to resolve it. In order to get to the resolution, we need to get in touch with you and gather more details about the concern. However, we are restricted by the absence of your contact details in your original complaint. Please do write to us at with your contact details (address and landline or mobile phone number).

We assure you that we are committed to resolving the issue to your satisfaction.

Rakesh Kumar
Airtel Presence (Airtel Customer Service Team)
Bharti Airtel Ltd

Author: Tony John21 Jun 2011 Member Level: Gold   Points : 1


I have sent all details including 8 complaint numbers, my customer id and all other details that you will need to find my application.

Guest Author: Sony01 Dec 2011


This guys are wasting your precious time. Please ignore this F****** B*******. I hope you would have stayed in US rather trying your luck in india for broadband.

Guest Author: Anil13 Jan 2012

Thanks for an eye opening information. if airtel people don't improve. atleast other people can be away form airtel.

Guest Author: AB25 May 2012

Worst Ever... A Communication company that does not know to communicate... I have an even worse experience.. just do not have the patience to write about it again.. I have a ton of email sent to Nodal officer Karnataka with no responses and calls with several departments who keep saying "concerned team" will get in touch with you.. 2 months down the line not a single person has got in touch with me.. yesterday the refund cheques arrived after 2 months.. no explanations given.. no apologies.. no communication.. basically airtel just wanted some money ineterest free for a couple of months is my only take-away... wasted tons of my time on futile followups with incompetent, unprofessional and horrible people. if somebody is interested i can forward the elaborate emails, unfortunately i have not the hours spent on the phone with people who just wanted me to hang up... Sigh.. Apparently for Airtel Life begins @2Mbps, for me I have aged 2 years in 2 months...

Guest Author: Rakesh Sankar19 Jun 2012

Tony, that was a good read for me and thanks for bringing this to our knowledge I am in hope of contacting Airtel but looking at your experience with their CS I don't think I have good patience like you do, so, BSNL here I come.

Rakesh Sankar (not from Airtel).

Guest Author: Sarat Chandra21 Jun 2012

Oh No No No No Nooo.......... Please dont take this damn BSNL Connection 'cause, I've taken this since two months and from 1 whole month, Im experiencing a huge impact in speeds every evening from 6pm and continues till 6 AM!!! Never opt for BSNL - The Worst of the Worst Broadband Services in India.

Guest Author: Shri25 Jun 2012


I have just started this painful journey of ISP search for our new office in Bangalore. Made several calls to BSNL - they promised to come to my office several times in the past few days but everytime came with an excuse - raining, traffic, meetings, etc. Googled and found out few private ISPs. Wish me lot of LUCK! Wondering what is that attracts to set up business in India! It is no more low cost! Highly, painfully, unethically adventurous!

Guest Author: KAPIL05 Jul 2012

This post clearly explains whats wrong with India!!!!Since it is a demand side market most of the time,companies are least bothered about customer as they strongly believe that there are "NO OPTIONS, AS WE ALL ARE EQUALLY INCOMPETENT".At the end of the day the only option left for a customer is to believe in GOD that some day in near future his work will be done by some incompetnet manager in some part after spending a few months and years on the application....Long live the growth story of INDIA

Guest Author: Naresh20 Jul 2012

Dear Sarat Chandra,
your problem was exactly the same that i faced. After i complained the BSNL team checked it and found that the telephone cable was routed to the house via some electrical poles of street lights. That is why due to electrical interference you are getting that problem. After re-routing the cable away from the street light poles, I never faced that problem again.

Guest Author: Sudhir27 Jul 2012

ha ha ha, surely i need to laugh at least to bring down my anger on ISPs in India. one thing is sure that BSNL provides transparent service, but you need to wait for the response from them. even i have applied for the BSNL BB+LL before 1 month. now they are processing my application. i have patience because i cant suffer after taking connection. so have decided to wait/ suffer now. i had connection earlier in other place of karnataka (dharwad). but was superb. In bangalore, in some areas there is a problem. we cant blame BSNL, however have to blame people who steal the GI pipes, wires, routers! so we need to have patience till the connection is made. thereafter it will be good

Guest Author: Ramkumar02 Aug 2012


I had the same experience when i applied airtel DTH. I returned from the states after 6 years and went thru pathetic experience with Airtel. I thought it happpened only to me... Airtel customer service is really very poor.... Escalation managers does not even know how to lift the phone :-( when you in need.

Jai Hind!!!

Author: Tony John07 Aug 2012 Member Level: Gold   Points : 1


Sorry to hear your experience! Welcome back to India. If you stick with Airtel, you will experience a lot more like this. But no other broadband service providers are difference. No matter which internet service provider you choose, you will have pretty much the same experience. We just need to adapt and adjust with this...

Guest Author: chanukya12 Aug 2012

I was contemplating for air-tel here in Hyderabad,but after listening your story,dropped my plan.Never to air-tel.Ill share this with my friends too.
Wishing you good luck

Guest Author: nagaraja babu m s14 Aug 2012

dear friend,
I had experienced similar problems with almost every broadband provider and lost money with airtel agent also in indiranagar.

However, i strongly recommend you can go to ACT BROADBAND who are now newer to bangalore and will provide ACCURATE AND FASTER internet broadband connection without any much waiting. Their agents are active, cooperative, and supportive to our needs.

nagaraja babu

Guest Author: Santhosh23 Aug 2012

Hi Tony,

'Airtel - the Worst Service in Broadband'

This is exactly what I experienced. I will spread my word of mouth for 'No Airtel'. Here is what happened:

- I was in need of a broadband connection. I checked the Airtel website and attempted to apply for a connection. They offered some cash back plans. However, I didn't apply, but, provided the contact details

- In 3 to 4 hours, I received a call from an Airtel customer service executive understanding my needs. He asked me to keep the documents ready

- It was 10th August 2012. He visited me, I provided him the documents + entire first month plan rent Rs 1699 + some installation fee of Rs 250. I asked for a bill, he provided me a sheet with no information entered, but signed by him and the amount (good thing, the receipt was from Airtel)

- He promised me that the connection will happen in 3 days time (Maximum by August 16th 2012). He also informed me that, I would receive a verification call on Monday / Tuesday (August 13th / 14th)

- To my surprise, I didn't receive any phone calls. Hence, I contacted him on Monday. He said, he will get back to me

- No verification calls on Tuesday as well. I called him, he said he will get back to me. I again called him on Tuesday evening. He didn't pick up the call

- Wednesday was Independence day (national holiday)

- I called him on Thursday (August 16th, 2012), he didn't pick up the call

- It was Friday,no response yet. I called him again, he didn't pick up the call

- Finally, I lodged a complain with Airtel customer service, they noted it as high priority. Later, I also got a call from some executive from Airtel, mentioning, that there are no ports in the apartments. 'WTF' why did it take a week long to inform this, and that too with all my money.......

- He said, he will sort it out and for sure, get the connection by Tuesday (August 21, 2012, since, Monday was ID, national holiday). I was damn, 'ok' with his promise

- It was Tuesday (No call). I called him, he said he will get back to me

- Now, it was Wednesday (August 22, 2012), I called him, he said he will get back to me

- And then Thursday (August 23, 2012)... he didn't call me again. I called him, he said still there are no ports, and he cannot guarantee the connection. He said he will reimburse the full money back

People, can you imaging the torture the Airtel executives given me for two weeks, taking my time and money with them, and responsible for my loss in business.

They should pay me for the pain they have caused.

I strongly advise everyone not to go with 'Airtel' service, mobile, broadband, or anything. Similar instance, I have experience with their mobile service as well. I change to 'Vodafone'. For Broadband, there are plenty of emerging vendors, who are ready to serve you better. Try some of them!

I am waiting for the money (reimbursement), and would write more if I don't receive it on time.

Guest Author: ashok26 Aug 2012

I had been transfered from cal to jodhpur and was looking for good broadband connection in net when I happen to see this blog. I agree there is total chaos among various dept within airtel.
I am a dth user from airtel, upon my transfer I called the customer care to fix the dth at my new location on 23rd Aug, I was assured that an engineer would contact me within 48 hrs. On 25 Aug I got a call from corp office whether my dth was installed or not, on saying that nothing has happened, he was prompt enough to declare that by evening dth would be installed and that I have to pay for the visiting engineer and he hung up.
Today is Sunday the 26th Aug 23.27 hrs and not a call from airtel or the engineer.....
I hope some gives me a call tomorrow.........

Guest Author: Narayan27 Aug 2012

I am a BSNL user. After several years of satisfactory service, I had experienced a very bad 1 year. I am looking for alternate service providers. I was considering airtel. The experience narrated here reflects their pathetic state.

I am a airtel mobile user. I have had similar problems with them when I had spam flooding my mobile. Call centers, nodal officers, automated mailers with precise times, closure of complaint without reason, the whole works. My neighbour reports excellent connectivity, and prompt attention to complaints. However, to start with I am unable to find a person to call in their website. There is a interface to 'buy now'. But nothing to let me clarify terms, promised date etc. I guess I will visit the airtel office nearby. You guessed it, I am still thinking of airtel. What else can we do when people say others are worse. I have heard favourable reviews of ACT. But they do not serve my area.

Once we get a connection, how do we monitor the level of service, collect evidence and to whom do we complain within airtel and outside with the regulator? Is there a service level agreement? Can we sue them if the service is not good?

Guest Author: prakash03 Sep 2012

I can imagine the pain you have gone through, and obviously made you to write such a long post, which I couldn't have done despite going through much more terrible experience with Airtel, Tata, Reliance than cursing and shouting at them. Thanks for such a nice blog, at least this should make Sunil Mittal to realize why Airtel is going down day by day. I stopped using all Airtel after experiencing problems, and much happy with a smaller internet provider in Bangalore called Hathway!

Guest Author: ravicrr04 Sep 2012

I stumbled upon this blog as I was searching for broadband service providers in Bangalore and want to switch from Airtel.
Since last friday my telephone and broadband is dead and they keep changing the dates to fix the problem. Very similar reasons of problem with main cable etc.,
Surprised that there are not many alternatives for 1.3 billion people.

Guest Author: Naresh07 Sep 2012

Hi Sudhir...
i surely endorse your view on BSNL....they do have a problem in giving the connection as they have some infrastructure cable faults in the DB...but once u get the line you dont face much problems....

Guest Author: rajendra10 Sep 2012

Yes, we had multiple horrifying experiences with airtel. Ultimately we moved from airtel to docomo, our bad experience follows there as well. Then we decided to move to BSNL. Now are are settled with BSNL for our GSM. For broadband, all their static IPs are blocked in RBL. But unfortunately for broadband there are not much choices available.

Guest Author: Joseph Mathew14 Sep 2012

Tony, Thanks for posting your experience. and google had already recognized you as an expert and thus your posting is on top of the search. This is what majority of us wanted to tell but never reaches the right ear or right set of people!!

In your case, you are seeing the pathetic side of airtel today. I am telling with my relation with airtel for more than 10 years (Yes. My mobile number 98xx394386 is a service from airtel and with airtel for 10.5 years now). The service was getting shape in 2002-2004. Brilliant during 2004-2009. Have started showing their 'take-it-if-you-want' approach from 2009. In 2012, they had grown to subscribers in 100s of millions and a variety of services. But they become no-care or who-cares about the service and the subscribers.

I have 4 different services from airtel as of today. I have started looking for alternative options already. 1. The above said mobile. 2. Airtel Broadband (facebook dont work in this!!! funny right). 3. Airtel Digital TV (they offer call back to shut the customer's mouth but never calls back). 4. 3G Dongle (offers 7 Mbps and 7 kbps most of the time (if I had an option to upload an Image I could show the statistics diagram).

Airtel is becoming the worse service in india. I am telling from my 10 years associations with airtel.

Guest Author: Krishna Verma28 Sep 2012

First of all the post shows the amount of "PATIENCE" you have. Internet connection is just like food for a professional blogger and Airtel seemed to be indigestible in your case.

Guest Author: Roshan02 Oct 2012

This is the Airtel CEO's email address - the least you can do is relate your experience to him, and teh least he can do is read at least a few and make a commitment to improve, this is not the 1990's

Guest Author: ullas sharma06 Oct 2012

i congratulate you for waiting this long and going through the ordeal.

i was an airtel mobile user and suffered heavy credit cuts on my account for never-heard-of services which were activated automatically somehow.

After several experiences (much similar to what you went through), found that the only thing that works is a threatening of filing a case in consumer court.

got out of the airtel clutches and never looked back ever since. :) remember , dont wait for the resolutions , go for threatening. (send a lawyer notice to nodal office if you have to)

Guest Author: Sarav17 Oct 2012

The funniest & even sinceriest blog I have ever read. It took me half hr to read your patience-full experience, but summing up in few words I can say that, Welcome to Hell (India).
Now you will soon start to experience a bunch of more issues like this. Bear with us bcoz no one is here to bother. We have many more experiences like this. Thank God you had time to share this blog, pity on us{so much harassed..:(} that we dont even get time to tell such stories. We should know we are dealing in HELL.

Guest Author: Bhushan07 Nov 2012

I have spent more than half an hour to read the complete blog. Thanks Tony for sharing the experience. Worth reading before anyon opt for Airtel. The Airtel's "Dont care" culture is built from top to bottom, spans from higher official to customer care..!!

I was using BSNL broadband for more than 4 years(2006-2010) and experienced very less issues. Agreeing to the facts that customer support & connection is slow, once you get it, you can be relaxed. I stay in heart of the city and even have a very good experience with BSNL office staffs. May be I am biased by the area.

Am in search of a 3G providers & trying my luck with Vodafone..

Guest Author: rabi patnaik08 Nov 2012

I entirely agree with you with regard to the pathetic customer care of bangalore and their supervisors. but is there any one in airtel who checks these technicians. It seems like they are the boss here and they dont care any one. no one tells them anything even if they dont fix a network issue. i also foolishly changed my broadband connections from BSNL to Airtel last year. on 31st october i registered a complain that my broadband connection is not working. TOday is 8th november, not a single person has contacted me regarding resolving the issue. i have also gone thru the pathetic customer care, who knows how to promise, but never meet them. also pity is there managers who dont track the issues. Till today the problem ticket is open. So, how come noone is bothered to update the ticket. simply there is no SLA to these tickets. Finally i raised a cancellation request on 3rd November and the customer care executive gave me a reference number of a call back request. Even though the call back SLA is 4 hrs, the cancellation team has not called me 6 days. Seems like the entire Airtel team is on holiday, of course except those poor customer cares and their supervisors.

This is the worst service providere in bangalore, no doubt it shows up in their annual/quarterly results.

Guest Author: Nihanth14 Nov 2012

service providers do not know how to cooperate with consumers and they think they are the heroic agents send by the God Pluto. These people even do not know what they are talking and why they are talking and does it reach to consumers or not. I had faced a lot of problems with them I think there must be a day when broadband services will be free for every one .

Guest Author: Justin24 Nov 2012

Thank you for writing about an experience that so many people suffer though in silence.

I'm trying to arrange for ISP service in Bangalore now. I think I'll avoid Airtel for broadband. Wish me luck.

Guest Author: jai27 Nov 2012

All private service provider fool us this is my experience from past 7 year. You can say i did my PHD on them lol.. God please save my indian innocent people from them. Its my advice go to BSNL in the end they are best and what over revenu they get its come to ou. Jaihoooo :)

Guest Author: Akshay04 Dec 2012

I've had a TATA Communications SME broadband connection for the last 1.5 years and I'm really happy with the service. It is a little more expensive compared to Airtel but the customer service has been exemplary so far. There was a time when I registered a complaint on a Sunday morning at 7:30am and the technicial was at my place at 9:00am and he resolved the issue. Being in Mahalakshmipuram, Bangalore, Airtel said they do not service my area but TATA said they would be glad to service my area.

Guest Author: Amit Parashar09 Dec 2012

I had similar experience with Airtel, Noida. The Airtel relationship office in sector 25, Noida is even worse. Such problems are common everyday, every where in India. For me, the only solution would be good parenthood explaining the importance of pride, character an ethics, and be patient for next 20 years. Either be another Ratan Tata or wait for such leaders. Otherwise accept such incidents as part of your life.

Guest Author: G M KHAN13 Dec 2012

I agree with you. Recently i moved from delhi to bangalore and i too applied for an airtel broadband connection ref no 589642.
Its already 8 days now but to no avail. I called them many a times everytime they said today it will be done. Finally i called up customer care and got to know that my application is rejected due to some dslm full (blah blah). They already encashed my cheque some five days back and now they say it will take 21 days to refund. How can they encash it without even giving connection and i would want interest on the amount for the days it is being delayed

Guest Author: Aditya Sathyan20 Dec 2012

I feel Reliance BB is the Best..
I used it in bangalore,
-got the connection in 2 days
-24/7 connected (10-15 min off per month)
- Issues fixed the next day..

So wan i came down to Kochi, i again applied for it and
- got agent came home in an hour,
- connection the next day
- 24/7 connected \, same as bangalore
- Plans are great
- Iam at 1mbps Rs549, think if upgrading to 1299 - 4Mbps and yes no FUP CARP

- AVG usage dl+ul= 180-220 GB

Guest Author: deshmukh01 Jan 2013

Airtel just do not bother about customers or their complaints. They get their salary. Why should they care. In some areas in Bangalore they have almost monopoly!!

Guest Author: On the Rox04 Jan 2013

I too reliance internet dongle in 2005 as an occasional visitor to India from Gulf. Due to bad and unrelaible serviec / excessive billing I cancelled it. Since then took Tata docomo who are good in response but erratic and often slow in service. I tried Aircel but O Gosh! that experience I can't explain I literally threw away my aircel dongle out of window and reading/ hearing other's experiences am still sticking to Tata Photon+! bad but not the worst at least. Don't expect internet connections to be as efficient as abroad. In India we work harder than guys in best of the countries- only to lead a life comparable with Sudanese! Thanks to Congress for misleading the country for over 60 years!

Guest Author: Santhosh06 Jan 2013

I agree, airtel broadband seems to be one among the worst. BSNL was much better. Their agents provide modems which are comparable to airtel service quality. Planning to move to another provider.

Guest Author: prasenjit15 Jan 2013

for lat 2 years I have been trying to get a hello tune deactivated and to get refund for the amount they charged and compensation for harassment - but it is next to impossible to make this jokers understand the probelem. Each keeps on repeating the same thing.
Will really appreciate if one can refer to a forum who offers legal support for this kind of issues

Guest Author: Gaurav Agarwal16 Jan 2013

Same problem here bro....suffering for my 3g speed issue since october(not yet resolved)....having more than 30 complaints in my number....sometimes I feel like putting a gun-point on their head and tell them to solve it right now or else.........

Guest Author: Bhargav17 Jan 2013

Well, I had similar experiences with Airtel and after working Technical Support I know what is the real problem in entire support system, The support system poses unrealistic goals for the support agents, and there is a huge compliance gap between the on-field technical support and token-based support system. To manage the cost they probably wont even serve you unless there are multiple requests in that area or if your request passes a threshold time (e.g. if your area has 3 or more requests then you will be request will be served in less then 3 days but if you are alone then they will wait till they get another request or your token gets 3 weeks old).
I got to say in spite of private industry the support system provided in India is insensitive and much red-taped. They dont give a shit if you are neck deep in trouble because they have their own troubles to take care of. when a support agent takes your call he / she thinks of either a survey or a target, not a person on other end. I had to quit this industry for the same reason, I mostly worked for the customers not for the company that hired me, that got me in trouble.

Guest Author: Siddharth Kumar21 Jan 2013

I came across your blog while searching for broadband connections. I was considering getting airtel but now Im rethinking as your blog refreshed an episode that I had with airtel couple of months back.

I had a similar experience with Airtel Chennai just to get a duplicate sim card for my pre prepaid connection as I had lost my phone. Since I lost the phone, I had to block my SIM but I had a hard time finding the customer care number for this! The airtel website strangely doesnt provide this info. After searching the net & asking couple of friends I finally got the customer care number & blocked my sim. Once I got a new phone, my journey to reactivate the sim began!

At first I was let down by 2-3 airtel relationship centers telling me that the duplicate sims are out of stock. After a week I went to the airtel T Nagar relationship center one day after office at around 6.30pm only to get the news that they dont give out duplicate sims after 6pm (wth?). Anyway I had to wait for another week without a connection as I couldnt leave office early just for this! The following saturday I reached airtel T Nagar center & got the duplicate SIM. I was told that it would activate in 2hrs. This happened at 1030am.

2pm no signal, 6pm still no signal, I started calling the T Nagar center on all the numbers provided in justdial only to find that most of these numbers are never answered. Finally, someone took the phone & I explained my problem but it looked like this guy dint understand English (& I dont speak Tamil) These guys dont speak anything other than Tamil despite working for the top telecom company in India! I somehow made him understand my issue in broken Tamil & he gave me another number. This time it was a lady who told me that since I had blocked my sim earlier on I had to call airtel customer care from an airtel mobile & give a request to unblock it! I really dont understand that logic here. The reason Im taking a duplicate sim is because i had blocked & deactivated my old sim; isnt it their job to reactivate it? I tried arguing with her & she just hung up on me. I had to spend the Sunday without signal as I dint know anyone near my house with an airtel mobile.

On monday, I went to office called 121 (customer care) from my colleagues airtel cell. The exec told me that they had not received the necessary documents to reactivate my connection. I saw that there was no point arguing with this exec & I started calling the airtel T Nagar center again. As usual, sometimes nobody picked up & sometimes they just hung up on me once I told them about my problem. After a couple to attempts I finally got to speak to the lady I spoke to on Sat. I made my colleague speak to her in Tamil. He told me it would be resolved in a few hours. After 2-3 hours my sim finally got activated!

A few days later I got an sms from airtel stating that my connection will be disabled as I have not submitted the relevant documents! I panicked & called 121. The exec told me that they have not received the id proof yet & I need to go to the nearest center & submit it. I hung up & made my colleague speak to the notorious Airtel T Nagar lady whom we are all familiar with by now :) she told him that they are yet to submit my documents & they will do it the same day. I kept my fingers crossed & waited for a few days but my sim was not disconnected so I guess they did submit my documents on time.

I had to take a duplicate sim 2yrs back (yes i tend to mysteriously lose my cell phones on a yearly basis) & that was a hassle too, but I really dont remember the details clearly.

Airtel should REALLY improve their customer service & train their staff with some manners. I find most companies here are only interested to sell their products. They dont give a damn about the customers once their targets have been achieved. The only exception to this is Dell with whom I have had an excellent customer service experience for the past 4yrs.

Guest Author: Sanju Baba27 Jan 2013

This ***king airtel network is worst then all network realy belive currently iam using 3g sim wich even not givin me a 2g speed also please give me address of airtel owner I want throw this simcard on his face

Guest Author: Deepak02 Feb 2013

Airtel is good, but the services sucks.

Problem with my fixed line didn't resolve within multiple promised time period. And while talking on phone with your MANAGER "UDIT GAUTAM", he dropped my call in between and decided to go home from office without handling my case to anyone, or finish talking with me.

Following things happened:
31st Jan @ 2:00 AM (complain id: 28066548)
I called to log in a complain that my fixed line is dead and internet is not working. Executive said that my complain would be resolved by 12:30 PM by today.

31st Jan @ 12:15 PM
I called again to check the status of my call. Executive said 'system generating time' shows your complain would be resolved by at max 2nd Feb 12:30 PM. But we will try to resolve it by 1st.

1st Feb around 12:00 noon
I called again and found out that there was some wiring issues near my dp. And it would be resolved definitely by 2nd Feb 12:30 PM

2nd Feb @ 12:30 PM (complain id: 28171204)
I called again, and executive told me that I will get call within 2 hours from their followup team and issue would be resolved within 2 hours. And a new complain was logged.

2nd Feb @ 3:30 PM
I didn't received any followup call. My line is still dead. I called back at 0124-4444121. Same answer by another executive, that 'I am sorry for your in-convience, we apologize etc... '. She asked me 2 more hours to fix it. And give me a call within 2 hours.

2nd Feb@5:30 PM
Same thing happened..... asked me for 2 more hours

2nd Feb@7:30 PM [call number: 213673627]
I decided to talk to senior. His name is UDIT GAUTAM. He placed my call on hold to get the status of my problem. And call dropped after 3-4 minutes. I called back immediately and AJEET RAY picked my call. I asked him to connect call with UDIT, he asked me to hold. After 1 min of holding, he told me that, "sorry sir Mr UDIT GAUTAM has just left for the day". And I will arrange a call back from him to you at 11:00 AM tomorrow. I was like wtf? He was suppose to give me status of my problem and now he left?

What kind of non-professional behavior is that? And Airtel have such kind of non-professional manager to manage whole unit? It is really disappointing. What should I do now?

I am working as a web-developer from home and have 2 fixed airtel lines 4mbps each. Both of them are dead. And I can't work. I pay around Rs3700 per month,,, for what?
This has happened 3 times in the last month.

Guest Author: Joel Dhammangi08 Feb 2013

Hi John,
It is really hard to research for the best broadband services in India.I too had a similar experience here in Pune.I would like to share my real life experience at


Guest Author: gopal22 Feb 2013

Yes I agree. AIRTEL is worst but have no option in my aprtment as the PABX is linked to Aitrtel. I am even thinking of data cord and surrender by broadband (BroadBad) connection.

Guest Author: Avanish23 Feb 2013

Thank you sir. I was planning for Airtel broadband connection and I'm near Banglore, I understand the customer support of Airtel is very very poor.

Guest Author: AJ13 Mar 2013

Worst connection ever from Airtel broadband. I have a 2Mbps plan which keeps going on and off and hardly works. (04442039234). They cannot even solve my problem and keep giving excuses. This Airtel customer support lady (Chennai) was extremely rude and was refusing to register a complaint in spite of my connection not working. My sincere advice is, never take this connection.

Guest Author: human being13 Apr 2013

There Is a really bad truth about internet in india-There Is not even one good broadband internet service provider in India. So everyone has to live with this !@#^&*** Internet services in india

Guest Author: Manoj Gopalakrishnan05 May 2013

Hi Tony,

A great blog. I have borrowed the email id of the CEO of Airtel Communication. Given below is the email that I have sent him. I do share your agony and feel that it is about time we started reacting to this step motherly treatment doled out to us by such companies. They know for a fact that the legal system in India is not rigid enough to ensure that we get a fair deal with regard to customer service on services we paid for.

The email:
"Dear Mr. Kohli,

I think this blog might interest you. Its spreading viral and is making a lot of sense. Though this might not be in the best of interest for you, I think it will be good of you to be aware of what is happening within your organisation.

Hope to hear your response to this tragic and highly frustrating experience. It will be a great form of acknowledgement and show of responsibility if you can post a response to this blog.

Manoj Gopalakrishnan"

Any take on the possible outcome of this email? I am open to suggestions.

Guest Author: SB28 May 2013

I m a BSNL broadband user since last 8 years. Thought someone can give me better service. Looks like Airtel is not the one.

Guest Author: ashok kumar25 Jun 2013

The best ISP I have experienced is Reliance.

1. They are the best in proving internet speed half the speed you have requested for means 512 kbps if requested for 1 mbps.

2. They will provide a quick response after 3 days if your internet disconnection. They will always ask you for a feedback but will never act on your feedback.

3. Their zero downtime servers just take a downtime of 10-15 days and a frequent promise you will get from customer care the issue will be resolved soon and you will never face this issue in future.

Guest Author: Arvind25 Jul 2013

Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed feedback. We had a pretty horrific time with Airtel as well, where the local guys in Adyar, Chennai seemed to have a vendetta against my dad after he shouted at them for their lack of response.

We later switched to BSNL broadband; although their service was far from perfect at times, it has now improved and stabilized.

Guest Author: deepthi23 Aug 2013

Wish I had seen this site before placing my own request last week. This is the review I had posted about my Airtel experience.

For those of you planning to buy Airtel Broadband: DONT !!!

Let me explain my experience with their customer service from the day I decided to buy Airtel Broadband connection.

Friday(16 august) :I place a request for broadband connection throught their website.

Saturday(17 august) : A customer executive visited me, and i purchased a postpaid plan worth 1400 per month after paying installation fees. When I requested to give the connection as fast as possible, the executive assured me he will give it to me on

Sunday itself. (TBLR 668736 -- my connection id)

Sunday(18) : Nothing happened.

Monday(19): Customer executive calls me when I am at my office, " please come madam, Iam at your house, will give you connection now " I come home. Person is not there. I wait for him for half an hour, then call him again. He doesnt pick up the call.

Tuesday(20): I call customer care and explains my predicament, the executive assures me the issue will be resolved by EOD, "you will get connection by eod madam".

Wednesday(21) : the customer executive repeats the drama that happened on Monday AGAIN. Customer executive calls me when I am at my office, " please come madam, Iam at your house, will give you connection now " I come home. Person is not there. I wait for him for half an hour, then call him again. He doesnt pick up the call.
Wednesday evening, I call customer care again, they tell me there is no record of the compalint I placed on Tuesday but madam we are placing a complaint now and you will get connection by eod tomorrow.

Thursday(22): Nothing happened in the morning. I call customer care again, now they tell me there are some technical difficulties in the area where I am requesting connection so they cannot provide connection. Now, I stay in central Bangalore Shantinagar, the person who was staying in my house previously was using an Airtel broadband connection, the person who is staying next door is using an Airtel broadband connection, pray tell me what was the technical issue for me alone ?? Besides if you can't provide service in Bangalore city, then better shut up your useless operation.
Now I again, ask the customer care person to escalate the issue and that I would like to speak to senior manager. After endless waiting , finally my call is routed to an Acquisition manager, she checks up my profile and details, talks to the Area manager, and then tells me, "madam there were some technical difficulties, but they are RESOLVED now, so you will definitely get connection by EOD Today" . Again customer executive calls me and drama that happened on Monday and Wednesday repeats. he asks me to come home, I wait for him, he doesn't come, when I call him back, he doesn't respond. For God's sake if you can't give connection, can't you at least pick up the phone and tell that !!!.
I call the customer care again, they say about the technical difficulties again (which the acquisition manager had told me had been RESOLVED) and when I ask to speak with manager they tell me , they will arrange a call back at 9.20 am sharp next day morning.

Friday(23): Surprise !! Surprise!! No call back received at 9.20 or even by 10.00 in the morning. But I fight my battles to the END. I call the customer care again, repeat the same thing that I have been telling for the last several days, they agree to arrange a call back within 2 hours. After some time, i get a call from a customer executive (not a manager), , "madam, did u place a cancellation request for the broadband". BlaHHHHH.... I parrot what I said earlier again, she tells me she will arrange a call back soon from manager . I ask her to give me a reference no regarding this , she puts me on hold and then cuts the call. WOWW!!! After waiting for another 1 hour, I call the customer care again !! Painful repetition of my experiences over the last week, customer executive says she is routing the call to manager...again puts me on hold, then GUESS WHAT, SHE DISCONNECTS !!!! HEIGHT OF LOL.

To Airtel: I am posting the review here because I have no other choice. Your customer care executives and mangers do not care. First of all,I don't want your broadband connection. This is the first product that I thought about buying from Airtel and the last product now. I will make sure to spread word about my experience to as many ears as I can and will narrate my experience to any prospective buyer of your products. Not that a single customer's dissatisfaction is going to affect such a mighty brand as yours. But it doesn't matter whether you offer 8 Mbps or 800 Mbps speed, if this is the callous way in which you treat customers, then soon people would be referring to airtel as "an operator that existed once upon a time".

Also a word of advice, DON'T MAKE ASSURANCES THAT YOU CAN'T KEEP..please tell this to your managers and executives. Also in my case ,if the issue was a genuine one (I don't thnk it was... because there are airtel broadband connections left right and centre in the area where I stay), at least have the courtesy to let the customer know by way of a call, e-mail or even an sms, especially considering that the customer has repeatedly called & placed requests .

Just to give authenticity to my review: these are the various reference nos that I was given during the last week: TBLR 668736, 37438164, 293161570, 200280888.


Guest Author: nemmy27 Aug 2013

I got conned by Airtel sales man for a special scheme @3100 for 3 months paid up, after which I can pay monthly rental. The USP being I do not have to pay for the instrument or modem.

From day one, I felt cheated because after handing him the cheque and form which he filled up for me and the other required documents, he asked for Rs.100 for some sort of stamp paper as per Govt. requirements. This was not mentioned to me earlier.

Yet, I dint want to create a scene and just gave him the cash.

Then,installation happened and the installer connected my old instrument lying around and disappeared, no new instrument as promised. I informed customer service the same, no reaction. The worst is at the end of the first month, they started harassing me with calls for payment due or else disconnection.I promptly called customer service, plus emailed to their nodal offices that I had been made to understand that I need not pay for 3 months in the package scheme I was offered. Well, billing department promptly disconnected my broadband/internet. I was so enraged at the inconvenienced and wrote back to please take out all their wires, I'm not interested in this kind of cheating.In effect,they are the one who owes me a refund for the 2 months charges already paid.It has been months now and I still get bombarded with their calls of sue payment. Today, I told the lady if she calls again,I have to make a police complaint. It's pure harassment. What about my advance payment?

They had no right to disconnect their service when they have already charged me for 3 months.but the most painful is their harassing calls of nonpayment.

Guest Author: Sanjib Bhattacharya31 Aug 2013

That's why I am thinking and keep rethinking before taking a decision to go back to India for good. I have horrible experiences with nationalised banks in India and government offices including local city run Corporation offices. I was asked to pay bribe when I went to pay my due property taxes to Kolkata Corporation . What can be more ridiculous than that? You have to pay bribe because you want to pay your due taxes? Horrible.

Guest Author: Mahesh01 Sep 2013

Hi Tony,
I landed on this article while searching for the best broadband providers in Bangalore. I was an airtel customer previously and enjoyed very good service. When we had to shift our home last year, we called the customer care number and registered a request for transfer of the broadband connection to our new house. The customer care guy took note of the address and informed that we would receive a call in three days. The call came in three days as promised , but with a bad news informing us that airtel does not have a appropriate infrastructure(cables have not been laid). We decide lets cancel the connection and all our dues were settled promptly. We missed our airtel connection as the service had been good till our cancellation. Well the real story after three months.
Call from airtel customer care:- Sir the cables have been laid in your area and the connection will be available. If you want to go for it , please submit the new address proof documents to the agent we will be sending a person to collect the document. Well we gave him the time for sunday evening , But the person never showed up.We have a reliance net connect + broadband connection which is just about ok, The guy did not come even after a week. We left it at that and went on with our lives.4 weeks later the story repeats. After 2 more repetitions My wife literally shouted at the customer care when they called up and after that there has been no torture ....Gist of the story- No proper co-ordination.

Guest Author: Agnashak10 Sep 2013

Goes on to show why its still better to stay out of the miseries of India and enjoy the good life most countries offer. If you have money to pay you can just sign up to the cloud with a credit card to recieve internet almost instaneously and not having to fill any forms or talk to any idiots. Last 6 years, my Virgin media has been down once and they called me before I realised it to tell me when they would have the service back. The service was restored before time and I got a months bill taken off for the outage. Now thats what service levels really mean.

Guest Author: RK11 Oct 2013

I am going for good to Bangalore after 13 years of living in Toronto. Thanks for making me to be prepared for the worst. What is all about.. IT city, Silicon valley of India, Software Guru's.....


Guest Author: Shreya18 Oct 2013

I am using BHNSS broad band services & bhnss is best internet service provider with best speed...

Guest Author: GANTI23 Nov 2013


Author: Alok24 Dec 2013 Member Level: Bronze   Points : 10

Hello Friends!

Tony is absolutely right. Airtel is leading fraud and corrupt internet service provider in India and this is nobody understand & known better than me.

Even I have a proof that many people who is doing dirty work of fraud is legally worker of Airtel Company but "not" specific the internet service provider agent of Airtel.

I have a proof that Airtel worker providing yours request of broadband Internet Bandwidth to other worker or people then that people appear your home as agent plaese note with "too much hurry and fake reciept" and as usual many people like tony,like me did not ask for Id card and do not even know the name of the person. why we did not ask for that because they know we requested for broadband Internet Bandwidth that specific knowledge only known by Airtel worker. next when you check the not paid amount of yours in Airtel Account you see nothing change then you call or Airtel worker call to you for paying amount and they say no amount collected from you in past. you explain to them everything then they say that is your fault for not asking Id card and the name of the person and also they say that receipt is fake and in the end they say that none of his concern.

How do I know this?

Because once I was the Airtel broadband Internet Bandwidth customer with 2999 plan(150gb with 2mbps=512kbps than 256kbps=32kbps) from four months then that is happen to me. i paid 11996 rupees plus my speed on demand charges plus four months tax extra "two time".I did not go to police or consumer forum because i decide when i found that man i am gonna make him beg for everything. I gone really angry and desperate for finding that man who collected the money from me as Airtel agent. I found that man next to the other Airtel office but big news is he is officially worker of Airtel but not collecting agent. Then I found out the man who install the Airtel broadband Internet cable in my house is friend of him.

Guest Author: Manish Agrawal19 Mar 2014

Hello Tony,

Thanks for helping me...

I raised a request online for a new broadband connection and they called me in 5 min. I asked them plan rates and they were almost 1.75 time the other service providers.

Well, unfortunately my experiences with bangalore is really bad... A CITY OF SLEEPING BEAUTIES..... Nobody over here wants to work... my local cable provider promised me 5 days back for a internet connection...

He promised that they work on Sundays too but now he does not pick up my call even....


Believe me in Mumbai, People were way active and professional than Bangalore...

Manish Agrawal

Guest Author: Samir30 Jan 2015

Interesting experience, but not surprising--this is India after all.

My in-laws are in Bangalore and I'm still searching for a solid connection back to the states so I can work remotely.

I wonder what ISP businesses use? They can't be this bad.

Guest Author: arif29 Apr 2015

The only way to get customer service in India, whether it be a doctor, plumber or internet service provider, is to have personal rapport with the appropriate personnel. For this BSNL is best. A good idea to get customer service is to personally befriend the AE and at least 2 linemen assigned to you area. Going through official channels and expecting professional service in India is a bit too optimistic. If we had that we would be a G-7 country today!!

For linemen, you can only win them over via tips. Tip generously. When your Net goes haywire, no need to call any official channel. Just call these linemen. If you tip well they will attend to your call right away. For non-line-related net issues if you are buddies with your AE, then issues get solved even faster than in the US!

Sorry for the rough intro you had on your return to India.

Guest Author: Tabish Jamal18 May 2015

You people are suffering with Airtel and BSNL? Try instead Tikona Digital Networks. I'm sure you will change your mind. Because in torturing customers, no one can beat them! And after disconnection wait for their threatening calls. I'm still suffering because of them. I just want to leave my beloved country, India, because of their extreme torture.

Guest Author: Random Guy25 May 2015

Tony, I would suggest that you try Act Broadband, Plans-20 mbbs for 50gb @1499 (unlimited.

Guest Author: Neha Kapoor20 Jan 2016

I checked latest broadband plans of ‘CONNECT' and Airtel broadband service for my home town Chandigarh, at and I selected Airtel DSL broadband connection for my home. Although ‘CONNECT' has variety of low rental broadband plans, I selected ‘Airtel' as my suitable internet service provider. I think everyone has his own types of data and speed needs, accordingly single ISP can't be everyone's best Internet provider. Get Airtel wireless broadband in Chandigarh area for your computer & other internet supported devices. Best tariffs of Airtel 4G WiFi internet service and DSL broadband connection plans in Mohali, Panchkula, Chandigarh.

Author: zeec aam03 Feb 2017 Member Level: Bronze   Points : 3

Last week I shifted to Chandigarh from Delhi. I was using airtel 4G in Delhi. Although airtel 4g LTE is fast enough wireless internet service But now I switched to CONNECT Broadband FTTH service at chandigarh and it is much better than 4G connection, You can check the FTTH broadband plans at and you can judge the difference easily.

Author: nehak pur08 Nov 2017 Member Level: Bronze   Points : 2

BSNL has to compete with private companies, which is not easy. As Like there are many ISP companies, which provides better internet speed in much cheaper prices than BSNL broadband connection. Customer support of private ISP companies is also faster than BSNL.

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