21 May 2012

What if everyone treated you like Tata-Docomo?
This is my experience with Tata-Docomo.

About five or six years ago (I am not sure when) I bought a CDMA phone from Tata-Indicom with an inbuilt SIM card. To tell the truth I did not have too many complaints about the service.

Then a few months ago the phone began to run down and eventually neither the speaker nor the microphone would work and all the phone could do was send SMS messages. So on 21 April I walked to a nearby Tata Docomo centre to try and get a new SIM card with the same number so that I could put it in another phone. The office was being mopped when I walked in and the cleaning woman looked at me as if I was something a hyena brought in. (I should have thought the office would be cleaned before it opened so that customers did not make a mess of it, but let that go.) When I put forward my request I was curtly told that SIM cards were out of stock and I had to go a couple of kilometres to the next centre. Not so much as a courteous apology. Well, I thought, if this is how Tata Indicom treated its customers I would take my business elsewhere.

I walked to the nearby office of another mobile operator and from there put in a porting request. I was told I would get an answer within 15 minutes to an hour. When that did not happen I went home and put in another request. This time I got an answer: "Dear Customer, Your Unique Porting Code xxxxx already exists and is valid upto 06-05-2012. Thank you." I forwarded this message to the mobile operator to whom I wanted to transfer the number. Later, however, I got another SMS saying: "Hi. You are not eligible for Mobile Number Portability. Continue enjoying TATA DOCOMO with Fantastic offers."

When the number was not ported I filed an online complaint with TATA DOCOMO on 30 April. I promptly got an automated reply saying: "We have received your complaint about your Tata DOCOMO number 9249868082. Your complaint has been registered with our customer service team. The Reference No. is 490085. You will be receiving a call from our customer representative, within 48 business hours, who shall attend to your complaint and provide a resolution at the earliest. It is our aim to provide you a satisfactory resolution as early as possible."

Of course there was no reply within 48 hours.

On 9 May I got an email saying: "Thank you for reaching out to the Tata DOCOMO Customer Care Team. We trust your complaint, docket no: xxxxx, has been addressed to your complete satisfaction."

When I wrote back saying that it had not addressed my complaint at all, I got a reply on 10 May: "Please be informed that your MNP port out request has been retained as you have delayed in contacting other operator for port in request within 7 days. Hence, request you to send the port out sms once again and contact the other operator with in the given time lines to get the number activated."

With so many contradictory messages being sent to me I obviously don't want to go through the whole rigmarole all over again. So I am stuck with a phone which is useless except for sending SMS messages.

Tata-Docomo has a television campaign going on now whose punch line is: What if everyone treated you like your mobile operator? My question of course is: What if everyone treated you like TATA-DOCOMO?

Just a few days into this experience I received a call from TATA AIG touting their insurance schemes. No prizes for guessing what my response was.


Category: Miscellaneous


Philip George
Debunker of Keynesian, monetarist and Austrian economics

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