Subscribe to the airtel standing instructions facility

".... let your credit card pay... no tension..."

I have been hearing this damned recording over and over again in the last few days. Airtel's system seems to have FUBARed by mobile connection. It all started on Friday (06/07/07). My bill was due and customer service told me to update my credit card details through an SMS. "You cc will be debited by tomorrow," I was told. Come Monday and Airtel disconnected me out of the blue. My card account was not debited. After frantic calls to customer care, I personally paid my bill at 9 in the night. "Four hours to reactivate your account," I was told. The next day (Tuesday) my phone was still not working and after 3 calls to customer service and an escalation to their nodal officer, my connection was restored at 4 in the evening. Sigh of relief. On Wednesday, I noticed that CLIP was not activated. Another call to customer care to raise yet another SR. That didn't bother me much.

On Thursday (today), my connection conked off again around 2 in the afternoon. I called up cust care and I was told that I will need to walk into the nearest Airtel outlet. I was pissed off. For no fault of mine, this guy was telling me to spend more time to get things fixed. The guy on the phone had only this to say, "your connection has been deactivated (as if I didn't know that). You will need to place a return request." This was, of course, peppered by the repeated question - "did you ask for reactivation?"

I sent a mail to the nodal officer and tried to follow up with a call. After 15 minutes of getting engaged tone, the phone rang but whoever was on the other end took the phone and left on the desk. I could hear noises from the other end. I decided to hold and wait. After 2 minutes, someone disconnected the line. After another 15 minutes of the busy tone, I got through to the nodal office who denied putting the phone off the hook. Anyway, the girl/woman on the other side promised that it will be rectified within an hour. Ah ha, that should've done the trick but it didnt. After 5, I called the n.o. again, who said i will get an update within the day and that the process had been initiated..

At 7:30 in the night, I had had enough. I called up customer care. The guy on the other end promised to get it fixed in half an hour. 8:15 and no good. I called up customer care again. I was on the phone and on hold for nearly 40 minutes. I have now been told that it should be done by tonight. I have told them that if it is not fixed by tonight, I will go to another service provider. I don't think they care, though the cust care rep on the other side seemed genuinely apologetic. So I am without a phone now. I am pissed. I am at office at 9 in the night trying to get this damn thing fixed. I am furious. I want to go the fubared server room that Airtel has and smash up the messed up servers.

I now know the fastest way to get into their 9845012345 customer care system. A.R. Rehman's airtel tune sounds like a death gong to me now and I can almost predict the questions that the customer care rep is going to ask. That's how messed up my state is now..

There is no escalation point listed beyond the nodal officer. I would like to see that nodal officer's ass fried. I would love to shower her with some choice names. She dared to put the phone off the hook and lie about it. That is what got to me the most. To my credit, I did not once scream or yell at the customer care reps. I never thought I could be so polite when I am so angry.

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thoughts on america

Actually it's more like "unsettled". Got back from Amreeka 3 weeks back and something or the other kept mPublish Poste on my toes all of these 3 weeks. Work is getting back-logged everyday. I finish one task and there is one more waiting to complete. It's crazy!! I hope to back "properly" online in a few more weeks.

People ask me if I liked Amreeka. Now, now, now. I stayed there for a mere 2 n 1/2 months. I cannot judge the place in such a short time unless you are asking it in a touristy sense. Even then, I will not be able to answer because I don't do much of touristy things. One thing I absolutely like about the u.s.a is the road network. The interstates rock. Yes, there are traffic jams and some potholes but these are usable roads and you don't find people crossing a highway like we have here. You don't have to be on the look-out for the weird apparitions that jump out of the bushes causing you to screech and halt, though there are the occasional crazy guys in cars like the one a friend and I encountered when we were driving down an interstate.

One thing I noticed about Indians living in the usa is this. Even when living away from home, people group themselves based on language and region. So you get to see isolated groups of Tamils, Keralites, Andhraites and Hindi-speaking folks at restaurants, etc. It is not as noticeable as back in India though. I guess we will never leave those shackles behind.

I miss my food outings. Being paid for by my employer, I had the chance to freak out on some fabulous food. Sushi is now officially one of my favourite food kinds. Inspite of my apprehensions, I realised that raw fish with rice is not only not bad it actually tastes very good. I miss those yummy things.

The country offers all the facilities for a comfortable life. Most things are standardised and hassle free. Owning a car is not as big a deal as here. Most things are affordable and available to you. Police don't really bother to investigate and solve petty muggings and thievery but they do respond to your call and file a report without a bribe. :) There is also the lure of the dollar.

Of course, there is a bit of anxiety/fear on the part of the citizens about foreign workers. It's quite understandable. For the record I did not face any such trouble from my co-workers. They were extremely supportive. I could however see their concern when I talked about visa issues and stuff with the Americans.

Violence in the USA means guns and shots. That's the scariest part for me about America. Crazy people have access to dangerous weapons. The USA is not as safe as it is made out to be. The citizens live in an induced denial. Each and every day there would be one or more reports about murders. People get killed walking down a road or sitting on their porch. Often by a stray bullet from someone else's fight or by a mugger who is not satisfied with just robbing the people.

Would I want to live there? I don't know.

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