Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Reliance Net Connect - The effing saga continues...

The dead and forgotten - or at least, what I had hoped was d and effing f - won't remain so. And my poor, old mother is bearing the brunt of it. You are aware of my Reliance misadventure. Well, it refuses to go away and leave us in piece.

Soon after my last update, my mother started receiving phone calls from the Billing/Collections Department of Reliance Communications, stating that there were unpaid monthly bills against her name, amounting to Rs. 600/= or more.

During all those calls, she painstakingly explained every time to the person(s) calling, that we could not use the device and returned it to the store long back, and they had already deducted Rs. 650/= towards a month’s rent and other charges. However, the calls did not stop, and fresh bills kept arriving.

Finally, someone from Reliance Customer Care advised her to go to some Reliance Communications office - it appeared quite shady to me; apparently it is a 'termination center' - at 36, GC Avenue, Kolkata – 13 (Chandni Chowk for the cognoscenti), and fill out some form with some ‘termination request number’ 67625808.

This morning, however, some arsehole called Roychaudhury from the Reliance Collections department called my mother, and bloody threatened her with dire consequences if she did not ‘pay up’!

I was so shocked at this extremely reprehensible behaviour that I didn't know what to do. We found to our dismay and chagrin that no one in Reliance Customer care was really willing to solve this issue without trying to extract even more money from us, for a service that we could not use in the first place.

You can imagine, my friends, how extremely difficult it is for my aged parents to be placed in such an embarrassing situation for no fault of ours, and to be harassed continuously by uncouth individuals working for Reliance. We were already disillusioned with the lack of service from Reliance Communications. And now Reliance was doing us this great disservice by engaging such predatory tactics.

My mother is going to the Chandni Chawk office today. I have already written to the Nodal Officer of Reliance Customer care in Kolkata, the Customer center at their Bombay office, and to the Department of Telecommunications Public Grievances cell in Delhi. I am not very hopeful about it, but I don't know what else to do. I wish there were something like a Better Business Bureau in India; I probably would have to follow my friend Roddur's advice and approach the Consumer Redressal Forum.

I hope none of you ever have the misfortune of having to deal with these thugs and scoundrels.

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Blogger Ajay said...

Hi Kausik,

Problem resolution / collection mechanism in India is really screwed up. Even citibank, icici etc. employ thugs to contact customers. I sometimes feel bad to have left our parents alone in a jungle - India is really becoming a jungle.

My brother had also gotten a reliance data card while my dad was sick so that the two of us could work occasionally from the hospital. That had the same problem - excruciatingly slow - less than 1 kbps. The customer service kept on telling my brother that there is network congestion in calcutta. It will be resolved in a few days - never did get resolved. Anyway, I just used to check my e-mails using that. My brother couldn't work at all - in fact had to go back to Bangalore because he could not work remotely due to the crappy card.

My brother just canceled the connection, and paid the one month bill - he said trying to recover would be futile.

I also had a weird experience with Reliance Communications post-paid service in the U.S. They would call me 10-15 days before the due date and ask if they could charge my credit card. I was never late in paying and I had a credit card on file - they would still call me to get money 10-15 days before the due date. I got so pissed off that I canceled Reliance communications. I now have Startec as my long distance carrier; sometimes use Airtel as well.


Tue Apr 29, 09:29:00 AM EDT  
Blogger geek goddess said...

It is very distressing to know Reliance's level (or lack) of customer service. Also, it is very sad that ageing parents back home have to bear the brunt of this.

Mon May 05, 11:23:00 AM EDT  

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