Today since an undisclosed time the network of Bharti Airtel is down. The problem, as reported by the retail outlets is ‘some technical glitch’ in their systems. Apparently only the prepaid (‘pay as you go’ in US parlance) seem to be affected by it. I don’t know how many circles have been affected. But I do know that Pune is affected.

On dialling a number, the message one gets is …’the services on this number have been indefinitely been barred, please call the customer care on 121′. Upon calling the customer care centers, it has been reported that one gets the message “Network busy” flashing on the screen.

I am an Airtel prepaid user, as I came to know of such a thing, I had to check it out myself. When I checked with the local Airtel staff, they told me that indeed there was some problem in their system and their people were already working on a solution and it should be sorted out by 9 pm IST (sic!).

What I did not like about the whole way of handling the situation is this…
1. Why have prerecorded message tell you to dial the customer care number when it is not reachable! (As it is Airtel has some of the most unkind and unhelpful people sitting behind those computers and also the fact that more than half the time the number cannot be reached!)
2. What happens to a person who is trying to call someone in an emergency?
3. Couldn’t there have been a prerecorded message saying that there was a problem in the network… instead of the one above.

You know Airtel, this just shows that you are really unprepared to handle emergencies! Poor show!!!
Last I checked (which is as I am writing) I was getting the following message flashing on my screen “Call not allowed.” Also one cannot check the balance remaining.

P.S. Only outgoing seems to be hampered, incoming is working perfectly!

What is your take on the whole? What do you think should be the right way to tackle such problems. Had this been US, what would have happened? How would the company have responded.
Leave your comments and let me know!

Update: the time is now 10pm.

Yet another Update: I had a talk wit the Airtel reps, they say that this problem will be sorted out by tomorrow afternoon. Someone please call TRAI or DoT! I think a fine should be levied!
Their reps, said that the Airtel ‘tower’ had exploded in Mumbai. (when did a server take the form of a tower, and even if it did so, what has that go to do with Pune?)