Airtel — Charging for an Unsubscribed Service
KrKrish Dharmarajan on Oct 12, 2011
All in the Name of God!
How would you feel when the shopkeeper charges you when you make no purchase? Surely, you wouldn’t like it.
Something of that kind happened to me when Airtel landed on my mobile phone [No.[protected]] a message [on Oct 10]. It was about a certain service they had on offer. They took my subscription to the service for granted ...saying ‘thank you for subscribing’ to it. That alerted me.
‘You’ve been charged Rs.10 for 7 days..,’ the company told me. It meant that my prepaid account had already been debited. Similar debits would perhaps follow, from time to time.
I was outraged for the simple reason I had not asked for the service in the first place. To pay for something you have not bought should be clearly unacceptable to any consumer.
Quite cleverly, Airtel has left the onus on the consumer to call up 552230 if he wishes to stop the unwanted service. As I discovered, however, it was a trap. There was no STOP option on offer…so how would I stop the service? No way. I am saddled with an unwanted service.
I should think it’s an unfair business practice that doesn’t behove the country’s leading mobile service provider, to say the least.
There’s more to it all. If you ring up Airtel’s 552230, sweet voices greet you in Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil and an array of other Indian languages. They introduce you to a religious programme…live Aarti from Shri Tirupati Balaji and other well known shrines in the country. You can pick your choice and subscribe to bhajans, etc. All for a payment, of course.
Business in the name of God!
Failing to unsubscribe, I have taken up the problem in these columns [see 'Debit against Unasked Service']. I’ve asked Airtel to reverse the charges. My complaint hasn’t elicited a response. I’ve also sent a reply-message back to Airtel. No success, either.
What do I do?
13 Oct 2011
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