It was end of winter in February, I got an SMS with some very catchy phone numbers and the offer was that i can select any of the number i want and it could be my number. And I was bit irritated with my present number at that time due to too many marketing and promotial calls and SMS. Sadly I was getting more than 50 SMS and 10 call per day which I was totally uninterested to attend or pay attention.
So, I called up the number given at bottom of that SMS and I came to know that it was IDEA cellular postpaid offer and they were providing me with a VIP mobile number. I was planning to change and the change crossed my way. I grabbed the opportunity and asked them to provide me with two numbers, other one for my spouse. The provided fantastic service to me, they called up twice a day for asking my address, choosing of numbers, selecting the plan etc. Their executive came before time at my home to deliver SIM cards and take payment in cash. I was more than delighted with IDEA service.
Now the real story begins. It took almost 3 days in activation of the SIM card. I wasn’t able to drop off my old number due to this. But it was ok, i didn’t mind at the time. Soon after the activation, we discovered another problem. The voice was cutting, and the call was dropping extremely frequently and in couple of days we got frustrated in using IDEA. In our older Airtel connecting the voice clarity and connectivity was excellent. But here it was altogether a separate story. We contacted IDEA customer care and reported the problem, but reporting a problem to IDEA was itself a big problem, I was in waiting and connected to a Customer Care Executive after 18 minutes. I was promised the resolution in 3 working days, nothing happend and i got one more promise of 3 days, again nothing happened and the same cycle continued till 3 months and till now i haven’t got any resolution or improvement in connectivity problems and voice quality over IDEA network.
Now by SMS I came to know that my bill was generated and the amount was too big compared to my estimation. But I didn’t get any physical copy of my bill at that time, as the amount was too big I wanted to check the detailed bill to understand the breakup of the big charges I was suppsed to pay. I called up IDEA Customer Care, with frustrating waiting time of 11 minutes, i was connected to a customer care executive, I logged a complaint that I am not delivered my physical copy of the bill, and I need to check the physical copy because my online bill didn’t have the usage details. I was promised that duplicate bill will be delivered in 7 business days. Again this reminded of Airte, they deliver duplicate bill without any question and without fail in 3 working days. But again I made up my mind choose to wait. 12 days passed and I didn’t got my bill. My due date passed and my phone got blocked, I wasn’t able to make any call or SMS from my call. I was very much willing to pay the bill but not without seeing the usage details. So, I again called up the customer care executive. Poor fellow, not able to speak hindi or english properly tried to explain me that in their record it’s showing that bill was delivered to me, hence they didn’t send me the duplicate IDEA bill. I was shivering in anger, they didn’t even care about informing me that they aren’t sending me the duplicate bill. They didn’t care to inform me before disconnecting my cellular services. This was the height of disservice. I have to make a payment without seeing the usage data because I desperately wante to get my services back. Again one more frustration, they took 3 days after bill payment to restore my services. I called up poor IDEA customer care executives and they were helpless. I also talked with thier superwisor, who was super dumb and I lost all hopes with IDEA customer care.
This was one part of the problem, but we were given multiple problems, frustration and anxiety with this so called great IDEA. Our first bill arrived by email which I got after lot’s of fights and arguements with IDEA customer care, and we were more than shocked to see the bill, because as per promises we were made and as per our estimation the bill was exactly the double. I have got itemized bill on email and checked the call details. I wasn’t able to make out on how many calls I made to whom. The details seemed totally false to me, hence I again called the customer care with frustrating waiting time of 14 minutes I was connected to customer care executive. They said that the bill couldn’t be wrong, so no arguements entertained and I had to pay that bill.
So, this was story of first month and I was more than frustrated and tired of using IDEA cellular service. But this was just beginning. Second month bill arrived and there was no itemized details of my usage. I again called up customer care, this was probably my 9th or 10th call in 30 days to customer care which was connected after whopping 17 minutes of waiting. They told me to pay Rs. 50 to get detailed bill, or switch to online bill which contain all the details I wanted. Hence, as instructed I sent SMS to ebill <emailid> to 12345, nothing happened, i did this 7 time yet nothing happened and as usual I lost the hope. And my ebill was not activated, I was getting paper bill with totally false charges. I was paying almost double the charges compared to my old Airtel connection.
This was the sad story of my experience with IDEA cellular, and blow are the lessions and findings
- They have got very poor customer care, it always takes more than 10 minutes to connect to customer care executive
- Extremely poor quality customer care executives, not able to speak properly, not able to handle questions, very arrogent and always misbehaving
- Extremely poor connectivity and network coverage, very frequent call drop and poor quality voice even if you are standing bleow cellular tower.
- Totally absurd policies and rules, which are unfriendly to customers
- Not treating customer as customer
- Very poor after sales service
- Only advertisement and marketing is good, the rest is extremely poor
So, Here I openly recommend all my readers to NOT use IDEA cellular service even if you are living anywhere in India. Better to go for Airtel or Vodafone. Even Tata Docomo, Reliance GSM, Aircel and MTS are better as per my research and reading of consumer reviews.