My mail to Airtel after I got the ‘speed rationalization’ letter from them, today. If Facebook can make a mistake, learn and revert a policy, why can’t Airtel?


2528296337_8ddccb13cfAs a long time and loyal customer of Airtel, I’m disgusted to see this letter about speed rationalization. I do not want Airtel to tell me how to use my internet connection particularly when I have opted for an unlimited plan and at a particular speed. Airtel, among other broadband service providers in India are already fleecing customers by not giving the actually mentioned speed and throw at us reduced speeds on an average. At least, Airtel was reliable. Not any more.

To show my outrage, I’ve signed the online petition here at, against airtel. I’ll also,

– ensure that I bad mouth and discourage anyone asking me EVER about Airtel
– will continue using my 2 broadband connections, 2 landlines and 2 mobile connections till I get decent alternatives. I’ll pay you guys and burn the modem given to me in front of my apartment.
– blog about this unfair policy thrust upon customers arbitrarily
– ensure that I work towards making sure Airtel does not win the next buzziest brand award by afaqs. You do not deserve it next year.
– try and convert as many people as possible in my apartment of 133 flats to move out of the airtel brand. Even if I convert at least 10 people, I’ll be happy.
– go to as many online forums and comment about Airtel and their unfair practices

Its not about how much I or anyone downloads. Its about how Airtel is policing what we should be downloading – I do not want guidance from my service provider on how to utilize my internet connection. I want Airtel to stay away from my life once I’ve been provided the service – I pay for it, as per your terms, remember? If I need help, I’ll ask.

I’m just a single customer unhappy about this update in plan – but I do hope there are more people like me – on last count, that petition has 1000+ people – I do hope it grows and causes at least a small dent in your revenue – you deserve to go out of business for fleecing your customers like this. Its a shame actually – till yesterday, I was an extremely satisfied customer of Airtel, recommending your broadband to everyone. From today, I’ll be against you till you reverse that absurd policy of your’s, publicly.

In english, unlimited is just that – unlimited. If it has a fine print added to it now, I do not want that plan – I’ll rather go for another unlimited plan with no such fine print. If you one like that, please let me know.

Photo courtesy: pranksterjay via Flickr.



12 thoughts on “Airtel’s Speed Rationalization – Facebook-ToS-style goof-up!

  1. Hey Karthik, so unlimited becomes limited…we’d like to explore this further, and also contact Airtel for comment. Could you please share a copy of the email from Airtel. My email address is nikhil at medianama dot com.

  2. Nikhil: No, it still is unlimited – that’s the beauty. Have posted the complete letter I got from them and also my take on it, as part of today’s post.

  3. karthik.. thanks to your blog, else i wudnt have known. i never got a letter from airtel.. your blog led me to the petition site and that led me to the airtel site – only to see that is was ALREADY implemented in the plans…
    i too have signed.. i have also called airtel and gave a piece of my mind. 100 users calling up customer care and doing this will eventualy lead to talks within their teams….

    also, we should all come together for a “MASS DISCONNECTION REQUEST” drive.

  4. that’s the exact reason why I kept my MTNL numbers and net connectivity alive even after switching to Airtel. Now I can easily switch back from Airtel without any loss of business.

  5. Dude u have done it, thanks to your joint efforts with all the complaints, airtel has removed the fair use policy from 799 UL, a small step, but we can beat the beast. keep it up 🙂

  6. This is very true.. but the effect of this is still not visible in the NCR reason, I am not thanking that .. I have gone ahead and put a complaint in the Consumer Forum , next I am writing to the editors of all the major dailies.

  7. Very true. Airtel is also going like other players and bullying the customers. Following is the communication that I had with them:

    From: “Shad Rizvi” <>Add sender to ContactsTo: sbm@bharti.comCc:,, atul.bindal@bharti.comBcc: “AKBAR (HUSAINI)” <>Dear Mr. Sunil Mittal,

    I am your customer for last about 5 years in Lucknow. I am thoroughly satisfied with your local staff and the performance of your Airtel broadband connection that I have. However, it is shameful for an organisation like Bharti that nobody cares at the senior level. The emails sent earlier, as attached below, have failed to evoke even a single response from any of your authorities for any of my problems.

    I am fed up of the numerous calls that I get on my landlines as well as my mobile phone. The callers are abusive, blunt, discourteous and unsolicited. Your company is wasting money of your shareholders and the customers by hiring nonsense call centres for making foolish calls. The purpose can very well be served by your local staff more efficiently.

    I trust, at least, you would take pains to sort out my problems.

    Shad Rizvi

    — On Sun, 22/8/10, Shad Rizvi <> wrote:

    From: Shad Rizvi <>
    Subject: Fw: Tel # 0522-4070569
    Date: Sunday, 22 August, 2010, 3:30 PM

    I am forwarding an email sent earlier to your nodal & the apellate authorities. After so many months, I am still frustrated with nonsense calls from billing department.

    I have been your customer for last over 5 years and all my bills have been paid, if you check my account. The delays, if any, had been purely because of either delay from your side or due to frustrating calls from your stereotyped call centre fools.

    Your local collection centre knows it very well and they send their collection executive every month to collect the payments. In spite of that, every month I get dozens of calls from your several call centres on my landline as well as my celphone. And everytime they have a same set of frustrating questions to ask. I don't know why you need my address everytime you call when you have my address; or why you need directions to my house when your person knows it like the back of his hand; or why you need to check whether I am paying the bill when your collection man knows that even if he comes at 11 in the night he gets the payment?

    I got a call from 0124-4183800 at 3:55 p.m. yesterday on my cel no. 9335308014. You would be having his name in your records. When he was sternly told that he is frustrating me by asking me nonsense questions again and again, he became aggressive. On telling him that I would complain against him, he suggested me to find out the email ID of Sunil Mittal and complain to him. You can hear exact conversation from your records.

    Today, I got a call on my landline in the morning. The caller was conveyed to send anybody to collect the payments in cash any time when he wills. As usual, all the directions and locations were explained to him.

    Yet again at 2:49 p.m. I got a call on land line from some Enayat asking the same story yet again. And when he was told that he is frustrating me by calling again, he became aggressive and said he will ask me all the questions again and again everytime and that “What would you do?”

    I am satisfied with your connectivity; I am satisfied with you local technical staff; yet your call centre people are a waste of your money (as a result, our money). They are frustrating, abusive and unsolicited.

    After so much of harassment at your hands, even though not wanting it, I would like to discontinue with your services with immediate effect. Because, I can not stand more of this torture. And, I'll not pay for any charges if my connection is not disconnected immediately.

    I'll also ensure that all the airtel broadband connections that were bought on my recommendations, are replaced at the earliest. I'll put this information on my blog, on twitter, on facebook and everywhere to vent my frustration against your attitude.

    Shad Rizvi

    — On Sat, 6/2/10, Shad Rizvi <> wrote:

    From: Shad Rizvi <>
    Subject: Tel # 0522-4070569
    Date: Saturday, 6 February, 2010, 11:26 PM

    I have a broadband connection # 0522-4070569 of Airtel at Lucknow for last about 3-4 years. I have a standing instruction to your office to send your collection staff to me 1-2 days before the due date and collect the payment. Whenever the person visits, he collects the payments.

    I have my cel # 9335308014 registered with your office. In spite of my repeated requests on 121 FOR deregistration, I am bombarded with innumerable SMSes, telephone calls and emails all through the month as reminder for payments even after the payment has been made.

    Last month, I stopped the payment to the bill and asked your office to disconnect my connection since I am fed up of constant reminders for payments. Upon this, I was supposedly connected to the branch manager who assured me that no more calls will be made to me. I made the payments last month as well as this month too. However, I still continue to receive similar calls.

    I have made payments for the current bill due on 6th, a week back. Yet my inbox is full of SMSes for payment reminders.

    Secondly, in spite of standing instructions or even after assurance from your office that a person is being sent to collect the payment, the person visits after the due date but a late fee is charged to me.


    Shad Rizvi

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