Airtel announces new Gold and Platinum support plans for customers

(Special to MadMan’s Web)

Bharti Airtel Ltd., which had already declared its vision as “By 2015 airtel will be the most loved brand, enriching the lives of millions”, today announced an accelerated plan to fulfill that vision in 2013 by launching two new levels of technical support plans for its customers.

Launching the new Gold and Platinum support plans at a press conference today, Sunil Mittal, Chairman, said it was based on extensive analysis of customer feedback over the last year, and aimed at fixing many of the existing complaints.

Customers who opt for the new Gold Plan at an extra Rs. 99 per month (+taxes), can avail of features like:

1) Chances of speaking to a real human within 2 minutes increased from 7% to 50% – Mittal said that Gold customers will face shorter hold times. The previous average time on hold of 10 minutes will be reduced by over 50% and there will now be a 50% chance of speaking to a human in 2 minutes.

2) Exuberant female voice on IVR to be replaced by a normal-sounding person – Mittal discussed the findings of their research showing that customers couldn’t readily identify with a female voice that sounded like a 10 year-old getting a new puppy as a birthday gift when announcing words like “Welcome to Airtel!” The new Gold plan will use a more normal sounding 28 year-old woman instead.

3) Access to special Twitter account and web site status page – A major demand from customers was a status update page on both the Airtel twitter account  that informs customers about problems and outages when they actually happen, instead of the earlier operating procedure where customers would be told things “We experienced an outage two days ago for three hours, and it’s fixed now” on Twitter. The new Twitter account, accessible only to Gold and Platinum customers, will provide real-time status updates to help them plan their work day better around service outages.

The new high-priority Platinum Plan, at an extra Rs. 299 per month (+taxes), has all the features of the Gold Plan, plus even more features for Airtel’s most demanding customers. Some of these are:

1) Chances of speaking to a real human being within 2 minutes increased from 7% to 70% - A 10x fold jump in responsiveness, this plan is designed for those customers who absolutely, positively, need to speak to a tech support representative on the phone and are not content with longer wait times.

2) Airtel jingle on loop replaced - Responding to increased incidents of customer phones being damaged by being flung against the wall, Bharti Airtel commissioned independent research into the matter and found out it was caused by irate customers who were listening to the Airtel jingle on loop while being put on hold. Airtel has swiftly taken action. Mittal said, “We will replace the Airtel jingle with bhajans, prayers from the Quran, or Christian psalms instead, keeping in mind the spiritual side of India.” Mittal was confident this would reduce complaints, “…because you can’t swear at God.”

3) Upgraded Twitter responses – Platinum customers, being the cream of the crop, will no longer get replies from the current Twitter and Facebook bot that responds to all complaints with “Would request you to please mail us at airtelpresence@in.airtel.com” “Instead, a responsive team of real people from Airtel and not an outsourced PR company will now handle their problems and escalate them to the right channels”, said a smiling Mittal, as the crowd burst into spontaneous applause, and geeks attending the conference immediately started tweeting about this.

Mittal concluded by saying that he realized that not everyone would be the right target for these value-added plans that required customers to pay an extra monthly fee. So, in true Steve Jobs style, he saved a final interesting bit.

Mittal announced the launch of the new ”Fuck this, I just want to speak to a human being” option for telephone support. At an extra cost of Rs. 29 per incident, all customers can now press 9 to bypass the numerous options and be connected to a live human being who would be able to help them. The reduced time on hold once connected, however, would only be available to Gold and Platinum customers.

“We have something new for all our customers, depending on their needs and priorities”, said Mittal. “This is what makes us the telecom giant that we are, and in the coming years we will continue to pursue this vision, delivering value to both our customers and shareholders.”

 

(For the humour-impaired, this post is satire, not news. If you’re a Bharti Airtel lawyer, and hence humour-impaired by definition, satire is protected against defamation claims in court.)

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31 Responses to Airtel announces new Gold and Platinum support plans for customers

  1. madgeek says:

    Yeah they already charge 50p to speak to a human being the Rs. 29 is not too far off.

  2. Praveen kumar says:

    you are right madgeek. They want to be the BOSS of all Networks by thefting like this!

  3. Anand says:

    how true is that thing?
    people phone being damaged by throwing on the wall?
    haha

  4. rainbow says:

    the article was nice, but i expected more blood. need some help. Airtel owes me 4k as deposit for a cancelled (unfufilled) connection. no closure on the issue from airtel presence. any resort other than consumer court? thank you.

  5. SocialBlog says:

    Full on Backchodi ! :D

  6. Ashish says:

    Airtel sucks – big time. At this time, it is difficult to find a more customer-unfriendlier telecom company than Airtel. If they continue doing this, that day is not far when they will also be subjected to a case like DLF where CCI imposed a hefty fine for mis-using monopoly.

  7. Udai says:

    At least they don’t have Sunil Mittal answering the phone!

  8. Rishi says:

    Nice, very nice. Airtel is all this and more…

  9. AK says:

    “Responding to increased incidents of customer phones being damaged by being flung against the wall, Bharti Airtel commissioned independent research into the matter”

    Haha, brilliant!

  10. vadakkus says:

    “By 2015 airtel will be the most loved brand, enriching the lives of millions”

    - Sounds disturbingly like a propaganda statement issued by a dictator of some Banana Republic… Oh, wait.

  11. Dude, that was awesome! I thought my Airtel troubles ran deep… Now, I know better.

  12. Swamy Saran Atul says:

    You Vodafone agent? If you’re not against us, then you’re with us.

  13. Neeta S says:

    Where are them FB and G+ buttons when you need them.

    such a losss…. :-C

  14. Jejunekid says:

    Quite a hilarious satire! We, the unfortunate BPL proletariats, will continue listening to bots and pressing the numbers as usual.

  15. Anu says:

    Totally worthy of The Onion. The sweet ironies of life.

  16. Sid says:

    Some very interesting commenters ;)

  17. ganesh says:

    is it happening everywhere are just in chennai , 100 rs as visiting charge to have a problem fixed in setup box of airtel or some dish issues .

  18. Noop says:

    You LIE! I called up Airtel and discovered the “change address” option by randomly hitting digits for about 17 minutes. At the end of it, no human being, but a canned teenager on ecstasy informed me that I needed to walk into the closest Airtel store to do that. Oh wait- that was Vodafone. But does it matter?

  19. shagun says:

    these guys want to become apple of india but the forget one thing apple did not fool people and did not activate VAS on its on and the customer care is best of the world and not like airtel which outsource there shit to some 10 pass guy in chandigarh

  20. Prithvi says:

    full on bulshit.. I dont understand why they do so. Fooling people wont help them in anyway.. Lets see, what will be the outcome..

  21. Yogen says:

    MNP Launched and few months later I had shifted my mobile from Airtel to Aircel and a Airtel Customer Care call came saying they need to know why i was shifting. My Reply was that Airtel spends crores to promote 121 as a customer Help number but since a year i never was able to connect to it. They said the 121 is very live and somehow uttered that maybe my number was “blacklisted” on there customer care. Now Now, Airtel is first company in my knowledge which blacklist customers so that certain numbers dont reach there support…. I asked the person if Airtel has blacklisted me should i remain with there services.. Offcourse they offered to have me removed form there blacklist but till then i had decided to “BlackList” Airtel as a worthy service provider and dont consider them while planning a Phone or Internet Line.. Your above satire cant even touch what Airtel is capable of lowing into.

  22. yusuf says:

    no frndz actualy i have researchd on thgis platinum service it gonna b awesum….. dis tym airtel is tryng there bst 2 gve their customer……. the services witch gonna b in this platinum service wil b too good…… and i thnk it will easily fulfill every 1 demand….. and rs 29 wont gonna b much for that……………………………………………………..

    • sidharth says:

      Dear Friends,
      I am already a platinum member of airtel, and i think airtel needs to walk more in terms of delivering their talk, IDEA has a strategy which is certainly a threat for them, they are in full throtle in heading towards no.1 position in terms of network coverage, customer base and revenue generated.
      I hope airtel will value it’s existing customers and take their help in expanding their network, else time is not far ahead when they will taken over.

  23. Ankita says:

    Reduced hold time….i am loving it….:)…very good initiative..

  24. anonymous says:

    299/month for platinum customer care support. That’s too much for any kind of premium support. Airtel should rather categorize their customers depending upon their billing/relation/timely-payments etc. The one who’s having more points should get a better support ground. This way, customers may also start bevahing like a human lol. Sounds pathetic but it works. All banks are moving this way. The customers who are having more turnovers in their current account, need not to stay in queue for cash operations at branch :)

  25. anonymous says:

    Either way, I like the initiative of lesser hold time @ 121 :)

  26. muzamil says:

    Hi i am also a platinum i love airtel

  27. devdas says:

    I hate to see that guy S B Mittal, with his row of long tooth showing off shamelessly in all the photos that appear in the press. Do you know Mr. Sunil, Airtel, in Goa, just grab 100 rupees from my prepaid phone everytime? And when I call the freaking customer Care, they just hang the phone down on you? Just to talk to a live operator, I have to pay Rs. 29/- per incident. This is preposterous and day light robbery! Airtel is the worst phone company I have ever used. It used to be better. But not any more! Thank you, and fuck off, Sunil with your grinning white teeth!
    Pissed off, Dev

  28. Lavanya Sethi says:

    I have recently bought an airtel 3G dongle and I have been harrased to the extreme point with pathetic speeds. At times it stops downloading and automatically disconnets thereafter refusing to connects for hours and sometimes even for a while day !!
    Customer Care number: 1800 103 0405 is a bogus number. It doesn’t work and after select options 1 (for airtel 3 dongle support), 2 (for english), 1 (for postpaid) it just disconnects.
    I am fed up and with the services and will be taking appropriate action in a few days. Also it has billed me for 5000 + INR when my credit limit itself is lower than 2500 INR. and i find no justification to the billed amount!
    Please, i urge all consumers not to subscribe to airtel 3G services!
    I have even filed a complaint against them on their site as well as here, http://www.consumercourt.in/mobile-services/87223-issues-airtel-customer-care.html at Consumer Court site but so far no action has been taken on this case.I hope i will get the proper solution of my complaint very soon.

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  30. vijay says:

    can any1 share airtel platinum helpline number