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15 October 2011

Airtel, off the air

AFTER MY recent agitations with Airtel remained unheeded, I decided to write one of their CEOs with hopes for a resolution. A quick look-up at LinkedIn made this task easy. Here’s what I wrote him (I deliberately struck off references to the individual):

Dear (Sir),

I am Paul Ancheta, and I have been using Airtel's palette of products and services for the past five years. I would like to address issues with Airtel that have changed my perception of the company.

Specifically . . . I had been using Airtel in Mumbai, and decided to retain my attachment to the company when I moved to Kolkata, where customer and backend services proved to be even more remarkable than Mumbai's. In particular, Mr. Suvojit Seal, ARC Park Street store manager, has repeatedly shown exceptional skills in speedily resolving my various issues and concerns. He is perhaps the best operations head that I have met in any industry in India.

With such experience, I decided to use Airtel when I moved back to Mumbai last June. The decision turned out to be unrewarded. I realized that my "favored status" in Kolkata would not be recognized in Mumbai, and that I had to return to such "rules" as having to wait for weeks before my subscription to three different numbers would be activated. It was frustrating to see that all the efforts in building a loyal relationship with Airtel would crash when I moved from one city to the other.

The bitter "icing on the cake" came in the past two weeks, when I requested for international roaming service. I request you to take time to read my narration of this unfortunate experience on

This morning, when I repeatedly requested 121 for a deactivation of the IR service, I was told that the service has never been activated at all. With confusion and frustration, I have decided to end my relationship with Airtel.

Perhaps this message to you can merit some favorable attention internally. Thank you for your time.

Paul Ancheta

He never replied. I saw this, not as dismissal, but as silent acquiescence. I have since unsubscribed from Airtel with a lesson for detachment that I intend to use with my new service provider, Vodafone.


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