Like many others who face a problem with their internet connection, though in the minds of the companies allegedly providing the connections to us, there is no problem, I too am a victim of these companies.
In 2005, during my Masters, I wrote a dissertation on online copyright infringement due to peer-to-peer networking software etc. I wrote then that the hunger for getting more and more speed in our internet connection gave birth to demand for higher capacity hard disks and the broadband connections providing awesome speed. It wasn’t a Noble prize winning theory but a factual observation.
Coming back to the topic at hand, My first non-dial-up internet connection was of MTNL. Guess I was willing to forget the painful ways MTNL used to make the customers run after its efficient linemen. Though after a while, MTNL linemen chasing was not my thing and switched to Sify. Thanks to internal problems in Sify after the corporate scam and the broadband division was shelved. Though the speed was not too bad. Much better than MTNL.
After Sify, I desperately tried to have the Airtel connection but Airtel did not, still doesn’t, cater to area around my place so it was a no no as well. I did a brave move and bought two separate data cards. One Photon+ for my notebook and one Reliance for my desktop. I used the “+” symbol because that is what the trademark is, though in usage terms, it should be a BIG “-”
I realised that the connectivity of Photon+ was really pathetic and I contacted Tata Indicom people a lot of time. After much deliberation, one executive told me that the connectivity around my place was not OK and the situation shall positively improve by April 30th. I told him that I shall contact Tata only after May 7.
The hope was futile as the shoddy connection never improved. Later on, when I was incessantly contacting TataIndicom over twitter, I got a vague tweet like,
“As per our tech team your connection having indoor signal problem in otherwise good coverage area.”
This falsity of reply came after no employee ever visited my home for checking the indoor signals.
Reliance proved no better but that is a story for a separate chapter. I sent a legal notice to the company since the connection wasn’t working fine at my basement office.
My point about writing this note is not to give my ordeal in dealing with unresponsive companies like MTNL or Reliance or Tata Indicom which kept on escalating my problem but sadly there wasn’t any employee at that level to attend to me.
The point is that companies have deceptive advertisements wherein they fool people with the speed they offer. In fact, the same companies will be ashamed to tell the average speed they offer for connectivity. A sample article can be accessed here where the ISP mislead customers with the speed they offer compared to the speed a user ultimately gets.
After filing the consumer complaint against TataIndicom, I shall update the readers but so far, it is clear that the companies are only focusing on hiring models for the advertisement but not technicians who can help the customers.
Tata never responded to my legal notice. In fact, their call centers has people who are abusive. I wrote a email to Tata and their counsel about this abusive behaviour from the callers from Tata on January 15, 2012 but, knowing their style of working, Tata purposely did not respond. However, since I wrote in my email that I am making a police complaint against the staffer Ms. Radhika Sharma for using abusive language, the counsel was quick to call me to inform me that Tata has closed this matter and he was sorry that the staffer used such language.
I sent copy of my legal notice to counsel for Tata for follow up but never once I received a response. All complaints posted online on twitter remained ignored. In fact I sent a text to a counsel of Tata saying “I am sorry I expected a bit of courtesy.” Such is the nature of working of this shameless company.
Now Tata kept on changing their counsels to interact with me. One counsel, assured me that the matter stands resolved because Tata never responded to my legal notice to them. However, it seems that there is a new counsel in the picture who is now pursuing the matter in court against me. Fun begins.
Bottomline: Shame on these companies trying to tell us they are capable of providing broadband services. Truth is, they ( Tata Indicom being the Chief) are not capable and they will only know it after the consumer forums impose exemplary fines on these shameless entities.
God help us.