Denying portability

Airtel preventing porting of postpaid customers

*This is the copy of the complaint sent to TRAI

I am writing this complaint to expose the unfair outragious trade practice adopted by Airtel regarding its Postpaid customers with respect to the Mobile Number Portability service introduced and mandated by the Government of India. My mobile number is 98956***** (Airtel Kerala circle).

I applied twice for porting my  mobile number into Tata Docomo. But the Airtel management rejected the said requests illegally without stating any reasons whatsoever, inorder to tie me to their damn network, levy postpaid rentals and discourage and frustrate me from attempting MNP service hereafter.

In my first attempt, my Unique porting ID was AL438856 (expiry on 8/2/2011).  On 25/1/2011, I signed the necessary documents at Tata Docomo office and waited 7 days to get the number ported. In the mean time I contacted customer care(121) of Airtel several times inorder to understand the procedures of MNP and my responsibilities, if any, for smooth transition. The customer care of airtel MISLEAD me and gave me wrong informations and assurances that any balance outstanding in my account needs to be settled only within 15days after successful completition of porting. However, on 2/2/2011 i received a sms stating that Porting request has been rejected by Airtel ‘due to outstanding payments‘. When I contacted the Airtel Customer Care, they discovered hitherto hidden information that in my pervious bill there was an outstanding of Rs. 0.15, and it has caused rejection of my porting request.

Although i tried to get my number ported after clearing the due of Rs. 0.15, i could not, because of non-exipry of expiry date of Unique Porting ID. Therefore I waited till 8/2/2011 for reciving a new UPID. Between on 6/2/2011 my postpaid bill for month of january was generated as Rs. 609/-, and i remitted an amount of Rs. 620/- on 7/2/2011 itself (Rs.10 extra as an abundant  caution to utilize MNP service).

On 10.2.2011, i received my second UPID – AL979514 (expiry date 25/2/2011). I informed the Docomo people about my new UPID and they again began the process for MNP all over again and I waited for another 7days. It is relevant to mention here that i completely stop using my airtel mobile so that not even any unbilled amount accures in my account which could disrupt the MNP process. I was continiously in contact with the customer care people of both airtel and docomo, as i was desperate to leave airtel for 3G available docomo network.

I contacted Airtel Customer care on several days, several times(12/2/2011,14/2/2011, 15/2/2011, 16/2/2011-3times) to know the status of my MNP request and to check whether there is any problem or difficulty in Porting out. In all those conversations, which are charged conversations, the Airtel customer care assured me that I have no deficieny or disability to Port to Docomo. According to them, if there was any problem i should have recived a sms within 4days(I received none). As the 121 customer care of airtel was a chargeable service, I topup-ed my account further with an additional Rs. 100 on 14/2/2011 so that there is absolutely no due in my account, even any unbilled dues. My balance outstanding shown presently is Rs. -110/- (because I paid extra amount). My rough unbilled amount is only Rs.15/-, much below the additional advance amount i paid.

However,  on 17.2.2011 the docomo officer informed me that my porting request was rejected by ‘doner operater because the number is blacklisted or due to balance outstanding‘. I was outraged to know that despite all the waiting and efforts i took to port out of airtel, my request was illegally rejected by airtel stating an untrue and incorrect reason. I called up their 121 customer care and nodel office and sought information about my MNP request rejection. None of the executives when faced with true facts and figures could state the reason for my MNP rejection. I was taken for ride by the customer care representaives of Airtel and they gave me totally incorrect and absurd solutions. One guy asked me to travel 10kms to their main customer care at kadavanthara, kochi to resolve the issue. Another guy asked me to contact docomo people, but it was never their fault. Their nodel office asked me to wait for another 15 days and try again. None could point out a single reason or any balance outsanding as alleged, for  rejection of my MNP request.

On the whole the Airtel is fraudently rejecting MNP requests of their post paid customers in order to continue milking them. They are illegally retaining customers by stating one reason or none to carry out their hidden ajenda that none should port out of Airtel. . Modus oprandi of Airtel is to fustrate the customers with MNP service and retain them in their own network.

The excessive waiting period of 7days to process MNP requests and non-generation of new UPID code even on its rejection until expiry of its 15 days exipry date, are helping the airtel to perputrate their fradulent malicious taticts to defeat the interest of its customers and mandate of the Government of India. Besides, absence of facility to properly track the MNP process or contact the MNP-Middle-Agent which faciliates porting, are causing severe difficulties to customers. It also helps Airtel 121 to state what ever they want and mislead, disappoint and frustrate the customers.

Therefore, its high time that some action is taken against erring operators like Airtel which prevents postpaid customers to port out, so that there is proper implementation of Mobile Number Portability.

PS: I successfully ported out of airtel on the third try, after much difficulty and many more arguments with 121

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