Bharti Airtel was quick enough to spot the rising clutter of service providers in the Indian telecom industry and diversify into untapped African markets. However, questions have been raised whether the company has compromised on the service front with its deteriorating delivery quality at the home turf, in its bid to spread far-and-fast.
Even the latest government data from the National Consumer Helpline (NCH) supports the above viewpoint indicating that the Indian telecom giant has largest number of consumer complaints registered against it – to be specific, 2001 complaint calls during March 2010 and February 2011.
However, if the version of India’s largest telecommunications company is to be believed, the number of complaints referred above is mere 0.00126% of their active customer base – which is in declining trend in the number of complaints over the period of time vis-à-vis growth of subscriber base.
But, then, do I smell something fishy about the whole telecom sector itself? Even other telecom operators, such as BSNL (1986 complaints) and Reliance Communications (1792), do not lag much behind in terms of calls received for redressal of consumer complaints with the NCH.
Other leading companies that topped the charts for portending the bad omen of consumer complaints include state-owned Indian Oil (1940), Nokia India (1616), Samsung India (1560), SBI (912), BPCL (872), LIC (626) and ICICI Bank (569).
Zooming into NCH’s complaint data for the month of April 2011, the telecom sector contributed a lion-share of 19% of the total 10,170 calls; followed by ‘Products’, ‘LPG’, ‘Banking’ and ‘Insurance’ registering between 16%-5% calls.
Going a little backward to the data on March 2011, Delhi accounted for almost a third (28.57%) of the complaint calls in respect of top five States during the said period, followed by UP (15.55%), Maharashtra (12.26%), Rajasthan (8.26%) and Haryana (8.06%).
In a related story, the corporate world is increasingly walking the socially connective way to woo, satiate and interact with its customers and redress their complaints. A better part of the India Inc has customer service support on Web-based alternative communication channels such as Facebook and/or Twitter networks.
Moreover, a new research by Ovum provides that more and more Indian consumers (40%) are turning to social media as a viable alternative to the phone for customer service from a company. However, less than half of them used social media platform to complain about bad service or a faulty product. The remaining preferred a traditional channel of phone call for complaint redressal.
Some of the Corporate India’s Twitter handles
- Bharti Airtel : @Airtel_Presence
- Vodafone : @VodafoneIN
- Reliance Com : @reliancemobile
- HDFC Bank : @HDFC_Bank
- ICICI Bank : @ICICIBank_Care
- Infosys Technologies : @Infosys
- Tata Docomo : @tatadocomo
- Kingfisher Airlines : @flykingfisher
- Jet Airways : @jetairways
Believe me, some of the above corporate tweet handles are really humble and friendly in interaction :)