Airtel vs O2 – A Lesson in Customer Service

We who scrounge in this Kafkaesque spiritual and cultural desert in Big City India still have a few things going for us. Customer Service. I know. I’ll wait for you to finish your ROFLing.
Allow me.

Last month I had an O2 pre paid number in London for a month. Worked fine. Can’t really complain. Won’t praise it but….. It was Meh. But I had a query about Hotspot services that I wanted resolved an I thought I would speak to someone in support.

You know how they say particle physics is tough. This is tougher. Really. It cannot be done. Like going into and then actually exiting from a blackhole. It cannot be done. I went to the website to look for a number. Nothing. It cannot be done. UK (or maybe any and all first world countries where labour is expensive) is making it impossible for a customer to speak to a human with a pulse. If the website doesn’t answer your query, forget it. It cannot be done.
Thing is here I was, looking to GIVE O2 more money so I could use the HOTSPOT service if only someone could just help me understand the basics of it. They made that impossible.

Cue Airtel in India.

Airtel. “Great when it is working. Good luck when it isn’t.” Default universal motto for most firms here in NCR. Anyway I landed into IGI, got into Meeru Cab (is it me or are their cars now coming off the Bollywood stunt car parking lot AFTER live action shooting), and in about 9 minutes I called Airtel, got through to a rep, sorted the issue and in less than 10 minutes I had hotspot. 10 minutes. Something I could not get o2 to help me with in 21 days! This is exactly why I have been with Airtel for a decade plus. they probably have 20X the customer base of O2 and still 9 mins to get a issue resolved with a real person.
This is damn bloody good! Let me forever remember this incident every single time people moan about the sucky customer service here. Somethings in the third world is as good if not better than the first.


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