25/02/2015 by The Sorcerer
At the time it was known that Loop Mobile was shutting down, with no carrier service purchasing them- me and my mom had no choice but to switch to Vodafone. Initially, they were rumors that Airtel would be purchasing Loop Mobile but then Airtel India denied the acquision for some reason.
Airtel sucked in our area. Mom was happy with Vodafone with an older prepaid. We called Vodafone call center who taken out details for contact and said someone from their end will give me a call.
And they did…
When I showed interest to port to Vodafone, they said that I would require shifting from prepaid (loop) to postpaid (Vodafone). We did question a lot and they have said that this is the only way. Furthermore, Vodafone said that we can shift to prepaid free of cost after a month. Knowing that this call was from Vodafone executives and we had days to port, thanks to Loop. We went to Vodafone store, Bandra to see if they can do it instead. However, the waiting period for them was much longer and Loop Mobile was going to shut its operations soon. We went for the option that the Vodafone call center executive gave.
Big Mistake! Or is it?
Vodafone said that they would be sending an agent called Shahrukh Shaikh from Z Telecom. When we asked why not from Vodafone, they said that they’re the authorized agency over there. We went for it and after a week, we were ported to Vodafone.
And here the problem starts.
After a month, we went to Vodafone store (HK Telecom) at Pali Road. The Vodafone executive gave a completely new story saying that we will need to wait for three months to complete. We immediately gave a call to Shahrukh Shaikh whose number was deactivated. We called Vodafone number who said that we can change it after a month and said that they’ll give a callback. We did not. Vodafone India has an annoying habit of giving a call once or twice every week, to which we said the same thing. They said that they will have someone to give us a call. We did not. We went to Vodafone Store further away and they said that we need to wait for three months. In any case, all the sources said that there are no extra charges for shifting from billing to prepaid.
The lies and ambiguous unfold like a badly baked cake!
Now before you ask why didn’t we go to HK Telecom earlier, was because they were a third party provider. We called Vodafone for porting and they called us, so it’s their executives who were supposed to have a proper system. Vodafone center on the other hand wanted us to go to Loop Mobile to get an authorization number for porting. Unfortunately, back then all Loop Mobile centres started shutting down and their call center executives were not helpful. We did call again to verify the claims that Z Telecom gave and asked them to verify the claims. They did say that they’re the official porting service provider hired by Vodafone and hence they’ll take care of it. We just didn’t have any choice because they were no choice.
Today, I went to convert mom’s Vodafone postpaid to prepaid. We went to Vodafone Store at Hill Road, Bandra (25.02.2015). The reply from the executive escalated as they asked to pay the bill (Rs. 230, to which we were going to) and asked to pay Rs. 350 for converting. We were not being told about the charges earlier, even from the Vodafone store before porting. To make things worse, they said it would take up to 20 days to complete and hence we’ll need to pay the last bill.
So, its Rs. 230 + Rs. 350 + whatever charges for the last billing cycle. Rs. 350 for switching to porting when they said earlier that it won’t be charged is based on lies.
We couldn’t trust Vodafone India anymore because it was Vodafone who lied from the start to begin with.
In any case, charging for switching to prepaid was absolutely wrong when Vodafone assured back then there would be no charge. Note that two numbers were supposed to be ported. That was the time the store executive started being rude and escalated to a point everyone was paying attention to us. This is the recording between me and that Vodafone exec in Bandra post that scene. As you can listen, he claimed that he was the supervisor, along with the rest of the lulz.
I called Vodafone via call to ask if what the center said was true. But the IVR options that I’ve used and the randomly selected ones did not give an option to speak to a human. The funny part is that the IVR assumed that I called for billing related query, and there were option to ask from the Vodafone CC executive. As said above, Vodafone CC exec said that there are no charges for switching from postpaid to prepaid at the time we wanted to port and with the agents who called during the time we were on billing.
Hiren clearly said that even if the agency was officially hired by Vodafone, Vodafone is not responsible for the claim they make. REALLY???
For the audio recording, you can click here.
Unfortunately, I should have recorded the entire conversation from the start, knowing that Vodafone executives- employees or agents- store or call center- were playing a game of ambiguous wordplay, lies and made an impression that it’s nothing more than a scammy “he said, she said” type operation. Passing the buck was very easy and convenient since it’s a string of 3rd party agencies and employees. I am not sure if the Vodafone Store in Hill Road Bandra was an agency or not though. My guess is as good as yours.
Oh yeah, we did go to HK Telecom/ Vodafone store, but the executive said that they’ve stopped doing conversion from prepaid to post from their end. Clearly, Vodafone India’s system is broken and seems to be changing like a raging teenage hormone.
We can blame a lot of people here, but Z Telecom and Shahrukh Shaikh started it all, along with a series of lies from Vodafone executives and agents. Furthermore, Vodafone Bandra executive “Hiren Gupta” is plain obnoxious and spoke with a condescending tone until I put him in place, but later claims that he’s the supervisor of the Vodafone Bandra store itself. More lies or not? I don’t know. Mom said that she wanted to cancel it, but the problem is that we’ve given this to banks and for other stuff. It was an old number.
Oh yeah, Vodafone India seem to have dramatically altered their website since the time we ported our numbers. Older links started giving 404 errors, including their port consumer guide. The PDF guide for postpaid to prepaid was also taken down.
I am not the only one who faced this issue. Majority of the people who ported were being told the same lie about switching to postpaid for porting. There were also people who wanted to port from postpaid to prepaid, and at times were given baseless excuses like ‘We cannot switch you to prepaid’. Another issue about switching to prepaid was posted in Reddit India. Clearly, Vodafone India is ready to use any ways to discourage users to switch to prepaid by using ambiguous wordplay.
In the end, we are stuck with postpaid because there was no saying if they will come with a brilliant new line after paying and applying for porting. Lies and ambiguous wordplay and changes in their dialogues- offline, online, Vodafone employee or agent introduced via the call center employee, that’s Vodafone India for you. If you’re thinking how they get to have such large promotional activities and advertisement, this is how they do it.
Lies and ambiguous wordplay and changes in their dialogues- offline, online, Vodafone employee or agent introduced via the call center employee, that’s Vodafone India for you. Who is an agent and who is an employee? Who is lying and who is not? Which info to trust, a website that altered a lot of information by ditching the older URLs or the employee who changes his words like there’s no tomorrow.
If you’re thinking how they get to have such large amount for promotional activities and advertisement, this is how they do it.