Thursday, August 27, 2009

It's easy to choose but it's difficult to know what you have chosen

Sometimes very simple things can become suddenly very complex.

I have a Belgian client here who wanted to have an Indian SIM-card with STD-functionality, so that he's able to phone internationally.
So we went to the Airtel shop in Gurgaon to make him "internationally phoneworthy". A clear choice was given to him by the Airtel salesman:
"Or you take a prepaid scheme, or you go for a postpaid scheme."

The question was refreshing simple. We did choose the postpaid scheme. So at the end of every month the invoice would be payed by the company.

Sounds easy, right?
Not in India!

After 3 weeks suddenly the client is not able to phone anymore. He dials Airtel to complain and the gentle young man in the callcenter tells him:
"But Sir, of course you cannot phone anymore."

-- "And why is that?"
"According to our pc, you have an amount which is NOT payed yet!"

-- "Exactly, my friend, I have chosen for a POSTpaid scheme. And I did not receive an invoice yet".
"Yes Sir, but the amount which is due by you is so very high!", the boy says.

-- "Really? That high?". The Belgian now begins to sweat and being scared for the information he's about to receive, mumbles: "How much is it?"
"Sir, your due amount is now over 1200rs!" (= 18 euro)

-- "1200 rupees?", the Belgian asks, "And you cut me off? How can this problem be solved now?"
"Yes sir, 1246 rupees to be very precise. It's almost half of my salary! The only way we can activate your SIM again, is if you come here to DEPOSIT enough money with us. Only then you'll be able to phone again."

-- "So you mean actually exactly what you are telling me?", the Belgian unbelievingly asks, "You really want me to PREPAY 2000 rupees so that I am able to make use of my POSTPAID scheme?".

"Exactly, Sir, you understand it right. You must be a damn clever white guy !"