Saturday, December 18, 2010

Photon+ and other ISP in India

I'm here to write about Broadband ISPs in India today. Well, it's not a review of them, per se. I'll just brush through some points.

Let's start with Tata Photon+ 'coz that's what I am using. I got the device along with my laptop and opted for the 15GB Unlimited plan. The plan description sounds contradictory, huh? Well, that's how ISPs are trying to fool consumers these days. The plan name says 'unlimited' but there's always some 'Fair usage policy' or 'Upper limit'. In this case, I will get 3.1 Mbps till 15GB and 144Kbps thereafter. As there was no one in the market who was really offering a TRUE unlimited usage plan, this is what I opted for. But even this didn't work out well.

I got good speed on the first month. But from the 2nd month itself, the speed went down the toilet; without usage reaching the upper limit. I am now getting 512kbps kind of speed most of the time. Only rarely do I get the 'upto 3.1Mbps' speed.

And that is not all. Let's talk about billing. I was supposed to get a Rs 200 discount for first 12 months as per the plan I chose. This is still displayed in their website.
But when I received my first bill, I didn't get that discount. On top of that, there was a service tax of 10%. Are you kidding me...!!! When I lodged a complain with Photon people, their response was "the discount for Rs.200 for 12months is not applicable for existing customer". WTF....!!! I wrote back to them
What do you mean by 'existing customer'? I mean, how are you classifying me as 'existing customer'? This 'Rs 200 discount' offer was in place since much before I got photon+ connection. So, when I got the Photon+, I was a new customer and I was entitled to this discount as per terms mentioned in your website.
Anyway, finally they blinked and confirmed to me that I'll get the discount from the next billing cycle. They didn't fix that very bill in question though. Anyway, I said ok.

But the story didn't end there. Now in this month's bill, I got a discount of Rs 146.67. Are they seriously trying to taste my patience or what...?? I again wrote to them. And know what they replied?
The discount for Rs.200 is activated with effect from 23-NOV-2010. Hence the bill has been generated in pro-rata basis.
That did it. I was writing back that I'm not gonna pay this bill and I'm gonna drag this matter to consumer court. I was totally pissed off. I mean, what kind of company is this? Shady dealings in each and every bill...!! They are just trying to extort money from consumers on some pretext.

Anyway, I've sobered down since then. Not going to raise a storm over Rs 60. But if this happens again, it's gonna be strike 3. And we'll see it then.

By the way, Tata Photon is not the only ISP with issues. Here's another issue my fellow blogger Sanjukta is having with MTNL.

Now, please cast your vote on the following poll. Bad customer care, slow speed, cheat billing system - anything can qualify an ISP for the 'worst' position.

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