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    Creative Commons License
    Rabble Rousing Random Ramblings by S Jagadish is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

    June 27, 2005

    Tata Indicom's Walky

    Disposing off his mobile, my father recently switched to Tata Indicom's Walky service. But he is now totally disgusted with his experience. This is the letter he wrote to a few newspapers, hoping that they would publish it. The advantage of having a son who blogs is that he can still have his views aired, and read. His letter follows. If you have also had a torrid experience, or know of someone else who went through a similar situation, please do leave a comment and make sure you put your email address in there somewhere. I will forward them on to my father who could get in touch with you and who knows, strength in numbers may convince Tata Indicom into doing something for their customers. On the other hand, if you've had a good experience with Tata Indicom and you feel that my father went wrong somewhere, do feel free to point it out through a comment!

    I was conned/convinced into subscribing to Tata Indicom's "Walky" service by their agents & executives. In order to sign me up, they promised that the service would be available throughout Chennai and that effectively, I could use the instrument as a mobile connection. In addition, they promised a Kodak camera if I signed up within a particular date.

    Trusting the "Tata" brand name, the goodwill behind it and the enormous number of promotions, I signed up for the service. They first took a long time to activate the service. Then they gave me a non-branded camera as a sign-on gift instead of the Kodak camera promised.

    A few days later, when I was in another part of Chennai, carrying the "Walky" phone with me, the service was non-functional. On inquiring with the customer service agent, I was now told that the service was restricted to the area I resided in, i.e. Mylapore.

    The situation became even more worse and farcical when a few days later, the service was non-existent when I was in the Mylapore area. When I called them, I was told that the service was restricted to my residence alone! A far cry from their initial shouting from the rooftops.

    Then without even giving a proper bill of charges, they went ahead and deactivated my connection since I had allegedly exceeded my calling value. The least a subscriber is entitled to is a reasonable breakup of the calls made, respective charges and a prior notice in terms of last date of payment. Even if they were not entitled to give me a detailed breakup of every call made and SMS sent, they were bound to send me a bill indicating at least the number of outgoing calls, number of outgoing SMS messages, number of STD/ISD calls, rental charges, tax, etc.

    Nothing of that sort ever arrived until I called up the helpdesk to demand it. Right now, my service is deactivated and I have had to revert to my cellphone connection which I had deactivated, in the fond hope that "Walky" would prove a cost-effective service for me, a retired man.

    I have already written three letters to Tata Indicom regarding the hardships they have put me through and I have not got any satisfactory response.

    I am now considering approaching consumer protection associations regarding the hardship I have been put to as a result of Tata Indicom's false promises and deactivation of my "Walky" connection without giving me any reasonably detailed bill before they went ahead with disconnecting my service.

    I suggest that Tata Indicom change the brand name of the service to "Ridey", since what they have done is to take me, and possibly several other subscribers, for a nice long ride.

    Yours sincerely

    R Santhanam

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