Archive for October, 2005

Air Deccan – Simplifly*

October 16, 2005

* conditions apply.

i.e. Simply fly(or … walk,run,hitch a ride) to the nearest metro to catch one of our flights.

Low cost flying. The dream of every Indian. Deccan , Spice , Kingfisher are all well known names by now. But come to kerala , the only well known name you are likely to hear is KSRTC,Kallada,KPN!

Is there anything fundamentally wrong with the Air Deccan hoarding saying "Now everyone can fly…" popping out behind a petrol pump in Trivandrum?

Technically, no. Well, theres nothing wrong in a bit of advertising now is there? I'm bugged. No reason, maybe because AIR DECCAN DOES NOT OPERATE IN TRIVANDRUM!

Why the hell do you put up a billboard in trivandrum with a silly plane sticking out, if you want people to travel by road,rail,sea,bus,bullock cart,auto rickshaw … to Chennai,Bangalore to catch the darn flight?

Assuming one manages to purchase a ticket for the so called amount – the magic Rs. 500 (+taxes extra) , why spend an additional 1500 to get to the airport! Wheres the fun in that? People agree that AIR DECCAN is a saviour , and AIR DECCAN this, AIR DECCAN that, but AIR DECCAN will remain a DAKKAN till they start flying to Gods Own Country. I beleive GOD still relies on Volvo buses to reach Bangalore to catch his/her AIR DECCAN flights to other cities.

Remember the Master card ad on tv…

Gift for dad: Rs. 250
Family Photo: Rs. 150
Flexi recharge: Rs 50
Air Deccan ticket to Delhi :Rs 500
Travel to Bangalore to catch AIR DECCAN flight to delhi: Priceless!

Priceless? Well, considering the time one spends travelling to catch the flight is countless hours longer than the actual flight, it would turn out to be priceless. Although , some people do think highly of the service,this remains to be seen…
I had countless options plannend out for a Trivandrum – Delhi trip!
Low cost airline to delhi, Train,Bus,Costly airline to Bangalore to catch the low cost airline to delhi.

In the end, a whole lot of time and money wasted…

SPICE, Kingfisher, Deccan, get here fast!


Brilliant Ubiquitous Leverage Limiting Simple Hideous Interactive Trends – Part II

October 8, 2005

The wrath of Airtel.

Airtel One-to-One. A perfect example of 'Brilliant Ubiquitous Leverage Limiting Simple Hideous Interactive Trends' . i.e. B.U.L.L.S.H.I.T.

Why? Dial 121 to find out!

Kanekshun Setup Phaze
Step 1: Pick up a phone. Not any phone, but a phone with Airtel written all over it.
Step 2: Dial 121. First Dial 1, then Dial 2, then Dial 1 again.
Step 3: Press the button that says 'Call' or the button with a picture of a phone on it.

Kanekshun Establishment Phaze
Rrrrrrring. Rrrrrrrrring.

Kanekshun Established Phaze
121: Welcome to Airtel Customer Care.

Our menu options are constantly changing.

This is done to make your meaningless lives more complicated

Please listen to all our options to make the right decision.

Any wrong option selected will be severly penalized.

For info. on your account , Press 1

For info. on someone elses account , Press 2

For info. on extra services , Press 3

For changing your menu and language options , Press 7

At any time,to get back to the main menu, press #

Step 1: Fumble with the keypad and press 1. ( After all , it comes first! )

121: To know your balance, Press 1

To change your billing options Press 2

To activate or deactivate a service Press 3

To Go back to the previous menu, press 0

To Go back to the main menu, press #

To talk to a customer care officer, press 9

Step 2: Press 9!!

121: "Please hold the line, one of our officers will be with you shortly."

Ta ta ta ta da ta ta ta ta ta da ta ta ta ta ta ta da da da da. Vi Vi vi vi ….
( thats the sound of the airtel tune being played on a whistle… )

"Sorry to keep you waiting, all our officers are currently busy!"
"Sorry to keep you waiting, all our officers are currently busy!"
"Sorry to keep you waiting, all our officers are currently busy!"

"Sorry to keep you waiting, all our officers are currently busy!"
(This goes on till someone decides to pickup the phone…)
Thank you for calling Airtel, my name is ______ , how may I help you?

Step 3: State your problem. Only one problem per call.
"I have a problem with .. "

121: "Yes sir, may i have your name?"
"May i have your number?"
"May i have your model number of the phone?"
"Sir, please hold the line"

"But … But…!"

121: "Thank you for calling airtel. Have a nice day"
Ta ta ta ta da ta ta ta ta ta da ta ta ta ta ta ta da da da da. Vi Vi vi vi ….
"Thank you for calling airtel. Have a nice day"
Ta ta ta ta da ta ta ta ta ta da ta ta ta ta ta ta da da da da. Vi Vi vi vi ….
"Thank you for calling airtel. Have a nice day"
Ta ta ta ta da ta ta ta ta ta da ta ta ta ta ta ta da da da da. Vi Vi vi vi ….

Around 8 – 10 minutes later…

"Sir , thank you for holding the line. I had gone to have a cup of tea. You didn't tell me your problem."

(At this time they look into the Airtel 121 handbook … )

a) We will perform a system reset
b) Please turn off your phone and turn it on again
c) Please remove the sim and insert it again
d) Your sim is actually blocked. Please try to make outgoing calls now
e) We are only customer care, please contact the technical department
f) We cannot give you the numbers of the technical department.
g) Actually, do you work for airtel? Are you an Airtel employee?
h) Sir, please go to SIMSON communications. They are the dealers here. They will give you a repeater.
i) SIMSON communications? Repeater? No sir. We did not tell you to go there. Why would we do that?
j) Actually if you ask us to disable the connection, it means that we will keep it enabled, but you should not use it!
k) This connection comes with no activation/usage charge for international roaming. You just have to pay for it.
l) Please send a reply "YES" to 121
m) Please hold the line once again.
n) Actually, we do not have any control over that.
o) I fully understand your problem.
p) Yes sir. I know it is a very big problem, our people will visit you and solve your problem.
q) Sir, from the report we have received from the technical department : 'Customer is 1km away from the tower, will get satisfactory outdoor coverage."

– Keep cycling through the answers till the customer gets tired.

Kanekshun Termination Phaze
Customer: "Go to hell , you **** *** *** ****** ! "

Need I say more?

Brilliant Ubiquitous Leverage Limiting Simple Hideous Interactive Trends – Part I

October 3, 2005

In short… B.U.L.L.S.H.I.T. !

Yes , thats right. What do you get when you connect IDEA@458 , AIRTEL@121 and the banking superpower IyIyI ( pronounced Aye-ye-ye-ye-ye ! ) bank… Complete and utter destruction!

Lend me your ears…

The year 2005, the mobile phone revolution. Everybody who's anybody has a phone . Now consider the power of linking your phone with your bank account!

Act 1 Scene 1:
Lady on the phone: Your balance is running low, please recharge immediately.
TTA: Bah. Hogwash. Lemme check out the flexi plans…

Idea cellular flexi plans… Go broke – flexibly.

You pay

We Get

They Get

You Get

for how long































Right. Now that’s what I call simple stuff. Notice the plans in Green vs. the plans in Red. Some of them give you more money with less time to talk, while others give you much less money, with much more time. I guess I would have to memorize that table before I could make any sense of it…

TTA heads for > Prepaid mobile recharge > idea and enters the phone number and the amount to zap to it. Moments later, voila – the money has been zapped from the confines of the account into non existence. 24 hours later, and there’s still no sign of the cash that went missing.


TTA proceeds to call up IDEA prepaid helpless-line @ 458. Moments later, I’m made to listen to irritating music till his/her highness the (ECC) Executive of Customer Care grants me an audience.

ECC: Good evening, someone here , how may I laugh at your problems?
TTA: Hello. I recharged my phone online through yesterday.
ECC: through an ATM?
TTA: no…… through the website!
ECC: oh! So, what’s the problem?
TTA: The money has not reached my phone yet.
ECC: Hmmm, Sir, has the money left your account?
TTA: Yes, it left yesterday.
ECC: Hmm….mmm, ( nod of dissatisfaction ) I have the solution!!!
TTA: yes?
ECC: You need to go to our Pattom head office. They will take good care of you and your ‘problem’ there.
TTA: ‘most gracious thanks O mighty one.’ By the way, how are we supposed to know the amount that we get when recharging online/at an ATM. (it is not displayed anywhere)
ECC: Ha ha ha ha, you don’t get to know… Only we get to know. You have to call us to find out.
TTA: @#$%&*%!@#%^&^
ECC: Thank you for the inconvenience

Act 1 Scene 2:
Idea postpaid helpless line: 12345 , 9847012345
Idea prepaid helpless line: 458 , 9847112345

Assume you have 2 idea connections, a prepaid and a postpaid. You cannot call up the postpaid Gods from your lowly prepaid connection.

Why not? Because the number has been blocked.
Why? Because there are some dimwitted blockheads that never figured that someone ~might need to call up the postpaid helpline from a prepaid number.

You need another phone ( i.e. a landline / another idea postpaid / any other company phone ) to make a call to the postpaid helpline.
ECC: Oh… , yes sir. It is like that.
TTA: @#$%&*%!@#%^&^

People who run these companies obviously don’t dare use their own products…!

Act 1 Scene 3:
Idea prepaid helpless line: 458 , 9847112345

I visited NIT Surathkal for ‘Incident’ and headed on to Bangalore for CEED in Feb ‘04. My next visit was in June ’04. My contacts were using Airtel connections, while I was roaming on Hutch.
One has not experienced true joy until they have spent countless hours calling up IDEA customer care in Kerala from Karnataka explaining to them why they cannot call Airtel numbers that supposedly 'do not exist'.

It’s a real treat to be stranded on the roadside at 04:30 in the morning because ‘the number you have dialed does not exist…’ . Let me put it this way. The number I have dialed does exist, it’s just that IDEA roaming on Hutch did not want to route outgoing calls to Airtel and found it quite amusing toying with people.

Well, I did finally get through to the Airtel number. How? I called up a guy on his land line at 04:30 a.m. and requested him to call the Airtel number.

IDEA , HUTCH, AIRTEL . ( Guess which finger I’m holding up. )

Coming Soon. Part II. The wrath of Airtel.