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How to Lose a Good Customer through Sheer Incompetence and Non-Existent Service Quality – Internet Broadband Provider Tata Indicom Case

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India’s Service Industry for retail customers is quite pathetic with the service quality abysmal and no sense of after sales service.Except for prepaid telecom,most of the services for Direct to Home TV,Cable Television,Internet Broadband are totally frustrating.Right from the  installation to usage,the services can easily make a sane person go crazy.It no wonder that the internet penetration in India is so low and the churning so high.Note Internet Broadband is quite expensive in India compared to others like Telecom.Maybe its because the prices have not gone below the critical threshold for the services to truly scale up.

India’s Major Internet Broadband Companies

Reliance,Airtel,Tata Indicom,BSNL are the major Internet Providers in India and choosing between them is like choosing a bad provider from the worst.The way the service selling works is by the salespersons promising the moon with the time of  installation,charges and quality.As soon as the cheque gets written,the trauma really starts for the customer.The salesperson disappears if he did not exist and the customer call center of the provider makes you cray with the cal center reps parroting inane lines without making any sense.

Tata Indicom Case

Tata Indicom which was my service provider gave me a connection in about 3 days which was amazing considering the others had failed to do so in 1 week (except BSNL).However after the first problem with the connection,the bad service quality started.The engineers mostly whom are untrained don’t know a thing and keep pottering for hours without finding the problem.The customer call center reps are even more untrained and except for some rote lines don’t know what to do.The customer and complaint teams will keep raising complaint numbers and pushing the problem back to each other.Countless phone calls will be made even while nobody fixes the problem.A case of  superfluous over employment if there ever was.The providers work with a set of processes which is very time consuming and fails to achieve the simple objective of correcting the connection (not rocket science exactly). After 2 weeks of around 10 mails and 30 phone calls I was forced to give up and probably have to try another provider (not that it would be much better).While I was tearing my hair out at the experience there were a couple of very funny episodes which highlights the complete lack of service quality

1) One of the Tata Indicom Engineers after seeing  my laptop connect automatically to the neighbours WiFi (I was using it temporarily) said that my Tata Indicom Internet was working fine (how the guy became an engineer seems a mystery,guess there is truth to industry studies that most Indian graduates are unemployable)

2) A Tata Indicom Webstie to give Customer Feedback on submission constantly gives an Error .When you click the link it shows that it might be a rogue internet website.After proceeding forcefully,it gives a very basic form which on submission says error.The link ( which was sent to me to by the nodal officer of complaints to provide “valuable inputs will go a long way in helping us deliver world class services” .Note the link still does not work and Readers can try out the link .

Don’t go on growth hype of  DTH,Cable,Telecom Stocks – Avoid Them

This Tata Indicom case highlights,how companies in India still run without the most basic level of quality needed.Its just the vast Indian market that is allowing them to grow at a rapid pace.Telecom companies are already facing reduced  margins while DTH companies run with hundreds of zombie customers.Its time for service companies to go back to the basics of providing a reliable,consistent service without just focusing their energies on winning new customers helter skelter.It will boomerang on them in the end.I would be careful in buying any Tata Telecommunication stock given the ground realities

You can read more instances of shitty customer service by different providers in forums like and – After reading those,you might not take up any service provider at all :)


Abhishek Shah

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