I have been using two mobile phones, one a Nokia E75 for my personal use with a BSNL Cellone connection and an Airtel Blackberry for office use. It had been a pain to carry two phones but I let it be for almost an year. Last month, my E75's display died. I figured out that it would cost about Rs.2500 to get this fixed but if I tried it sell it would fetch me much less. I decided to use this opportunity to port my existing number to Airtel and do away with the need for a second phone.
I thought this would be an easy job but little did I know it would take so much effort. According to the process, it is as simple as sending an SMS to 1900, get a UPC number and submit a form to the new provider and voila, the magic happens.
But Cellone ruins this magic. For one whole day, any SMS to 1900, would result in a reply from 1901 with invalid message format, please send message 'PORT
The next day, I requested Vasu to call customer care to see if they could help. Their customer care was a serious joke. I was surprised how I lived with this pathetic support for such a long time. Thankfully, I never had to call them.
The next day I decided that I would walk into their CSC to see if it would help but wanted to give 1900 a last try and thankfully it worked. I thought it was the end of all my woes and walked into a Airtel Relationship Center for MNC. The guys were very pleasant, even waved off the paltry Rs.19 fee for MNP and told me that it would be ported and activated within a week.
In a few days time, I got a message from Airtel that my number would be ported the next day. Next morning, I inserted the new SIM into the BB and it worked. I called customer care to enable the BB plans and I was back to business with in a couple of hours.
Now I thought it would be another call to Airtel Customer care to get my existing Airtel BB connection cancelled. I called the customer care and they tried to woo me to keep the connection by giving me a bunch of offers. With great difficulty, I coaxed the customer care executive to take the request and give me a request number. When she finally did provide a request number, she told that the request would be completed in a month? I was baffled and asked again to be sure? It takes a couple of hours to activate a new connection but a month to disconnect one. :) And since the next day, for almost a week, I was getting calls to see if they can provide a better deals, so that I can keep the connection active. I got frustrated and showered my choicest cuss words and got them to deactivate the number. Last week I got a bill from Airtel for the old number with excess rental being charged. I am still fighting with them to get this resolved. Despite that, I still get emails from them every week if I would be interested in reviving that connection.
From devil to the deep sea, the network follows...