Telecom industry in India has seen a lot of ups and down in last few years. Sometimes, it seems that it is all about the competition among them and to compete with other players in the market, they don’t care even about the drop in their revenue.
One of the same thing which I remember was, when Tata signed a deal with Docomo to launch another GSM service provider in India, named as Tata Docomo. Tata Docomo had come with a unique plan which offered pay per second plans to the customers to make sure that the customer needs not to pay for the whole minute when he is calling only for a few seconds.
Well, that started a new revolution in Indian Telecom industry. Followed by Tata Docomo, all other companies started giving attractive per second call rates to the customers and in a scenario, where average call rates for Local and STD calls were ₹1.5 and ₹2.5, dropped down to as low as 1 paisa per 2 seconds in a few months giving users a great way to cheer.
However, it was so sudden, that every company wanted to offer the best deals to their customers and they did not care about what kind of impact it could have in the near future. The companies were hopeless when they saw their revenue coming down significantly and that was the time when they started showing their true faces.
First of all, Free SMS limit was lowered, followed by high charges for Internet and other value added services. The most popular internet plan in India ever, was by Aircel where they provided truly unlimited internet for just ₹98. Well, those days are gone. Now, on an average, people are paying around ₹150 for every GB they use on their mobile network.
Well, once the Telecom companies figured out that they did not have anything very exciting to offer to the costumers, they started offering unlimited calling plans for prepaid as well as postpaid customers. Well, this post is all about that. So here I go with my experience.
Before I go on to write my pathetic experience with Tata Docomo unlimited Calling plan, let me write in a bit of brief about all the unlimited calling plans they have on offer.
Tata Docomo Unlimited Calling Plan 899
This is one of the most popular unlimited calling plan by Tata Docomo. This plan offers unlimited local as well as STD calling to the customers on a monthly rental of ₹899. All other services like SMS, Internet and other value added services will be charged accordingly.
While you are on National Roaming, you will have to pay as per the standard rates.
The plan is said to be unlimited, however, there are certain conditions. As, the condition for all the unlimited plans are same, I will talk about them later.
Tata Docomo Unlimited Calling Plan 1299
The 1299 unlimited calling plan by Tata Docomo has more to offer as compared to the 899 plan. In this plan, along with unlimited STD and Local calls, users get to use unlimited internet (upto 2GB 3G data and then unlimited 2G).
Also users can make unlimited calls while roaming on Tata Docomo Network and receive unlimited number of phone calls for free. There are 3ooo Local and National SMS bundled with the 1299 unlimited plan as well. This plan literally offers everything unlimited. Unlimited calls while roaming or in the home circle, unlimited Internet and Unlimited SMS (Limit by TRAI is 100 texts per day).
Now coming on the Terms and conditions, let me discuss them in details.
Terms & Conditions for Tata Docomo Unlimited Plans
- Refundable Security deposit of Rs. 850.
- This plan is available only for non commercial usage. That means you can not make sales calls to a number of people every week or every day.
- Rental does not include the service tax. Which needs to be paid accordingly.
- Free roaming calls are available only when you are on Tata Docomo network. While being on other networks, you will need to pay standard charges.
- There is no charge for call waiting, it needs to be activated from settings inside the phone.
- There is no rental for call forwarding and call conference.
So these are few of the terms & conditions by Tata Docomo. To prove my point, I am also including the screenshot of Tata Docomo website taken on January 02, 2014 12:53 PM.
So, once I am done with explaining everything about Tata Docomo’s unlimited calling postpaid plans. Let me come on my issue with them.
I have been using a mobile phone since a long time now. I think it’s been over 6 years. I was always with some of the best brands, and those were BSNL and Airtel in beginning. It was all fine, until Tata Docomo made a great name in Indian Telecom industry and many of the users migrated from other service providers to Tata Docomo. I was also one of them.
I took a prepaid connection back in June 2011, the number reads 80501*****. I had been using it continuously, and once I got to know about the unlimited Tata Docomo plans, I thought of signing up for the same.
I migrated from Tata Docomo prepaid to postpaid connection in August 2013. For the first experience, I thought it was better if I went for the starter plan, so I went for 899 plan which gave me unlimited STD and Local calling to any network, provided, I was on Tata Docomo network. Well, that was never a problem. I enjoyed the unlimited package by Tata Docomo for over 4 months, but then the main problem arose.
While everything was going smoothly and I never had any issues with my network provider, in the holiday season, as I had to travel many parts of the country, I thought to upgrade my plan to 1299 plan just to make sure I need not to pay anything extra when I make calls from other parts of the country.
Now, I am successfully migrated to the new 1299 plan, but one thing which gave me problem was call conference.
I need to make conference calls few times a week and it was all smooth until I upgraded. After upgrading, I was once trying to get 2 people on the same call, but I got a notification saying Not Allowed. Well, that was something strange and it was happening for the first time. I thought maybe there was a problem in the network as I was on roaming, so I thought to wait till I get back to my home town.
Once I came back to the hometown (i.e Bangalore), I had completely forgotten about the issue until I felt the need of making a conference call again and once again, I got the same notification telling conference calls were not allowed on my phone.
Unable to decide, whether it was a phone problem or the problem caused by the network, I tried changing the phone, but same was the case in another phone as well.
Not it was something irritating. I called up customer care, and spoke to the lady about the issue. After listening to the issue, the lady was like, Conference Calls are not allowed on any unlimited plan by Tata Docomo. Great. That was something I was listening for the first time. Because I had been using an unlimited plan for 4 months and I was using call conference as well, though it was not fluent.
So I told the lady, that I am on a unlimited plan ever since August and I never faced this problem. Only after I upgraded to 1299 plan, I started facing this problem. Well, that lady was so stubborn that she was not agreeing to what I was telling. She said it clearly that Tata Docomo is not providing conference calls to any of the customers on any unlimited plan. Come on man. How can she refuse to agree to something which is a fact?
Well, then I thought, maybe because I migrated to a new plan and call conference is not allowed on the higher rental plan, then I asked her to change my plan back to the one which I had used for 4 months. The interesting fact is that, she again refused telling I can not change my plan twice in a single month. So I need to wait for a month and then only I can change my plan.
That was heights. I disconnected in frustration and then I called customer care after a few hours with the same problem. This time, I got another answer from the customer care representative that my number has violated the terms and conditions set by Tata Docomo for the unlimited plans. However, she was unable to tell a particular condition which I had violated and told that many more facilities on my number have been restricted. More than that, she was unable to say anything.
That was something which made me even more frustrated. Which condition I violated? I went through the terms and conditions page on Tata Docomo website and I found nothing. Let me discuss some of those terms and conditions and my justification on each of them.
- Users can not call to more than 300 unique number per week. Okay. I mainly used that number for the personal use. 5 of the numbers (My family members) were dialed frequently, maybe twice everyday. Apart from that, I don’t remember calling more than 2-3 other numbers (take it 5 for more precision). That makes it at the max 40-50 number every week. So there is no chance.
- The other condition was, the duration of incoming calls need to be at least 15 minutes every week. That makes it around 2 minutes per day. I was way beyond that, with at least 20-30 minutes every day.
- The third condition was, I should not use the number for any professional usage. I have already stated that I always used the number for personal usage. So now I am unable to decide which of the condition I violated.
After talking to customer care several times, I could not reach to any solution. So I thought to write a post here on this blog. As Plan Dekho is read by many Indian mobile users every day (The count of our unique visitors goes over 10,000 visitors per day). So maybe the team at Tata Docomo can look into the solution and give me a solution.
One more thing, I got to know when I was talking to a customer care representative, that just because many people are using it for professional purposes, Tata Docomo have stopped this service on new number. Now the question arises, neither I use it for professional purposes nor I exceed any limit defined by Tata Docomo to use their unlimited plan.
I am not a professional user, nor I use my number to make any profit. But if I am paying a heavy rental of 899/1299, I need to have at least the basic facilities. Look at the below screenshot, taken from Tata Docomo website, where it is clearly stated that there is no charge for call conference and call forwarding.
All what I want as a result is, call conference facility on my number back and running. If Tata Docomo is unable to provide me that service, I will have no other choice than to migrate my number to any other service provider and give my reviews here about their pathetic service.
Once I am finished with this post here, I will contact Tata Docomo team again via Facebook, Twitter and Phone call. All the conversation I have with them will be updated here to give the visitors a better look at their response to their clients.
So this is Kunwar Prithvi Singh Chauhan, publishing the first version of the post in hope of a better and quick solution from Tata Docomo.
Update : January 03, 2014 10:30 AM
So, as expected, people are already furious about Tata Docomo service. In last few hours, we got comments from many people who were all against Tata Docomo for some or the other reason. Many of the comments we can not publish, because of the words used inside them.
However, there are still a few comments. In one comment, one of our reader and a fellow blogger accepts that he is using 899 unlimited plan and conference call facility is available to his number. Well, that is what I am trying to tell those people. So let me tell about my the conversation I had with Tata Docomo regarding the same issue.
The main guy behind this blog, Gagan Choudhary, tweeted to Tata Docomo with the link to this post. Unable to understand anything, those people asked for the contact details which were provided to them.
So, that started the main scenario.
I got a call on the same day of writing this post, i.e. January 02 around 6:30 PM. The guy on the other side was unable to understand the problem, so I just told him in detail
Docomo Representative : Hello Sir, I am from Tata Docomo. Regarding to the complaint you had registered. May I please know what is the exact issue you are facing?
Me : I have repeated it for over 10 times now, but since you are asking, let me repeat it again. I am using Tata Docomo postpaid plan since 4 months. I was on 899 plan for all this time and I had no issues as I was provided all what was promised in the advertisement. Well, to get some extra roaming and media benefits, I planned to migrate to 1299 plan on 28th December, 2013.
I called customer care to activate the plan and they did it on the same day. Now, the main problem started after 3 days, when I wanted to make a conference call and it did not allow me to do the same. I tried and tried again but the condition was the same. I tried in different phone as well, but no benefit.
Docomo Representative : I am sorry sir, but we are not providing conference call on unlimited plans.
Me : But, I was using the unlimited plan 899 for 4 months and it never gave me problem. I was always using call conference.
Docomo Representative : No sir, I can not accept that. We are not providing conference calls to any unlimited plan.
Me : Well, I know there is no way I can make you accept that. So, you people have all my details. Why don’t you check my call history? You will get to know that I have made many conference calls in those 4 months.
Docomo Representative : Sure sir. I will call you back in sometime.
Saying that, he disconnected the call. Now, I got another call from the same number in next 5 minutes. The guy on the other side said that my complaint has been registered and it will be resolved in next 48 hours.
There was no update after that. Then, the next day, on January 03, I got another call from them. The conversation was like the one stated below
Docomo Representative : Hello Sir, this call is from Tata Docomo regarding the complaint you registered.
Me : Yes, tell me. How much time do you people need to resolve the issue?
Docomo Representative : I am sorry Sir, we are not providing call conference facility in any unlimited plan and this is not possible.
Me : Well, I know there is no point discussing the same with you, so I will see it on my blog again. You can keep the phone.
Now, I have updates this here, and I am seriously pissed by the service those people are providing. I am waiting till Monday, and if the problem does not get solved, I will have no other option than to start a twitter campaign against Tata Docomo.
Hoping for a solution this time.