Airtel tops list of cos facing maximum consumer complaints

Airtel tops list of cos facing maximum consumer complaints

As many as 2,001 complaint calls were received against Bharti Airtel between March 2010 and February 2011, as per the data available with the National Consumer Helpline (NCH).
Reacting to the data, Bharti Airtel said the number of complaints in percentage terms is negligible when compared with the company's active customer base.

"Every customer complaint is important to us and we do address each of these at a customer and systemic level. However, it needs to be understood that the number of complaints referred here are a mere 0.00126 per cent of our active customer base," a company spokesperson said.

There is a declining trend in the number of complaints over a period of time vis-a-vis growth of subscriber base, he added.

Bharti Airtel had 162.2 million subscriber as on March 31, 2011.
According to the NCH data, Bharti Airtel received the highest number of complaints (2,001), followed by state-owned telecom major BSNL (1,986), PSU giant Indian Oil (1,940) and Anil Ambani-led telecom firm Reliance Communications (1,792) and Nokia India (1,616).

Other companies in the top-10 list in terms of number of complaints included Samsung India (1,560), SBI (912), BPCL (872), LIC (626) and ICICI Bank (569).
NCH is a public service project of the Consumer Affairs Ministry and is run by the Delhi University. It has been functional since March 2005.

It helps consumers in dealing with problems related to defective products, deficiency in services and unfair trade practices.

There are as many as five telecom-related companies in the top 10. It also consists of five public sector firms.

According to a presentation by NCH before the Food and Consumer Affairs Minister K V Thomas last week, the total number of complaints received between March 2010 and February 2011 stood at 67,347.

Out of total calls, the maximum complaints (21 per cent) were regarding defective products followed by telecom (17 per cent) and banking sector (7 per cent).

"This list shows these companies have not been able to handle the issues being faced by their customers, which forces the customers to seek our guidance," NCH's Principal Investigator Sri Ram Khanna told PTI.

It also sheds light on the management practices, especially customer redressal process of these companies, he added.

NCH's consumer advice is provided in three tiers. In the first step, it advices the consumer to approach the concerned organisation. The second step involves helping the consumer approach the regulatory authorities existing in different sectors.

The final step is the last option where the consumer is advised to file a case in consumer courts.

NCH has handled 3,48,082 calls till March 31, 2011.

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