Hyderabad: A Delhi-based Airtel customer alleged that the company billed him Rs 16 lakh for 20-day service. Reportedly, 28-year-old Abhijeet Singh (name changed) had visited Tokyo in the first week of November for eight days. Little did he realise that soon after his international trip, he would receive an outstanding phone bill of Rs 1,632,216 from Airtel.
On November 27, he received a text from his service provider that he needs to pay Rs 16 lakh; otherwise, his services would be immediately discontinued. Shocked by the massive bill, Mr Abhijeet contacted Airtel’s customer care and tried to resolve the issue. However, despite several attempts with the customer service, there seemed to be no resolution to the matter, he alleged. The operators had even told him that it’s a technical glitch and he would get a clarification once the bill is generated. They promised him that the invoice would be created within 48-78 hours.
Explaining the incident to NewsMeter, Abhijeet said that the bill stressed him so much, that he thought he might get a heart attack. “After my attempts with the customer centre, I emailed to Airtel’s nodal officer, and after multiple follow-ups, they told me that it was a glitch.” On November 28, the service provider informed Abhijeet that once the bill was generated, he would get to know the actual amount. While the bill generation was the 27th of every month, he had to consistently follow-up with the provider.
From here, the incident began to take a different shape that cannot be attributed to a “technical glitch”. In the process, the provider created a service request ticket for Abhijeet, but, to his absolute shock, the request automatically closed without any resolution. He had to call them again to raise another ticket. “By December 17, the bill was 20 days late without any resolution to my problem. To add to the issue, I received another message claiming that my outstanding is Rs 1,632,216. I called the customer care and escalated the issue to a nodal officer. However, this time they did not even assure that it is a technical error,” he said, adding that they noted that couldn’t say anything until the bill is generated.”
While taking the issue to Airtel, Abhijeet had told them multiple times about the stress that this situation is causing him. “I told them that I could get a heart attack due to all of this, but they remained insensitive during the follow-ups. I even told them that I would take the issue to a consumer court and social media, but it was futile.”
On December 18, Abhijeet received his insane bill amount again from Airtel. Taking this issue with them for the umpteenth time, the service provider stuck to their bill generation narrative sans the technical glitch. On December 20, things began to take a problematic route with Abhijeet’s outgoing facility cut due to his outstanding limit surpassing his credit. Thankfully, the customer care did turn it back on for 72 hours following his request.
Regardless, the problem persists. Moreover, the uncertainty of the whole situation has caused Abhijeet considerable stress. “The Rs 16 lakh bill has been harassing me for the past 20 days, especially without a certainty concerning its outcome. The apparent ‘glitch’ has affected my mental and physical health, negatively influencing my sleep, work, and diet. I have written to Airtel to compensate me for the same Rs 1,632,216, and I am ready to take legal steps against the company,” Abhijeet demanded.