According to the statistics of the last three years based on consumer complaints, the TRAI has named Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Reliance Communications as the worst service providers in India. Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha shared data according to which over one-thirds of the complaints were directed at Bharti Airtel, closely followed by Vodafone and Reliance Communications, in that order. The first two names on the list are typically thought to be among the most expensive service providers in the country; despite this fact, this unjustified trend is showing no signs of being quelled. The Parliament has been informed about this rising tendency on Wednesday.
The other names on the list include such providers as Idea Cellular, Tata Teleservices and the state-run service BSNL, though the number of complaints against them are relatively lower. The total number of complaints recorded in the first half of 2016 reveal staggering numbers with as many as9,720 collective registered complaints.
A scroll through online complaint forums will reveal customer grievances ranging from deductions without either prior notice, or any reason, VAS billings that were not applied for by customers, sudden service blocks as well as the lack of commitment and competence on the part of customer handling teams. Customers allege that this trend of uncalled for service billing and other inconveniences have shot up in the last couple of years, and this reflects in the TRAI complaint statistics, according to which, the number of complaints had increased between the years 2014 and 2015 compared to the figures recorded between 2013 and 2014. However, the procedure of registering complaints with TRAI may not guarantee a resolution as the complaint is directed to the same telecom operator that the grievance has been lodged against.
Another major area of complaint against telecom services in India has to do with increasingly inferior data quality that are provided at higher prices. Several petitions have been called forth in 2016 alone on forums centred around public grievances against such tendencies. Consumers are expecting a turning around of this situation with the arrival of the countrywide launch of Reliance Jio 4G network, which has already caused a scramble among telecom service providers like Airtel and Idea to promise better data services at lower prices.