Excess charges by Tata Sky – Credited back

I have been a Tata Sky subscriber for three years and I rate their support as one of the best support I have encountered apart from ICICI. They attend calls and act promptly on requests, they reply to emails, they attend chat and usually solve any issues with in no time.

The experience has been totally different this time. If you have free time or planning to relocate or merge tata sky accounts, read the article. I’m saying free time because the short article planned has become long by the time I completed it.

Tata Sky has charged me Rs.300/- for relocation where it was supposed to charge Rs.200/-. When I raised a complaint about this, they replied saying they have verified and the charges are correct. Tata Sky may have a 1000 people each for chat support, telephone support and installations, they may have to reach 100 different people to verify what they have done. For me, I’m the one charged, I own the connection, I raised the request, I answered all Tata Sky calls, I raised complaints, I was present and overlooked both my installations and one relocation. I have more clarity.

It is not about the Rs.100/- that is charged in excess, it is about the feeling of being over charged, charged for a service that was never done or requested, their reply that they have validated the found the wrong charges to be correct.

Here is how it goes. TS1, TS2 gets confusing, but I’ll try to be as clear as I can.

Background: I have two Tata Sky installations at two different locations, Say TS1(installed in 2011) and TS2(installed in 2012). TS1 is on my name and TS2 is on my fathers name. Since tata sky needs a different mobile number for each installation, we took TS2 with a different mobile number on my fathers name. Tata sky allows two different accounts to have same email id and email id for both my accounts is same.

Requirement: I wanted TS1 to be relocated to TS2 location and merged with TS2(fathers) account. That is, TS2 to be primary account and TS1 to be relocated and added to the primary account.

In regards to the requirement, I have contacted tata sky through chat from both the accounts and they said this can be done(I also mentioned that the account names are different for these two). While in chat using TS1, they said this can be done but I have to chat using TS2 and then raise a request as that is going to be the primary account. I was told that I can bring the set top box and the installer will come to install this box. Dish was not required as it can be connected to the same dish. So I moved the TS1 set top box. In multiple chats, the charges were told to be Rs.200/-.

6 Jan 2014(or may be 7th) : I logged in to TS2, opened the chat and requested for relocating TS1 to TS2 and merging. The chat assistant said the account names should be same before merger and so he will take request for account name change. He took the request for name change and informed me that I’ll receive a call. Once the name is changed, I will have to raise a request for relocation and merger.

(I did not formally raise a request after this, everything happened in sequence after this).

7 Jan 2014 : I received a call from tata sky. The guy was supportive and seemed knowledgeable. He asked why I needed the name change and I explained the requirement. For doing this(relocate TS1 and merge with TS2), he said a new id/account needs to be created as one installation(TS2) is already working at this location. He said this is difficult/not possible and said he can merge TS2 with TS1 and then relocate.

I did not understand what exactly is the logic but assumed it to be some software issue on their end and said ok as my need is to have both connections at TS2 location and this is answered. Charges are again explained to be Rs.200/- and then he took the confirmation from me. He then called my father and took his confirmation as well.

Notice the difference. I wanted TS1 to be relocated and merged with TS2(relocate and merge) with TS2 as primary, what he suggested is merge TS2 with TS1 and then relocate(merge and relocate) with TS1 as primary. I did understand this and it does not matter because my requirement of having both connections at TS2 address is met. The charges are the same, the difference being TS1 on my name will act as primary.

He said he will merge the accounts and give me a call back in 10 minutes.

I was watching TV(using TS2, TS1 not yet installed) during the call. Few minutes after the call, the TV displayed an error message(inactive subscription or some thing like that) and it resumed after a minute. What happened? He deactivated TS2, merged it with TS1 and activated it again.

He promptly called in 10 minutes and said it has been merged and asked me when I want the installation of the box.

Remember, TS2 is already working at the location required, but this is now merged as a second box in TS1 account(on suggestion by tata sky support). TS1 now needs to be installed at the location where TS2 is already working.

I asked for 9th morning. He said he will give me a call on 8th morning and will confirm. He also explained that the balance in TS2 will be added to TS1 within 24 hours.

The same night, the balance is added and reflected in my account.

8 Jan 2014 : The same guy promptly called again, confirmed and raised a request for installation on 9th morning at 11:00 am. He said I will get a call from local technician who will confirm the time with me and complete the installation. Call ended.

Very next minute, a local technician called and asked if he can come and install now(my request is for tomorrow, not NOW). I said I requested installation tomorrow and any time after 11 on 9th is ok. He said he will give a call again next day and will complete the installation.

What this guy did here is, cancelled my request with the message “customer cancelled the request”. I came to know about this on 11th.

10 Jan 2014 : I waited for installation on 9th and 10th and finally sent a mail to tata sky on 10th night as there was no call/installation from the technician.

11 Jan 2014 : Received a call from tata sky and the lady said I cancelled my previous request. WTF, when did I? I explained I did not. She raised a new request and assured that it will be completed that day itself. She said the charges will be Rs.300/-. I said I was told Rs.200/- as one box is already installed/working here and only needs to be installed. She understood and said only Rs.200/- will be charged since only one box is being installed.

I did get a clue why she said Rs.300/- instead of Rs.200/-. This is where the difference lies between ‘relocate and merge’ & ‘merge and relocate’. Since the guy merged both my accounts on 7th, these people are now seeing two tata sky connection in my account.

Within 5 minutes after the call, I recieved 3 calls from 3 different people for installation. I asked the third guy as why I’m receiving so many calls for installation.

It turns out that tata sky sends a message to all(their dealers/distributors) and any one can attend. Whoever completes the service request is probably going to be paid by tata sky.

With the next hour, one of the three guys came and completed the installation.

All is well.

12 Jan 2014 : Received an SMS saying Rs.300/- was payable.

Again, WTF. The guys in chat said 200, the guy who merged the accounts said 200, the lady in last call said 200, the guy who installed said 200 and now tata sky says 300 is payable?

Sent a mail to tata sky help clearly explaining what was done(including both names and ID’s before merger).

Received a call from tata sky and as an usual support the guy asks the basics again. Yeah, as if I have sent a blank mail with no details about the complaint. Explained the whole story again. No explanation/answer. He said “ok sir”, hung up.

13 Jan 2014 : Received a reply for previous mail which says,

“We would like to inform you that we have validated the concern with our team and the charges are applicable as both the boxes have been relocated.”.

Again, WTF. What kind of validation was done? How can tata sky charge for an installation/relocation that was never done?

So far, tata sky support has been one of the best I have come across, but this time it is completely reverse.

Replied to the mail again, again with explanation.

Received another call and again had to explain the whole story.

This guy took a short interview, huh. Some interview questions I remember are, When was the installation done? Were you present at the time of installation? Did the installer charge any money? Did you raise a request to tata sky or to the dealer? When was the request raised?

The guy said I will receive a call very soon from their seniors. Again, WTF. Do I have to explain the whole story again? Didn’t I already spend too much of time.

Right now, composing this article from the past two hours looking back at the call records, sms and mails.

Next, if I have to explain again, I will ask them to go through this article for clarity.

Have you ever wondered how much of our short life is unknowingly wasted in such things?

As enough time is already spent on this, I will not actively follow up on this charge, but I will update the article as things progress.

16 Jan 2014 : 72 hours past, I did not get a call from the seniors, but I did receive a message in the set top box at around 5PM. The message shows updated balance with Rs.100/- added. Received a call from tata sky after some time and they confirmed that Rs.100/- has been credited back. Upon checking the transaction history, Rs.300/- which was charged previously has been credited back and a new charge of Rs.200/- has been deducted, i.e., an equivalent of Rs.100/- credit.

It is good that tata sky has refunded the amount, but they should not have charged it in the first place. At least they should have resolved issue on the first complaint. More annoying was their reply saying they have validated and the charges deducted were correct. Crediting back is good, but 5 days, multiple mails, multiple calls is not acceptable.

The TS2 connection which was merged into TS1 also left me with no history of TS2, login was disabled and there was no statement, message or email that this connection has been merged. While this may not be necessary, I lost all the transaction and account details. Ironically, tata sky themselves seem to have no clue about TS2 history as they are treating it as if it is part of  TS1 all the time.

Thank you.

Posted in Drop Box