Airtel (unit of Bharati Telecom, big reputed mobile company in India) introduced this service to call internationally from US (mainly to India). This is probably in competition against Reliance india call.
Stupidly, I signed up to their service, thinking that it is a big company hence their service would be OK. I signed into Reliance also at it’s early days and it was never dysfunctional like Airtel. All said and done, reliance web site may look little primitive, but their service was excellent, customer service was reachable all the time (there was no need to call them in last two years). I guess you get what you pay for.
Here, it allowed me to register, took my CC number, but does not allow me to register my phone numbers. That being the most important thing, I tried to call up their customer service number, which is busy all the time. I sent an email, for which I got an automated reply saying someone will contact me, nothing has happened so far (it is second day today)
If Airtel wants to be a serious player in this field, they should clean up their act. They cannot go live without making sure things are in place. (like the 800 number for customer service).
Update: When I sent a mail to customer support, here is the bounced back message, isn’t it hilarious:
Subject: Re: PIN Reminder
was not delivered to:
Error delivering to Customersupport/ES-Carrier/Airtel/BTVL; Router: Database disk quota exceeded
Update 2: Finally, I thought let me try it out directly and take the pain of entering the account number and pin. Surprise!! All it asked me was for PIN, so it did register my number, but I dont know why the hell it needs the PIN. Once I could get in call quality was good, but lot of irritants all the way
Lot of instructions, repated greetings (Welcome to Airtel, Welcome to Airtel)
It asks you to dial your home number in the same way you dial in India (like STD code + number), hello!! what is the need to make it look like that?
After the number is pressed you need to press the # sign.
I guess I just need to finish what ever I have filled and then revert back to using Reliance India call, even in their early days, their system was robust. (Remember, they provided free calls etc)
Update [21-Dec-06]: Reliance has matched their price with Airtel. Thanks and no thanks to Airtel.
Also, checkout my musings on voip service, using bsnl broadband and getting ripped off by regional bells (no longer baby bell).