Since yesterday, the DTH signal went down and has been down for 24 hours now. Yesterday night I couldn’t contact their paid customer service number, in fact it connected and immediately disconnected me 3 times thereby charging Rs 1 each time, and later when I tried again I was kept on hold for 5 minutes. The initial IVR response itself said that there is problem in Tata Sky service, probably to avoid people asking about it.
I instead opened a service request on their website, to have a proof of having logged in the problem at that time.
As of today evening Mar 12, the service seems to have a major outage, so much so that Tata Sky website displays it at the login screen itself.
Point taken Tata Sky. My only question to you is will you refund money or increase the time by 1 day or whatever hours the service has been in disruption? Or do you intend to keep quiet about it hoping no one asks these uncomfortable questions?
Tata Sky Manual of Practice for Direct to Home Subscribers
Yesterday on Tata Sky website I found a document called Manual of Practice. It seems like some kind of SLA (service level agreement) or promises they are making to consumers.
Some salient points below from their manual of practice:
Procedure and benchmarks for redressal of complaints through the call centres.
Procedure- Tata Sky subscriber (“Subscriber”) should call the Tata Sky 24×7 helpline to lodge complaint with the call centre. Tata Sky associates are trained to answer Subscriber queries in 13 languages. On receipt of the Subscriber call, the associate shall register the Subscriber’s complaint and issue a docket number to the Subscriber.
Benchmark- In case of complaints relating to non- receipt of all signals (other than those caused by disturbances of weather or natural calamities) by Subscriber, at least ninety per cent of all such complaints shall be redressed and signals restored within a period of twenty-four hours of the receipt of complaint;
In case of complaints (other than non receipt of signals) by Subscriber, at least ninety per cent of all such complaints shall be redressed within a period of forty-eight hours of the receipt of complaint.
All other complaints shall be addressed as early as possible.
Problems with Tata Sky’s Manual of Practice
Now some people may be thinking that this is a great and proactive disclosure and promise for the benefit of customers. Here are the problems I already have with above:
- It says about Tata Sky resolving problems after customers call up their Tata Sky 24X7 helpline. Well, the helpline ain’t free, and as I found yesterday it kept disconnecting me immediately upon connection, thereby charging me Re 1 every time and it happened 3 times. I couldn’t even raise a complaint on that helpline. On later retrying, once I did get a connection, it kept me on hold for 5 minutes waiting for an available operator, and given that the initial IVR intro had already told me about problems in service, I decided to disconnect the call.
- It doesn’t mention that same promise of 90% complaints being resolved within 24 hours will apply to requests made through website as well as email. Now for some people it may seem legal fine print, but trust me these companies will try to hide behind this legal fine print if you do take them to consumer court at some point of time.
As usual, I am not holding my breath for Tata Sky to become active again. Or that they will refund money or give extra hours for the time service was in disruption. I prefer to rely on YouTube for most of my news/videos, and wouldn’t mind not recharging Tata Sky once the balance runs out.
Tata Sky terms increase in compression as ‘routine’ maintenance
However, Harit Nagpal, MD and CEO with Tata Sky, attributed the outage to routine maintenance issues. “To extract more capacity from the same satellite asset we have to introduce new compression standards frequently. This introduction is likely to cause disturbance to a small number of subscribers, across the country. To discover these customers we run a test signal for some time which was done last evening. About 17,000 customers of our 1 crore-plus base experienced the disturbance,” he said. ..
Well, above para seems to be exercise in great obfuscation and non-transparent disclosure. I am no expert in compression techniques but surely trying to extract more compression cannot be a routine maintenance. If it was so routine, it could be made part of a weekly or monthly increase-compression-by-2%-task-schedule. But the major problem I see is that if you are introducing compression on even 1 piece of spectrum, surely it’s not possible that only 17,000 subscribers are using that part of spectrum out of a 1 crore subscriber base! That number has to be a lot more, which is why this seems not so much a disclosure but an exercise in obfuscation.
Further, the CEO adds:
“The signals were reversed back to the old format this afternoon and our technicians will be visiting the customers over the next two days to realign their antennae. Customers will obviously not be charged for this service visit,” he added.
Note that there is absolutely no mention of whether there will be refund of charges for the hours of service disruption, or an increase in service hours. Come on, how stingy can you be with ‘loyal’ customers, unless they are nothing but loyal prisoners to you!
Tata Sky customer service: a look at how they meet their 24 hour service targets
Update Mar 14, 2015: The Tata Sky service came up yesterday night, i.e., on 13th Mar night after full 48 hours or more of disruption. Let’s see what they have done with my service request opened on 11th Mar night:
They promptly closed the request on 12th Mar 2015, i.e., within 24 hours meeting their target of closure within 24 hours. It doesn’t matter whether your TV is all blank screen for full 48 hours, Tata Sky folks are quite efficient at their jobs of closing each request within 24 hours no matter whether the customer’s TV has any signal or not! For Tata Sky definitely the Life Ho Gayi Jinga Lala, or “how I learnt to live happy and carefree by indulging in low-life tactics“.
I have raised another request to give refund for 2 days / 48 hours of disruption. Let’s see how that goes.