Beware of Airtel’s lifetime free IPTV scheme for existing subscribers – all hogwash 13

Airtel has been tomtoming their supposedly lifetime free IPTV scheme to existing subscribers of broadband, showing no extra cost except for installation charges of 3999/-. Even after asking several times from their executives selling this scheme to people, they insisted that there’s no monthly rental, this is indeed lifetime free at no extra cost, except that of installation. I also doubly confirmed that my existing connection of 999/- would not have any disruption or hampering in service & no extra cost and was confirmed the same. However since nothing of this sort is on airtel’s site as of now, I was still sceptical.
Finally after much interrogation, I agreed to fill up the application provided they show me this scheme on paper and not expect me to fall for it over what they claimed on phone. I speak from experience. right from the time I wasnt even an Airtel customer but they damaged my property to install someone elses connection TO my own broadband connection. As expected, considering how botched up Airtel’s services are, their representative who was given some other address instead of mine to go to & some other timing as well, arrived 5hrs late at my place without any scheme in written. This after having given them my address at least 4 times. When the rep finally procured their brochure & showed it to me, I realised that my existing speed of 384 Kbps will be downgraded to 256Kpbs if I were to avail of this scheme. I talked to their customer care again. I was told there is not much difference between 384Kbps and 256 Kbps speeds anyway. When I asked them why they are charging me more in that case, for the higher speed, he had no answer. He also told me that to retain my existing speed of 384 Kbps, I would have to buy a top up plan of 400/- every month. So here it is – their hidden monthly rental! All this after having confirmed on phone that my existing broadband services will not suffer or be hampered!
The customer care guy started by saying that I must be paying this to my cable guy. That’s not even logical. I pay much lesser to the cable guy and might as well retain my existing broadband speed, without shelling out 4K for some installation! Nice way of taking services back from the customer and then charging them again calling it lifetime free!
Beware of schemes that insult the intelligence of the customer. Jaago Grahak Jaago. Do not fall for Airtel’s hogwash

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13 thoughts on “Beware of Airtel’s lifetime free IPTV scheme for existing subscribers – all hogwash

  • Karthiksn

    As soon as I had seen your tweet asking about this I was kind of curious. Airtel or any other ISP for that matter in India always hides most of the facts before coming out with scheme. Anyways your post will help others from falling into the trap.

  • Aditya

    Ive faced so many problems just trying to cancel my airtel postpaid sim card…
    they just wont cancel it..
    anyway dats another long long story…

  • ankur

    Nothing in life comes for free…I have made this a point to remember..

    On another thought,,,i have 256KBps connection,,,does it come free for me??? he he he

  • Amit Goel

    just to mention .. Internet backbone is still not very strong in India. for IPTV to survive and be a success, the bandwidth is still an issue. service providers are still not able to bring down the cost of even 1Mbps speed. how can they claim it to be free?

    Why did I mention this? just to put a reasoning behind these hidden costs. 🙂

    I’ll just suggest to people that wait for IPTV stuff to get stablized before even thinking of trying it.

    IPTV works on the same model as streaming media which is digital quality and with a higher bit rate, it is very difficult to watch an uninterrupted stream of channels.

  • Rohit

    I had a similar problem with their night time top up plan. If you connect at 7:59 PM and start your downloads at 9 PM, they would charge you, even though its supposed to be free from 8 PM to 8 PM.

    Applying the same logic, if I start downloading at 7:59 AM and keep it on the whole day, they shouldn’t charge me anything. But No! the system resets automatically at 8 AM. Why not then at 8 PM as well? They had no answer!

  • Karan Singh

    Thanks for the post – nearly got the Airtel IPTV but thought I should research it a little more. No one from Airtel mentioned the reduction in broadband speed. Thought it was too good to be true.

  • Twilight Fairy Post author

    Thanks everyone for the comments.

    Karan – Airtel is a very fraud company and this I can tell you after having used their services since 2006. Recently I upgraded my plan to 1MBps which was assured to me by Airtel Telemedia Services to be a plan FREE from any FUP (fair use policy) restrictions. I had confirmed this thrice from them over phone and asked them to share this in written with me. They assured me that they would be sending a mail (or have sent a mail which I never got magically). However guess what, after repeatedly asking them to send me this written confirmation all I got to know was that this plan also has FUP implemented! They will go to any extent to lie about their services in order to get new customers!


    Dear friends,

    Sub: Airtel’s Massive Fraud – Dumping Goods on Gullible Customers with out their consent

    I have an Airtel Broadband connection 42668209. Was shocked to find (after 3 months) that they have charged for PC Secure(An useless n unknown Antivirus software) and Online Desktop storage without any written or verbal confirmation whatsoever from my end.

    This is sheer GREED and they don’t have a clue of what’s happening as they have stripped themselves fully (Incl their vests n brief to their outsourcing operators!) Absolutely no coordination between them.

    When contacted, after so many different versions from diff people, they have waived the charges. The key Qs to the TRAI, Govt and the general public are as follows:

    1.TRAI clearly states that a written confirmation has to be obtained from the customer regarding change of plan and same to be communicated to the customer vide email/sms. Neither of them happened in my case. CLEARLY VIOLATION OF THE LAWS OF LAND! Look how they care for the law! They simply break it!

    2. I opened my mouth and they gave the waiver for DUMPING USELESS PRODUCTS WHICH I NEVER WANTED IN THE FIRST PLACE. How many millions of subscribers have been conveniently duped like this? ,esp. good natured rural folks. Can TRAI, after an audit, arrive at a figure of this humongous fraud???. What about other operators??

    3.TRAI is supposed to make an audit of the billing system periodically. Are they hand-in-glove?? Otherwise how on earth can Airtel go ahead with scant regard of TRAI’s laws?

    Last but not the least. I have never had ANY billing issues with BSNL last two decades. Their response to service may be a lil’ slow(Thanks to the Central Govt who are bent on killing them!) but they would ever and never do such a blatant violation.

    NOW, WHO WILL BELL THE CAT?? I’m making all efforts with my disposal to see to it that this issue is raised in Parliament/other relevant forums like this, raising public awareness. It’s not the Qs. of getting waiver for an individual for a couple of hundred rupees, but to expose the crores of rupees swindled from customers all over India since 1995!.

    And without serving local customers, finding their feet-on-the-ground, obeying the rule of the land, they are flying for expansion in Africa and other countries! All Africans may not behave like we Indians, Mr.Mittal. I do care for your LIFE as you are no doubt a Telecom Czar!.

    Sincerely Yours,
    98410 47174



    Dear Bretheren,

    Kindly view 15th April Indian Express and The Hindu (Both Chennai edition) and

    While we applaud Mr.Infant Dinesh for his bold initiative, my heart goes out to the rural folks AND other lesser mortals who otherwise won’t have any clue to the “gullible” marketing techniques of Private operators like Airtel. The sections in which the cases are registered by the Chennai Suburban Police shows the seriousness of the case, as I whistle-blowed couple of weeks ago, after hearing the language against Airtel, posted in various online forums by all of you.

    Can we do together and make Airtel kneel-down and pay-up? Shall we have people volunteering from each state to file a police case and others following up with their complaints based on the Infant Dinesh model? Concentrate on VAS related frauds, they are huge, we found after a research. It’s against the LAW, charging without customer’ consent. Hence the police are taking it seriously and are looking at more evidence.

    To start with Kindly email your complaint against Airtel to infantdinesh at gmail dot com or gatesandwindows at gmail dot com with subject Airtel. Write in brief a) Your basic details-Account or phone no, b) Your complaint c)Response from Airtel d) Quantify the tangible losses e) What are the intangible losses – Like losing connection, time waste, mental torture etc.,, if possible quantify that as well.

    People in Chennai please contact Mr.Infant Dinesh @ 98413 14812(Folks, he’s an advocate as well) or myself @ 98410 47174 RIGHT NOW. With you, together, we’ll be meeting the Police Commissioner next week as per plan for the next steps.

    Please pass on this message to your near and dear as well so as they can share their experiences as well.
    Look forward to everyone’s support.

    Good day!

    Warm Rgds

  • Puneet Chopra

    AIRTEL PLAN – basic plan consist of BAD SERVICE and they top it up with WORST CUSTOMER SERVICE.. Their VAS is about HARASSING.. and repeat business is – NEVER LET THE CUSTOMER COME BACK TO YOU!!!

    my simple request of making the online-system work for me cudn’t execute coz of sm weird tech prob they communicated month-after-month… n behind all this i was made to pay late fees, reason being their gateway not accepting my login credentials on time…

    I wish they knew how much pain I went thru while telling so many people that I am ‘Puneet’ and the person they called… ‘XYZ’ doesn’t own this Number.. the response wud b – But Mr XYZ used this number few months ago etc!!!

    Not to mention, their towers provided no signals in my locality (central in Pune)but they claimed it did!!

    Finally i decided to terminate my connection.. ohhhhhhhhhh!!! wt a mistake I did… the request, re-request, complaint, give-up mails continued into so many pages that CUSTOMER SERVICE started truncating mails for the reason of over size of mail history.. …not only I ended up loosing peace of mind, I also ended up paying few months extra rental without any usage!!!… thanks that all this while my Mumbai VODAFONE no. was still active…

    What a relief writing it all here 🙂 🙂