Airtel SmartBytes Scam

18 Aug



I have always been a huge fan of Airtel Broadband ever since I started using their services way back in 2006. Their Internet services offered high uptime and the promised speed almost always. Airtel’s customer service has been pretty good as well when compared with many other brands.

However, the recent rollout of the so-called SmartBytes product has spoiled all my good impressions about Airtel and I am on the verge of discontinuing with them. It is turning out to be a major SCAM by Airtel whereby they try to force sell this product to existing customers on the pretext of making available high speed Internet even when you don’t need it. Read on…

How Airtel SmartBytes work?

Every unlimited BB package from Airtel Broadband works the following way. Basically when they sell a 2MBPS (for example) unlimited bandwidth product, the 2MBPS speed is only applicable to a predefined transfer limit (e.g 20GB as in my case). Once you reach this 20GB limit in a particular billing cycle, the speed drops to the minimum guaranteed speed of 256KBPS or 512KBPS.

At this point, the customers can opt for the so called SmartBytes using which you can continue using the high speed internet. All that you have to do is to click and buy the package that you want (for example 5GB for Rs.299/-). This sounds good and really helpful for the broadband consumer in need. So what is the problem?

SmartByte Nuisance!

Once you run out your high speed limit of your so-called Unlimited package, the following is what will happen:

  1. Every time you login to your PC and browse any site (say Google.com), you are redirected to the SmartBytes website (screenshot below). No matter, how many other sites you try to browse, it will STILL redirect you to this SmartBytes sales page. This highly irritating behavior continues for about a minute
  2. The ugly SmartBytes sales page forces you to either buy a High speed package OR Continue as per the plan BUT only after typing in a Captcha. This is a highly unacceptable behavior from any service provider as it’s nothing but force-selling
  3. For a billing cycle, it’s probably ideal to show this page once but NOT every single time I login – especially after I opted out of it once
  4. Whenever you are run out of the highspeed limit, for no explicable reason it disconnects you from the web every couple of hours and each time, the SmartBytes page is thrown

airtel smartbytes sca
Now, why is it so bad?
First, I don’t want to see an undesirable sales page every time I login.

Second, it should be SMART enough to remember my selection at least during a billing period.

Third, if you are doing some important transaction and left your page unattended, when you come back, you are likely to be redirected to the smart page thereby losing all that you entered.

Even worse, the kids who are using your home PC or laptop can, by mistake, click and buy SmartBytes as it doesn’t require one to swipe any credit card.

What does Airtel Customer Support say?

I have raised THREE tickets with them in the last two months. Every single time, the dumb support person will say that, he doesn’t have the ‘authority’ to stop this. So twice, I requested him to put me through to whoever has the authority but no use. Obviously, Airtel has forgotten business ethics and is trying to milk customers by luring them into buying their SmartBytes product with a highly irritating landing page.

Probably the next step for me to write to none other than Mr. Sunil Mittal (sunil.mittal@bharti.com) – the big boss of Bharti Airtel – and forward a complaint to the consumer forums.

Do you suffer from this Airtel Smartbytes Scam or fraud? If so, did you try to deal with the same? Let me know.

54 Responses to “Airtel SmartBytes Scam”

  1. Airtel 24. Aug, 2012 at 10:39 am #

    Namaste Mr.Prasad,

    This is to inform you that your concern listed on 18 August 2012 has been noted and our team is eager to resolve it. In order to get to the resolution, we need to get in touch with you and gather more details about the concern. However, we are restricted by the absence of your contact details in your original complaint. Please share the required details with us at http://www.airtel.in/airtelpresence

    We assure you that we are committed to resolving the issue to your satisfaction

    Regards
    Arpit Dixit
    Airtel Presence (Airtel Customer Service Team)
    Bharti Airtel Ltd
    airtelpresence@in.airtel.com

    Connect with us 24X7 and we will be happy to assist you with a swift resolution to your queries on all our products and services

    Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/airtel_presence
    Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/bhartiairtelltd
    Linked- http://in.linkedin.com/pub/airtel-presence-bharti-airtel-ltd/1b/119/a33

    • Ajith Prasad Edassery 24. Aug, 2012 at 11:27 am #

      Dear Arpit,
      Thank you for taking time to comment here. Looks like Airtel is more serious about twitter/facebook complaints due to the viral nature of online complaints :)

      You could get in touch with me via any of the numbers on record with Airtel – Either my mobile number OR even the Airtel number.

      Further you may look at the following FOUR tickets that I opened for the same issue in the past two months.

      BAL|Qrc211081219083510452689
      BAL|Qrc211081214085710449403
      BAL|Qrc225071211070310198414
      BAL|Qrc225071209074910195937

      Best reagrds,
      Ajith

  2. Animaster 04. Sep, 2012 at 2:39 pm #

    I have been an Airtel customer ever since I bought a phone and I haven’t gone through any problem like this. But thanks for knowing about it upfront so that I can be vary of it.

    • Ajith Prasad Edassery 04. Sep, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

      The problem occurs once you run out the high speed bandwidth in the so-called unlimited bandwidth options. It then switches to the promised minimum speed followed by the SmartBytes popup in every login.

  3. Anurag 15. Nov, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

    True! I am on the so called “Unlimited” plan. The moment I exhaust the 2Mbps with a 10GB dw/up limit, the internet connection automatically downgrades to 256 kbps for the rest of the billing cycle. I only see the smartbytes page when I restart my modem. Otherwise, I can directly jump to my home page and browse for days without even seeing the smartbytes page. Sometimes, the smartbytes page gets in the way of resuming my downloading session and its gets frustrating to get rid of it without subscribing. AFAIK even Mittal may be facing the same issue but just like any Indian, even he would force himself to ignore the smartbyte page.

  4. Lavanya Sethi 07. Feb, 2013 at 10:04 am #

    I have been a customer of airtel for around 6-7 years, but will be discontinuing the services because of the “smartbytes charges” they impose on the customers.Within 2 months, I have received additional bills of 1500 I.E. Total of 3000. This kind of service should be verified by the use of credit card or debit card only and not just based on clicking the offer.
    Infact this service is specifically designed so that some users who are not so educated about the computers and stuff, will accidently click on this and thus airtel will have the excuse that the customer demanded it and thus charge them heavily for that.
    Since my payment mode is ecs, ( I really regret the day I chose ecs) I cant really do anything except discontinuing the broadband connection. I have filed an complaint against them on their site as well as here, http://www.consumercourt.in/internet-services/104858-airtel-smartbytes-fraud.html ,at Consumer Court site but so far no action has been taken on this case.

  5. Kartikeya Singh 26. Jun, 2013 at 12:35 am #

    To: appellate.ncr@airtel.in
    Cc: 121@in.airtel.com
    Cc: minish.marqus@airtel.in
    Hi Minish,
    I had taken a broadband connection 01145522411/01160660518_dsl in December 2012, and have faced nothing but issues since the day I applied for the connection.
    INSTALLATION
    Airtel installation team was late by one day as promised. When they finally arrived they told me that they will have a wire hanging from the window of my bedroom into the living room. I have very neatly laid new apartment floor with easy provisions of internal wiring for phone etc. When I asked them to connect the DSL line to the internal wiring the installation team person told me that “We are contractors, Airtel does not pay us for installing into the internal wiring of the flat, and THEY DON’T KNOW HOW TO DO IT”. Finally they left the phone and the modem installed in my BALCONY.
    Next to visit was the configuration people and they configured it properly of course in the BALCONY itself. When they finished the configuration I received a call from your service delivery team asking if the installation properly and the configuration team tried to “force” me to tell that it is done properly because they had done their “configuration job” and “installation job” is none of their concern. Nevertheless I told your service delivery team that how the phone and modem are lying in the balcony.
    After the escalation your team visited me again and one of the guys told me that if I pay Rs. 200 to the other guy he can connect the line to the internal wiring. I ended up paying the Rs. 200 and THOSE SAME GUYS NOW COULD CONNECT THE LINE TO THE INTERNAL WIRING IN 5 MINUTES.
    FIRST BILL
    Being new to Delhi I required a paper bill for my address proof so I had opted for a paper bill. The first bill never got delivered. Soon I started receiving call from your “Recovery Team” for the payment. When I told them I have not received the bill, they told me that the bill has been delivered and they also have a mobile number for the receiver. When I checked the mobile number it did not belong to anyone in my family. I request the bill be resent and they offered to send E-Bill by email and then without my consent they stopped the paper bill completely.
    121 CUSTOMER CARE – BILLING ISSUES
    Your customer care instead of “One Two One” should be called “Back to Square One”.
    I called 121 after paying my first bill to tell them not to add a late fee charge as I had not received the bill. After a few calls and a lot of struggle making them understand that they have delivered the bill to a wrong person, I was finally told that late fee will not show in the next bill.
    The next bill came with a late fee of Rs. 100 and I started calling 121 “Back to Square One” again for a waiver. I was once again told the first bill was delivered and it took numerous calls to once again to argue that they delivered it to the wrong person. Finally I was able to get a waiver and by that time the due date for the second bill was gone. Third bill I once again got a late payment fee. Having not left with the courage to call 121 again, I paid that bill minus the late payment charges and called 121 again for a waiver which they said will happen and I will not see a late payment charge.

    http://WWW.AIRTEL.IN
    This is the most insane website in the world nothing works and you keep changing so many things without informing the registered users. Earlier you had userid or phone as login and recently without informing the registered users you have now changed the userid to registered mobile number. The create Service Request pop-up never works and when you are finished writing a long complaint and push submit it gives you an error and whatever you have written is gone. The payment gateways are very bad. I was told twice that the transaction failed when it did not. I have now been billed thrice for the amount and my account balance is now Rs. -8359.6. In a way this website fooled me and charged me for an entire year in advance. I have numerous screenshots of this website giving errors at every place, please see attached.
    AIRTEL IVR
    Your IVR is the most irritating thing in the world. Call 121 from a mobile and it asks to press 2 for fixed line services and when you are finally connected to a person they tell you it is postpaid mobile department.
    Call 121 from landline or call 011-44444121 it asks to press 1 for fixed line and then asks you to punch in the full landline number. When you are finally connected to an agent he will ask you the landline number again. The IVR just wastes customer’s time punching in the 11 digit number and then confirming it etc.
    The IVR for your appellate number 011-41614777 and 011-41614690 is a wall. There is no way to get past it. This intelligent system is designed to make customers call back level 1 support at 121 and then getting a suggestion there that you need to send a mail to appellate authority instead on calling them.
    This IVR gives you only one option: To enter a Service Request Number and then press 1 to confirm the Service request number. When I enter a valid SR number in open/closed status and Press 1 which the only suggested option, the IVR tells that “OOPS IT (Press 1) IS NOT A VALID CHOICE” and then it disconnects my call.
    BILL RECOVERY TEAM
    It is the most efficient system of liars handling the recovery. When I got no waiver as promised from 121, I stopped paying the bills at all. Finally after not paying bills for 3 consecutive months I started receiving calls from your recovery team and they told me that they can waive of the accumulated Rs. 400 late payment fee if I made a payment of billing amount minus Rs. 400 and 121 people can never give you a waiver for more than Rs. 100 but the recovery team can. I made the payment still no waiver.

    121 OFFICERS AND SUPERVISORS
    These are the Airtel’s Einstein at work. They are able to tell you so many conflicting things on the same call. “I do not have rights to create an SR”; “I do not have rights to waive off”. When confronted that the other person could do it, they magically get the rights. Airtel has outsourced all most all of their Customer Care and these contractors hire the worst people available. They do not understand and listen, keep asking the same questions and they do not make call notes. On a particular 30 mins call I asked your officer if he has written any call notes he told me yes he did. I asked this officer to read the notes back to me and he did not have single line to read back.

    NAIL IN THE COFFIN – SMARTBYTES
    Now I realize why Airtel call them smart. It is a smart way of stealing money just like their payment gateway. On 20th June, 2013, I was at work and at 4:20 pm I received an sms “Thank you for using Smartbytes” followed by another sms with an SR number. I got confused and called the dreaded 121 and the lady told me that I have activated 60 GB Smartbytes worth Rs. 1499. I told her that I have data left in my original plan and why would I buy 60 GB of data when the bill cycle ends on 25 June 2013, another 5 days to go. Now, comes the smart idea. The lady tells me that there is no way that I have myself not activated it and there is no way it can be reversed. “Nobody has rights”. I got back home in the late evening only to find that my router/modem was switched off. Only a ghost could have enabled the Smartbytes for me.
    I talked to three supervisors on 20/21st June, 2013 and they said I should send a mail to 121@in.airtel.com. I sent the email on 21st June, 2013 and got an auto responder with 48 hrs turnaround time. I waited till 24 June, 2013 and there was no response from them. I called 121 again and one of the supervisors Wasi Khan was “able” to create an SR 34626298 for me for the Smartbytes charge waiver.
    On 25 June, 2013 I received a call from one supervisor Yogendra Singh and he told me that Airtel cannot waive the Smartbytes charge because it has been activated from my end. He tried to explain to me that I got a pop up and I clicked on it to enable it and that this popup comes only when I have entered my Airtel Broadband userid and password. I tried to explain to me that I have an Airtel Wireless router with preconfigured login and that I never have to access the internet after entering a username password. I also told him that I have never seen that popup because I never have to enter userid and password to access internet and as he told the popup comes when the login is done. Also the only time I have seend a message was when I had once used up my high speed data limit. But this guy kept telling me that yes there is a popup and yes I have to enter a userid and password to access internet. I also told him that I had availed Smartbytes for 5 GB in March and I am aware of it and there is no way I could have done the purchase of 60 GB even by a mistake, but he kept ranting that I have done it, I have done it, I have done it. I told him that it could be a mistake with your software and he said no there is no way. I then told him that there are so many issues with Airtel customer portal and that it charged me thrice because of false failed transaction. This Yogendra genius was impudent enough to tell me that I got charged thrice because of my own mistake and Airtel has no fault in it. He then gave the number to the appellate authority and disconnected the call. I kept getting bumped out of the call after entering the SR number on the Appellate IVR. The IVR only wasted half an hour of my time. I called 121 again and they said I can go to their Okhla office which is like an entire day’s job or write another mail to appellate authority email

    CONCLUSION
    After using Airtel broadband for 6-7 months I have been harrowed, harassed, and overcharged by Rs. 8500 which they say can’t be refunded, charged with over Rs. 400 of late fee for no fault of mine. They steal another of Rs. 1499 for a Smartbytes package of 60 GB which remains completely unutilized today on 25 June 2013, the last day of my billing cycle. I have nowhere to call because 121 cannot do most of the things and the appellate IVR is a closely guarded fort. I get no reply on my email sent to 121@in.airtel.com since 5 days. Airtel has created a customer support infrastructure with inherent design to justify its stealing leaving no option for the customer. Please do not buy any product from Airtel especially the broadband services because if you get SMARTBITTEN there is no way you can get your money refunded.
    I want to get rid of this connection and all my money back which Airtel has tactfully stolen. With the kind of amount of money in question I will go to a consumer court also.
    Regards,
    Kartik

    PS: I am a partner in a company called XXXXXXXX Services India Private Limited which has an Airtel leased line, Airtel Landlines, Airtel CUG connections so I am a customer worth Rs. 2,00,000 pa for Airtel.

    • Ajith Prasad Edassery 26. Jun, 2013 at 7:46 am #

      Mr. Singh,
      Thank you for summarizing your experience. I am not sure if the Airtel person would read this (but has subscribed to comments and hence he MIGHT). Probably you could even paste the same thing on their FB fan page.

      Best…
      Ajith

      • Kartikeya Singh 26. Jun, 2013 at 11:25 am #

        I have already done that and posted it on as many forums as possible. I have also talked to a lawyer for consumer court and I will be filing a case hopefully in a couple of days. I run a business and if any body messes with my money my first ethic is to teach them a befitting lesson.

        They cant tell me that there is no way to get a refund for services I never activated or utilized.

  6. Kartikeya Singh 26. Jun, 2013 at 8:59 pm #

    Here is the link on the Facebook page and I am posting the details of the followups made by Airtel after reading my post also in the comments.

    Thanks Ajith for supporting a genuine cause.

    Kartik
    :-)

    http://www.facebook.com/AirtelIndia/posts/622842744406015

  7. Rishav Thakur 10. Jul, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

    i opened my net email id today morning there was a rubbish
    email saying that i will be charged rs 779 for smart bytes i am frustated i called the customer care but they said they could do nothing please help anybody

    • Kartikeya Singh 24. Jul, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

      Check my post above and the facebook page link for same. I finally had the smartbytes charges reversed. See if the post can help you.

      • Ajith Prasad Edassery 30. Jul, 2013 at 8:49 am #

        Thanks for the update Kartikeya. Good to hear that you finally got justice. Sometimes, social media can be very powerful isn’t it?

  8. Jasdeep Singh 25. Oct, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

    And the scam just don’t stop here, after you purchase a smarty byte ( 1GB, 2, 5 .. ) any of these, your bytes are consumed at a rate that is just not possible.

    I Bought 1GB yesterday night since i had a day left before my cycle renews and i had not bytes left in my cycle and did some surfing watch 2-3 videos over internet. Later today I opened my internet today at around 12.00PM and guess what when I checked my usage it was 0.35GB left, and after 3 hours of very normal surfing ( no videos, no download just simple surfing over internet ).

    I don’t know how do they measure the surf for users, it is a total scam, can we together do a petition or something else that can tell aritel that people are awake and not sleeping, they know what surfing is and what these terms GM and KB/sec terms mean for internet.

    Thank you!!

  9. Priya 21. Nov, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

    I have been a victim of this Airtel policy of “we do not deal with internal wiring”. My Airtel fixed line has been out of order for almost a month now and each time the useless technician has given a different excuse for it not working. Finally, I could only make outgoing calls and incoming calls weren’t available. The technician came in, pulled out a bunch of wires from the wall, stuffed them back and told me the internal wiring has to be changed, which Airtel does not do. The phone went completely dead and I had to yell at him quite a bit to restore it to where I could at least make outgoing calls.

    I am now getting a local telecom company to change the internal wiring. In the mean while, I keep getting calls from Airtel asking whether they can mark my complaint as resolved! I have refused to do so until I have my phone in perfect working order.

    Not dealing with internal wiring (wire from the junction box to the landline) should ideally be the responsibility of a company like Airtel that calls itself a telephone service provider. This seems like a good case for the consumer courts.

    • Ajith Prasad Edassery 21. Nov, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

      Priya,
      I presume that you are staying in an apartment where typically the internal wiring (from junction box to your living room and living room to other rooms) is the responsibility of the builder or hired electrician. Usually there’ll be four our five pairs of wires which will be used for intercom, BSNL line, Airtel line etc. In most apartments, junction boxes are maintained in very bad conditions which suffer even from rain and other messes. Hence telecom companies usually don’t take responsibility of the same.

      In your case, however, since incoming calls are not working, it could be mostly the wiring leakage issue as he said (ie. if switching another instrument is not solving the issue) . The only thing one can try is to switch to other possible pairs what the builder has provided.

      Best..

  10. heman 27. Nov, 2013 at 10:35 am #

    i have a dsl connection at my house and recently i opted for wifi for my wifes laptop and a desktop used by me.since then i am getting emails from airtel to go for smartbytes.is it advisable

    • Ajith Prasad Edassery 28. Nov, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

      Heman, We are not talking about the smartbytes emails (even that’s irritating, by the way) here but those smartbyte popups you get in your browser everytime you connect. This happens when you run out of your package bandwidth cap (FUP) and you are reset to a slow speed.

  11. sanket pawar 28. Nov, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

    Mr. Prasad,
    Im having different problem with this smartbyte.i bought 25 gb pack online in new month i.e. in new billing cycle but its not showing balace quota according to 25 gb it gave me 5 gb.and massege on my mobile came as u buy a 25 gb smartbyte blalala….no proper responce from customer care its useless..dey just say hold ph and go off for 15 to 20 min.dey pick ph from same no once in a day only.

  12. govind prasad 20. Dec, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

    Hi,

    I have an airtel BB since 2008.Am extremely happy with the service and the connectivity. Any issues are addressed within 3-4 hours. I also like smartbyte as I can check the balance anytime and plan my usage accordingly. The pop up comes up only after you cross 80% of your plan which I feel is correct and required. It keeps you forewarned and forearmed.

    • Ajith Prasad Edassery 23. Jan, 2014 at 12:40 pm #

      Thanks Govind for bringing in a positive perspective. Yes, Airtel is still the premium broadband service overall, we are only cribbing about SmartBytes ‘selling’ practices and even their email marketing practices from which one cannot opt out of.

      • govind prasad 25. Jan, 2014 at 9:56 pm #

        Dear Ajith, The elapsed period of one month since my last post has left me frustrated. I now find that my daily usage has gone upto 2 to 2.5 GB (with normal browsing and you tube clip watching, nothing much in form of downloading movies etc) and the 80 GB limit getting expended within 22-25 days. Do not understand the reason why. I was very happy earlier but now feel all this points to a sinister plan

  13. rahul sharma 22. Dec, 2013 at 12:10 am #

    i am too facing this problem of smart bytes as i am using 1mbps plan and 25 gbps limit is alredy up in 5 days. after that smartbytes. very fraud system of the airtel. how can they do this type of disgusting & cheap type of business. This sounds like that “SIR WE ARE GIVING YOU THIS PLAN. BUT WE ARE NOT SURE THAT WHEN COMPANY WILL CLOSE IT.”
    FRAUD FRAUD

  14. Vinod Kumar 11. Jan, 2014 at 10:09 pm #

    airtel is the best internet service provider in india in wired broadband…

    • Ajith Prasad Edassery 16. Jan, 2014 at 9:16 pm #

      I don’t deny that – we are only talking about their bad and unethical implementation of SmartBytes

  15. HARSH lakhera 21. Jan, 2014 at 6:06 pm #

    i am too facing this problem of smart bytes as i am using 1mbps plan and 25 gbps limit is alredy up in 5 days. after that smartbytes. very fraud system of the airtel. i have a dsl connection at my house and recently i opted for wifi for my wifes laptop and a desktop used by me.since then i am getting emails from airtel to go for smartbytes.is it advisable

  16. rishi 22. Jan, 2014 at 7:23 pm #

    I have just returned back from travel after 12 days and no bandwidth..! All the more this time no smartbytes page appeared as well leaving me perplexed of “what the hell happened”.
    The challenge with smartbytes seems to be perennial , even occurred last month with 15 GB getting exhausted in a whopping 7 meager days me having no idea (knoing my limited usage with no movie downloads or gaming).

    I have just now upgraded to 8MBPS , 15GB Data Plan just to check how this thing really works. Perhaps i may follow the same path of sending them a notice if the problem persists.

    rishi

  17. Ajith Prasad Edassery 23. Jan, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

    @Rahul, @Harsha and @Rishi, please check for any possible Wifi hackers since your bandwidth is getting exhausted so fast. One good way to test is to switch off Wifi and work on LAN cable mode for a week and see if there’s any change in consumption. Wifi logging, Hiding SSID, restricting by MAC address to your devices alone are other ways of checking hackers on top of having selected the best security protocol in settings.

    • Ahamed 05. Feb, 2014 at 7:10 am #

      I have an secured network and the credentials are shared with the guests (small hotel with 30 room). I got a mail saying smartbytes purchase has been made for 25gb and when I call 121 they are telling only way to prevent unwanted purchase is “not to share WiFi credentials to guests” Now what kind of stupidity is that.

      What does WiFi credentials have to do with internet purchase !!!!!

      Smartbytes is a good way to track usages .. YES, But the purchases be it any, needs to be verified if it’s credible. Airtel really is scamming the customers with their smartbytes service counting on customer ignorance or having the excuse that you shared the WiFi credentials.

      I really don’t know what to be done on this regard. This loophole from airtel counts for lot of misuse and. I wonder if they have kept this option purposefully to make customers a fool.. when we have all the purchases requring 2-3 verifications.. airtel conveniently giving customer an user-friendly interface.

  18. Vishal Kalra 11. Feb, 2014 at 7:36 am #

    I have been using airtel bb for over 5 years now on my current address. i have been facing issue with smart bytes too.
    1) The connection runs smooth till i have the high speed quota left and right after it ends my connections drops like a Mother F****!
    2)Now there is no option of continuing as per plan,so i have to constantly try and open new pages to get rid of the redirection for good five minutes.

  19. Piya Sen 19. Feb, 2014 at 7:40 pm #

    I have been using Airtel broadband from 2007 but since they have introduced smart bytes in Airtel my high speed gets exhausted in 10 days of the cycle, however, this was not the case earlier. Clearly indicated the fraud.

  20. Richa 21. Feb, 2014 at 8:38 am #

    Hey Ajith,

    Did you finally get a resolution to this?
    I have lost so much of my work several times because of the redirection crap.

    Hoping for a ray of light!!

    Richa

    • Ajith Prasad Edassery 01. Mar, 2014 at 12:58 am #

      Richa, Technically not yet… But I had to upgrade my package for 40GB limit to make this problem disappear.

  21. Narendra Singh Mahara 15. Mar, 2014 at 10:13 am #

    Hi everybody. I have 30GB limit but on average I am using up 1GB minimum everyday, only in normal websurfing, sometimes even without using internet. I am thoroughly fed up with Airtel’s scam. I want to give up this connection, but first I would like to know a better alternative. Any suggestions please? BTW I stay in Delhi, Mayur Vihar area.

  22. Pawan 31. Mar, 2014 at 10:34 am #

    Mittal has turned Airtel into a big scam spinner as his egoistic expansion in africa is loosing money. He can do this only in India where regulators are weak. In other countries he would have been penalized or worst behind bars. Imagine taking 40 GB pack and start receiving pop ups from 15 days onwards once u consume 80%. Its users discreation how they use the their quota.

  23. sagbee 11. Apr, 2014 at 10:40 pm #

    Ajith, you must or should have some kind of vote/polls section so one day airtel people can see that how many of people are really fedup with this issue.

    A technology must use for people sake, and it should continuously improve…

  24. PRAVEEN 27. Apr, 2014 at 9:39 pm #

    Airtel.. If u r listening.. On top of being harassed as Ajith has been, there is an evn graver issue with smartbytes.. After finishing my quota of GBs if I try to get smartbytes through my ipad I don’t get the smartbytes.. :(.
    The page just keeps refreshing without actually giving me the extra GBs !
    My laptop doesn’t work anymore and using my iPad I can’t get the GBs.
    Each time need to call up the helpline .. Utterly frustrating.

  25. Gogol 08. May, 2014 at 2:33 pm #

    Don’t listen to these dumb airtel representatives “willing” to help you on internet. They do nothing actually. It’s all ORM techniques. Airtel broadband, as well as mobile network is scam. I have placed report against them in consumer complaints already. Do the same please.

  26. Chandru 15. Oct, 2014 at 1:07 pm #

    Block the port 8080 to prevent any smartbytes to go through.. usually they use following method to redirect to smartbytes page: EX : http://122.160.230.125:8080/vta/redirectedPage.do

    So it is safe to block 8080 port

  27. Prakash Pantham 31. Jan, 2015 at 8:24 am #

    Their scan has got even bold now.

    The option to continue with the existing plan (i.e. not buy an additional data pack) is not longer available. The only way to move ahead with your internet activity is to close the window/tab and open a new one. This means that if you are busy with any kind of banking activity, you are screwed.

  28. Praveen 21. Mar, 2015 at 10:10 am #

    Airtel believes its customers are dumb, so they added smart-bytes. Recently I lost my ticket booking amount I paid online because the stupid smart-bytes popup came up in the middle of the transaction. Though the website refunded my money 3 days later, I lost the opportunity to take the ticket at the low prices at that time.

  29. Manish Gupta 22. Mar, 2015 at 8:06 pm #

    I have been using Airtel for a while now. I guess, I am their next target for selling Smart Bytes through bogus accounting. This month, they claimed that I have consumed my monthly quota of 50GB within first 10 days. Since I did not monitor, and I urgently needed some work to get done, I paid for 12GB smartbytes. TO my shock, within a day, my account was reset back to zero bytes, with the claim that I have consumed 12GB in less than 2 days. No proofs have been provided that what the data was consumed for, what sites were visited, what was downloaded … I know for sure, that this is not possible. I have filed a ticket but reading this and many other articles, I have less hopes that Airtel will do much to help.

    It is very sad to see the #1 ISP in the country, which has a potential to compete globally, uses such tactics to make money. Very disappointed. If this does not work, I will try some other local network provider… not many choices available though but can not accept such practices to waste hard earned money.

  30. yashu 18. Apr, 2015 at 10:48 pm #

    This is nothing new…

    airtel has something running in background which shows abnormal consumption of data. No matter what you do you high speed data limit will exhaust within 15 days.

    i had mine expired when my connection was not working for about a month and i received a mail regarding exhaustion of data limit. i am already shifting back to BSNL. Atleast they dont cheat on you like AIRTEL.

    • Rahul 30. Apr, 2015 at 12:20 am #

      Airtel are fraud.. Fraudtel

      I was under 1999 – 16Mbps – 80GB plan ( bangalore)

      Last week they introduced new plans – 1349- 16Mbps – 80GB

      they never bothered to inform me of new plan,but i keep checking airtel website periodically (from my past experience).I immediately requested for new plan..

      Today to my utter disbelief they gave me Rs 1099 – 8Mbps -60GB plan

      When i called up customer care they said feasibility issue.When i replied that i am already using 16Mbps from past 1 year they said.. Our system is not accepting.We cant offer u price cuts.Later they passed on phone to Mr Shan Floor manager & he comes up with ridiculous argument.He says that we cant offer 16Mbps because of frequent disconnection.I replied that i have never faced disconnection in past one year.He then suggests that he can revert be back to 1749 old plan but cant offer me 1349.I asked him why? he hangs up phone…

      I have emailed to top officals of Airtel because going to appelate n nodal officer ( email phone is waste of time) i have created new twitter id & will take up this issue in SM with some activists time that Airtel be hacked n tango down.. lets show them power of Common man i already mailed my issue to Anon Hacker group n i have also found many such complains in other forums so lets teach FraudTel lesson of life time.

      • Ajith Prasad Edassery 30. Apr, 2015 at 11:42 am #

        Rahul,
        Sorry to hear that. Yes, they do these kind of things and sometimes won’t give the full benefit to existing customers. I have been one for 8 years and every time we have to call them up to change the plan instead of automatically applying the reduced plan. Unlike your experience though, recently I managed to reduce the bill amount via the new packages for the same BW/FUP.

  31. Gopi 13. Jun, 2015 at 10:43 am #

    I had 25 MB plan till last month. I have upgraded to 60 GB for incremental billing. The irritating airtel smartbytes page is coming up on the 4th day of my new plan. I am struggling to understand how do they measure 60 GB. There is no one in airtel able to give the details.

    Can anyone throw more light on this. On the other front, if we connect ethernet instead of wireless at home, will it save the bandwidth.. (I know it depends on where the data is measured by airtel). I am forcing them to disconnect this service and planning to go for ACT Broadband in Bangalore. DO you have any view?

  32. Ashish 25. Sep, 2015 at 10:52 pm #

    I never got any of these symptoms. I have been using broadband since 2011. Never got any payment error, data cutting, or any other form of malpractice. I started off with a 5GB plan, and then upgraded it once to 30GB, and finally to 60 GB. No issues so far!

  33. Subir Gupta 15. Oct, 2015 at 1:54 pm #

    I am using Airtel 4G lite connection for more than a year. Earlier as I consumed my plan limit, speed would drop.But now they have innovated a new system to cheat customers. After use of plan limit, the speed will not drop nor they will send a SMS alert, but they will charge the additional usage beyond Plan limit at an exorbitant rate of about Rs 2000.00 per GB.So if the consumer is not alert and check the usage regularly, he will be served with a surprising bill.This is a bad practice to squeeze out customer for extra amount than regular bill amount.I do not know if there is any third party ombudsman to resolve the dispute with the telcos. TRAI will not do any thing they will simply monitor the complaint disposal process.If any member of the forum is aware of any such authority other than consumer grievance court, I may please be informed

  34. Nimmi Jain 29. Oct, 2015 at 7:01 pm #

    This is really scary. God knows how I consumed 8GB in 8 days. So I purchased so called stupid smart bytes 449/- pack. Now I have 10 Gb that I need to finish on 2 Nov. Means it is our fault that Airtel has stupid billing cycle period date or I say its a scam. What is the use of purchasing data if they cannot give proper data use validity .

    Now after reading comment, I think i m suffering from a small issue.

    Anybody using internet at 512 kbps (after net pack get over)? Howz is it? I cant buy smart bytes.

    Also, would I be charging again for smart bytes again next month? How should I stop this for next month?

    Please suggest something.

    • Ajith Prasad Edassery 30. Oct, 2015 at 8:31 am #

      SmartBytes packages are one time purchases. So, you won’t be charged next month. If you want it next month, you need to purchase again.

      After the packet FUP is over, the speed of 512Kbps is effected and it’s good enough to do basic net browsing, basic Social Media apps, check your emails etc. It won’t be good enough to download/watch videos though.

      • mkln 20. Feb, 2016 at 3:22 am #

        Dear sir how to surrender my airtel land line because i dont want to suffer from smartbytes as mentioned by you here pls reply regards

  35. manas 15. Dec, 2015 at 11:51 pm #

    my 80 gb data plan got over in 8 days don’t know how. 2 days they had issue with cable and there was no internet

    also upload + download bytes are included.

    worst – I am seeing at nights (1 am to 6 am) there is download uploads of max 30 -40 mbs, how is that possible.

    God pl. save us from airtel. Fraudest company ever in this earth

  36. Piyush Kedia 08. Oct, 2016 at 1:38 pm #

    Please deactivate my pack of 60 gb costing rupees 1499 . It was done automatically. Please deactivate it .

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