Airtel tops list of companies with max consumer complaints

Airtel tops list of companies with max consumer complaints

New Delhi: India’s largest mobile service provider Bharti Airtel has earned the dubious distinction of being the company facing the largest number of consumer complaints, according to latest government data.

As per the latest data available with the National Consumer Helpline (NCH), as many as 2001 complaint calls were received against Bharti Airtel between March 2010 and February 2011.

This was highest number of complaints against a single company, followed by state-owned telecom major BSNL (1986 complaints), PSU giant Indian Oil (1940), Anil Ambani-led telecom firm Reliance Communications (1792) and Nokia India (1616).

Other companies in the top-ten list in terms of number of complaints included Samsung India (1560), SBI (912), BPCL (872), LIC (626) and ICICI Bank (569).

NCH is a public service project of the Consumer Affairs Ministry run by Delhi University and has been functional since March 2005. It helps consumers in dealing with problems related to defective products, deficiency in services and unfair trade practices.

There are as many as five telecom-related companies in the top ten. It also consists of five public sector firms.

According to a presentation by NCH before the Food and Consumer Affairs minister K V Thomas last week, it has received 67,347 complaint calls between March 2010 and February 2011.

Out of total calls, the maximum complaints (21%) were for defective products followed by telecom (17%) and banking sector (7%).

“This list shows these companies have not been able to handle the issues being faced by their customers, which forces the customers to seek our guidance," NCH’s Principal Investigator Sri Ram Khanna told PTI.

It also sheds light on the management practices, especially customer redressal process of these companies, he added. This shows that these companies failed to solve the problems being faced by their customers, Khanna pointed out.

NCH provides advice to consumers on a three tier model. In the first step, it advices the consumer to approach the concerned organisation. The second step involves helping the consumer approach the regulatory authorities existing in different sectors. The final step is the last option where the consumer is advised to file a case in consumer courts.

NCH has handled 3,48,082 calls till 31 March, 2011.