Friday, February 8, 2013

Warning to Airtel Nigeria Internet users

Airtel has a pattern "chopping" or exhausting the entire credit balance on your phone or modem if your data plan ends. This has happened to many people.

In my case, I got a notice that my plan would auto-renew in a few days, so I added 8000 naira credit to allow the auto-renewal. The next day, the plan ended because the gigabytes were exhausted. Airtel did not renew the plan despite the credit on my phone, they simply charged me the whole 8000 for "browsing without a plan," while never informing me that I was doing so.

Despite several useless phone calls to customer service (where they did not even know where my city Jos was), an hour in person with the local customer service, and an appeal to the manager, Airtel insisted that I was at fault, and they would not give a refund.

I know some other providers (MTN, I think) will drop the data connection until you explicitly say you want to continue without a plan, but Airtel conveniently "forgets" to let you know; you simply move with no notice from operating under your plan to exhausting your credit balance. While Airtel has provided good service, this fact would make me cautious about recommending it. I understand that Glo is also very good, but don't know how they handle this billing issue. Furthermore, Glo's Plans are cheaper with 7,500 naira for 8 GB as opposed to 8,000 naira for 5 GB with Airtel.