In the first part of this series, I shared about how my attempts to activate Airtel’s free internet promo on the Nokia Lumia 610 failed again and again. This is an offer bundled with new Nokia Lumia devices. I also mentioned how I intended to visit an Airtel shop to see if it could be sorted out. Well, I did exactly that on Friday. I was among the first five customers at the particular store when the doors were opened for business that day.

Airtel Lumia trial offer

At the Airtel shop, I explained things. I was there with the complete sales pack (which had the promo sticker/label on it) and the bundled microSIM pack. I ensured that the microSIM was in the Lumia 610 already. The first question I was asked was if I was sure that this was the phone that the promo came with. I affirmed that it was and handed the rep both the phone and the pack. Like someone said, I would have expected that a scan of the IMEI number would have been sufficient to verify that information. Then he wondered aloud if the promo had not ended. As his words weren’t directed at me, and since it was his job to find out the status of the promo, I just kept attending to emails on the Sony Xperia P.

He consulted with someone, then got back on his PC. After a while, he asked me to send the code “LUMIA” to 141 again, which I did. I got the same response as before:

Dear customer, this Lumia trial offer is not available for this device. Please insert the SIM into the Nokia device bought for this purpose and try again.

He went at it again, this time for quite a while, and then asked me to re-send the code. I did, but while I received a delivery notification, I got no response. After a wait of about 15 minutes, the rep apologised to me and assured me that “it will come up” in about 24 hours. I left the Airtel shop with an uneasy sense of happiness. That was Friday morning. 24 hours later, and several “LUMIA”s to 141, and I was still getting the same error. 36 hours later, same. This is Monday morning, and it is still the same situation.

Have you ever tried getting to speak with a rep on Airtel’s customer care line before? For the most part, I do not get connected to 111 at all. On a few rare occasions, I do get through to the line, and I am put on hold for a care rep. Then just when the line rings and a rep picks my call and introduces himself, at a point thereabout, the call is terminated. My experience o! It still happened agaain this weekend. It could be a problem with me. Perhaps witches and wizards from the village are on my case. Or perhaps Airtel’s call centre is just wacked.

Here I am unable to reach anyone via 111, and very unwilling to drive up and down in this bustling city just so I can get to speak to a care rep who may or may not know what they are doing anyway. It usually just boils down to frustrated consumers who eventually go their way because it is too much for them to leave their jobs to be running around for what amounts to peanuts in the grand scheme.

By the way, till today, no-one has been able to tell me how much data each month that this trial offer gives me for 3 months – 50MB monthly, 100MB monthly or 200MB monthly? The more you look, the less you see. Unless a miracle happens and Airtel Nigeria actually finds a way to make this trial offer run on my line, don’t expect a third part in this series. My verdict about it? Fail. I will be kind and not call it a scam. Incompetence, perhaps.

Mo Rating: 0 out of 10


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