Is an SMS bug in Airtel’s Blackberry service causing messages to expire early

“Message expired by service”

For the last two years I have been facing this problem in the SMS service of Airtel when using a Blackberry handset. Today after many attempts with the Airtel technical team, who appear determined to find a solution, I have confirmed this problem with other Blackberry users of Airtel.

In normal course, if I send a SMS message to a destination phone that is either switched off or out of network coverage area, the message should remain in the queue on the network for up to three days and get delivered to the destination phone once it is switched back on or comes back in to network coverage.


However when sending with a Blackberry instrument, users will observe that in a short span of time, could be seconds to a few hours, they will get the dreaded red X mark with a “message expired by service” report.

Resolution
Call up 198 or 121 from your Airtel mobile and lodge a complaint. There customer service/technical support team will ask you to call 7070 and speak to the Airtel Blackberry team. Tell them you have already spoken and the team has confirmed there is no problem with your handset. Only then will they will take your complaint. Take the compliant number. Also ask them for the phone number for the escalation/appellate department. In Bangalore it is 99725-44865. Call the escalation department after 24 hours and escalate your complaint.

My complaint number is 36983652. May be the escalation department will be willing to tack on your complaint on to mine. Who knows.

Image taken with Screen Grabber. Download it free from BlackBerry App World

Airtel – The Atoot-Toota network
For quite some time, Airtel has been advertising a tagline “Atoot Bandhan, Atoot Network” (unbreakable relations, unbreakable network). From the Airtel side, they may well view their network as ATOOT (unbreakable), however if we flip the perspective to the customer and flip the word ATOOT, the word we get is TOOTA which means broken.
We consumers really do not have much of a choice. Vodafone and Airtel and others share their cell tower infrastructure. Better to remain with a known devil than the unknown.

May be the best advertising tag line for all the cellular companies would be “We’re no worse than the other guy”.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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