Guest Article

Keeping you connected during COVID – 19

A lot has changed over the past few days. We are now in the middle of a nation-wide lock-down. This is a situation that none of us have confronted before. Large swathes of the country are now at a stand-still. Our own lives have been turned upside down – our social interactions, our physical contact, even our walking around – simple things that we take for granted have changed. At the same time, so many millions have been displaced and their livelihoods shattered. Our thoughts and prayers are with them. We also want to salute all those who are putting themselves at risk and going above and beyond in the current crisis to serve the nation at large. You inspire us.

At Airtel, we know that we have a critical part to play in this incredibly difficult time. The onus is on us to make sure that you stay connected with your loved ones and are also able to work effectively from home. I am grateful that despite the lock-down, we continue to serve your connectivity needs. I want to assure you that even in the current time of crisis, we are determined to do everything we can, in order to ensure that you continue to enjoy a seamless and brilliant network experience. To that effect, I wanted to share with you some of the steps we have taken and how you can help.

1) Network Experience: We have been working relentlessly to ensure uninterrupted mobile and broadband services for all our Retail and Enterprise customers. Our network operating centers and data centers are totally operational to ensure smooth functioning of the network. Our field staff is still on the road to ensure speedy provisioning of new connections and quick fixing of faults. Further, we have advanced investments and have added capacities to meet the surge in data demand.

2) Digital Recharges: We highly recommend that you stay safe and use our digital medium to recharge. You can also help, do your bit, and recharge for those around you, who do not have access to a digital channel. You can recharge at www.airtel.in or through the Airtel Thanks app.

3) Alternate Channels: We also recognize that there is a large population which isn’t online and is unable to recharge at their regular retailers. To address that, we have activated several new channels – bank ATMs, pharmacies as well as grocery stores. We also want to thank our partners – HDFC, ICICI, Apollo and Big Bazaar – who have helped us enable this in a span of days.

4) Self-care: While we try our best, we recognize that there may be some problems or issues that you may face. We urge you to use our digital medium to raise your query/concern because our call centers are running at reduced capacity. We have strengthened our IVR, which can now address 98% of all your concerns. In case the IVR can’t resolve it, we have enabled a functionality that allows you to create a ticket on the IVR itself. Or better still you can raise your issue through the Airtel Thanks app. Rest assured, once raised digitally, we will address it on priority.

5) Help the under-privileged: We recognize that there are millions of migrant workers and daily wage earners who have been impacted due to the nationwide lock-down. To support them and to make sure that they remain connected, we have extended validity for over 80 million customers and have also credited talk-time in their accounts so that they can make critical calls/SMS. In addition, to support government efforts, Bharti Enterprises has pledged a sum of over Rs. 100 crore for India’s fight against COVID-19.

We will continue to assess the situation and keep you informed. As always, we would love to hear your ideas on how we can go the extra mile and help you in this situation. To share your ideas, please reply to this email.

By – Gopal Vittal, CEO Airtel

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