Dear Mr Arun Sarin,

If Vodafone continues to trail Airtel and Reliance in the Indian market, please don’t let your executives whine about the “new hurdles every day” in emerging markets. That’s not the problem.

In April I got a new 3G-capable Android tablet. Naturally, I wanted a SIM card for it; and since my mobile already uses Airtel, I thought I’d try Vodafone.

Big mistake. The 3G download speeds were consistently terrible — worse than 2G (EDGE). And this was true both with the tablet and with my 3G Mobile Phone.

After about 3 weeks I went to the store where I’d bought the SIM, to complain. I demonstrated, in their store, the difference in download speeds, both with the tablet and with my phone, between my Airtel SIM and their Vodafone one.

To rule out the possibility of a defective SIM, I asked them for a “known good” SIM, that they use for demonstration purposes. Same story.

So I asked to surrender my connection. They tried to claim that they will charge me cancellation penalties. I said that I will pay outstanding dues but if there is any additional charge I will go to the consumer court. Finally, they agreed to cancel for outstanding dues only, charged me for the data I had used, gave me a receipt, and promised me that they would not contact me again.

End of story? No.

This week, I have been bombarded with calls from Vodafone about my alleged outstanding bill. I tell them each time that I surrendered the SIM card in early May and paid all outstanding dues at that time. (Side note: I got a BSNL SIM card in May and have been pretty happy with it.)

If I get one more call from Vodafone, the consumer court it is.

Anyone else with similar experiences?

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