Wednesday Closing Report: Sensex flat for now; but it’s not a plateau

The indices witnessed another choppy session on the lack of any positive trigger. Quarterly results of Indian companies were mixed, as a result of which investors chose to wait and watch before making any fresh move.

The market opened lower today, tracking unsupportive global cues. Volatility continued for another day, with the indices moving on both sides of the neutral line on quite a few occasions. Every move into the green was followed by a dip into the negative territory. However, the broader indices stood firm trading with good gains today.

The see-saw continued unabated in the post-noon session with the indices touching the day’s lows towards the close of trade but the market managed to end the session just above that figure.

The Sensex ended 56.77 points (0.27%) down at 20,875, struggling hard to regain the highs seen last week. The benchmark touched an intraday high of 20,971 and a low of 20,850 during the session. The Nifty settled at 6,275, down 25.85 points (0.41%). The index swung between a high-low of 6,307 and 6,269, respectively.

The market breadth was tilted in favour of the declining stocks today. The Sensex closed with 19 gainers and 11 declining stocks. The Nifty list had 34 stocks that ended lower against 16 stocks that edged higher. The broader indices outperformed the key benchmarks today. The BSE Mid-cap gained 0.29% while the BSE Small-cap index surged 0.86%.

The top gainers on the Sensex were Mahindra & Mahindra (up 3.05%), Tata Motors (up 2.49%), Infosys (up 1.01%), Wipro (up 0.80%) and Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (up 0.71%). On the other hand, the laggards included Cipla (down 1.96%), State Bank of India (down 1.78%), Bharti Airtel (down 1.77%), BHEL (down 1.74%) and Hindalco Industries (down 1.60%).

BSE Consumer Durables (up 4.78%), BSE Auto (up 1.12%), BSE IT (up 0.73%) and BSE TECk (up 0.31%) were the sectoral gainers today. The sectoral losers were led by BSE Fast Moving Consumer Goods (down 0.99%), BSE Bankex (down 0.76%) and BSE Capital Goods (down 0.71%).

Markets in Asia settled mixed on speculations that the Chinese government will initiate fresh measures to curb rising property prices. On the other hand, financial stocks led the gains on the Nikkei on hopes that global regulations would not impact the country’s banks.

The Jakarta Composite gained 0.52%, KLSE Composite added 0.10%, Nikkei 225 jumped 1.40%, Seoul Composite surged 1.05% and Taiwan Weighted gained 0.06%. On the other hand, the Shanghai Composite was down 0.63%, the Hang Seng was down 0.85% and Straits Times fell 0.74% today.

Domestic passenger car sales jumped by 37.99% to 1,82,992 units in October compared to 1,32,615 units in the same month last year. According to the figures released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) today, motorcycle sales in the country during the month grew by 43.31% to 8,76,810 units from 6,11,828 units in the same month last year.

The US markets closed in the red for the second day in a row on Tuesday, as investors questioned the viability of the Fed’s stimulus package announced last week. Besides, inventories at US wholesalers grew more than twice as much as expected in September. While some see the build-up as a sign of higher demand, others are worried that supply would outstrip demand.

The Dow declined 60.09 points (0.53%) to 11,346. The S&P 500 shed 9.85 points (0.81%) to 1,213. The Nasdaq fell 17.07 points (0.66%) to settle at 2,563.

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) today said it has submitted to the government the report on the second generation (2G) spectrum allotment that may have caused a loss of over Rs1.76 lakh crore to the exchequer.

Sources in the know say that the CAG has accused the telecom ministry for undervaluing 2G spectrum, sold to new players in 2008, and held that the allotment price was not realistic, which has caused a revenue loss of Rs1,76,700 crore to the government.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of stocks worth Rs474 crore on Tuesday. Domestic institutional investors were net sellers of equities worth 528 crore on the same day.

Realty major Parsvnath Developers (down 0.46%) is likely to raise about Rs100 crore this month by selling stake in a housing project to private equity firm.

The company is in talks are with couple of private equity (PE) firms and deal is likely to be finalised this month, according to sources. The company plans to dilute stake in a housing project, they added.

Tata Motors (up 2.49%) today said it would ask Nano customers to bring back their cars to add safety devices free of cost to prevent the vehicles from catching fire, but insisted it was not a “recall.” The company, however, said that the addition of safety devices, a lesson learnt from some of its brand new Nanos catching fire, was optional.

After these incidents, Tatas had engaged experts to get into the details for the cause of the mishaps, and its internal report had said that there was no manufacturing defect.

OP Jindal Group company Jindal Saw (down 1.81%) has bagged orders worth over Rs600 crore from domestic and overseas markets for supply of pipes, used for the transportation of oil and gas.

With these contracts, the total order book of the company stands at about Rs4,000 crore, it added.

User

Airtel calls for 'dues' that it says it forgot to bill earlier

Over the past few months, the complaints against Airtel and its customer service are on the rise. Many subscribers are alleging that they have to face ‘arrogant and rude’ behaviour from Airtel's customer service representatives

Bharti Airtel Ltd, the country's largest telecom company, is asking a few of its subscribers to pay money which it claims to have "forgotten to bill" in previous months. While this has left a number of Airtel subscribers fuming, the company is citing a "technical error" as the reason for not mentioning these amounts in previous bills.

Over the past few months, the complaints against Airtel and its customer service are on the rise. Many subscribers who had interacted with Airtel said that its customer service is far away from being customer-friendly and is 'arrogant' most of the times. The company also refuses to follow and respect the guidelines laid down for interaction with Consumer Advocacy Groups.

Even Airtel's media relations department behaves in the same manner. They don't even acknowledge any communication. Our emails sent to all concerned persons from its corporate communications department remained unanswered till the time of writing this story.

An Airtel subscriber said, "I usually get a bill of Rs1,500 every month. However, this month Airtel sent me a bill of Rs3,000. When I asked about the sudden increase in the amount, they told me that due to (a) technical error, they had not billed (me) for a few days of the last month and so they have added it to this month's bill."

Another subscriber had a similar story, "Yesterday, I got a call from Airtel saying due to a technical error they under-billed me Rs600 three months back and have added that to this month's bill and that I need to pay it. They have not sent me any details and this raises a serious question. If mobile operators can just call and say they forgot to bill and now you have to pay extra, as a customer, what records or access to data do you have to verify whether it (the claim) is correct or not?"

But this is not the only case where Airtel is asking more money from its subscribers. And when it comes to prepaid subscribers and value added services (VAS), every mobile service provider mints money through various methods.

Sometime back, when this reporter was using an Airtel prepaid connection, I used to be charged some money everyday under the pretext of horoscope, jokes, caller tunes and similar uncalled-for 'value-added' services, without subscription or any confirmation of subscription from the customer's end.

Here is yet another case of a prepaid Airtel subscriber.

The subscriber, Mr Bhandare, had been receiving an SMS informing him that he has been renewed for 'free bikini alerts' for three days and had been charged Re1. He never even subscribed for the service and when he sent an SMS saying 'STOP' to 121 (Airtel's customer service number), he got a response that there are no services against his number! After being charged for 'bikini alerts' four-five times, this gentleman (aged 73) decided to disconnect his Airtel number and opted for other service.

Airtel did not even spare the Consumer Court. In a case filed against the mobile service provider by Amandeep Singh Rekhi, the Court mentioned that despite taking various adjournments the opposite party (Airtel) failed to file a reply to the complaint and as such their defence was struck down. The Court asked Airtel to restore Mr Rekhi's connection immediately and pay him compensation of Rs10,000 for causing harassment and litigation cost of Rs2,000.

Bharti Airtel's customer service and its approach are quite strange, that too at times when the industry is gearing up for mobile number portability (MNP).

MNP would allow subscribers to switch/change their mobile service provider while retaining the number. (See: http://www.moneylife.in/article/8/5586.html). Post MNP, it is assumed that a large number of subscribers, especially from the prepaid category, would move to other carriers due to unsatisfactory customer service and unwarranted charges.

User

COMMENTS

K B Patil

6 years ago

Inspite of the adverse comments in Moneylife, Airtel continues it's perverse behaviour. For instance, my landline bill (A/C No. 10766913) for Rs. 1029 was paid by me, in cash, on 13th December 2010. The cash was paid at the same Airtel outlet from where I have been paying my landline and mobile bills for the last five to six years. A couple of weeks ago, I received a phone call from Airtel asking for details. I furnished the same. Even after that I am continuing to get calls asking for the same info. I have sent about 5 emails to al known Airtel ids including their nodal officer saying that I am willing to show receipts of not just one month but for the last five odd years. Yet, Airtel is so annoying and have failed to reiciprocate in a sensible manner.

Even in regard to a temporary connection, complaint reference number no. 1609201016454 dated 16 sep 2010. My first complaint was in January 2010, in which the last bill of Rs. 661 was paid on 16 December 2009, this amount of Rs.661 was deducted from my security deposit of Rs.1000 while refunding it. The reason for their deduction being that they have no record for my having paid the amount. I have the receipt for having made the payment but it looks like they are too busy to even think of this small sum.

Regarding mobile also, I have 2 add on sim cards apart from the one I use, my experience about unwanted value added services has been the same painful one like many other hapless Airtel subscribers. I am just waiting for mobile portability. If they dont change their shameless behavior, I am going to switch. Nothing can be worse than my current experience.

REPLY

Avinash Murkute

In Reply to K B Patil 6 years ago

Good case study. Now someone who is reading this on behalf of Airtle, justifies the salary of their Nodal Offiicers!

airtel presence

6 years ago

Dear All,

This is to inform you that your concern listed has been noted and our team is eager to resolve it. In order to get to the resolution, we need to get in touch with you and gather more details about the concern. However, we are restricted by the absence of your contact details in your original complaint. Please do write to us at [email protected] with your contact details (address and landline or mobile phone number).

We assure you that we are committed to resolving the issue to your satisfaction.

Regards,
Rakesh Kumar
Airtel Customer Service Team

REPLY

MDT

In Reply to airtel presence 6 years ago

Dear Airtel Custormer Service Team at Airtel Presence...
First try to read the mail people sent you earlier and reply. Then only go and post comments like "We assure you that we are committed to resolving the issue to your satisfaction."

Avinash Murkute

In Reply to MDT 6 years ago

Nice reply.

Deepak Challam

6 years ago

The problems with Airtel's Phone services pale in comparision to the problems with their DTH service. Woe betide anyone who orders either through their call center or the Web. I've paid 5.5k 5 days ago and still have no commitment from Airtel as to when installation will be done. Their call center staff are clueless and hopeless. I would like to get my money back, but how?

Avinash Murkute

6 years ago

Recently Airtel was penalised 25 K fine by consumer court of Pune. The order was passed ex-parte as Company failed to represent. One more interesting case is pending before the same court. Wherein consumer wants to pay o/s dues towards him to the Company but here also Company is not responding to summons passed by CF. Suggestion to CS Team of Airtel: Strengthen your Grievance Escalation mechanism and replace your existing CRM application wherein you don't have any control over customer communications.

Airtel

6 years ago

Dear Customer (Moneylife Digital Team),

This is to inform you that your concern listed 10 Nov. 2010 has been noted and our team is eager to resolve it. In order to get to the resolution, we need to get in touch with you and gather more details about the concern. However, we are restricted by the absence of your contact details in your original complaint. Please do write to us at [email protected] with your contact details (address and landline or mobile phone number).

We assure you that we are committed to resolving the issue to your satisfaction.

Regards,
Rakesh Ranga
Airtel Customer Service Team

K B Patil

6 years ago

They are really losing goodwill from their subscribers for paltry sums of Rs.50. First, you get a SMS under the guise of service messages. Since it is your service provider, you open it and you are then "trapped" for such services as pics of "bikini beauties" for a month for a sum of Rs.50. Their whole method of getting subscribers for unwanted services is questionable. The genius in Airtel who designed this method to trap subscribers deserves to be put behind bars. Apart from this, we now get unwanted smses throughtout the day. I guess lots of customers are waiting for MNP. It is almost impossible to get through on their contact nos. to speak to anybody in customer care. I am fighting with them since January for a refund of Rs.600.

p y k

6 years ago

classic case of how to loose customers without trying!!!! a case study can be made out of it. we really need strong pro-consumer laws like in say us , so that consumers are not taken for ride. but then ,this is india, everything is negotiable.

jim

6 years ago

It is absolutely true. My parents have an Airtel pre-paid connection. Airtel service is pathetic and terrible. Everyday they cut Rs. 5/- under the pretext of Value added service and send some cicket score updates. These services were never subscribed by my parents yet the balance is cut everday. Customer Care people are equally idiotic and behave very arrogantly. No wonder that Airtel is going down every day.

malq

6 years ago

The latest quarterly income and earnings drop in Bharti Airtel's results probably exlain why. Switch to the new schemes from MTNL/BSNL, enjoy far better coverage on an all India basis especially when travelling, and leave your old Airtel number on the cheapest deal possible for receiving calls announcing your new number, only.

SpiceJet: Smooth takeoff, turbulent landing

The negative route that this campaign has taken is pretty interesting, but the commercials leave you as cold as airline food

Low-cost carrier, SpiceJet, has been running 'negative' advertising to make its presence felt. In the sense that they trash stuff dished out by other airlines to make their own offerings appear to be superior. |

It's not a bad idea, given the number of more high-profile airlines in the Indian skies. But then the renditions of the thought have to be stark and witty for the idea to work. Else, it crash lands.

The earlier ads in the campaign, if you recall, featured the voiceover of actor Boman Irani, as he brought out the travails of folks who made the 'mistake' of choosing other airlines. In one, a honeymooning couple is allotted seats in different rows. In another, a frequently-flying dad brings home lollipops for his very pissed-off son, because he blew up all his monies on flying. In another one, a broke dude takes his children on vacation to the same destination each year, he is always cash-starved as well.

The series continues, but now they are discussing great food on board SpiceJet. And for some reason, Irani bawa has been dumped and a younger bawa Cyrus Broacha brought in. Though in my view Boman has a better voice, especially for such commercials. In the new TVC, a harried housewife is seen being tormented as she has to wake up at an unearthly hour to serve her hubby a warm meal, as the broke bugger always takes the last, cheapest flight back home. And then we are informed SpiceJet now serves you piping hot meals, so no need to disturb the missus. Another commercial is quite off-putting. In this one, a passenger's tummy sends out loud noises, thus upsetting fellow passengers. No, he hasn't wrapped a bomb around his body (though that's what American passengers would presume), he's refused to eat the cold food served on board a rival airline, and his stomach is protesting loudly.

Well, like as I said, while the negative route is pretty interesting, the commercials leave you as cold as airline food. They are too literal, non-humorous (despite Boman and Cyrus doing their bit in the audio) and un-engaging. One needed very surprising solutions to pull off this strategy. And when they have tried to the push the envelope a bit, through the stomach-churning ad, it actually makes the viewer's stomach churn rather than leave a favourable impact. Net-net: SpiceJet has hit a creative air pocket.

Before I go away, two important questions: One, does SpiceJet offer the meals for free, or will I have to pay big bucks to get my hands on them? That is left unanswered. Two, if these low-costers are too broke to serve us a bottle of water on board, how do they find monies for such a massive marketing blitzkrieg on TV?

User

COMMENTS

ucd

6 years ago

Spicejet, for one, does not provide landline or mobile numbers at the airport to enquire about delayed flts. The toll-free number, with its myriad prompts of press this and press that, takes the best part of half-an-hour to get any results. All we want to know is what happened to the flight that was scheduled to leave 90 minutes ago and has not arrived destination after a 60-minute flight duration. And we would like a human beding to answer that unusual situation!

yash singh

6 years ago

What rubbish!! they do serve water as much as u want ...who told u this may be u didnt travel by either of them. food prices are reasonable ...they are running an airline for profit..that is hw they get money

V Malik

6 years ago

Ample potable water onboard for providing to passengers is a requirement for aircraft licencing as per DGCA and while you can not fight for free drinking water on board, you can surely buy a bottle, and then write a letter with the receipt, complaining that you were not provided with drinking water.

REPLY

abc

In Reply to V Malik 6 years ago

Who has the time to send a complain ? we all have work to do not sit useless like u .. Anil has a valid point

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