Why can’t I pay my bill?

I use Tata Indicom’s broadband as my home connection (plugged into a wifi router, to allow me complete freedom of movement in the apartment, but that’s a different story), and I love it. Last I checked at www.calcuttatelephones.com (their speed checking tool has been mentioned on BBC’s Click), the connection (marketed as a 512 mbps connection) competes well with T1 lines. Impressive! There have been a few outages – 2 to 3 maximum since I have subscribed, but the helpline is helpful and they get the connection up in less than half a day everytime.

What really bothers me is their online presence.

Simple task: I have been getting calls from their collection people asking me to pay the due bill. So I want to make an online payment.

The usual routine with most vendors for this is: sign in to the website, click on Pay Bill, log in, follow instructions, enter card/account information, get confirmation from account provider, and you are done.

But with Tata Indicom, it does not work that way. What I need to do is, click on Pay Your Bill Online Here, log in, they should show me my outstanding, I select payment mode, confirm, read terms, confirm, log in again, on which I am directed to the usual post-login screen (the welcome user screen), then I click Pay Bill again, on which I am asked to log in again, and then I go through either of the two routes again (see my outstanding or the welcome screen). So far I have “logged in” some twenty five times since morning, but I have not once reached the screen where I am supposed to enter my account/card information for the payment processing people.

And I’m sure I’ll keep getting those payment collection calls. When I’d tell them that the site is not working, they’d say “Yes sir, we know it can cause problems sometimes, should I send someone over to collect a cheque?”

India’s biggest business house. Internet service provider. They are in the business of technology – the internet. Their core service is fantastic. How much effort or money does it take to smoothen this part of the user experience – the one where the customer is willing to pay their bill, but is unable to do so with ease? It’s not that they can’t do it. So why the negligence, why the apathy?

5 thoughts on “Why can’t I pay my bill?

  1. Its the same story all over. One of my idea phones does not work right now for the same reason. I’m travelling and they just don’t understand the issues.First, they want to make it easy enough for the netizen to use their services. Which don’t work. And then they end up telling the ‘other’ non-netted people how they can pay their bills online.I mean wtf?


  2. Amit,There are two things that suck for sure: online payment systems and customer care. You can see it everywhere, in banks, in post offices, Reliance Outlets, Malls etc. idea, motorola, reliance have managed to annoy me so far. as Kiran Rajpal said, all we can say is “WTF” PS: Please fix the link in your post.


  3. Update:I was able to pay the bill from home. I wonder how the system worked the first time itself – I’m using the same browser, FF3. Maybe they favour Ubuntu :)@KThanks for pointing out the error. It’s fixed now.


  4. @Karan – The idea site works well; I have been paying my Idea bill online for the past two years now.@Amit – Your office browser might have been configured not to accept any cookies, and the tata site might be using cookies for user authentication 🙂


  5. @PrasadMy office browser might have been configured to…???You remember who you are talking to don’t you? This is the same person who tested five browsers and wrote about the test on his blog… all from the same office laptop sitting in the client’s office :DNot showing off my prowess, just showing off the freedom I enjoy here. So browser configs are in my control, not the IT people’s.Ergo, either the site sucks or it favours Linux over Windows. Oh sorry, if the latter then the former too 😀


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