India, as we all know is composed of urban and rural areas. As per census 2011, about 69% of Indians were living in rural areas, and 31% lived in the urban areas. Comparatively, however, the internet has reached almost 65% of urban India and only 20% of the rural area. As is evident there is a vast disparity between internet penetrations in both the areas. It has also been reported that of the total urban population, only people living in the nine metropolitan cities of India that include the capital city of New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Visakhapatnam, Ahmedabad, and Surat have access to the internet. The reason for this disparity has been mainly attributed to – connectivity, the quality of internet service and affordability of different internet recharge plans.
All these online resellers follow a strict grievance policy that is put up on their website so that users can read through. Grievance redressal is a key area of focus for most of the brands online.
Grievance handling by resellers:-
It is important to keep in mind that these resellers are only online agents that provide recharge or bill payment facility on behalf of the service provider like the telecom operators or bus transport services. Since they do not directly operate the particular service like cellular service or runs a fleet of buses, the third party resellers always request their customers to be doubly sure of the operator that they choose to be associated with for being able to experience the particular service. Resellers are not responsible for the actual operations of the services and hence cannot be penalized for the same. All this is mentioned online under the grievance settlement issues. For recharge and payment related complaints about services that fall within the purview of the resellers, the problem is resolved as per the Payment and Settlement Systems Act 2007.
For issues related to virtual wallets or services that pertain to the resellers alone, the route map is defined for proper handling of customer complaints. At the first level, it is the customer support team that has the onus of resolving the issue at their level. If not, the issue or complaint is forwarded or escalated to the next level which generally constitutes of a redressal committee or group that handles the issue if the customer was not happy with the solution provided by the first level. There is a third level of escalation for some resellers where the concerned authority needs to be contacted by the customer by writing an application.
All resellers of payment related services mention a deadline or timeline within which they commit to resolve the issue and come to a solution that is acceptable to both, the customer and the company.
Online recharge is good, but it is better when the customer thoroughly reads through the terms and conditions mentioned not only on the reseller’s website but also on the individual merchant or service provider’s site.