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Hathway at Hyderabad: misleading, cheating, or just plain dumb?

  1. #1
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    Default Hathway at Hyderabad: misleading, cheating, or just plain dumb?

    I have a couple of Chinese friends studying in Hyderabad. I arranged Hathway broadband internet connections for them, after seeing Hathway banners all over their neighbourhood.

    When the agent visited us (I was there too), he explained that according to their "512 Blast Xtra" plan, which was a prepaid plan for 6 months at Rs 500 per month, we could get 7GB download limit per month. We even compared with BSNL. With BSNL monthly 500 rupee plan, we could get only 2 GB limit per month, which included both upload and download. So, the agent explained, Hathway was much, much better. (Both Hathway and BSNL allow for free downloads during certain periods in the night, which are not relevant to the discussion here).

    But, a month after taking the connection and paying for it, my friends found out that the 7GB download limit was for 6 months, not for each month! Can you imagine what a shock that was! The agent promised 42 GB, but they actually got 7GB. In the receipt the agent had written "7GB/6." What does this mean? The students did not really notice this at the time of registration. They had just trusted the agent. Even if they noticed, what should they think? 7GB for each month, or 7GB for the total period of 6 months?

    In China, broadband internet is very cheap even in small towns. There is no such thing as "limited download". There are only unlimited connections, available for about 500 rupees per month. The cables get installed in one or two days. I have lived in China, and taken internet connection at my residence, so I know this for a fact. So, the students accepted that Hathway was providing 7 GB per month (which by Chinese standards was very low). They are now really shocked that the download limit is just a little more than 1 GB per month.

    Now, whose fault is this? In the Hathway website they don't mention clearly that the 7GB limit is for the whole period of 6 months. Is it so expensive for them to add "per month" on a web page? So, why don't they add these two simple words? So that their agents can be free to mislead customers and get more and more business for them? And later they can always show that they have specified nothing?

    We DEFINITELY did not misunderstand them. The comparison we made with BSNL should clearly show that.

    This incident was really embarrassing for me too, because I advised those students to cancel their application for BSNL broadband (which they had made earlier), and go for Hathway.

    Why do such cheating companies succeed? Because they cleverly keep all their written documents unclear and to the bare minimum, and try to communicate everything orally. They depend on smooth talk and winning the customer's trust, as well as confusing the customer using all kinds of meaningless terms like "Blast Xtra" or "Dhamaka special" and so on. Then later they can say whatever they like.

    Companies like Hathway destroy all trust in society, as well as our national reputation. My Chinese friends are terribly disappointed because a lot of their experience in India has been like this: smooth-talking Indians who promise one thing but deliver something quite different. These days many Chinese students come to India to study, and many of them experience nothing but cheating in India, at the hands of Indians who look educated and well-dressed.

    Does Hathway bother to read the comments on these forums? Do they feel any shame at all? Or are they too busy perfecting their next cunning sales plan to get more business?

    What should we conclude about Hathway?

    1. That they are cheap cheats,
    OR
    2. That they are too stupid to communicate properly?

    Can we forward these threads to them, and let them inform us which of the above two categories they belong to?
    Last edited by Sharan; 10th December 2007 at 09:33 AM. Reason: errors in spelling and grammar

  2. #2
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    The agent/sales man tried to pull a fast one to make his commission
    These kind of greedy misleading sales tactic will go on until there is some healthy competition all across India as for now there are very few areas across India where there is more then one ISP available and at the most two in cities so they kind of try to co-exist but once you have a choice of 4-5 ISPs in one area thats when the level of service will rise otherwise the company in question would risk loosing market share fairly quickly.

    I really hope and wish the agent who cheated on our guests rot in hell for ever

  3. #3
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    Well, after my post, I managed to locate the particular agent and talk to him on the phone. He assures me that he had no intention of cheating us. It is apparently a misunderstanding, according to him. Anyway he is going to talk to his manager and see what can be done. Let me see how that goes.

    But there is no doubt that Hathway can avoid such "misunderstanding" very easily by simply making their information clear. It is not very hard to do that.

    How hard, or how expensive, is it to add words like "per month" or "total" on a web page?

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