If you have ever tried recharging your phone/DTH online, you are aware of this story. The operators themselves don’t have facilities to recharge. Tata Sky has a tough process as far as I remember. Airtel had a good partnership with M-Chek which allowed you to recharge your phone using a SIM-based application and your credit card. However, RBI/Indian banks got pissed off that Indians can have one proper way of online/mobile payments and introduced new rules that have basically made mobile transactionsÂ impossible.
On February 10, I wanted to make an online recharge. I googled for “airtel online recharge” and the third site is rechargeitnow.com (The first two are links to airtel’s m-chek pages). Now anyone can tell me that this website looksÂ unprofessional, but in the rush of the moment I didn’t notice it. I had heard about it on some other blogs and it had the mandatory Verisign secured logo. The transaction which used a Citibank payment gateway failed. That is nothing unusual. I got a mail shortly afterward from rechargeitnow
Dear Rohit,Thank you for usingÂ RechargeItNow.com to recharge your Mobile/DTH service.
Due to some technical reasons we are unable to deliver recharge to your subscriber id XXXXXXXXXX . We regret the inconvenience caused to you.
We will process your transaction for a recharge or refund as per our refund policy. You will receive a mail intimation for the same.
In case of a refund, amount should reflect in your account within 8 working days.
I have got pretty used to failed transactions and this was nothing new. I waited for 14 days, and nothing happened. So on February 24th, I went to their website where they had an “Escalate Complaint” option, which you can use only after the 8-day period. I again got an e-mail from them:
Hi Rohit Mishra
This is to confirm that we have received your ‘escalation’ request as per the following details-
Track Id: xxxxxxxxxx Name: Rohit Mishra Email: email@example.com Mobile No/DTH Subscriber ID recharged: xxxxxxxxx Date of transaction: 2011-02-10
Escalation Team atÂ RechargeItNow.com will provide you a resolution as per process detailed below:
Your pending complaint will be resolved and a mail sent to you within 2 working days (excluding Sundays & holidays)
If a clarification is required, you will receive a call or a mail from our support team within 2 working days on your registered mobile or email id.
Escalation TeamÂ RechargeItNow.com
Its been another 10 days and still I have heard nothing from them. Strangely, their entire website doesn’t have one contact number. I have sent them another mail, but I am pretty sure I have lost my money. It is not only infuriating on a personal level, but what bothers me also is thatÂ fraudulentÂ websites like rechargeitnow lower customer confidence in online transactions even more, making it difficult for all the other clean players too.
Share this post on Twitter/FB so that your acquaintances don’t fall prey to this fraud website.
_Update : _ I finally got my refund on March 19. In the age of real-time web, taking 45 days to reverse a transaction that rechargeitnow knew of has gone wrong is unacceptable. I hope someone from their website reads this post and improves their refund mechanism. All the best to them.