Trying Out Airtel 3 Months Free Internet On Lumia 610 – Part Two

Posted by Mister Mobility

In the first part of this series, I shared about how my attempts to activate Airtel’s free internet promo on the Nokia Lumia 610 failed again and again. This is an offer bundled with new Nokia Lumia devices. I also mentioned how I intended to visit an Airtel shop to see if it could be sorted out. Well, I did exactly that on Friday. I was among the first five customers at the particular store when the doors were opened for business that day.

At the Airtel shop, I explained things. I was there with the complete sales pack (which had the promo sticker/label on it) and the bundled microSIM pack. I ensured that the microSIM was in the Lumia 610 already. The first question I was asked was if I was sure that this was the phone that the promo came with. I affirmed that it was and handed the rep both the phone and the pack. Like someone said, I would have expected that a scan of the IMEI number would have been sufficient to verify that information. Then he wondered aloud if the promo had not ended. As his words weren’t directed at me, and since it was his job to find out the status of the promo, I just kept attending to emails on the Sony Xperia P.

He consulted with someone, then got back on his PC. After a while, he asked me to send the code “LUMIA” to 141 again, which I did. I got the same response as before:

Dear customer, this Lumia trial offer is not available for this device. Please insert the SIM into the Nokia device bought for this purpose and try again.

He went at it again, this time for quite a while, and then asked me to re-send the code. I did, but while I received a delivery notification, I got no response. After a wait of about 15 minutes, the rep apologised to me and assured me that “it will come up” in about 24 hours. I left the Airtel shop with an uneasy sense of happiness. That was Friday morning. 24 hours later, and several “LUMIA”s to 141, and I was still getting the same error. 36 hours later, same. This is Monday morning, and it is still the same situation.

Have you ever tried getting to speak with a rep on Airtel’s customer care line before? For the most part, I do not get connected to 111 at all. On a few rare occasions, I do get through to the line, and I am put on hold for a care rep. Then just when the line rings and a rep picks my call and introduces himself, at a point thereabout, the call is terminated. My experience o! It still happened agaain this weekend. It could be a problem with me. Perhaps witches and wizards from the village are on my case. Or perhaps Airtel’s call centre is just wacked.

Here I am unable to reach anyone via 111, and very unwilling to drive up and down in this bustling city just so I can get to speak to a care rep who may or may not know what they are doing anyway. It usually just boils down to frustrated consumers who eventually go their way because it is too much for them to leave their jobs to be running around for what amounts to peanuts in the grand scheme.

By the way, till today, no-one has been able to tell me how much data each month that this trial offer gives me for 3 months – 50MB monthly, 100MB monthly or 200MB monthly? The more you look, the less you see. Unless a miracle happens and Airtel Nigeria actually finds a way to make this trial offer run on my line, don’t expect a third part in this series. My verdict about it? Fail. I will be kind and not call it a scam. Incompetence, perhaps.

Mo Rating: 0 out of 10


  1. why am o not surprised that nothing came out of this peregrination?

    i am old enough and have had repeated instances of appalling incompetence and apathy of so called big organizations.

    nothing disappoints me any more. the trick is to expect nothing, that way, you are neither surprised, nor disappointed when things like this happen..

    my brother, I suppose we should be thankful for the tenacity of individuals (martyrs?) like you.

    society does need people who attempt to get organizations to be accountable and do things right.

    but, like said here before, I am no matyr. i don’t think our environment is the right place to be one.

    For the most part, I do not
    get connected to 111 at all.
    On a few rare occasions, I do
    get through to the line, and I
    am put on hold for a care
    rep. Then just when the line
    rings and a rep picks my call
    and introduces himself, at a
    point thereabout, the call is
    terminated. My experience o! .

    my experience too, as i am sure it is for numerous others.

    when this NUMBER PORTABILITY thing takes off March 26, perhaps this will keep these networks more on the EDGE of their seats! and stop this kind of crap!

  2. Same issues with Galaxy Grand 6 months internet promo. You just have to keep trying. It’s probably not yet provisioned on their system. Mine eventually worked, after waiting for 2 weeks. This is Nigeria.

  3. Now, if this promo is not yet provisioned on their network, why advertise it in the first place. Shouldn’t they have gotten things right at their end before bringing the product to the market?

    I’ve had some bad experience with our networks that I don’t ever trust anything from them again. I get all those SMS all the time about one promo or the other, but I’m always careful never to respond to any of them because I’ve had the issue of responding to one that was supposed to be free, only for the network to proceed to deducting money from my credit balance on daily basis for some lame text messages that come in once or twice daily without my consent.

    Most of the promos that come through SMS are designed to deceive than be of any real benefits.

  4. @Divine, perhaps my own galaxy grand will also work now. Lemme try it. Its been two weeks since I bought it too

  5. Airtel is not the only culprits on this issue MTN too, my galaxy s duos was bundle with 750mb for 3 months not even 500 up till today nothing happen. I Remember the last time I visited MTN office on the issue, the guy told me the promo has ended cos he was confused too, but this phone got to Nigeria market not up to 3 weeks I told him. He Was confused again and said where did I do the purchase, I said in England both of us laugh cos he can clearly see the MTN stickers and I have shown him the receipt erlier. The told me to keep on trying and I left. I Just try it now same na ni…lol. It may be a conspiracy among the networks provider. That is that. Yesterday again I was in Airtel office telling them my primary number could not call 111, 141, 440 for the past one month. The lady said but you can make and receive call…..did not say anything just stand up and left…lol.

  6. Ebunma, sorry o. I don’t doubt it’s a conspiracy, lol. I really want to believe it’s not deliberate but it happens so often.

    Sadly I also believe that toothless tiger known as the NCC will just engage in the national pastime of talking but nothing will come of it. Expect more of the same.

    Two lessons here:

    * no matter how tempting, try hard to avoid a promo. Unless you want the device alone and not the SIM deal that goes with it.

    * most customer service agents are more clueless than we the customer. Take a good book,drink some Top Tea/Lipton tea before going. Be prepared for an exercise in frustration

  7. May be we have found a solution, I love to get to the root of the matter anyway. I spoke to a friend who told me somebody got the freebies on galaxy grand, we couldn’t get his number to confirm this, I believe he’s not joking therefore left for Airtel office again but a different shop. I explain to the guy and he told me: I have to subscribe to a data plan of N1000. First before sendind that code. Well I have two active plan on two different sim dont want to risk that it will be a waste. I need to wait untill one expires, anybody that try it should let us know.

  8. I have since learnt my lesson not to bother calling 111 brcause I know I can never get through to their customer care reps. I have been having below PAR internet connection at work for the past three weeks, I sent sn email to Airtel’s customer care and the email was only acknowledged just yesterday after two weeks!
    MY VERDICT: Expect nothing good from these companies, that way you will be happier.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *