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TATA SKY online recharge – will they ever get it right?

tatasky TATA SKY online recharge - will they ever get it right?

This is an ironic fact TATA SKY’s online recharge never works properly when you want to recharge your account before your TV blacks out with no signal. This is ironic because Tata through its Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) provides premium IT services and solutions to businesses and organizations worldwide, however could not get a simple (correct me if it’s a complex process for a multi-billion dollar IT services company) online payment system right for its own sister concern – TATA SKY.

Firstly, when you type on the browser address bar and hit enter, you’ve to wait for quite sometime before the whole web page loads. The home page rendering is quite fast on Firefox or Flock browsers (of course, Flock uses Firefox’s engine), but takes light years to open on the world’s favorite (or Gate’s favorite!?) Internet Explorer. Okay, my aim is to do an online payment, not drool at the main page of Tata SKY. There are two buttons ‘Login’ and ‘Register’ on the main page, and when registered and logged in, you can recharge your account online. Sounds simple, doesn’t it?

Well, the whole headache starts right there when you click on the damned ‘Login’ button. I’ve been using Tata SKY for the past 16 months, and never once I’ve been dissatisfied with their picture and sound clarity – I simply love it! But you get those annoying messages that your due date is approaching and that you’ve to recharge your account to avoid disconnection. Thanks for the reminders, but do ‘you’ really make the recharge process effortless? There is another way of recharging the account, which is you go out and buy coupons from home appliances dealers and dial the Tata SKY helpline and wait eternally for someone to listen to you – make note of the hexadecimal number and recharge your account – uh! does it sound so simple? To me it sounds pre-historic!

For the past 16 months, never once have I been lucky enough to get through the online payment system in one shot. I remember waiting for more than half hour for the page to appear after clicking on ‘Login’. It doesn’t stop there, when you enter your subscriber ID and password and hit enter, there is a long wait awaiting you – sometimes, much to your frustration, you are greeted by ‘Page cannot be found’. So, if you’re extremely lucky enough to get through all these hurdles and finally click on ‘Account Recharge’, you’ll be asked to enter an amount (usually Rs. 300 in my case), and you’ve to select the appropriate payment gateway. To my horror I would’ve come all this way via the Firefox browser, and would realize that the payment gateway will not open through Firefox. Uh! repeat the same process from the Internet Explorer – even more extended wait times, and finally when the payment gateway opens and the amount is disbursed – your account is recharged for good. It’s an immense pleasure, next only to orgasm, that I feel when I’m done with recharging my Tata SKY account.

Firefox has just released the latest version; I tested today and found that Tata SKY’s payment gateway would open flawlessly. Even today (make note, it’s Sunday 22 June, 2008), after I got the reminder on my TV screen that my account is in negative (Rs -7.27) at 10 AM IST, I tried opening the Tata SKY home page in vain. Finally, much to my relief, I was able to get through that payment system by 2:00 PM IST, and my account is now recharged, immediately after which I’m sitting here ranting about the ‘one of a kind’ payment system.

But before you could jump the gun on something, let me give you some facts:
Home Internet connection speed: 384 kbps (unlimited download!)
Office Internet connection speed: 4 Mbps (need I say more?)
Computer configuration (notebook) – Centrino Duo, 2 GB RAM, Windows Vista Enterprise
Computer configuration (desktop) – Pentium dual core, 1 GB RAM, Windows XP Professional

Can those techies in Tata SKY tell us what kinda’ computer and Internet configuration they would recommend for us to accomplish this online payment task, less laboriously? I’ll be grateful!

That being said, I just love Tata SKY for its amazing picture and sound clarity, and that’s why I find myself stuck to it in spite of the shoddy online account recharge system.