Adventures in setting up a home office, Part 1

Or, the part where I can’t get my mobile phone working

I have an Airtel phone post-paid mobile phone connection, registered in the Delhi/NCR region. I had planned to use the same number (on roaming) in Mumbai, and hang on to it till next June, when number portability hopefully kicks in.

There was only one problem with the plan: I don’t seem to receive an Airtel signal at home. My phone can connect to Airtel’s network (both automatically and manually), but it helpfully tells me to make ‘Emergency Calls Only’. People who try to call me get told that I am not available.

First thoughts: call Airtel customer care. Now, I usually dial 121 from my phone and can reach them; but as my phone itself is not working, I decided to go online and hunt for another number. The number I found was for Airtel’s landline division, and couldn’t/wouldn’t help me with mobile phone problems.

I decided to just go out for a walk, and kept away from my house until Airtel magically started working again. I called up 121, and after their idiotic automated menu (where pressing 9 does not take me to a human), I was told that since this is a Delhi number, I had to call up Delhi’s customer service team and get them to fix the issue. Even though this is a local problem I’m facing in Mumbai, the guy was adamant that only Delhi’s team could help me.

I dialled the number for Airtel Delhi Customer Care that he gave me (09810012345), and managed to speak to a human after a couple of tries. As I was calling from outside, they helpfully suggested that I try going back home, shutting the phone down, removing the battery and SIM card, inserting all of them back, and then starting the phone. Aargh!

Of course I had tried restarting my phone; that’s the first thing anyone does.

I gave up. Yesterday, I went to a Vodafone store and got a new SIM card—the process was actually quite painless. The number should be activated today.

Points to worry about:

  1. Setting up call-forwarding from my old number to the new number (temporarily). I tried doing it yesterday, and it just didn’t work.
  2. Cancelling the old number. I just know this is going to be a big headache.

Comments (2)