Thursday, February 5, 2009

Airtel Launches IMRS (Interactive Message Response System)

Years after changing the system for balance enquiry by shifting to *123# from calling 123, Airtel finally launched it's Interactive Message Response System, IMRS where you can know balance and validity (that too without an advertisement around, till date), check the offer of the day (finally no need to wait for a message), ask for Hello Tunes (how could they leave this one) and start or stop a DND registry (Important one there).

For Airtel IMRS, you need to dial *121#, which the company has chosen as the text alternative for 121, its national customer care number. On dialing *121#, the system sends you a main menu which shows the above four options. You need to press the 'answer' key on the phone (generally the OK button) and then key in the option number and send. All the process is of course toll free.

When I tried the service, I found that the balance enquiry, offer of the day, and DND work fine for me and I've got a DND registration number too (which I could not store in phone, there was no option to save the message). The Hello Tunes option, which I had tried at the end, and that too quite reluctantly (though I tried it twice), didn't seem to work for me. Returning to main menu was slightly confusing but finally pressing *1 (you can read that star one) in place of option number worked.

While the service has come here quite late, I think this is here to stay. Ineractive Voice Response System (IVRS) used at the customer care is rarely liked by customers and most of the people find it a tough task to call up the customer care because they have to go through long paths of sweet, irritating recorded audio messages. In such a scenario, the new message response system, or IMRS, should be welcomed by people just the way they welcomed *123#, the balance enquiry number which is common to many operators today. And since the service is expected to last long, I expect Airtel to add more options to the service and make it better in all the ways possible.

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