If you are travelling abroad and considering taking a Matrix Global SIM, avoid it.
I almost had a bad experience last time, but Matrix managed to solve it, as it was a billing related issue. I also gave a good review in sites like MouthShut.
This time, I took a card for Thailand, as I would be spending several hours there while in transit.
When I landed in Swarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok, I switched on the mobile with the Matrix to inform my family that I had arrived safely. But all I got was a recorded message from the Thai mobile company saying my SIM card was not valid. The message asked me to contact ‘customer care’ but no number was given.
As I had taken the Matrix card, I had not bothered to activate roaming in any of my mobiles. I tried to use the airport WiFi, but the connectivity was extremely poor.
I spent the entire transit time of around four hours unable to contact my family.
It was the same during the return transit. What was worse, there was no way to contact Matrix as the SIM itself was not valid.
My family was also trying desperately to contact me. They had no way of knowing whether I had landed safely.
The shocker came when I returned to India and complained to Matrix. “We could have done something had you complained from Thailand. Sorry, we can’t waive your rental.”
I immediately went on Twitter tagging Matrix. Soon, I got a call and an email asking me to wait till the generation of bill. I replied to them that apart from the bill waiver, I was also expecting some compensation from Matrix for the mental trauma of losing all contact with my family.
When there was no response even after the generation of the bill, I sent Matrix an email. I got a reply that they would “look into it”.
But there was one more shocker the next day. Matrix had debited my credit card for the bill amount. I shot off another email to Matrix. I was assured that the rental would be waived. I again reminded about the compensation part. Matrix refused.
I once again went on Twitter and Facebook against Matrix. I filed a complaint with core.nic.in and alerted Akosha.
Soon, there was a call from Matrix asking me what compensation I expected. I said I was expecting a reasonable sum of Rs 5,000, considering the mental trauma faced by me and my family. After some time, I got an email offering me Rs 2,500 worth Matrix voucher.
Here was a customer getting fed up of Matrix, and Matrix was offering me a Matrix voucher. That too for half of what I had sought.
I replied to them rejecting the offer. Matrix replied back saying “As suggested, we have issued a compensation of Rs.2500 worth free talk time here, valid till 30th April, 2014, which is actually the best possible resolution we can offer. We do not issue cash rewards or cash discounts as a compensation and I am sure with you being well versed with Industry standards and norms, would be aware that product compensation is not rewarded in cash in such industry practices.”
I replied back: “I have not accepted the Rs 2,500 Matrix voucher for two reasons:
1. I am not a frequent traveller, and even if I travel on reporting assignments, I don't think I am going to spend that much. You must also understand that I will go for Matrix only if I am satisfied with the response to my complaint.
2. Rs 5,000 is not big for a corporate like Matrix. I am not dealing with an individual who can't pay. If it had been the case, I would have readily reduced the amount. I might have not even asked for Rs 2,500.
The amount is not much, as I had already said, considering that my family made numerous ISD calls trying to track me, and you would know how much ISD calls cost. So, the amount I have sought is not unreasonable.
I am not asking for rewards and discounts as you have mentioned. I am asking for compensation. If you don't have a policy of compensating by cash, you can offer it by talktime in other networks (which is your area of operation), or gift vouchers.
And by offering a Matrix voucher, you are forcing a dissatisfied customer to go for a Matrix product again, which is not fair.”
That was the end of the conversation.
Matrix has come out as a totally insensitive company. I am waiting for the response to my complaint to core.nic.in and Akosha. The next step is to go to a consumer forum.
So, what do you do if you are travelling abroad? The best way is to buy a local SIM in that country. Most countries have SIMs for travellers with some ISD minutes free. At least, you can call their customer care and get your problem solved. But with Matrix, you are screwed.
Here are some alternatives to Matrix: