We got a chance to play with Airtel Care app by Airtel that has been announced. Its an app that brings customer care to user’s phone and I liked a couple of things and hated a few. Here is our experience with the app.

After downloading the app, you get a bright red splash screen that is followed by a screen that asks you to enter your country. At the time of review we collect only choose from 3 countries i.e. Uganda, Nigeria, Kenya. (I don’t why it only supports 3 countries yet they boast of large African coverage)

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You are then prompted to enter your mobile number starting without the country code, then a 4 digit One Time Password (OTP) is sent to your in SMS form. You should copy this OPT code and enter it into your app for verification. Lets credit them for taking care of security, Just imagine your X checking your airtime balance. Though, I must say the SMS took a while to come on the 070 platform.

After Verification the app shows your name you probably entered for SIM registration , and welcomes you with a message saying you a ‘professional airtel customer’.

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When you tap the phone number you get a menu screen showing your airtime balance. You will find options like Data, VAS, Contact Us, Special Offer, and Airtel live

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Vas which is loosely translated as Value added Services, gives you a list of subscription options to football teams like Manchester United and Arsenal as well as some caller tunes, though the caller tunes were limited compared to those on the website, you can also access a few more services eg. Magic voice but if you are the kind that hates sms please don’t activate anything.

The app lets you subscribe to data bundles by visiting the Data menu where you can scroll to the left or right to choose you preferred internet package. You will be able to view your data bundle balance in close to real time.

The Contact Us section lets you send your complaints, queries and help questions to Airtel customer care who laterrr… on respond.
Airtel wants you to know when there is a special offer and have integrated the feature. Airtel Live gives users access to games and music and generally media content to customers, you will have to spend quite some airtime to download this media content.

What we loved?

Activating a data bundle without entering annoying USSD codes like *100*3*10# was annoying and now I just have to swipe and I hit the activate button. This applies to the data balance and expiry date.
The caller tunes are in a list within the app which means goodbye to cramming the caller tune code which wasn’t nice.
Game lovers and parents who want games for their children will enjoy because their can get free access to Airtel games, some of which yield prizes from Airtel.
Oh, before I forget it shows your name, which shows you that whichever teller registered your name was technically sober and should it differ, please contact Airtel.

What we didn’t love

You can use it without a VALID DATA BUNDLE, when your internet runs out the app wont load and it only shows an Airtel splash screen if you have no data bundle.
Hey, Airtel, if you want me to use your app to activate a data bundle or get a caller tune, or later on recharge and I can’t do so, I will not think twice when my app memory runs low. This was so annoying one of the testers uninstalled it. We expected the app to be an improvement from the AOC webpage which shows an Nginx error when you try to buy a data bundle after it has run out. This took a large toll on the stars the app is getting.
“Dear Airtel please make access to the app free, even when my bundle is low” – Henry one of our testers.

The User Interface or design looks like it was ripped off the old iOS 6 app skin, something rather too curved, android apps are better close to flat.

Lastly we hated the fact that Airtel Live redirects to the browser (web version)

All in all, we love the innovativeness and care that Airtel has introduced alongside other customer care platforms like #StanAirtel @AirtelUg on Twitter and the call line which is not the easiest to get to. The diversity provides better service delivery and you can get the app from here. Airtel Care on Google Play