Started by Bipin Preet Singh, MobiKwik.com is a website which lets you recharge you prepaid mobile connection (post paid coming soon) online without any hassles. Now no more going to the Recharge Wala Bhaiya to get that Rs 1000 recharge or that Rs 7 top-up, all can now be done while sitting in front of your computer either in the comforts of home or on the way to somewhere. The service is pretty easy to use particularly and people who are not technically inclined will not find any problem while using it particularly due to the lean website design. You don’t get to see pop-ups or announcements about any new/old service that the website may have launched.
MobiKwik supports almost all big telephone operators whose number amounts to 14 as of today and the newest to join the group is Uninor. Recharge coupons can be bought and then used like any other scratch coupon which are found at your nearby (or perhaps not nearby) mobile stores. MobiKwik provides the user with a recharge code like any other coupon brought from a shop which the user can then use to recharge his/her mobile.
Recharges can be done through a number of ways. Either you can opt for the buy-online-and-get-a-code-to-recharge or you can recharge your phone through SMS or you can dial 022-30932093 from your primary mobile number and recharge or you can even schedule recharges! A large number of recharge plans are available at MobiKwik and most recharge plans depend on your operator and the place you put on. For instance, for my MTNL mobile phone under the NCR region, 607 types of recharges were available at the time of writing this post. The types of recharges also included GPRS/3G coupons and SMS packs.
The website uses an E-Wallet system where you can put in money through PayPal, a number of Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Internet Banking and also by cash or cheque. Needless to say, you will need to pay in advance if you want to use the cash or cheque service and wait till they get deposited unlike Internet Banking and credit/debit card options where you can transfer money to your MobiKwiki account in seconds and start using the service.
You can add up to 20 mobile phone numbers to your account and any can be recharged without the need of registering it. No security code needed to register mobile phones. The recharge however is not done online. You will have to manually enter the code that MobiKwik will provide you.
Another interesting service that is being provided by MobiKwik is “Talk Time Offers”. You can opt for some of your interesting fields like Dating, Bollywood, Education etc and you will receive advertisement on your mobile through SMS which will entitle you to get free talktime. However, it’s been 2 weeks since I signed up but have not received even one advertisement.
I was contacted by Nikhil Narang, VP – Operations, MobiKwik who requested me to write a review of the service. He deposited some X amount of money in my account and I was good to go. So, I started to look for special services that were available to me only by MobiKwik. Sadly I couldn’t find any. MobiKwik offers recharges that are being provided by the operators themselves so if you want to recharge some custom amount, for instance if you want to recharge you mobile with Rs 73 then you won’t be able to recharge unless your operator has any recharge coupon of that particular amount. Also, before signing up for the service I faced a pretty serious problem in accessing the website. Every time I tried to access the homepage I was greeted by this message (see image below). The website worked fine for me but I could never open the homepage. When I used proxy, the homepage opened without any problem.
Though I have read some complaints from users concerning some problems while transferring money through PayPal et al, my experience was smooth, almost trouble free lest the homepage problem. It took me barely 2 minutes to recharge my phone. Besides the plethora of recharging options MobiKwik sent me copy of the recharge code. This copy of the code might come in use when a user might need to recharge someone else’s mobile.
Though there are no particular flaws in their system and the service is pretty good they really need to strengthen their customer support. Even after sending a number of E-mails to MobiKwik I received no reply whatsoever. I then contacted Bipin himself (the founder, if you remember) but again the same reply; no reply. Even though it is a nice initiative which will help people recharge from the comforts of their homes MobiKwik really needs to so something more to attract users because the option to recharge from one’s home is not enough to make people switch from the usual way of recharging however problematic compared to this method it may be. I have absolutely no idea as to how much money MobiKwik makes for every recharge of Rs 100 but to really make it big in the recharging world (however small it may be) they need to provide more options to the user and perhaps a discount/free coupons once in a while. They need to make it a little more tempting.