The largest cellular network in the country Mobilink Jazz which now claims to also be the largest digital data network in the country has practically paralysed me when I’m abroad, thousands of miles from home. Here’s how:

I’m in Germany these days for a Reporters without Borders’ digital journalism scholarship and I’m gonna be here a while. Before I travelled, one of my must-do things was to activate international roaming on my number so it continues to operate in Germany. Who can afford to completely turn off their main phone number these days, right? I checked their website and looked up the plan for roaming in Germany and thought to myself; I have to get it no matter how much this costs to me.

Then I called up the helpline number to activate it. They confirmed the roaming had been activated and that I should keep enough credit so the number remains useable in Germany. One day before departure, I called up the helpline again to double-check if everything was all set. Loaded up an additional Rs 2000 credit and began my journey.

It was hard enough for me to have my phone turned off in-flight but much to my dismay, when I landed, I didn’t receive the service. I tried manually connecting it to the Vodafone network here but it didn’t work either. I reached out to Jazz and Vodafone for help. Vodafone said they couldn’t do anything in this case as this has everything to do with Jazz. Jazz responded asking me for DM on Twitter and then in DM broke the news to me: something that I didn’t even think as a worst case scenario:

sir we are sorry no IR services in Germany .


These words seemed like a death sentence for me and my anxiety went through the roof reading it — even though I’m supposed to enjoy my trip abroad. I felt cheated and robbed. It would be one thing if they flat out said they don’t have roaming services in Germany. Then I would have tried an alternative solution; you know, like porting the number to another provider who may actually have roaming in Germany.

It’s been over a week since I’m here and I feel my wings have been clipped. Not only did I miss calls from professional contacts, potential projects and other opportunities, I now have my hands tied because all my social media, bank accounts and other digital services are linked to that number for two-factor authorisation. All because of Jazz I can’t even make online payments such as my credit card bill etc.

I know everyone would suggest I should take them to court and stuff but it’s not just the digital paralyses they’ve caused me, their deceit is a breach of trust — something I might never do again.

If anyone from Jazz is reading this, I beg you to please still fix this if there’s any way you can.

P.S. The shameless pricks still falsely claim on their website that they have roaming services in Germany. Check out these screenshots: