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Online registration in India: a word of caution

A while ago I wrote about how impressed I was with what the British Council in India is doing for IELTS candidates.

Well, it turns out that sometimes things don’t work the way they are supposed to. A student from Chandigarh, India sent me an angry email describing his bad experience trying to register for the exam at British Council via the online registration process.

Here is what happened: he registered and received an SMS to his mobile phone with a confirmation, the same came in an email. However, no further details followed, and when after a week he called the help line in New Delhi, they told him that all of the details are in a letter that hasn’t been posted yet. Oh yes, and that he needed to call again and remind them to send it 🙂

After a couple of days he called again and then they gave him his candidate number and the time and location of his exam. As for the promised free reading material, he never received it. When he called the BC and complained, they suggested that he should buy something and pay out of pocket. He (rightfully) insisted on getting the promised free materials and then found out that it’s out of stock and their offer is only good while the stock lasts. The consultant did promise to send him a copy from the new stock when it arrives in 3 working days – but till this day he didn’t receive it.

The way I see it, this set of problems was time-related. Having booked the closest date, in 10 days from the registration day, our Indian friend needed a timely response and and couldn’t afford losing time, waiting for the letter and for the materials. If he had a month, these delays would still be irritating but wouldn’t have affected his preparation as much.

To sum up, if you’re in a hurry to book your IELTS exam in India – keep this scenario in mind.

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