Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Valid concern...

Around mid-March, our BSNL telephone line was down for over a week, and I had to go to the office every alternate day to find out when it would be fixed. One fine day, I learnt that it was a major breakdown with several lines in the area down, and that it would take a few more days to be fixed. That was when a senior citizen, who had also been regularly wearing out his feet at the steps of the BSNL office lost his cool and raised a very valid concern.

His telephone had been down for more than 10 days, that is, for 1/3rd of the month -- will BSNL reduce the monthly rental paid by him since the service was not available for such a long period, he asked! To a person living out of a small pension, every rupee mattered, and the wastage of 1/3rd of the monthly rental is a big matter of concern. It is a matter of concern for every person, for that matter. He obviously got only a grumble and a curt reply saying the lineman will come (when?) soon.

Despite the emergence of several competitors, and the apparent change in the outlook of government agencies, organisations like BSNL still seem to consider serving the customer with a smile as a favour bequeathed on the latter (at least that is the attitude of most of the old-school customer-facing staff). Needless to say, they will not go out of their way, ever, to make a customer happy. Can you even dream of BSNL giving the concerned citizen a discount on his monthly bill, just because he raised a valid concern. I can definitely think of many MNCs and even proactive Indian private players doing (or at least considering) it.

With the kind of infrastructure and clout that government institutions have, just imagine what a sea change a little change in attitude can bring about. A lot to hope for, but well, some things seem to never change!


Janani said...

1- He should file a complaint with the concerned head of bsnl in that area.

2- if that does not work then he should file a consumer complaint at which is a good place to file such complaints.

3- also he should join one of the local consumer ngos such as etc or those mentioned at
and improve his knowledge of the telephone arena

(sent by email)

Anonymous said...

I moved into my current apartment and surrendered the BSNL phone; the accounts dept at BSNL office said they will mail me the deposit amount. Been waiting for more than two years now.

Private operators normally send their representatives to homes to collect all paperwork and the deposit. For BSNL, one has to go to their office and submit the application form.

I didn't want to disturb BSNL staff with additional work and went private with a vengeance. Have an IDEA pre-paid mobile, my wife has TATA Indicom post-paid mobile, there is a Reliance landline in my study room and Airtel Broadband / landline in the hall.

-- Mahboob

Ashwin K said...

Yeah not an isolated experience..

I had my broadband down just after the launch of a new web project...that drove me nuts...i called right from the lineman to AGM to no was down for 21 days...I then wrote a written letter to AGM saying that since this took so long i dont want it repired it this mont but i want it up from the 1st next month...and will not pay this months bill...or i will move to court...Within 12 hours my net was up...they send a 8 men team to repair it...

But that is not a + point...i lost a lot of money using net via GPRS...and had to pay the full month bill too...