Category Archives: Telecom

Wake Up call for Indian Consumers

CERC has started consumer grievance helpline – 1800-233-0222. This helpline is toll free for BSNL Gujarat users.

This is really a welcome step by CERC in association with Consumer Affairs, Government of Gujarat. This helpline is available from 10.30 AM to 5.30 PM as per IST. (GMT +530)

CERC is very reputed non profit NGO serving and solving sonsumer complaints / grievance for its members. Its membership detail is here. You can become member by paying online instead.

To add few lines about the organisation’s prestigeous standing I can summarise few of my experiences:

  • When Vodafone Essar was Hutch, in undisclosed billed amount about Rs.500 for my postpaid mobile connection, I requested for justification and company ignored. I stopped using mobile services by paying genuine amount along with accounting statement which was genuine. Later, the company sent a legal notice that drove me to CERC. I have been member since then. CERC did some correspondance on my behalf. Company failed to respond and that proved the legal notice was no more legally valid or important!

  • HP refused to replace damaged front panel, damaged due to its design defect. Legally and as per company’s terms it is possible to replace such parts under cosmetic damaged parts category. Again, approaching CERC solved, front panel get replaced without any legal procedure.

  • In the matter of unsolicited call from ICICI Bank, I did some correspondence with bank and just by sending copy of the same to CERC taught the bank. The bank sent letter of forgiveness through courier!

Some points about CERC:

  • Complaint department listens and guides to complaint very genuinly. Consumer can feel free to express whatever his / her experience is / was.

  • Complaint department has very systemetic approach from receiving and registering complaints from its members to dealing with associated parties / business houses.

  • Genuine complaint can be registered through email to CERC as well. CERC’s method for dealing with non local complaint is really appreciative.

  • Insight, a bimonthly magazine from CERC is really worth to read. It is a leading publication in India for consumer awareness.

  • One membership serves complaint registered by his / her family members. (of course, not a joint family! :P)

  • Membership fees are normal or perhaps nominal for the kind of activities CERC does.

  • Most importantly, an Indian can be a member, get free Insight magazine and register for grievance too.

  • Different consumer product surveys carried & published by CERC are added advantage for consumers.

I highly recommend to become member of CERC, to boost its activities, to have Insight knowledge of consumer laws and if required to solve your complaints being a consumer.

Confusion cleared

Yesterday night we were discussing about BSNL’s tariff change for ‘Lo Kar Lo Baat 111’ an added facility plan for landline users.

BSNL Gujarat circle has changed LKLB 111 to either of 2 selectable plans with different monthly rents.

As per my myth, any provider cannot modify (or increase rate in) plan structure for existing cutomers. Even provider cannot stop the plan and force subscriber to opt for another.

But no, TRAI says…

A tariff plan once offered by a service provider shall be available to a subscriber for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of his enrolment into that tariff plan. During this 6 months period, the service provider is free to reduce the tariff; but increase in any item of tariff in the plan is not permitted. However, the subscriber is free to choose any other tariff plan even during the 6 months period.” Visit this.

So, BSNL is legally allowed to make such changes since the LKLB 111 was no more for new customers from December 25,2007.

This is how TRAI also favors service providers, not just subscribers.

Flexible Eclipse

Flex SDK is Free & Open Source but Flex Builder is neither free nor open source.

I googled if there is any way to use Flex SDK with Eclipse (because Flex Builder is built on Eclipse too) for development purpose.I found 2 useful results; Of course I haven’t tried yet.

Bhai Sahab Nahi Lagega

It has been never forgetful experience since we have / had subscribed BSNL services. Whether it’s mobile or Internet (Broadband – rarely on!).

Therefore we pronounce full form of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited as Bhai Sahab Nahi Lagegaa (Sir, It won’t get connected)!!

Although it is the pioneer behind all telecommunication services, I guess the management needs to be improved, learn something from others.

Although it has wide (or perhaps most) coverage in all senses, it’s not being utilised.

Recently the management has appointed third parties for their services and fault resolution for broadband. However, due to lack of power, those third parties seem helpless. The higher management is still the same one. Of course, it’s not that BSNL does not have skilled manpower. My personal experience with higher level personel is quite good.

Many times mobile network of BSNL gets congusted, you cannot reach a person even in case of emergency. Internet services had been quiet good few months back. But now a days they have sever technical issue that has not been solved yet. Almost every 5 minute, the Broadband service (DataOne) gets disconnected or very slow like dial-up and reconnected! Accroding to TRAI, it is not true Broadband – always on.

I just hope for better management so that we feel pround of an truely Indian (yes 100% Indian) service provider with maximum privillages!

Indian Telecom Industry

Is Indian telecom industry ready to go for 3G? Probably not.

It is a very controversial topic that has already been discussed.  Basically 3G is advancement in terms of services via means of telecommunication. This includes EDGE, wi-fi, broadband etc. in different context, different manners. Whole world knows that 2G technology (basic mobile and phone services) is booming sector in India that too is offering lowest call rates.

Then what affects whom?

Its simple, Indian telecom providers have established networks, they are expanding them, not advancing.  Therefore it lacks basic support. That does not exactly mean troubleshooting. My personal experience says that all are ready to sell services, but not to maintain them. Some facilities like provider migration without number change, customer oriented services are basic essentials that perhaps no provider has maintained / interested in.  Therefore India has, in my way, two types of customers:

  1. Those who need to continue with the same number, facing any / all troubles with the provider.
  2. Those who do not care about number change, ready to switch provider in any conflict!

One important comment about BSNL, a nation wide service provider is that it has launched services later, but is providing comparative good support, though its old government style is in practice is there! Of course, BSNL is not considerable to utilize its infrastructure, manpower fully. The reasons include many controversial and some commercial issues.

Why the situation is like this?

It seems particular Indian tendency: just start anything, do not look after it to improve.  Whether its Railways, Telecom or Agriculture. Railways network is ‘gift’ from the British rulers. The department is expanding the network and maintaining up to expected level. But is not enhancing / modernizing it in today’s competitive world.

The same is there with agriculture. Even IIMs have designed agro-business degree courses. But still this field is taken as ‘rural’ issue. Of course, few corporate have understood the value of Indian culture and today’s corporate culture. Its hope to see development in future.

Similarly, Telecom industry, once network is established, even failed to provide relevant services with customer needs. First, it has to recover from this disease, and then can think for spectrum war and 3G adoption!

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