Original Source: The Imphal Free Press
It is common knowledge that the oldest cellular service of the Bharat Sanchal Nigam Limited( BSNL) is so littered with every sort of technical defects at every stage of operation that it has become more of a liability than any utility for many a subscriber in Manipur in particular and the whole Northeast in general. In fact, it is there for all to see that the BSNL cellular network has over the years earned itself the dubious distinction of being the worst of all cellular services ever provided by any company in the region.
Well, one does not know for sure how this same BSNL is rendering its services in other parts of India, still one may well assume that BSNL can hardly be a patch on any private cellular service providers anywhere in the country and if nobody in bigger cities complaints about its dismal performance, then we readily take it for granted that nobody is using its service over there anymore and this BSNL has become a thing of the past with the arrival of many quality service providers like Hutch, Idea, Vodafon etc. on the scene.
Thanks to the poor BSNL service, the problems encountered by subscribers on every single day are indeed numerous; from recharging to making calls, from sending/receiving SMSes to connecting mobile internet, from crediting to debiting of accounts, there is always one trouble or the other all the way. But since old users of BSNL SIMs cannot just discard these because they really cost them a fortune ( you know just how much they cost a couple of years back? ) and so one goes on using the same even as one is cursing their fate.
Now so much for the technical shortcoming things, what is adding to the galaxy of problems is the care service provided by the BSNL under the name of so-called Customer Care. In the beginning, one did hope that one could at least rely on this care cell for any technical advice/assistance and so their problems would be taken care of. Ironically, however, things have turned out to be just the other way round. On the contrary, even trying to put through to this call center has itself become a trouble for the customers, much less solving their problems.
I am not exaggerating, anyone who calls the care number now and then will know how the care cell is functioning. You dial the number only to be disconnected and after several exhausting attempts, you will be greeted with this ear-piercing, non-stop IVRS, you follow the instructions and press #9 to speak to the Customer Care executive, you will have to switch on your loud speakers and wait patiently while the IVRS meaninglessly keeps blurting…” Your call is very important to us, you will be attended very shortly…” And as likely as not they will answer your phone only after putting you on hold for not less than 20 minutes or half an hour.
And as though all this ordeal the caller is put through is not enough, the representative on the other end will care a hoot or two about your complaints– he/she will ask about your connection details, your problems and then put you on hold again, come back with an unsatisfactory explanation and will just hang up without listening to any of your saying. sometimes when that is not the case, then it is the line/network that goes dead suddenly ending the conversation very abruptly. As such, myriads of customers’ problems seldom get solved through this call center and if at all you get the chance to present your problems, they invariably will tell you something much like this……”We have forwarded your complaint to our technical department and this/that is your complaint number, we will definitely solve your problem”. And once, with such assurance, you hang up the phone, you are bound to return to square one. Next time you try to contact them, you will go through the same ordeal again but you will still not get your problems solved at the end of the day.
As a BSNL subscriber myself (though I am using another SIM card as well), I am very much concerned about the way innocent subscribers are put through in the name of providing services. After all, they are paying for the same. Now, would it be too much if I request your good self– in the position of authority– to kindly spare your few valuable efforts and make it in streamlining the service of this call center from wherever it may be operating from your very end, thereby improving the overall service to some extent at least for the people of your state?
Lester Rehoboam Makang,
Block-C, Hamleikhong, Ukhrul-795142.